Managing your cash is easy with a debit card or bank account for teens

With access to their own money using a debit card, teens can learn about the importance of budgeting.

Teen banking accounts are a secure way for you to stash your money while still being able to access it when needed. One way to spend the cash is with the help of a linked debit card, which can be used to make cash withdrawals as well as purchases online and in person where EFTPOS is available.

Teens Bank Account Offer

St.George Complete Freedom Student Account

Teens Bank Account Offer

10% Cash back for online gaming purchases and $50 cash bonus offer.
A student bank account with a linked Visa debit card and Mobile + Phone banking.

  • Account keeping fee: $0.00
  • Linked debit card: Visa
  • ATM withdrawal fee: $0.00
  • Overseas EFTPOS fee: $0.00
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Compare teen debit cards below

Rates last updated September 26th, 2017
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
NAB Classic Banking
$0 monthly account fees.
Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card, NAB Pay for Android or NAB PayTag for iPhone.
Visa $0 $0 $0 account keeping fees with no deposit conditions. Unlimited free withdrawals at NAB and rediATMs. Go to site More
St.George Complete Freedom Student Account
10% Cash back for online gaming purchases and $50 cash bonus offer.
A student bank account with a linked Visa debit card and Mobile + Phone banking.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fee for students. Unlimited Free withdrawals at St.George, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and Westpac ATMs. Go to site More
HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
Your Visa debit card unlocks special privileges worldwide with the HSBC home&Away Privilege Program.
Visa $0 $0 $0 account keeping fees. Unlimited free withdrawals at over 3,000 HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More
Bankwest Student Account
Get discounts from a range of brands like McDonalds, Hoyts and City Beach.
Mastercard $0 $0 $0 ATM fees at over 4,000 Bankwest and CommBank ATMs, $0 monthly fees. More
Community First Student Starter Account
Designed for students aged 17-24 and studying their first degree or traineeship full-time.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly fee, fee-free banking with access to the RediATM network. More
Bank of Sydney Student Transaction Account
A flexible, student bank account with a linked Visa debit card.
Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fee with free, unlimited ATM withdrawals from RediATM network. More
Bank of Sydney Student Savings Account
Available for students under 18 years of age and want to earn interest on their transaction account.
Visa $0 $0 Free, unlimited ATM withdrawals from any RediATM. More
Westpac Choice Student
An everyday account for full-time tertiary students.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly service fee whilst you are a full time tertiary student More
P&N Student Account
A bank account for secondary and tertiary students aged between 16-25 years old.
Visa $0 $0 Unlimited + free transactions via rediATM, NAB and BOQ ATMs. More
Bendigo Bank Student Account
Available to full time students, apprentices and trainees over 12 years.
Mastercard $0 $0 No monthly account service fee, unlimited e-banking transfer, BPAY and Pay Anyone. More

What is a debit card for teen?

There are a number of Australian banks and credit unions that will allow for individuals under the age of 18 to open their own transaction account. Some will even offer special features for teens, such as reduced fees. Teens can deposit their money into these accounts, and then access it when needed through branch withdrawals, online transfers to other accounts and with the use of a linked debit card. For those under the age of 16, a teen will need expressed permission from a parent or guardian in order to open an everyday account. The type of debit card available may also differ for younger teens.

A debit card which is linked to a teens banking account will allow them to make purchases at EFTPOS terminals and online, with the funds being drawn directly from what is available in the account. You can also use the debit card at ATMs to make cash withdrawals of your available funds without being charged any fees so long as you are using an ATM that is part of the financial institutions network. If you use an ATM that is not associated with your bank or credit union you could incur additional fees.

joshAfter his 16th birthday, Joshua was able to get a part-time job at a local grocery store stocking shelves. He was then able to open a transaction account using his student identification card where his weekly salary is electronically deposited into the account for no charge.

This will save him the trouble of having to physically cash in his cheque each week – as many employers don't use cheques anymore and deposit your salary directly into your account. Plus, since the account included a linked debit card, he is able to withdraw that money immediately to have cash in his pocket, while transferring a portion into his savings account towards the future purchase of a car.

How can a teen save money?

You can find savings accounts products that are structured for Australians of all ages, including teenagers. These generally limit the access to the cash, while allowing it to grow through interest payments based on the balance. With the right terms and rates, a teenager has an opportunity to save their money for a future expense while at the same time earning more through interest.

One of the easiest ways to reach a goal, such as Joshua’s plan to buy a car, is with a savings plan. First estimate how much you need to save and for how long. Then decide how much of your weekly earnings you can afford to stow away into a savings account. It is important that you prepare a budget and deposit the right amount of money monthly, as many of these accounts will reward you with higher interest when you are able to pass the month without having to withdraw from the savings account.

When creating your budget look for ways in which you can spend less on daily expenses. Brown bag your lunch for example on most days of the week, saving the expense of eating out for special occasions. If you have trouble finding ways to save more, keep track of your spending in a diary over the course of a few days. When written down dollar for dollar it may be easier to see where you can cut back on your spending.

What about a teen debit card when I go on a holiday?

Depending on the financial institution and their ATM network you may even be able to use a teen debit card. While this will allow you to withdraw cash and make purchases easily, you will face charges per use at ATMs and for converting the currency to the Australian dollar.

If you are planning a holiday and want the convenience that your debit card provides without having to pay extra fees for using it overseas, a travel money card provides teens with a solution. These cards are preloaded in the currency of your choice, which also saves you money in currency conversion fees. Find a card that bears a Visa or Mastercard logo and you will have no trouble in using the travel card to make purchases as well.

Online banking for teens

The internet makes banking easy for teens by providing you with ways to view your account activity and even make certain transactions without the assistance of a teller. This could include transferring funds from a savings account to your everyday account, making bill payments and having your cheque directly deposited into your account. While access online may be limited for teens under 16, these transactions can still be made with the consent of a parent or guardian. Online banking accessibility is also available through an app with most financial institutions, allowing you to make some of the same transactions with the help of your smartphone.

Security is an important feature to consider when banking online. These sites should be secured and access limited only to those who know the password. For added protection you could also ask for a two-factor authentication, where a special code is texted to your smartphone every time you login to your online banking platform.

Starting your financial journey as a teen

As young Australians become teenagers their needs change and become more expensive. Finding a job at this time is a good way to gain some financial independence and begin that savings plan for your first car or other major expense. Begin by considering what skills you possess that an employer would consider beneficial, and then build a resume that emphasises those as well as your positive experiences in school. When you are called for an interview make sure that your appearance is professional, and your interactions with the potential employer cordial.

After having completed one or two weeks of work you will receive your first payslip, outlining the number of hours you have worked, the rate of pay and your gross earnings. You will also note deductions made for your tax contribution. This is a mandatory withdrawal from your earnings, based on the amount of money you earn and your personal circumstance based on your tax file number (TFN) or exemption codes.

Once you have started earning a regular salary, you can begin to allocate a portion towards a major purchase, such as your first car or mobile phone. If it is a first car you are saving for consider whether you want to buy new or used, and understand the pros and cons of both. A new car will be more expensive and depreciate quickly, but your ongoing repair expenses will be considerably less. With a major expense like this it is important to research all of your options and make a choice that best suits your lifestyle and means.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is's publisher for banking and investments. She has completed a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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