While there’s a growing push for more financial literacy in schools, most kids still learn about money at home. Research shows kids may understand the basics of personal finance as young as seven years old, so you can start teaching them early. One way is by allowing them to spend money under your supervision with a debit card designed specifically for kids. These are the best options to choose from.
Greenlight offers Mastercard debit cards for families with a robust set of features.
Features: Free one-month trial; manage chores; instant transfers; limit spending by store; real-time transaction alerts; education app; free first-time card replacements; enabled for Apple Pay and Google Pay.
ATM access: Greenlight doesn’t charge withdrawals fees—most ATMs will charge a fee, though.
FamZoo offers prepaid Mastercards for families, including kids under 13.
Features: Load primary card and distribute allowance to your kids; monitor activity through mobile app or website; budgeting tools; access to text or email alerts.
ATM access: Avoid ATM fees by using the MoneyPass network (32,000 ATMs nationwide).
gohenry offers a Mastercard debit card with parental controls for kids age 6 to 18.
Features: Free one-month trial; set single or weekly spending limits; manage chores; limit spending by store; real-time spending notifications; mobile app.
ATM access: gohenry charges $1.50 for ATM withdrawals; most ATMs will also charge a fee.
Debit cards for kids offer the unique opportunity to practice the basics of budgeting—but you will pay for the privilege. Before signing up, you should think about how to get the most value from these products. Make a plan to talk about bank accounts, monthly spending, and earning interest before handing over a debit card. You should also talk about the differences between debit and credit cards. While these lessons may not sink in right away, it could pave the way for future money conversations.