Looking to give your kids a little financial independence? A prepaid debit card can help your child/teen develop some constructive money habits that they can take with them into adulthood. Check out some of the best prepaid credit cards for kids currently available below.
Can a child really get a credit card?
First things first – although the term “kids’ credit cards” is banded around the internet frequently, it refers to kids’ prepaid debit cards – something totally different. A credit card is where money is borrowed from a line of credit. A prepaid debit card is when cash is loaded onto a card, where it can then be spent until it runs out. There’s no risk of overdrafts with a prepaid debit card.
Young people over the age of 18 can apply for a credit card, providing they can supply proof of a steady income or they can get a parent to co-sign their agreement, otherwise, they have to be 21 years of age. For teens and younger children, they can build up a credit history if they’re added as an authorized user on a parent’s credit card account.
If you want your children to gain experience in using a card to pay for purchases with their own money, then a prepaid debit card is what you need to look for.
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Visa card for kids
Many children’s prepaid debit cards come with apps that support expense tracking, savings goals and more so that kids can learn how to manage money themselves. The ones below come with a Visa debit card:
This is a platform where kids complete chores in exchange for earnings. They get to manage their allowance and choose whether to spend, save or give.
Kids can also purchase gift cards or stocks with the money they’ve earned. Parents get to monitor spending activity and maintain overall control.
You can create individual identifies for each family member and set up automatic paydays, so that you don’t have to keep transferring money to your kids.
BusyKid costs $14.95 per year, per family, after a free trial. The Visa Prepaid Spend Card costs extra at $5 per year.
Current Teen Banking
This is a Visa chip and pin debit card especially for teens. It comes with an app where teens can earn money through an allowance or chores, and even give to charity.
There’s a nifty feature called “Round-ups” which rounds up the cost of purchases and moves any change to the teen’s savings balance.
Parents can transfer money to their teen easily and quickly using the Current app. The card works online, in-store, at an ATM and integrates with Apple Pay. The cost of Current Teen Banking is $36 per year, per teen.
TD Go Reloadable Prepaid Card
Designed for teens, this is a Visa debit card offered by TD Bank. It costs $4.95 to purchase one and a $20 minimum load is required initially. There’s no monthly fee, and it’s free to use the card at TD Bank ATMs. A $3 fee applies when using it at out-of-network ATMs.
Reload charges apply if you use a debit or credit card, but you can avoid these by setting up a direct deposit. One of the best things about the TD Go card is that it can be used abroad without incurring foreign transaction fees, making this an excellent alternative to a travel money card.
Prepaid debit cards for younger children
While BusyKid is aimed at kids above the age of 6 years old, TD Go and Current are for teenagers.
If you want to explore other options that are more suitable for kids under the age of 13, check out the likes of Greenlight and FamZoo. You can read more about them in this article.
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Are kids’ prepaid debit cards a good idea?
Financial literacy is so critical that it really should be taught in schools. It’s certainly something that’s worth introducing as a concept at home, as soon as your kids can understand what money is and how it can be earned.
By teaching your children good money habits early on in life, they may be able to avoid some of the financial mistakes that many Americans make today that leave them living from paycheck to paycheck and perhaps relying on credit to get by.
No doubt you’ll want your child to enter adulthood armed with the knowledge of how to use their earnings wisely, so they can start to build a life for themselves without getting into debt.
A kid’s prepaid debit card (with an app) is one way to get the ball rolling with their financial education. Be prepared for your child to make some mistakes along the way!