Do you forget to give your kids their allowance – or worse, not have the cash on hand to give them? There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to paying allowance and helping your kids learn some helpful money skills too: debit cards for kids!
How long has it been since you gave your kids their allowance? I mean, REALLY, who even has cash anymore?
For me, it’s been an embarrassing 18 months. MONTHS! I seriously just don’t carry cash and with the craziness of the last year and a half, I think I’ve been to the bank ONCE.
And I totally forgot to grab allowance money while I was there. 🤦♀️
It was time to make a change. My friend told me about debit cards for kids. She was having the same problem and came across an ad. As she was telling me about it, I just kept thinking: “oh that would be SO much easier than what I do!” (and my kids would like it a lot more too!)
So I started researching.
Did you know there are several of these things? How did I now know about them before now?
Well now I know because I’ve spent HOURS researching this one topic! I’ve watched videos, read posts from TONS of different sites, and received feedback from friends who have tried them. And I can say without a doubt that this is a game-changer!
I’ll do a more in-depth review post soon after I’ve had the chance to really try our cards out and learn all the features in the app. But for now, I just want you to know there are GREAT options out there for picking the best debit card for kids and your family.
Teach Money Skills While Still Maintaining Control
If you are on the hunt for a great way to help teach your child how to manage their money, debit cards for kids could be the answer for you. It has been for me!
Kids can’t own a checking account until they’re older (15+), and a true debit card comes with its own set of challenges (overdraw fees, etc).
This is a perfect hybrid option for kids from 6 years old through high school (or college!): prepaid debit cards for kids.
How Do Debit Cards For Kids Work?
These cards have the benefits and freedoms of debit cards while providing some protections for kids.
As they earn their allowance, you can load the debit cards and they can save or spend strategically. Once they run out of money on the card, they will not be able to spend any more money.
Since they can’t overspend, there are no additional bank fees to pay, etc.
This method can help teach them to save up for what they want, manage how much they have spent and how much they have saved.
Plus, no matter which debit card you pick for your kids, everything is accessible in an app that both you and your kids can access anytime!
When you combine using the app with these financial logs, your kids will learn how to manage finances!
Debits Card For Kids: The Options
Companies that pay attention to what consumers want are successful. I think parents have been frustrated for a while now as they tried to find a convenient and helpful way to pay their kids and teach them money skills without dealing with cash.
As a result, there are now several different companies out there that provide a debit card option for kids and families to use. And they’re genius!
What is the best debit card for kids? Well, friends, I’ve done a ton of research, and I’m going to share with you my pick at the end of this post (otherwise you might not read the other options and potentially find a better option for your family!).
If your child is age 5—16, BusyKid can be a great kid-friendly debit card. You can easily set an allowance that will be automatically transferred to the card after it has been confirmed by you.
Most of the other cards are backed by Mastercard, but BusyKid is a Visa.
- Age: 5-16 years
- Fees: $19.99/yr for 1 card; $7.99/yr for each additional card.
Probably one of the most well-known debit cards for kids, Greenlight is controlled by a powerful app that will allow you to send a weekly allowance and bonus money to the card.
You can also control where your kid can spend money and allocate percentages to money “buckets” to encourage saving and charitable giving. Kids can even set goals for a large purchase or for spending money for a family vacation!
- Age: no minimum age
- Fees: $4.99/mo for the entire family
FamZoo is a prepaid Mastercard that is set up specifically for the purpose of helping children learn valuable money skills. It was one of the earliest options available and is still one of the very best.
You can set up the app to give spending notifications and allow kids to access their money with their own devices.
- Age: no minimum age
- Fees: $5.99 for the family if paid month to month; As low as $2.50 per month if paid in advance
Current will give you the opportunity to set spending limits, block specific merchants, and offers instant money transfers. You can also set this debit card for kids up to where you get instant spending notifications.
- Age: 13+
- Fees: $36 per teen per year
GoHenry is another great debit card for kids that can help them learn to manage their money. As a parent, you can set up different child accounts that you can put money into when needed.
Note: the fees are higher with GoHenry than with most of these options, so be aware.
- Age: 6-18
- Fees: $3.99 per child per month.
Here’s an option set up for teens. It’s like a checking account created especially for teens but kids 8+ can use it. They will learn how to live within a budget, and it comes with a debit card, so they also have their freedom.
- Age: 8+
- Fees: no fees or balance requirements
- Age: 13+
- Fees: no annual fee, $1 to reload the card, $5 to replace lost cards.
What do you think? Does one of these cards stand out as a good fit for your family?
FamZoo vs Greenlight Debit Cards For Kids
Ok, now here’s what I chose!
They’re both just so amazing and offer terrific, although slightly varying, debit cards for kids and benefits.
In the end, I chose to go with Greenlight for a few reasons:
- the ability to “scale” and let my kids practice investing
- better, more powerful app
- the slightly higher cost affords the company to continue improving
In another post, I’ll write a more detailed review of these debit cards for kids and our experience using Greenlight.
Do one of these look like a clear winner for your family? Let me know in the comments!
More Parenting Resources
If you found this post on debit cards for kids helpful, you’ll also enjoy these!
- What are SMART Goals (+ SMART Goals Examples)
- How to Know if You Have a Strong-Willed Child (+ free quiz)
- Can A No Spend Challenge REALLY Help You Save Money?
- Stop The Money Drain: 13 Budget Killers You Can Avoid