Debit cards for kids
Help your kids understand money, learn responsibility and earn a little pocket money on the side with a debit card made just for them.
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Kids debit cards really make parents' lives easier. They give you peace of mind so you know your child has money for food or transport, and they're a great way to teach good spending habits from a young age.
Look for kids debit cards with spending controls, spending tracking tools and the choice of how your child can spend their card to give yourself total visibility on what they're doing with your money. 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.
Compare Australian kids debit cards for April 2021
- Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay
- Monthly fees: $0
Looking for a prepaid card for your kid's pocket money?
Spriggy is a mobile app with a linked prepaid card which helps Australian parents and their kids to manage their money together and track their progress in a fun, interactive app.
- $30 per year for each child
- Pre-paid Visa debit card accepted anywhere
- Cards come in a range of funky, kid-friendly designs
- Keep tabs on your child's spending, saving and chores via the Parent Wallet
Try the app for free for 30 days. Sign up online in 2 minutes or less by clicking the "Go to site" button.
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 Australia, 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 and cons 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.
- 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.
Did you have these questions about debit cards?
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