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

Information verified correct on October 26th, 2016

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.

NAB Classic Banking

Teen Everyday Transaction Account Offer

Enjoy $0 monthly account fees on the NAB Classic banking account.

  • Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs in Australia
  • 24/7 Mobile Banking, including Quick Balance checker
  • Tap and Pay for Android
  • Free linked NAB Visa debit card with payWave

    Compare teen debit cards below

    Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
    Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
    St.George Complete Freedom Student Account
    A student bank account with a linked Visa debit card and Mobile + Phone banking.
    Visa $0 $2,000 Waived monthly account fees on monthly deposits of minimum $2000 and free withdrawals from St.George, BoM, BankSA and Westpac ATMs. Open More
    NAB Classic Banking
    Tap and Pay with your Android Phone using NAB Pay.
    No minimum deposit required.
    Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fees, ever. Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs Australia wide and $0 overdrawn fees. Open 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 monthly fees. No ATM fees at over 3,000 HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Open More
    ANZ Access Advantage
    Apple Pay now available.
    Unlimited transactions at ANZ ATMs, EFTPOS, Internet, Mobile and Phone Banking.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Other fee waivers available based on your personal situation. Open 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
    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
    Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom Student
    Get a linked Visa debit card and $0 monthly fee for under 18's.
    Visa $0 $0 A low cost transaction account for students – no ATM withdrawal fees at Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George and Westpac ATMs in Australia. 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
    BankSA Complete Freedom Student Account
    An everyday banking account for students with a linked Visa debit card and $0 monthly account service fee.
    Visa $0 $0 No ATM withdrawal fee at over 3,000 BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, St.George & Westpac ATMs around Australia. More
    Police and Nurses 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

    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.

    What is next?

    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 is currently studying 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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