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Piggy banks are cute and hold a child’s money, but that’s about all they offer. Debit cards designed for kids come with far more perks. These cards come with parental controls, make it easy to pay allowance, and more. Plus, if your kid needs cash, they can use the debit card to withdraw some from an ATM.

But it’s not as easy as just deciding to get your kid a debit card—you need to choose which card to get as well. You’ve likely heard of the well-known bank Chase® and, since you’re here, have likely caught wind of the financial technology company Current.

Both offer kids’ debit cards, but the features offered aren’t identical.

Today, I’ll give an overview of each card, review the costs, explain important features, and more. Seeing the vital stats side by side should help you decide which card is a better choice for your family. Just in case neither seems like the perfect fit, I’ll also highlight other debit cards worthy of consideration.

Chase First BankingSM vs. Current Comparison


chase logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Nowcurrent logo transparent text thin new leftAffiliate CTA Apply Now
WealthUp Rating☆ 4.8 / 5☆ 3.8 / 5
App Store Rating☆ 4.8 / 5☆ 4.7 / 5
Price*No monthly feesNo monthly fees
BillingN/AN/A
Special OfferN/AN/A
Allowed Cards Per Subscription11
Minimum Age**6No
Features That Make This Card Stand ApartAccess to 4,700+ branchesSpending insights through money management tools, gas hold removals

Basics

chase logo transparent text thin leftcurrent logo transparent text thin new left
SpendingYesYes
SavingYesYes
InvestingNoNo
Giving/DonatingNoNo

Funding

chase logo transparent text thin leftcurrent logo transparent text thin new left
Funding Source(s)Chase bank accountBank account, debit card, check, third-party app, cash
Direct DepositNoNo
AllowanceYesYes
ChoresYesYes
GiftingNoYes
Cash Reload FeeN/A (No cash reload)$3.50 per transaction

Saving/Spending

chase logo transparent text thin leftcurrent logo transparent text thin new left
Savings APYN/AN/A
Round-UpsNoYes
Other Savings FeaturesNoneNone
ATM NetworkChase (15,000+ ATMs)Allpoint (40,000+ ATMs)
ATM Transaction Fee$0 in-network (Operator fee may apply at out-of-network ATMs)$0 (Operator fee may apply at out-of-network ATMs)
Card NetworkVisaVisa
Compatible Mobile WalletsN/AApple Pay, Google Pay

Parents

chase logo transparent text thin leftcurrent logo transparent text thin new left
Parental ControlsHigh (Store-level controls and limit setting)Medium (Spending limits, transaction type-level controls)
Parental MonitoringYesYes
Parental NotificationsYesYes

Other Features

chase logo transparent text thin leftcurrent logo transparent text thin new left
Cash BackNoNo
Builds CreditNoNo
Customization optionsNoNo
Refund PolicyN/AN/A
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.
*** In some cases, funding sources may apply to parent account, which subsequently must be used to fund the child account.

Chase First BankingSM Overview

Chase First BankingSM (Best Free Debit Card for Kids)


chase first banking sign up

Ready to teach your little ones about money, but not quite sure if you have the time, patience and expertise?

Chase First BankingSM offers simple banking for both of you in one location—the Chase Mobile® App—for free. With Chase First BankingSM, parents can help their kids learn how to spend, set up savings goals, and even pay allowance or money earned completing chores.

Need insight and oversight into your child’s spending and saving? You can set up spending notifications, as well as set limits on how much and where your child can spend, from the Chase Mobile® app. Chase First BankingSM also helps parents teach teens and kids about money by giving parents the control they want and kids the freedom they need to learn.

At the heart of Chase First BankingSM sits one of the best free debit cards for kids and teens. It works anywhere Visa is accepted, and it allows your kid to withdraw money, fee-free, from more than 15,000 Chase ATMs around the country.

To get started, you’ll first need to be a Chase customer with a qualifying Chase checking account. Consider opening a Chase Total CheckingSM or Chase Secure BankingSM account to qualify.

  • Chase Total CheckingSM also grants access to 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. You can pay $0 in monthly fees, subject to meeting certain conditions. And if you set up direct deposit within 90 days of coupon enrollment, you can earn a $300 sign-up bonus!
  • Chase Secure BankingSM offers the same Chase ATMs and branch locations as well as a $100 sign-up bonus when you make stated qualifying activities and meet certain conditions.

