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How to get a debit card or bank account for teens

You generally need to be 18 to open a new bank account online, and 14 to get a debit card in your name. Here are your options when you're a teenager.

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Can I get a bank account for my teenager?

You generally need to be 18 to apply for a new bank account online, however that doesn't mean you can't get one when you're younger. You may need to call the bank or visit a branch to get a debit card as a teenager, as it's difficult to verify your identity online when you may not have many forms of ID.

Some banks offer dedicated accounts for customers under 18 which you can apply for online using other forms of ID, such as your passport and birth certificate.

How to get a debit card for a teen

Most banks will allow you to get a debit card in your name if you're 14 or older, and some will offer cards to customers even younger than this. If you're under 14 you'll instead be offered a different type of card called a rediCARD or Handycard. A rediCARD will still allow your teen to access the money in their bank account at ATMs here in Australia and make EFTPOS purchases too, but its use overseas and online is more limited.

Options for opening a teen bank account

There are a few different options available if you want to open a bank account for your teenager. You can open a new bank account or debit card:

  • As a joint account with you and your teen
  • In your name, as trustee for your teenager
  • In your teenagers full name if the bank allows this

Bank accounts designed for teens

Some banks have dedicated youth, teen or student accounts that are designed for customers under 18. Some examples include:

What about a teen debit card for travelling?

If you're able to open the account for your teen here in Australia and receive a debit card, then you can use that debit card anywhere that Visa is accepted around the world. If your teen is aged 14 or older they'll be eligible to get a debit card in their name which they can use overseas.

However if your teen is under 14, they'll only be eligible for a rediCARD, Handycard or prepaid card. These cards allow you to use the money in your account, however they do come with more limitations and won't be able to be used overseas as easily. These cards operate on the EFTPOS network, not the Visa or Mastercard network, and the EFTPOS network isn't very common outside of Australia.

If you're looking for a debit card that your teen can use when traveling, the best debit card to use overseas is one with no international transaction fees or charges. These fees can be 3.5% on top of your transaction value, so best to avoid them if you can by choosing a card that doesn't charge this fee.

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