How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Debit Card?

Written by Banks Editorial Team
3 min. read
Written by Banks Editorial Team
3 min. read

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Are you looking to get a debit card for your child? Or maybe you’re a student interested in getting your first debit card? Either way, it depends on the financial institution or online banking platform you select. 

Keep reading to learn more about the age requirements, what to look for when evaluating debit cards and a viable option to get your first debit card. 

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What is the Minimum Age to Get a Debit Card?

In most instances, the minimum age to get a debit card is 13 years old. It’s typically offered in conjunction with a joint teen checking account with both the parent or legal guardian and the child listed. – also known as a joint account. However, you will find that some banks, credit unions and online platforms offer debit cards to children that are as young as six years of age.

Check with the financial institution you’re considering to learn more about the age requirements. That way, you’ll know for sure how the eligibility requirements work with regard to debit cards for children and teenagers. 

Is There a Right Time to Get a Debit Card? 

It depends on your child’s age and their specific needs. However, a debit card could be ideal if: 

  • Your child knows how to budget and spend money wisely
  • Your child is starting a job soon and wants to receive your earnings via direct deposit
  • Your child wants to make online purchases or electronic payments for everyday and monthly expenses. 
  • Your child will be receiving an allowance on a consistent basis. 
  • You prefer that your child only use cash on an as-needed basis. 
  • You don’t want your child to visit the local branch of your bank or credit union to make a withdrawal every time they need cash. 
  • Your child is moving away to college soon and needs a way to easily access your funds without asking your parents to wire funds to you. 

Things to Consider When Getting Your First Debit Card

It can be exciting for your child to get their first checking account and debit card. However, before moving forward, you should consider the following to ensure you select the best option. 

Watch Out for Fees

If possible, avoid financial institutions that assess monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, statement fees or other fees. There are several that offer fee-free teen and student checking accounts, and they should be considered instead. 

Earn 4.00% APY on your Savings

Mobile banking done better. No overdraft fees/hidden fees. Get paid up to two days faster with direct deposit. Earn up to 15x the points on swipes.

Take Advantage of Perks and Rewards

Does the bank or credit union offer incentives when using your debit card to make everyday purchases? Can you earn points or cash back as you accumulate points? Not all checking accounts come with this luxury, but those that do are worth considering. 

Look Out for No Balance Requirements

You should also steer clear of checking accounts with minimum daily balance requirements. Otherwise, you could rack up hefty fees if the amount in your account falls below this threshold. 

Protect Your Account from Overdraft Fees

Is overdraft protection available in the event that your child spends more than the amount available in their checking account? How much does the bank, credit union or online platform charge for this feature? 

Check Enhanced Security Features

The bank you’re considering should also be backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which provides coverage for deposits of up to $250,000. If you’d prefer to open an account at a credit union, instead, it’s vital that they are federally insured to receive the same level of coverage for deposits through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. 

Get Access to Mobile Banking

Mobile banking should also be available through the website or mobile app. However, it’s equally important that it features an assortment of features that make managing and accessing your funds easier. 

Where to Get Your First Debit Card

You can visit your local bank or credit union to open a checking account for your teen and get their first debit card. But that’s not necessarily the only way to introduce them to the banking world. 

A better option: Current, a financial technology company offering unique banking solutions. Its teen checking account can help teach your child financial responsibility and good financial habits, and there are no monthly fees. Teenagers and young people can also embrace financial independence while enjoying several benefits you won’t find with a traditional bank account, like: 

  • A Visa debit card that can be used at retail locations or online 
  • Access to Savings Pods that act as savings accounts and provide a great way to grow your money faster
  • Instant gas hold removals to prevent your funds from being tied up for several days when you fill up at the pump (valid with a parent’s Current Account) 
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals at more than 40,000 in-point Allpoint ATMs
  • In-app enhanced security features, including facial and fingerprint recognition 
  • The ability for parents to automate allowance payments, send instant transfers, block merchants, monitor account activity and set spending limits 

Plus, support is available 24/7 to Current members with questions or that need assistance with their accounts. Even better, you can have added peace of mind knowing your funds are secure since Current offers services through Choice Financial Group, Member FDIC. 

Visit the website today or download the mobile app to sign up for Current today. First, you’ll need to sign up for a Current account and connect your bank account inside the mobile app. Once you’ve completed these steps, direct your teenager to download the Current mobile app onto their device. Then, sync the two accounts, and your teen is all set to start taking advantage of all teen banking with Current has to offer.

Best of all, the entire process is fast, free and takes less than two minutes of your time. 


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