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Debit Cards for Kids

Updated on October 19, 2013

Debit Cards for Kids

Several banks and credit card companies have caught on to the trend of offering debit cards for kids, and for good reason: Many parents have been looking for a way to begin to introduce their children to the world of financial responsibility, and the “allowance” concept for many parents doesn’t seem to cover the extent of what needs to be learned about dealing in the “real world” of personal finance. It’s a significant and very interesting thing that in today’s society, more people pay with plastic than with cash for their everyday purchases, when it was the total reverse only 50 years ago. Many parents who grew up paying only cash for their goods and services are now beginning to use credit and debit cards for their purchases, and have had to undergo a “mental overhaul” to begin training their children in the realm of modern finance, which is primarily plastic-based.


Many parents have started to give their children (mainly teenagers and/or college-age kids) debit cards that are prepaid and reloadable, so that they can give their children a form of “purchasing power” without the inconvenience and possible safety issues of carrying around cash. The main objective that most parents hope to achieve in offering debit cards for their kids is to teach them about financial responsibility. Many times kids can have a tendency to be very “abstract” about financial concepts, because they have been used to their parents basically footing the bill for practically all of their needs. With the opportunity of having a debit card, kids and young adults can get an introduction into the reality of financial responsibility, with a couple of built-in safeguards to hopefully make the transition into adult life and adult responsibilities a little more feasible.

Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Clip Art
Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Clip Art

Debit Cards for Kids: Preventing Overdrafts

One of the biggest safeguards offered with debit cards for kids is the common feature of most debit cards, and that is the limited balance that you can use. A debit card is not like a credit card, where you can (for lack of a better term) spend more money than you actually have. With a debit card, you can only spend whatever has actually been deposited in the bank or the account that backs the card, so that you are essentially operating on a cash basis. The main advantage over cash, however, is the fact that safety concerns are greatly reduced, and you can have more of a “paper trail” for purchases, especially for the parents that may have concerns about the types of items their child is buying. They can receive an itemized statement of purchases from the card issuer, and can teach their child how to reconcile those statements and understand the impact that each purchase makes on their balance and available cash.

One of the most important things that having a debit card can teach a teenager or young adult is how to avoid overdrafts, and how to exercise self-discipline with purchases. Again, the fact that using a debit card limits the child’s ability to access cash beyond the initial amount deposited is a major plus, because it teaches the child how to deal in “financial reality”, and emphasizes the importance of not over-extending your purchasing ability beyond what you can reasonably pay back, which is one of the cornerstones of building good overall credit. Cards like the PAYJr Visa Buxx Card or the Prepaid Visa Rushcard are good examples of debit cards for kids. As a general rule of thumb, it is always advisable for parents to really read the “fine print” and make sure that the fees, terms and conditions are reasonable, so that they can have more confidence that they’re giving their child a tool that can be helpful in shaping good financial habits.

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    • SteadyHubs profile image
      Author

      SteadyHubs 5 years ago from Georgia, USA

      @ person: Looks like you'll have to wait! :)

      @ loniee: Interesting spelling action going on there. :)

    • profile image

      Ioniee McNeill 6 years ago

      Mii Mom Plaans Onn Getting Meee One 2'Tomorrow '&dd I'm 13 yeaars oldd . w. Thiis Caard ii Plaan Onn Losing '&dd ii Waant 2'To Keep It For A While , Soo ii Think Thaat All Paarents Shouuld Get There Kids A Debit Caard Cuss It's Saafer '&dd Better Then Caarryinh Monney Arouunnd ! : )

    • profile image

      person 6 years ago

      I REALLY WANT ONE BUT I AM 8

    • SteadyHubs profile image
      Author

      SteadyHubs 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thanks, all, for the comments!

    • profile image

      Josh 7 years ago

      I here ya sammie.I need it bad to but my mom says I

      have to wait till next year.

    • profile image

      Sammie 7 years ago

      I need it bad!

    • profile image

      Sophia 7 years ago

      I really want one and me and my friend are going to get them. we r in 8th grade. we were thinking about getting the PASS ones from american express. it is 4$ per month starting in october but we do babysitting so we r gonna pay for the monthly fees

    • profile image

      brittany 7 years ago

      we should have a debt card

    • profile image

      James 7 years ago

      I think, it would be interesting for parents http://www.prepaiddebitcards.info/2010/11/25/debit...

    • profile image

      wawa 7 years ago

      what website?

    • profile image

      Emy 7 years ago

      I am 11 and I never have money with me. This is an amazing idea! Please go along with this! It is a incredible idea!!!

    • profile image

      Cedric Bowe 7 years ago

      I am 13 and i want to get one that is completely online without my parents knowing. (i am going to do surveys).

    • SteadyHubs profile image
      Author

      SteadyHubs 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Hold on a little longer, ben!

    • profile image

      ben 7 years ago

      i want one i'm 10, i will be 11 in october 15

    • profile image

      lexis 7 years ago

      im tryin to get one butt the stupid website wont let me

    • SteadyHubs profile image
      Author

      SteadyHubs 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Dirico, I hear you about BOA, but for different reasons. Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Christopher D Dirico 8 years ago

      hmm looks like a Good Topic here, i have Eastern bank and they have the Best Service in the New England Area, Beware Do not go to BOA. i have a Free checking with Eastern and Love it :)

    • SteadyHubs profile image
      Author

      SteadyHubs 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Good advice, Andrea! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Andrea Villanueva 8 years ago

      I used to have one and im 12 but then i lost it and had to cancel my account so now im getting a prepaid 1 so i reccommend if u get 1 let ur parents keep it unless u wanna use it!!

    • profile image

      olatunbosun7777 8 years ago

      well i need 1 debit card instantly now if possible today 11/06/2010 friday .how i will do the process how i will make my money instantly please advice me now on that statement okay?

    • profile image

      mia 8 years ago

      i want one and im 11

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