What age can my child get a debit card?

Typically,13 years old is the minimum age to open a teen checking account. Teenagers cannot open a bank account themselves. A parent or legal guardian will need to open a teen joint checking account on their behalf. Teen checking accounts are usually available until the child turns 18. When the accountholder turns 18, they become a legal adult, and it is common practice for the teen checking account to automatically turn into a regular checking account. Be sure to check the age requirements before opening a youth account.

When should my child get a debit card?

When to get a teenager a debit card is deeply personal decision. There isn’t a “perfect” age because financial responsibility is a journey. Getting a debit card is just one step. A teen checking account offers kids potential learning opportunities before being introduced to more complex financial concepts like credit.

If you feel that your child isn’t quite ready for a checking account, there are plenty of other ways to prepare them. Open a youth savings account or use financial literary resources to help them form a strong base understanding of personal finance. Ultimately, you are the most qualified to make the decision about when to give your child a debit card.

How do you pick a teen checking account?

When you decide your teenager is ready for a debit card, there are many teen checking accounts to choose from. How do you decide which one best fits the needs and responsibilities of your child? Here are five things you should keep in mind when choosing a teen debit card and checking account.

  1. Spending limits: Debit cards grant teenagers the freedom to make their own purchases. Teen checking accounts with spending limits ensure that teenagers don’t overspend and give parents some peace of mind. Learning to budget is an essential lesson to learn.
  2. Mobile banking: The convenience of mobile banking is invaluable. You and your teen can be immediately notified by alerts, make transfers, and monitor spending. A banking app makes monitoring spending and account management straightforward and easy. Contactless payment options also add another layer of flexibility and security.
  3. Minimal to no fees: Since your teen’s income will be limited, finding a teen account that keeps fees to a minimum will be a good idea. Keep a look out for perks like waived ATM fees or ATM rebates.
  4. High-interest rates: Teen checking accounts may enjoy higher interest rates. At ITCU, our Geared Up! account for teens offers not only higher rates on checking and savings but also certificates of deposit (CDs). Higher interest rates reward saving and teach the benefits of interest. Learning to maintain a healthy account deposit prepares teens for the future, be it for a down payment or an emergency.
  5. Rewards program: A teen checking account doesn't have to be purely educational. It can be rewarding, too. Some financial institutions, like ITCU, extend the perks of a rewards program to teens. Your teen can earn cash rebates, gift cards and more just by using their debit card.
  6. Account conversions: Your teenager won’t stay a teenager forever, and that holds true for their account. Check what happens to teen accounts when the accountholder turns 18, such as what fees or perks will change.

Shopping for a teen checking account is a beneficial experience in of itself. In fact, helping your teen choose their own checking account is a great vehicle for passing on your financial knowledge.

How do debit cards teach teenagers financial independence?

A teen checking account teaches minors the value of money and the importance of budgeting. Managing their account offers a hands-on learning experience that prepares them for the future. This future will more than likely involve a credit card and instilling good spending habits early on is key to being financially healthy as an adult.


A Great Checking Account for Your Teen!

ITCU designed our Geared Up! savings and checking account for teens with no monthly fees and higher rates. Combined with our financial literacy resources, they can hit the ground running.

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