Disclosure: We scrutinize our research, ratings and reviews using strict editorial integrity. In full transparency, this site may receive compensation from partners listed through affiliate partnerships, though this does not affect our ratings. Learn more about how we make money by visiting our advertiser disclosure.

Price is one of the biggest factors parents have to consider when deciding on a debit card for their kids.

While a paid card is an extra financial burden, they often come with a ton of features that make the card more useful than your average free product. But on the flip side, many free debit cards offer all the basics that both parents and their children need—and the saved money can be better spent on funding the child’s account.

Today, I’m looking at one paid-vs.-free debate that some parents might be going through: the paid Jassby card vs. Axos First Checking. The former costs a pretty penny but includes a robust financial literacy program and an uncommon rewards feature. The latter is a basic financial toolkit but doesn’t cost a red cent.

Read on as I provide an overview of each account, a breakdown of costs, a list of key features, and a final verdict on which card stands out more. I’ll also highlight a few other popular kids’ debit cards worthy of consideration.

Let’s get started.

Axos First Checking vs Jassby Comparison


axos bank logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Nowjassby logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Now
WealthUp Rating☆ 3.6 / 5☆ 3.7 / 5
App Store Rating☆ 4.7 / 5☆ 4.4 / 5
Price*No monthly fees$5.95/mo.
BillingN/AMonthly
Special OfferN/AMonthly fee waived during first month of service
Allowed Cards Per Subscription1 per account owner6 (across both adults and minors)
Minimum Age**13None
Features That Make This Card Stand ApartPeer-to-peer money transfers; ATM fee reimbursementsRewards, financial literacy materials

Basics

axos bank logo transparent text thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
SpendingYesYes
SavingYesYes
InvestingNoNo
Giving/DonatingNoYes

Funding

axos bank logo transparent text thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
Funding Source(s)Direct deposit, mobile depositBank account, debit card
Direct DepositYesNo
AllowanceNoYes
ChoresNoYes
GiftingNoNo
Cash Reload Fee$0 (retailers may charge fee)N/A (No cash reload)

Saving/Spending

axos bank logo transparent text thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
Savings APY0.10% APYN/A
Round-UpsNoNo
Other Savings FeaturesNoneNone
ATM NetworkNoneNo ATM access
ATM Transaction FeeUp to $12 domestic ATM fee reimbursements per monthN/A
Card NetworkVisa or MastercardMastercard
Compatible Mobile WalletsApple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung PayApple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Parents

axos bank logo transparent text thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
Parental ControlsLow (Card lock)Medium (Transaction type-level controls)
Parental MonitoringYesYes
Parental NotificationsYesYes

Other Features

axos bank logo transparent text thin leftjassby logo transparent text thin left
Cash BackNoNo
Builds CreditNoNo
Customization optionsNoNo
Refund PolicyN/ANo refunds given, month-to-month pricing
Affiliate CTA Apply NowAffiliate CTA Apply Now
* Prices do not include processing fees when applicable.
** Many cards have different suggested minimum ages. We are only listing any hard-and-fast minimum age requirements.

Axos First Checking Overview


axos first checking

Axos First Checking is a free joint bank account for teens and adults offered by Axos Bank—an online-only bank with a focus on technology-driven finance.

First Checking offers teens and their parents (or other adult owners of the account) a free debit card, peer-to-peer transfers, direct deposit, bill pay, extensive security features, even interest payments.

The Axos First Checking account comes with a debit card—you can choose either Visa or Mastercard—that you can use to spend in store and online, as well as to withdraw cash. While Axos Bank doesn’t have its own ATM system, Axos offers fee-free access to 91,000 ATMs nationwide, and it reimburses up to $12 in third-party ATM fees every month.

If you’re worried that your (or your teen’s) card is lost or stolen? You can lock and unlock the card from your Axos account. And the card limits cash withdrawals to $100 daily and debit transactions to $500 daily.

Axos First Checking charges zero monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and non-sufficient fund fees. It’s designed for teens between ages 13 and 17 (up to 18 years old in Alabama). And once your teen reaches adulthood, it’s easy to convert to another Axos checking account, giving the newly minted adult full control.

Related: Best Debit Cards for Teens

Axos First Checking Plans + Costs


If you hate fees, you’ll love Axos First Checking, which charges zero monthly fees and avoids a host of other fees. First, a look at the features:

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Axos First CheckingN/A

    - Axos Visa or Mastercard debit card
    - Peer-to-peer transfers
    - Direct deposit
    - Bill pay (parents only)
    - $12/mo. in ATM reimbursements
    - APY on checking
    - Cash deposits
    - Easy account transition once child reaches adulthood

Axos charges no fees for overdrafts, non-sufficient funds, incoming wire transfers, first debit cards (and replacements), or money transfers. The account requires no minimum deposit, nor any minimum balance requirements. And not only do you get access to 91,000-plus fee-free ATMs, but Axos will reimburse you for up to $12 in domestic ATM fee charges every month—so you don’t really have to worry about third-party ATM fees, either.

Axos Bank will charge $5 for customers who prefer paper account statements, and they do have a 1% foreign currency conversion fee. Axos Bank doesn’t charge a fee for cash deposits, but retailers may charge up to $4.95.

