When to give your child a debit card?


It was easier to teach children about money many years ago. That doesn’t mean it was always taught, but it was easier.

Why was it easier? We had current accounts with check books and we had savings accounts.

The version of debit cards we know today only started to be offered in recent years, according to www.thebalance.com.

We also didn’t have online bill payments, mobile apps, or even online banking. We actually had to go to the bank, track our balance, or wait for our statement to see our checkbook balance.

Because these are all new items, we didn’t know when to teach our kids these new tools. Hence, there is the frequently asked question: when should my child get a debit card?

The short answer is – when they get a checking account, which would be recommended, around the time they enter high school or get a regular job.

Now for the long answer, so you can feel confident in the decision to give your kid a debit card.

Stop seeing it as something special

We see the debit card as something different and unique because we didn’t grow up with it. However, they are no different, unique, or special. They are an integral part of managing your money today and therefore should be treated like this. Your child should learn to manage their money and checking account the way they should when they leave home.

They won’t write the number of checks we’ve written, they’ll use online banking more, and they’ll use apps more than we ever have. So just as they have to learn to drive because they have to drive their whole life, they have to learn how to manage a debit card because they will be using it their whole life!

The sooner they start, the faster they can master the basic skill of keeping a balanced checkbook.


Some people prefer to use a prepaid card rather than a debit card for their child.

It is strongly recommended that you ignore the prepaid card and only use a debit card linked to your child’s checking account, with you as a co-signer. (Most banks require you to be 18 to open your own account.)

There are two reasons why this is recommended:

Prepaid cards are full of fees that you need to watch out for – more fees than a checking account.

You want them to learn the whole process; checks, ATMs, deposits, withdrawals, everything they need to manage their money on a daily basis. You cannot do this with a prepaid card. In fact, you can’t do it with a checking account and without a debit card. At some point, they have to learn how to do everything, and it is best if this happens under your supervision.

Another thing to keep in mind when setting up their debit card is to make sure that the bank is not authorized to authorize transactions that your child does not have the funds for. You will need to sign it when you open the account, so read everything carefully and make sure you are not signing up for overdraft services. If you don’t understand what you are signing, ask the banker to explain it to you in detail!

Ultimately, when deciding when to give your child a debit card, you need to remember that your goal in teaching your kids about money is to help them be able to fully manage their money on their own. when they leave your house. This includes debit cards, so make sure you give them one in time for them to learn while you are still helping them.


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