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How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Debit Card – Tips & Advice

How old do you have to be to get a debit card? At the majority of banks, the minimum age is 11. However, there are a few companies that offer debit cards to kids that are at least six years old. 

Research has been done that shows that kids begin forming money habits by the age of seven. This is good to know because you can start building financial confidence in your kids starting at an early age. 

Having a prepaid debit card can be an excellent way to begin empowering your child to make thought-out spending choices for themselves while you watch their spending. So, how old do you have to be to get a debit card? It ultimately depends on when you and your child are ready.  

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Debit Card? 

There are two ways that your kids can get a debit card: through a traditional bank account with your child’s name on it that has a debit card attached to the authorized user, or through a specialist app. 

Remember that you should always compare debit cards when it comes to your children because banking accounts have various benefits and features.

Banks typically offer a traditional bank account, while specialist apps can offer additional features and settings that involve the whole family. 

With the majority of prepaid debit cards, you – the parent or guardian – will have to open the account before you can apply for the card. If you go to the bank, remember that your child needs to be at least 11 years old and that your child must go with you to the bank. 

Once you’re at the bank, you’re able to apply for a bank account for your child. In some instances, the parent has to have their name on the account and must have an account at the same bank. 

The Benefits of Having a Debit Card Between 6-8 

As we continue to move forward to a society that doesn’t use cash, having a debit card plays a crucial role in money management.

Kids are being exposed to making payments earlier in life, too, with online buying and downloading apps. The sooner your children get used to having a debit card, the more confident they’ll be before becoming independent from the bank of dad and mom.  

From 6-8, kids being making their first little bit of money – whether it’s birthday money or from an allowance. So, it’s the best time to begin talking about money management basics and the different sharing, spending, and saving options available to them. 

Having a routine for pocket money can help them learn that when money is spent, it’s gone for good, and to have more money, they have to work for it.  

The Benefits of Having a Debit Card Between 8-12 

This is typically the age when kids start asking for things they want, not the things they need. They’ll want to start going to the movies with friends, buy snacks on field trips, and they’ll want to purchase presents for your birthday. 

It’s also when they start to notice what other people have – if one of their friends owns Nike shoes, then you might end up buying them Nike shoes too. They’ll begin being interested in how much items cost and where the money goes. 

They’ll start to see you, friends, and family members purchase things online and in stores and want to be included. 

A great way to teach your kids how to save for the things they want is to put them in charge of saving for it themselves: an excellent way to do this is to set up a debit card for them.

This provides them with a sense of independence while still letting you keep an eye on them in case anything gets out of hand. 

The Benefits of Having a Debit Card 12+

When your child is 12 or older, they become more interested in how debit cards and money works. They’ll also start wanting to control their own account and be part of the adult process of paying for items. They may also be interested in saving up for more expensive items, such as the newest iPhone or bike. 

Opening a debit card for your child at this age not only gets them prepared for adult banking accounts, but it can make your parenting life easier. There will be no more nagging, no more need for constant supervision – your child will now be in charge of their own money. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Debit Card? 
Get a Debit Card

When it comes down to it, the best age to get a debit card comes down to when you and your child are ready. It also will depend on what your child wants to spend their money on. 

What’s important is that you keep the dialogue open, so your child feels comfortable talking about their learnings and experiences with money.

Putting your child in charge of their money can prepare them for the future and give them a head start on healthy money habits. 

Remember that for most traditional banks, your child needs to be at least 11 years old before they can open an account. This can vary depending on which bank or card issuer you go to, so if you’re not sure what your bank’s age requirement is, ask.

You also want to inquire about the spending limit, monthly maintenance fee, and the card control they offer and if they require a direct deposit to go onto the debit card each month.

Keep in mind that there are specialist apps out there that allow you to open a debit card or prepaid card for your child when they’re at least six years old. Like the Greenlight card that has no minimum or maximum age requirement. So, do what’s best for you and your child.