How old do you have to be to have a debit card?
Are you a parent wondering if your child is old enough to have their own debit card? Or are you a teenager eager to gain some financial independence?
One common question that arises is, “How old do you have to be to have a debit card?” The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of debit card and the bank offering it.
Let’s explore the age requirements for different types of debit cards, as well as important factors to consider when choosing a debit card for your child.
Table of Contents
What is the minimum age for a debit card?
The minimum age to get a debit card varies according to the policies of the financial institution and the type of bank account. Teenagers can own a joint checking account with their parents or guardian.
Some banks may require the child to be at least 13 years old in order to get a debit card, while others may have a lower age limit.
Can my 11-year-old get a debit card?
Some financial institutions may offer special accounts designed for teenagers, including those who are 11 years old. However, the age requirement to get a debit card varies depending on the financial institution’s policies and the type of bank account.
Some financial institutions may require the child to be at least 13 years old to have their own debit card, while others may have a lower age requirement.
Another option for parents who want to give their child access to money without the risks of overdraft fees and other account fees is a prepaid debit card.
Prepaid debit cards are typically available for children as young as 6 or 7 years old, and they can be a good way to teach children about budgeting and financial responsibility.
Can a 12-year-old have a debit card?
It is possible for a 12-year-old to get a debit card, but it depends on the bank’s policies and the type of checking account that the child has. Generally, minors who are under 18 years old may have a joint checking account with a parent or legal guardian, and some banks and credit unions offer special accounts designed for teenagers.
These teen bank accounts may come with a debit card that has lower spending limits and restrictions on certain transactions to help with money management.
Some financial organizations also offer prepaid debit cards for teenagers, which can be a good option for parents who want to control their children’s spending or limit their exposure to overdraft fees.
In most cases, a parent or legal guardian must be listed as an account holder and have joint control over the bank account.
Additionally, some banks may require the child to be at least 13 years old to get a debit card, while others may have a lower age requirement.
Can I open a debit card by myself at 16?
It’s generally possible for someone who is 16 years old to open their own checking account and get a debit card. However, the specific policies and requirements vary by the banks.
Some financial institutions may require proof of income or employment to open a checking account and get a debit card. In addition to traditional debit cards, some financial institutions may offer prepaid debit cards or teen debit cards with specific features and limits.
How to choose a teen debit card
Here are some tips for choosing a teen debit card:
When you compare fees for a teen debit card, it’s important to understand the different costs associated with using the prepaid debit card. Some common fees that you may encounter include monthly fees, transaction fees, and ATM withdrawal fees.
The amount of the fees can vary depending on the prepaid debit card and the bank that issues it. You should look for a debit card that doesn’t have a fee or has a low fee to save money.
Check spending limits
Some debit cards may have a daily or monthly spending limit, which means that there is a limit to how much can be spent in a given time period.
Spending limits can be put in place to help prevent overspending or to protect against fraud. For example, a limit may be set to ensure that a teen doesn’t accidentally spend more than they have in their checking account or to limit the amount of money that can be spent in case the debit card is lost or stolen.
It’s important to check the spending limits on a teen debit card to make sure that they fit your needs. If the spending limit is too low, it may be difficult to use the card for larger purchases or to cover expenses like school supplies or clothes. On the other hand, if the spending limit is too high, it may be difficult to keep track of your spending.
When choosing a teen debit card, consider the spending needs of your teen and look for a card with a spending limit that fits those needs. Some cards may allow you to adjust the spending limit based on your specific requirements, which can be a useful feature to have.
Consider overdraft protection
Overdrafts occur when you spend more money than you have available in your bank account, which can result in costly fees and charges.
To avoid these fees, it’s important to look for a debit card that offers overdraft protection or does not allow overdrafts at all. Overdraft protection is a service that may be offered by the bank or financial institution where you have your checking account.
This service can help prevent you from spending more money than you have by declining transactions that would cause your account to go into a negative balance.
If your teen does not have overdraft protection and spends more money than they have in their account, the bank may charge hefty fees, such as an overdraft fee, non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee, or extended overdraft fee. These fees can add up quickly and put a strain on your finances.
When choosing a teen debit card, consider the overdraft protection options available and make sure that your teen is aware of the risks and fees associated with overdrawing their checking account.
If your teen does not have overdraft protection, consider setting up account alerts to notify you when the account balance is low or manually monitoring the account balance to prevent overspending.
Check for parental controls
When choosing a teen debit card, it’s important to consider parental controls as they can help parents monitor their child’s spending and ensure that they are using the debit card responsibly.
This can include spending limits, transaction monitoring, and other features that allow parents to keep an eye on their child’s account activity. Spending limits can help prevent overspending by limiting the amount of money that can be spent on the card each day or month.
Transaction monitoring can alert parents when their child makes a purchase or withdraws cash, giving them real-time updates on the account activity.
When selecting a teen debit card, check for parental control options and see if they meet your needs. Some cards may offer more comprehensive controls than others, so it’s important to research and compare your options before making a decision.
Kindly note that while parental controls can help monitor your child’s spending, they are not foolproof. It’s important to also educate your teen about responsible money management and good spending habits, such as budgeting and saving.
Consider card features
When selecting a teen debit card, it’s important to consider the card’s features as they can provide additional benefits and convenience to the cardholder. Some teen debit cards may offer cashback rewards, which can be a great way to earn a little extra money for spending. Other cards may offer mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, which allow for quick and easy payments using a mobile device.
Linked savings accounts are another feature that some teen debit cards may offer. This allows cardholders to easily transfer money between their checking and savings accounts, making it easier to save money and build good money habits.
When comparing teen debit cards, consider what features are most important to you and your teen. If earning cashback is a priority, look for a card that offers a cashback rewards program. If your teen is tech-savvy and prefers to use mobile payments, consider a card that offers mobile payment options. And if building good money habits is a priority, look for a card with linked savings accounts or other features that encourage responsible spending and saving.
It’s important to note that while card features can provide benefits and convenience, they should not be the sole factor in choosing a teen debit card. Be sure to also consider other important factors, such as fees and spending limits before making a decision.
In conclusion, getting a debit card can be an important step toward financial independence for teens. It allows them to start managing their own money and gain valuable experience in making financial decisions.
By comparing different card options, checking for fees and limits, and considering additional features, you can get a debit card that fits your family’s needs.