Ultimate Guide to Debit Cards For Kids

Child debit cards are a convenient way for kids to spend & learn about money, but there are things to consider before giving your child a debit card - read now.
Colby Brin
October 31, 2022
min read

In the ‘old days’, to teach their kids about money and financial responsibility, parents would give their kids an allowance, or pocket money — in cash. But this isn’t the old days, and as usual, technology has changed everything.

Now, you can give your kids a debit card, which is safer for them than carrying cash around, and lets them start learning about banking earlier. There are many options out there for kids’ debit cards, and in this article we’ll give you a general overview of them so you can make the choice that’s best for your family. We’ll cover:

  • What is a debit card for kids?
  • How do kids' debit cards work?
  • Why get a debit card for your child?
  • What age can a child have a debit card?
  • How can parents use debit cards for kids?
  • Tips for using a kids debit card safely
  • How can I get a debit card for my child?

What is a debit card for kids?

A debit card for kids is pretty much the same as a debit card for adults. It’s tied to a child’s current account, and they can use it in shops, or online, with merchants that accept that brand of card.

Of course, the main difference is that in most cases, a parent will have to deposit money into the current account for the child to spend. Unless the child is old enough to have a job, in which case their salary can be paid into the account.

How do kids' debit cards work?

There are actually two kinds of debit cards for kids. One is a standard kids’ debit card, linked to a current account, which we discussed above. A child has to be at least 11 to open this kind of account.

An alternative is a prepaid kids’ debit card. Rather than being linked to a current account, these prepaid cards are linked to a money app, like the HyperJar kids’ card, which the parents and children share. These apps let parents decide how much money is on the kids’ card, and where they can spend it. They’re usually available for children as young as six-years-old.

Why get a debit card for your child?

There are many good reasons to get a debit card for your child. Here are some examples:

  • It will help teach childrens how to manage money: As humans, one of the best ways we learn something is by doing it. A child being spending, and being responsible for their own money is a great way to teach them how to budget and track their spending.
  • It helps parents keep track of kids' spending: When you give your kids cash as pocket money, you obviously can’t be certain of what they spend it on. But a debit card keeps a record of every purchase.
  • It lets kids make purchases without having to carry cash: Carrying a debit card is safer than carrying cash because it can be frozen or cancelled in case it’s lost.
  • You can quickly transfer money to your child in emergency situations: If a child is on holiday, or otherwise not with you and an emergency comes up, a it’s easier to transfer money to their debit card than to wire them cash.

What age can a child have a debit card?

Kids as young as six can have a prepaid debit card, like the HyperJar card. Children between 11 and 17 can open a kids’ current account, and get an accompanying debit card, with their parents’ permission.

How can parents use debit cards for kids?

If you get your child a children’s debit card, you can control their spending by depositing money in their account yourself. You can also make sure to get your child an account that gives you oversight on what they spend money on.

If you get them a prepaid card like the HyperJar kids’ card, you’ll have even more control over their spending — and more of an opportunity to teach them financial responsibility. This is because you’ll essentially be sharing the account, and together you can agree to put money in different virtual jars, which you can use to budget together.

For instance, you could have one jar tied to chores, and one tied to Christmas presents. You can also set limits on when and where they can spend their money.

Tips for using a child debit card safely

Needless to say, you’ll want to make sure your child knows how to use their debit card safely. Here are some tips for that:

  • Sit down with the child and explain how to use a debit card responsibly. For instance, they should keep it in a wallet, or conceal it in another way, and only taje it out when they’re ready to buy something. And they should never give the card number to anyone under any circumstances,
  • Help them set a budget before they even have money in their account or on their card, then monitor their spending to help them stick to the budget.
  • Make sure they understand the importance of cybersecurity and how to protect their personal information online. For instance, they should never email their card number to anyone.

How can I get a debit card for my child?

Different providers will have different steps for getting a debit card for a child.

To get a HyperJar kids card, follow these steps:

  1. Download the HyperJar app. Create an account if you don’t have one already.
  2. Go to the ‘Profile’ tab.
  3. Select Kids Card.
  4. Tap ‘Order Kids Card’.
  5. Follow the instructions.

The earlier you start teaching your children about budgeting and smart spending, the more financially responsible they’ll be in the long run. Getting them a debit card, and helping them budget and track their spending, is a very good way to begin those lessons.

Colby Brin

Head of Copy

Colby Brin is Head of Copy at HyperJar. With over 17 years of professional writing experience, Colby’s been a journalist, ghostwriter, language consultant, and writing trainer. Having previously served as Head of Copy at Wise, he’s worked in fintech for over six years. A native of New York City, Colby graduated from the University of Michigan, and has lived in London for two years.

Download the app today!

Download now