Once you open a qualifying Chase Checking account, you may apply for a Chase First BankingSM account for your child.

Chase First BankingSM is designed with kids ages 6-12 in mind, but it is available for ages 6-17. Read more in our Chase First Banking review.

Related: Best Trading Apps for Under 18 [Investing Apps for Teens]

Chase First BankingSM Plans + Costs


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Chase First BankingSM is a primarily fee-free kids’ debit card.

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Chase First BankingSMN/A

    - Chase First BankingSM debit card
    - Parental controls
    - Savings goals
    - Allowance and chores
    - Physical bank locations

A few situations where fees may be charged include:

  • Expedited shipment of a replacement debit card ($5)
  • Using the debit card at a non-Chase ATM ($3)
  • Using the debit card to make an ATM withdrawal or transfer inquiry outside the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ($3 for transfers or inquiries, $5 per withdrawal)
  • For international card purchases or withdrawals, you have to pay 3% of the amount after conversion to U.S. dollars.

But note that these are all pretty common fees for debit cards.

Related: Best Brokerage Accounts for Teens

Chase First BankingSM Features


family UTMA custodial account

Below are some of the most notable features of Chase First BankingSM. These features are designed to strike the delicate balance of giving kids independence while keeping parental safeguards in place.

Chase First BankingSM Card

The Chase First BankingSM card is a Visa-branded debit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted (at physical stores and online), as well as at 15,000 fee-free Chase ATMs. The card is protected by Visa’s Fraud Protection and Zero Liability guarantee; as long as you dispute fraudulent charges within the stated time frame, you can avoid having to pay for those charges.

Admittedly, Chase First BankingSM has some of the strictest funding limitations of all kids’ debit cards. You must fund the account from a qualifying Chase checking account, such as Chase Total CheckingSM or Chase Secure BankingSM . That means you can’t fund the account from other traditional funding sources, like third-party payment apps, cash, and any other bank’s debit cards or checking accounts.

Parental Controls

Chase First BankingSM offers some of the best parental controls among all the kids’ debit cards I have reviewed.

You can use the Chase Mobile® App to set limits for where and/or how much your kid or teen can spend. Don’t want them eating too much fast food? Set a $15 limit at fast-food restaurants. Worried about your kid overspending in general? Just limit how much the card can be used for anywhere. You can even set withdrawal limits at ATMs.

Parents can also enable account alerts. There are three categories of alerts, including:

  • Balance & spending
  • Security
  • Chase First Banking (transfer money requests, ATM use, card declined, etc.)

You can choose to be notified via email, push notification, text message, or a combination of multiple alerts.

Has the card gone missing? Don’t worry about it. It can be locked or unlocked from the app. Children can also lock and unlock their cards, but if a parent locks the card, the kid can’t unlock it.

Savings Goals

Children can create savings goals and transfer money toward those goals at any time. Parents can transfer money to the kid’s goals as well. And the Chase Mobile® App makes it easy to track their progress.

Allowance + Chores

Whether you want to pay daily, weekly, or monthly, it’s easy to set up recurring allowance transfers through the Chase Mobile app. You can also assign repeating chores and pay your kid when they’ve completed them.

Physical Locations

Many of the most popular debit cards for teens and kids are offered by online banks with no brick-and-mortar locations. Chase, however, has more than 4,700 physical locations. If you find comfort that you could speak face-to-face with a human if anything goes wrong, this debit card and accompanying account could be a good fit for you. Plus, you can deposit cash and checks for free.

You can sign up for Chase First Banking here.

Related: Best Child Bank Accounts With Debit Cards

Current Overview


Current signup new

The Current mobile banking app is designed with families in mind. It offers both adult and teen accounts—and the latter comes with a prepaid debit card that parents load for their children.

This kids’ debit card comes with fee-free ATM access, instant gas hold removals, Round-Ups, and more.

Current allows you to track your teen’s spending in real-time, set limits on how much your children can spend, and even block specific merchants on its Visa-enabled debit cards. You also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your children’s money is safe because it’s not cash—no temptations, just a tool parents can use to help teach teens financial responsibility and sound money management skills.

Current doesn’t specifically state a minimum age requirement, but the company’s marketing suggests teens are the target audience. Still, you might be able to open an account for a younger child.

