Owning a debit card that you can use to withdraw or deposit cash at the ATM is pretty cool especially for teenagers. That is why some companies have introduced debit cards for teens. The best thing about the card is that it teaches your children how to spend money from an early age. This exposure helps them learn about money management. Due to the popularity of the teenage prepaid debit card, there are many companies out there that offer these services all with different terms and conditions. That is why we have highlighted the 9 best companies that offer best-prepaid debit cards for teenagers.
Apart from knowing the top 9 teenage debit card providers, you will also get to learn the advantages and disadvantages of the card, key considerations before picking a card, and we will also answer some frequently asked questions about prepaid debit cards for teenagers.
Therefore, strap in and enjoy the ride!
Is There Anything Special with Teenagers Prepaid Debit Cards?
Marketers of prepaid debit cards market these cards as something special and different from the normal debit cards. However, nothing can be further from the truth as all debit cards work the same.
Even so, these cards do have some additional features which are not present in the normal prepaid cards. This makes them special from the rest. The major special feature of these cards is that parents are able to monitor the spending habits of their teenage children.
Another great feature is that you can get more than one card on the same account. This means that parents are able to transfer money to their children’s debit card.
Top 9 Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Teenagers
1. FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card
The first card to review is the FamZoo teenage prepaid debit card. This is a great card for families who want to train their teenagers on how to manage their finances from an early age. The founder of the card specifically designed it to teach his teenage children financial literacy. This makes it a very practical card as far as financial learning is concerned.
With the company, the parents and the teens both get a card. The best thing is that parents can see what the kids are doing with the cards in terms of withdrawals and all other financial transactions. Parents are able to transfer cash from their cards to their children’s cards to top them up. Another prominent feature of the card is that the price is very reasonable which makes it a great alternative. Up to 4 members can have a card and the company charges $0.63 for every card per month.
2. Movo Virtual Prepaid Visa Card
One of the best features of Movo Virtual Prepaid Visa Card is that you can use it to create another account number. More often than not, this extra account is meant for online transactions. This means that your primary account number remains safe in case of a data breach or a hack. Another outstanding feature of prepaid debit cards for teenagers is that the company does not charge any monthly fees or activation fees. You also do not pay any fees on purchases.
The cardholder can withdraw cash free of Charge from the more than 6,000 ATMs which the card supports. However, if you withdraw from an out-of-system ATM, you will be charged. It is also advisable that teens should be careful with attempting to overdraw because the transaction will be declined and they will be charged a $1 fee for every declined transaction.
You are able to reload your card in a number of ways. You can either use PayPal, direct deposit, Venmo balance, bank transfer, Or debit card transfer.
The card has some drawbacks though. If it stays dormant for 90 days, then you are charged $4.94 per month. You cannot load more than $5,000 in a day.
3. Mango Prepaid Card
When you register for the Mango Prepaid Visa card, you have the option to open a savings account with an APY (Annual Percentage Yield). With this card, you are also able to transfer cash at least six times a month. The good thing about this is that you will not be charged any fee when you sign up, load funds using bank transfer or when you activate.
The company’s other fees are not as high since they charge $5 a month and $3 to withdraw from an ATM. Another great feature is that the card can be used wherever a MasterCard is accepted. It is also possible for teens to manage their accounts by downloading an app to their smartphones.
One downside is; to qualify for the 6% APY, you need to make purchases of at least $1500 per month and have the least balance of $25 at the end of the month.
Fees and Costs
- A custom card costs $9.95
- You will pay a monthly fee of $5
- Does not have a reload fee
- ATM withdrawal fee is $3
4. American Express Serve FREE Reloads
One of the greatest features of American Express Severe is that it has three different versions of its prepaid debit cards for teenagers. This means that teens have a choice when it comes to purchasing a card from the company. There is the Free Reload version and is called so because you are not charged any reloading fees.
Teens can top up their cards in more than 45,000 locations in the United States. This means it is a pretty big network which makes the reloading process convenient. You can do so at Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Dollar General, and Family Dollar. It is also possible to load your card from a bank account.
When teens make a withdrawal from a Money Pass ATM, they are not charged. There is also no fee for customer service, sub-accounts, and card replacements. If you want to get the card itself free of charge, then you should order it online. The company also does not charge for early direct deposit and online bill payments.
Although the company offers fee services on most of the transactions, the card has a $6.95 monthly fee while other cards charge $3.95.
Fees and Costs of the Card
- The card costs $3.95when you buy it from retailers. It is free when you order it online.
- You will pay a monthly fee of $6.25
- It is free to reload the card at select locations
- ATM withdrawal is free but you will pay $2.50 at non- Money Pass ATMs
5. gohenry Prepaid Card
One of the distinguishing factors that set goHenry apart from most of the other cards is that children under the age of 13 can use them. The gohenry age limit is from 6 years to 18 years and the best thing is that the parents are able to set the spending limit. This means that you can restrict your younger children from buying stuff online using credit cards.