Related: Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Kids and Teens [Reloadable]

Axos First Checking Features


young man woman smartphones apps

Below are some of Axos First Checking’s most notable features. Some of these features are geared towards the teens, while others exist to keep parents sane.

Axos First Checking Debit Card

The Axos First Checking account comes with a free Visa- or Mastercard-branded debit card. (You can choose which one during the application.) The card can be used in stores and online wherever the chosen brand is accepted, including internationally.

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of Axos’s card is its ATM access. Axos Bank allows you to withdraw cash fee-free from 91,000-plus ATMs nationwide. And if you come across an ATM outside of Axos’ network, no problem—it will reimburse up to $12 in third-party operator fees every month. Point-of-sale transactions are limited to $500 per day, while ATM withdrawals are limited to $100 daily.

Card actions such as activating, deactivating, reactivating, ordering a replacement, and sending a travel notification can all be done online.

Security features include active fraud monitoring, two-step authentication, and 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.

Parental Controls

Parental controls in Axos First Checking are fairly rudimentary. Parents can monitor their teen’s spending through account alerts received as real-time push notifications, emails, or text messages. They can also track transfers made from the account and lock/unlock the debit card from the mobile app and dashboard.

Cash Deposits

If teens have a tip-based job or receive a lot of cash for celebrations and holidays, they might want to deposit that cash into their accounts. Fortunately, while Axos is an online-only bank, there are still ways to make cash deposits.

Members can log in to the app and use the ATM locator to find ATMs that accept cash deposits. Alternatively, through Axos’ partnership with Green Dot Network®, they can deposit cash at many popular retailers, including:

  • ACE Cash Express
  • CVS
  • Dollar General
  • Kroger
  • Rite Aid
  • Safeway
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • 7-Eleven

Members can instruct the cashier to add the provided cash directly to their debit cards. Usually, the amount has to be between $20 and $500, but some places allow up to $1,500. Axos Bank doesn’t charge a fee for the transaction, but retailers may charge up to $4.95.

Peer-to-Peer Transfers

Axos lets teens make peer-to-peer payments directly from their checking accounts online. Just an email or phone number is needed to send a secure payment. So whether they need to pay a friend back for cash, fast food, or a group activity, it’s quick and easy to settle up.

Earns Interest

Teens earn an interest rate of 0.10% on any money in their account—a nice bonus for doing nothing. While this is an admittedly small annual percentage yield (APY) compared to, say, a high-yield savings account or money market account, it’s still more than you’ll get on your typical checking account (which is nothing).

Direct Deposit + Mobile Deposit

Teens with jobs can easily get their paychecks directly deposited into their accounts. Axos Bank has no minimum direct deposit amount to avoid fees (which isn’t the case with every financial institution).

Do the teen’s grandparents love to write birthday checks? Not an issue. Axos allows free mobile deposits. You can use a mobile device or computer to send money from a check straight into a First Checking account any time of day.

Bill Pay

While parents should always be covering a kid’s essential expenses, it isn’t unheard of for teens to be responsible for some of their nonessential costs. For example, a teen with a job might be asked to pay for their cell phone plan.

With Axos’ free bill pay feature, parents can schedule payments from a primary account to ensure the teen doesn’t miss a cell phone payment. (Note: Only parents, not teens, can access this feature.)

Bill Pay is parent use only.

Easy Transition to Adulthood

Once a teenager reaches adulthood, the account can be converted into a different checking account, such as Essential Checking, Rewards Checking, or CashBack Checking. The parent or original adult on the account can then remove themselves as a joint account owner so the new adult is completely in control.

You can sign up for Axos First Checking here.

Related: Best Teen Checking Accounts [Banks for Teens]

Jassby Overview


Jassby signup

Jassby is a mobile wallet app that families can use to manage chores, allowance payments, and money spent on the company’s flexible virtual and physical debit cards.

When you open a Jassby account, you receive digital debit cards that can be used online, as well as in-store anywhere Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay is accepted. But for extra flexibility, parents can order physical debit cards for their children that are good to use anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Parents transfer money to their children’s Jassby debit cards via a linked bank account or debit card. Parents can receive real-time spending notifications, monitor the account, track purchases, block certain spending categories, and instantly lock or unlock their kids’ debit cards as needed.

The app also allows parents and guardians to share money with their kids while teaching them valuable financial literacy skills. Jassby offers courses, videos, games, and more through its Jassby University feature.

Jassby has an easy-to-use allowance function—just pick the amount, distribution (Spending and/or Saving account), frequency, and day of the week or month. Kids can also learn the merits of earning through Jassby through Activities (chores), or they can earn Jassby Rewards by logging into their accounts, receiving allowance, or even by completing Jassby University courses. (100 points = $1, which can be automatically transferred to the Jassby Spending account.)

There is no minimum age requirement to use the Jassby card, but Jassby says most kid members are between the ages of 8 and 17.

Related: Best Savings Accounts for Kids [Children’s Bank Accounts]

Jassby Plans + Costs


Jassby has just one paid subscription tier.