Related: The 7 Best Brokerage Accounts for Minors

Current Plans + Costs


Current is a completely free card, so there’s only one “plan” of which to speak:

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Current TeenN/A

    - Current card
    - Parental controls
    - Allowance and chores
    - Savings Pods
    - Giving Pods
    - Round-Ups
    - Cash deposits
    - Gas hold removals

A parent must create a free Current Individual Account to set up Current Teen Account. However, there are no minimum required balances, fees for transfers to other Current accounts, or in-network ATM fees.

Still, Current users might still incur a few fees, including:

  • Out-of-network ATM usage ($2.50 per transaction)
  • Foreign transactions (3% of the full transaction amount, minimum $0.50.)
  • Late payment (3% of any total due balances outstanding and past due for two or more billing cycles)
  • Cash reloads ($3.50)

Many users can avoid these fees, but it’s still good to keep them in mind.

Current Features


teen young woman credit debit card blue background

Current has several features that help it stand out from other debit cards for teens. Here are the most pertinent aspects you should know:

Current Card

The Current experience centers around the Current Visa debit card. Teens can use the Current debit card to shop both in stores or online, or to withdraw cash fee-free from more than 40,000 in-network Allpoint ATMs.

Parental Controls

Parents have several ways to limit their teens’ spending.

The cards automatically come with daily maximums of $500 for ATM withdrawals and $2,000 for spending, but parents can adjust these as they want.

Parents can also toggle certain spending categories (including ATMs) on and off, and even turn the card on and off, if necessary.

Allowance + Chores

Current has one of the most flexible allowance options available, allowing you to choose monthly, bi-weekly, weekly, and even daily money transfers! (I think daily is a little too frequent, but it’s there if you need it.) Simply set an amount, a funding source, start date, and frequency.

You can also assign chores to your teen (who must mark the chore as completed once they’re done with it), then pay them regularly on a weekly basis. But you have some optionality—you can pay your teen early, and you can also adjust payment if some chores aren’t completed on time.

Savings Pods

Each Current teen account comes with a Savings Pod, which is effectively a savings account—you can name it, set a goal amount, even add an image to it.

Related: Best Automatic Savings Apps + Accounts

Giving Pods

Want to instill the importance of giving back to your child? Current Teen Accounts come with a Giving Pod that allows your teenager to donate to their favorite charity.

Round-Ups

The Current card also offers basic Round-Ups, where every purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference is stored in the Savings or Giving Pod. This makes saving simple and automatic.

Related: Best Round-Up Apps for Saving and Investing Instantly

Cash Deposits

Whether your child has a job that pays cash tips or receives money in celebratory cards, they can deposit that cash into their Current account at more than 60,000 stores nationwide, including popular retailers such as 7-Eleven, Dollar General, CVS Pharmacy, and more.

To find participating retailers, look at the “Add Cash” map. Once there, simply tell the cashier you want to deposit cash. Once the cashier scans the barcode, the funds are immediately available. Deposits can be up to $500 per transaction, though Current does charge a $3.50 cash reload fee.

Related: Best Investments for Teenagers [What to Invest In as a Teen]

Gas Hold Removals

Nobody likes having their money tied up, and that’s exactly what happens with gas holds, where a gas station puts a hold—usually of $50 or more—on your account until the transaction goes through. With the parent’s Current account, the teen can get instant gas hold removals.

Interested in Current? You can sign up here.

Related: Best Teen Checking Accounts [Banks for Teens]

Chase First BankingSM vs. Current: Our Editors’ Choice Is …


Parents who already use and enjoy Chase® may want to choose Chase First BankingSM for their children. If your child ends up loving Chase®, they can use the brand in the future for credit cards, mortgages, and much more. This is one of the few kids’ debit card providers with brick-and-mortar locations, so if that’s important to you, this is the clear choice. It offers all the basic features most parents are seeking, such as savings goals, an easy way to pay allowance, chore assignments, and more.

However, Current offers several features that Chase® doesn’t. If you’re looking for a way for your child to build credit or start cryptocurrency trading, Current is the obvious winner. It also offers a competitive APY on up to $2,000 in a Savings Pod and helps kids save faster through round-ups.