Although it is not the cheapest option in the market, the company has a very interactive app where parents are able to set cash limits for their kids. They are also able to give the kids and teenagers chores which when completed; money is released into their cards automatically. The system works flawlessly on both Android and Apple operating systems.
The app also allows the teens to check their spending habits and the parents to monitor these habits too. With gohenry, it is very easy to set up saving goals for the kids and this will help them to learn how to save from an early age.
The card has a monthly fee of $3.99 for the children and teen cards. However, the parent’s cards are charged neither is there any activation or set up fee for both the children’s and parent’s cards. One of the downsides of the card is that it does not offer free ATM withdrawals but rather charges $1.50 per withdrawal. The ATM network from which the kids make the withdrawal might also charge their own fees.
To check out if you like their product and services, goHenry offers you a 30 days trial period to test the waters.
6. American Express Serve Cash Back
One of the cheapest teenage prepaid cards in the market is the American Express Serve Cash Back. The card has a low cost and allows parents to create up to 5 sub-accounts which makes it very convenient.
The company has three categories of cards namely Serve Cash Back, Basic Serve Card, and Serve Free Reloads. With the three categories, you can get the 5 sub-accounts but the fees will be different for each one of them.
If you go for the Basic Serve card, you will only pay $1 for the main card per month. The sub-accounts in this category are free in terms of activation fees and monthly fees. When you withdraw money on the Money Pass system, there are no charges.
The second category is the Serve Cash Card. You can top up the card for free using bank transfers, direct deposits, and mobile checking apps.
The third category is the Free Reloads Card which charges $4.95 as a monthly fee for the primary card. However, reloading it is free and you can do so in many cash reloading centers like CVS and Walmart.
Another great feature of the card is that parents can monitor the spending habits of their children. They are also in full control of the card in that they determine the cash that goes to the card.
One of the downsides of the American Express serve card is that it does not have any savings and budgeting packages like other cards in the market.
7. Akimbo Prepaid MasterCard
The other prepaid debit card for teenagers that you should consider if you have teens is the Akimbo Prepaid Master card. One of the distinguishing features of this card is that you can use it as a budgeting card, a debit card, or both.
The card does not have any monthly fee but has some amazing savings and budgeting features. However, it charges you to withdraw from the ATM when you use the Akimbo Prepaid MasterCard. The card also allows parents to transfer cash to their children’s cards automatically. It is also possible for parents to reverse the cash transfer.
With this Card, it is possible to control the spending habits of teens with phones since it works well with both Android and iOS. The limit of the card is quite high at $9,999 which is enough money for any teen to spend reasonably. The cardholder can spend up to $2,500per day which is also a reasonable limit.
The activation fee for the primary card is $4.95 and comes with a free sub-account. Any other additional cards have an activation fee of $4.95 each. However, there are no monthly fees either for the primary account or the sub-accounts.
8. BB&T Debit Card
Another great option for a teen prepaid card is the BB&T card. The card is normally offered by yet another traditional and well-established bank. The card is also known as the LEAP account card and has some amazing features like parental control. The monthly maintenance fee for the card is $3.
Withdrawal from BB&T ATMs is free of charge. The card lets you pay bills online and also receive text alerts over the usage of the card by your teen children. The teen prepaid card package comes with emergency and travel assistance. This allows you to buy items securely with the card. With the card, it is also possible to transfer cash from one BB&T account to the other through direct deposits.
So as to understand your kids spending better, the bank gives an e-statement and a paper statement for one month free. For subsequent months, you will have to pay $3 for the paper statement.
The card comes with a $3 monthly maintenance fee but if you have an account at BB$T, it is advisable to get the teen prepaid card from the bank. This is because any transaction between the card and the account becomes easy. For instance, it is simpler to transfer cash from your account to your teenager’s prepaid card. As earlier stated, withdrawing cash from BB&T ATMs is free but you will be charged $2.50 if you make a withdrawal from any other ATM network.
9. USAA Youth Spending
If you were in the military or you are still on active duty, then this is the account that should check out. Any child aged 13 and above is eligible for the account (USAA Youth Spending) but the parent has all the control over the account.
With the card, it is possible to set restrictions which means that you can limit the amount of cash your teenage child can use. You also get alerts when the account’s balance is low. Teens who have the card can withdraw free of charge from any of the 60,000 USAA ATM networks across the country. You can also activate the overdraft protection option which means that your kid cannot overdraw.
On the flip side though, the account has a very low Annual Percentage Yield (APY). If f you want your child to save, then it is better to look at other alternatives listed above.
Advantages of Prepaid Debit Cards for Teenagers
- One of the greatest advantages of prepaid debit cards for your teens is that you can watch the purchases that your children do online. It is a fact that most teenagers do shop online for video games and other stuff. Therefore, a teen having a prepaid card with which you can monitor their online purchases is a big plus. The kid having their own card means that they will not be using your credit card to make online purchases.
- It is safer to carry a card around than to carry cash. It is much easier to misplace cash that it is for the card. Additionally, once you lose cash, it is very difficult to recover it. In this case, when you lose your card, you can block it and you will not lose any money. It is also safer to carry a card than a wand of cash which might lead to robbery.