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Jassby$5.95/mo.

    - Jassby card for up to six family members
    - Parental controls
    - Financial literacy materials
    - Giving/donating capabilities
    - Rewards program

The monthly fee is waived for the first month of service. Those who created Essential Plan accounts before April 1, 2023, are grandfathered in at a rate of $3.95 per month.
Replacement cards cost $4.95 plus tax.

Related: 40+ Ways to Make Money as a Teenager

Jassby Features


brokerage account father daughter laptop tablet

These are some of the most prominent features of Jassby. The account aims to be easy to use for both kids and adults.

Jassby Card

The Jassby card you receive upon opening your account is digital-only—you can receive a physical Mastercard debit card for free, but you must request it. Both forms are accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

The digital card can be used online, and it can also be added to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay for use in stores and other in-person locations. The physical card can be used both online and at in-store locations.

One Jassby account allows you to have up to six cards. And unlike many accounts that provide one parent card and all remaining cards for kids, you can spread Jassby’s six cards across multiple children and multiple adults.

Parental Controls

Jassby has several parental controls worth mentioning.

Jassby automatically restricts kid spending for anything categorized as dating services, liquor stores, lottery/gambling, and money transfers. Parents can also manually restrict certain spending categories, including clothing stores, digital goods, restaurants, and retail stores.

Parents can monitor transactions, receive spending notifications, and quickly lock and unlock the card from the app.

Jassby doesn’t offer dollar-amount controls. But because kids can only spend what’s in the account, parents can limit spending simply by managing how much money is in their children’s accounts.

Financial Literacy

Jassby University is the app’s robust financial literacy feature. Lessons include topics on saving, budgeting, and more. This all feeds a proprietary Jassby Financial Literacy score that reflects their progress, and kids are rewarded with points as they learn.

Rewards

Speaking of points, Jassby Rewards are a great motivator. Kids can earn points by doing basic financial actions such as logging into their accounts every week, making transactions, and receiving allowance. Plus, as I just mentioned, they can also earn points by learning about money. Jassby’s points system allows a kid to redeem 100 points for $1, which is put into their Jassby Spending account.

Giving Back

Through Jassby, kids can see how donating small amounts of money to a charity can make a difference, helping parents teach their children the importance of giving back. (Note: When kids go to the Charity section of the app, they will be sent to an external link listing charities—so don’t be surprised when it seems like you’re exiting.)

You can sign up for Jassby here.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Kids [Kid-Friendly Credit Cards]

Axos First Checking vs. Jassby: Our Editors’ Choice Is …


I think it’s fair to say that Jassby has a slight edge over Axos First Checking, but it’s not an easy decision.

Axos First Checking, which markets itself specifically to teens, is more useful for that age group—especially teens with jobs—as it has direct deposit, mobile deposit, and (parental) bill pay. Jassby does not. Axos also has one of the most generous ATM policies, whereas Jassby can’t be used at ATMs at all.

Jassby is the better choice for preteens and younger children, however. It has a more robust set of parental controls compared to Axos, which has one of the flimsier array of parental-control options. Jassby has allowance and chore functions; Axos does not. And Jassby’s financial literacy tools are among the best in the industry—perfect for inexperienced youngsters trying to get the hang of money concepts.

If you’re interested in Jassby, visit its site through our link to sign up.

I’ll be blunt, though: Both Axos First Checking and Jassby have a number of weaknesses compared to other cards in the space. Axos isn’t the strongest free option, and other paid debit cards for kids surpass Jassby in functionality.

If neither Axos First Checking nor Jassby is checking all of your boxes, I have highlighted a number of alternatives below.

Our Pick: Jassby
Runner-Up: Axos First Checking
3.7
3.6
$5.95/mo. (monthly fee waived for first month).
Free (no monthly fees).
Our Pick: Jassby
3.7
$5.95/mo. (monthly fee waived for first month).
Runner-Up: Axos First Checking
3.6
Free (no monthly fees).

Related: How to Build Credit at 17

Other Debit Cards for Kids to Consider


Here are a number of other highly competitive options if you’re looking for a debit card for your child or teen.

AppApple App Store Rating
+ Best For
FeesPromotions
greenlight transparent logo thinGreenlight☆ 4.8 / 5
Customer rating and parental controls
1 month free. Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each plan supports up to 5 children.)Free 1-month trial
copper logo thinCopper Banking☆ 4.9 / 5
Teen financial independence
Copper $4.95/mo., Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.30-days free
gohenry logo thinGoHenry☆ 4.6 / 5
Accessible customer service support
1 month free. Individual: $4.99/mo. Family (supports up to 4 children): $9.98/mo.1 month free
revolut logo thinRevolut <18☆ 4.7 / 5
Parent-paid bonuses
No monthly feesNone
Axos Bank logoAxos First Checking☆ 4.7 / 5
Teens ready to learn about money management
Free (no monthly fees)None
*Apple App Store Rating as of April 1, 2024.

Related:


Revolut <18 Disclosure

The Revolut prepaid card is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Visa.

About the Author

Riley Adams is the Founder and CEO of WealthUp (previously Young and the Invested). He is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.