A debit card for your child or teenager means they can access money when they need it, while learning good money habits at the same time.
Getting a debit card for your child will give you peace of mind that they can access money if they need it when you're not around. Plus, when linked to savings account a kids debit card is a great way to teach your child good savings habits from a young age. Kids debit cards are offered by many banks, and can easily be applied for for free online in a matter of minutes.
This guide will outline the different options available depending on your child's age and the purpose of the debit card, and allow you to compare some debit cards for kids.
Kids Bank Account Offer
A flexible option for those aged 15-17 years old. $0 monthly account fee. ING Orange Everyday Youth account is for Australians aged 15-17 years old. It offers Apple Pay and Google Pay, with no ATM fees, no account-keeping fees and no foreign transaction fees. Earn a competitive interest rate when you link with an ING Savings Maximiser, without having to meet any deposit or withdrawal conditions.
- Account keeping fee: $0.00
- Linked debit card: Visa
- ATM withdrawal fee: $0.00
- Overseas EFTPOS fee: $0.00
Compare some popular kids debit cards in the table below
How do debit cards for kids work?
Kids debit cards are offered by most banks as an optional extra when establishing a kids, youth or teen transaction account. As with regular debit cards, these cards can be linked directly to a transaction account and used in place of cash to make purchases in stores, or to withdraw money from ATMs.
These debit cards are usually linked to a transactions account; either the standard transaction account offered by the bank or a dedicated youth transaction account. Most bank waive the monthly account keeping fees for customers under the age of 18 or even 21.
At what age can my child get a debit card?
Your child typically needs to be 14 years old to get their own Visa Debit card, and 16 to get their own Debit Mastercard. However, some banks offer debit card access for children as young as 9 years old. Some banks also offer their own type of debit cards. These work in a similar way to standard debit cards, however have a few more restrictions when using the card outside of Australia.
The below table shows some popular everyday bank account and the age requirements to meet in order to access the linked debit card.
|Bank account||Debit card/s||Minimum age requirement||Debit card access details|
|ING Orange Everyday Youth Account||Visa Debit Card||15 years old||15 - 17 years olds can open the account in their own name online.|
|NAB Classic Banking||Visa Debit Card||14 years old||14 - 16 year olds need to have a parent or guardian open the account and allow joint access.|
|CommBank Smart Access Account for Youth||Debit Mastercard||9 years old||9 - 14 year olds need to have a parent or guardian open the account and allow joint access. Over 14s can open the account in their own name online.|
|Westpac Choice||Debit Mastercard Handycard||16 years old (Debit Mastercard) 12 years old (Handycard)||12 years olds can open the account in their own name online. Handycards are very similar to debit cards when in Austrralia, however can only be used to withdraw cash overseas.|
|ANZ Access Advantage Account||Visa Debit Card||14 years old||12-14 year olds can open the account online, but you must be 14 or older to receive the debit card.|
|ME Everyday Transaction Account||Visa Debit Card||16 years old||Customers aged 16 and over can open this account in their own name online and receive the debit card.|
|Bendigo Bank Student Account||Debit Mastercard Easy Money Card||16 years old (Debit Mastercard) 12 years old (Easy Money Card)||12 years olds can open the account in their own name online. Easy Money Cards are very similar to debit cards when in Austrralia, however can only be used to withdraw cash overseas.|
Features of a kids debit card
- Spending controls. Many kids debit cards come with spending control limits that parents can set within their mobile banking app, to restrict how much their child can spend.
- Card lock. Parents can also lock the debit card via the mobile banking app or using Internet banking, if the card gets lost or you want to temporarily disable it.
- Choose how your child can spend. Parents can choose if the card can be used at ATMS or for in-store purchases.
- Spending tracking tools. Many mobile banking apps offer spending tracking tools and features to help your child learn how to manage their money.
Here's what to consider before giving your child a debit card.
- Check the fees. The costs can vary between cards and banks. Most major banks offer fee-free services for kid's cards, and it's likely that the most common fees you'll encounter are from using other-brand ATMs. Look for banks with a large ATM network in your area to get more freedom from fees.
- Spending limits and overdraft. Look for cards that let you cap daily spending, allow or disallow overdraft as desired to make sure the card is used sensibly. Some banks will offer more of these spending limit features than others.
- Shopping online. Consider whether being able to buy online is a benefit or a downside, and opt for a kids debit card that can restrict or block online spending if needed.
Pros of kids debit cards
- Control. Keep track of your child's spending online and cap the daily limit as you see fit.
- Security. You can monitor your child's spending in the mobile banking app, and quickly alert the bank if you notice any suspicious transactions.
- Safety. Because you can quickly and easily lock the debit card if it's misplaced, debit cards are often safer than carrying cash.
- Good practice. Using a debit card will teach your child how money works digitally.
Cons of kids debit cards
- Age limits apply. The majority of Visa Debit Cards can't be used by people under 14 years of age.
- Less choice. Not every bank offers kids debit cards or kids bank accounts.