- The cards have some excellent incentives that teach your teens how to save and budget. With a credit card, a person spends money that is not really theirs and they have to pay it back. This often leads to overspending. But with a debit card, the case is different. You have to load the card first before you can spend any cash. This means that kids learn how to spend wisely and also budget their cash.
- Most prepaid debit cards for teenagers allow you to set the maximum spending limit. This feature is very important since you can supervise your child’s spending habits and educate them on financial matters. This mostly applies to teens whose spending habit is running out of control. You also have the power to determine how much or how little you can top up your teenage child’s card.
Disadvantages of Prepaid Debit Cards for Teenagers
Although prepaid cards for teens have advantages, they also do have some disadvantages.
- Some companies charge quite a fee when it comes to debit cards for teens. They do charge activation fees while others charge monthly maintenance fees. Some companies also charge ATM withdrawal fees and other extra charges. Therefore, having a card or two for your teenagers can add to your monthly expenses.
- Debit cards do not improve the kids’ credit score. Thus, it does not matter if they use their cards wise or not. The fact is that their credit score will remain unaffected.
- Although a prepaid debit card introduces teens to plastic money, it is not better compared to a credit card. With a debit card, teen spends money that they have already loaded on the card. So, once they spent, they cannot buy anything using the card unless they reload it again. For a credit card, the case is different. In this case, the teen spends money that they have not loaded in the card and they might get the illusion that it is free money. The shock comes with the realization that it was not free money and they have to pay it back. To protect your child from overspending, it is important to help them understand the difference between a debit and a credit card. This helps them to avoid hefty charges that they might incur by misusing a credit card.
Key Consideration Before Picking Prepaid Debit Cards for Teenagers
Below are some key considerations that you should put into place before choosing a credit card for your teenagers.
Convenience of the Card
Some cards allow you to make free deposits over many platforms and using various avenues. Some prepaid card companies will allow you to have multiple cards on the same account. Some allow the addition of up 5 accounts from the primary account. Therefore, before you pick on any card, it is prudent to find out how convenient it is to operate the card.
Level of Control
Although all prepaid cards give parents some kind of control over their teens’ cards, some offer more control than others. There are two main factors that determine the level of control that you would like to have over the card. That is; age and spending habits of your teen. Some companies allow teens as young as 13 years to have a debit card. In this case, you will need a card that gives you more control over the spending of the young teen. You might limit them from doing online sales using their cards.
The other factor when it comes to the level of control is the spending habits of the teen. Some teenagers are spendthrifts while others are more responsible with their money. So, depending on the spending habits of your teen, you might choose a card that gives you more or less control.
The third factor that you should consider while picking up a card is its extra features. Ask yourself, does it offer the bare least or does it have some amazing incentives? Some cards encourage your kids to save by offering top interest rates on their savings. Other cards also encourage the kids to budget.
The fourth factor to consider while choosing a teen prepaid card is the limit. Consider how much money the card allows you to load and also how much money the kid can spend per day. Some cards have a very high limit of up to $100,000 and the teen can spend as much as $15,000 per month. Some other cards’ limits are much lower. Therefore, it is up to you to decide which one fits your preference.
Different cards charge different fees for different devices. A majority of cards charge an activation fee which varies from one prepaid card to another. Some charge more while others charge much less. Also, some cards have a monthly maintenance fee while others do not. Some offer free ATM withdrawals while others charge a fee. Thus, it is important to check on all the costs and choose the one that you deem best.
So, before you settle on a card, it is important to put all the highlighted factors into consideration.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get a prepaid card if you are under 18?
Yes, it is possible to get a prepaid card when you are under 18. In fact, teenage prepaid cards are for kids from 13 to 18 years.
Are prepaid debit cards a good idea for teenagers?
Yes, a prepaid teenage card is a good idea for a teenager. Teenagers also have a right to buy their personal items. Consequently, it is better to get them a debit card to make both their online and offline purchases easier. As a parent, you also get to track their spending.
What is the best-prepaid card for a teenager?
The best-prepaid card for a teenager is the FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card. The card is designed to cater to teenagers by teaching them proper spending and budgeting habits.
Are there any free prepaid debit cards?
Yes, the Movo Virtual Prepaid Visa Card does not charge you activation fees or monthly fees. However, you will pay for overdrawing and also if your card stays dormant for more than 90 days.
The prepaid debit card is an excellent gift to grant your teenage children. This is because it helps them learn how to spend, budget, and save cash. As mentioned above, these cards also help your child to learn the value of money at an early age, hence develop some management skills.
There are many teenage prepaid card providers in the market today all with different terms and conditions. As such, there are a number of considerations that you should take into account before choosing a prepaid teenage debit card. You should consider the fees of the cards, the convenience, limits, control, and many more as stated above.
We, therefore, believe that with this information, you will be able to make the right choice when it comes to getting the best Prepaid Debit Card for Teenagers.