Our Pick: Chase First Banking
Runner-Up: Current
4.8
3.8
Our Pick: Chase First Banking
Runner-Up: Current

Related: 26 Best Online Jobs for Teens [Earn Money at Home, Age 13+]

Other Debit Cards for Kids to Consider


If you’re still not convinced on Chase First BankingSM or Current, you might want to look at these other highly rated options:

Related: 13 Best Money Apps for Teens [Invest, Spend, Budget + Pay]

1. Greenlight (Best-Rated Debit Card for Teens)


greenlight sign up new

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial. Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (All plans include cards for up to 5 children)

The Greenlight debit card allows kids to begin spending, but provides parents with peace of mind by giving them control over where their kids can spend money. Parents also can choose to receive alerts that tell them when, and how much, money is spent on the Greenlight debit card.

The Greenlight debit card is a good choice for parents looking to teach their kids the importance of saving money and making prudent financial decisions. This financial product can be an effective learning tool for helping kids to understand why saving should be a priority and how to simplify paying an allowance or tracking chores. Greenlight has no minimum age requirements for this card, but recommends starting at age 6 or older.

Greenlight boasts numerous other features, too.

For instance, parents can open an investment account for kids to get their children investing in stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for the first time.

Greenlight offers monthly savings rewards based on your tier: 1% per annum for Core members, 2% per annum for Max, and 5% per annum for Infinity. You may set up “Parent-Paid Interest” between you and your child. This allows you to foot the bill and pay interest on accounts for up to five kids.

Each monthly Greenlight subscription includes debit cards for up to five kids. Replacement cards cost $3.50 each but are free the first time. If you need to replace your card quickly, you can get express delivery for $24.99. The company also offers a personalized debit card for kids, with your own photo or design, for $9.99.

Read more in our Greenlight card review.

Related: How to Invest as a Teenager Under 18 [Start Investing as a Minor]

2. Copper Card (Best Debit Card for Kid Independence)


copper banking

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 30 days free. Copper: $4.95/mo. Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.

Copper Banking was founded on the belief that kids and teens should have equal access to financial education and should be empowered to learn by doing. Now, the company is on a mission to help children gain real-world experience by giving them access to their money in a way that traditional banks can’t.

The Copper app and debit card teaches your child how to make smart financial decisions by creating a platform where parents and their kids can connect. With the Copper app, you get easy snapshots of your accounts. And with the Copper Debit Card, it’s easy to shop in-store or online, including with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Plus, users get exclusive access to engaging advice curated by a team of financial literacy experts who provide tips on how to take control of their financial future.

Copper features

When I reviewed the Copper banking product, I found the following features to be most important:

  • Send/Request: Kids and parents can easily send and receive money all at the touch of a button.
  • Spend: Spend using Apple or Google Pay, or using the Copper Debit Card.
  • Withdraw: Access your money from more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs.
  • Monitor: Get a snapshot of all your child’s spending in an easy-to-read dashboard.
  • Save: Gain quick snapshots of your kid’s savings and helpful tips on how to save even more. Set up savings buckets and save for the things that you want.
  • Learn: With the help of Copper’s team of financial literacy experts, gain bite-sized tips on how you can maximize your money and prepare yourself for your financial future.

The basic Copper account includes the above banking features. With Copper + Invest, your child also gets access to automatically curated smart portfolios built with their preferences in mind. (We like the guardrails they provide to get your child started with investing.) Your child is given a questionnaire that helps Copper determine a portfolio based on their age, income, net worth, investment objective(s) and investment horizon. Copper then recommends one of three ETF portfolios—Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive, and Extra Aggressive—made up of thousands of stocks. Parents can review the portfolio to ensure it matches with not just your child’s preferences, but your family’s. (Portfolios can be changed later on by accessing the Support chat.)

Much like many other apps I’ve reviewed on WealthUp, your child doesn’t need much money to begin their investing journey with Copper. They can begin investing for as little as $1, then add more contributions down the road. Copper will automatically rebalance the portfolio as needed to make sure it always keeps up with your child’s investment preferences.

Copper is available to kids 6 years and older.

Read more in our Copper Banking review.

Related: Should You Open a Child Bank Account With a Debit Card?

3. Revolut <18 (Best for Parent-Paid Bonuses)


revolut under 18 signup

Revolut <18 is a prepaid debit card for kids designed to teach them money skills for life. Aimed at building healthy money habits from an early age, the unique, customizable card empowers parents to have full insight into their kids’ card activity through providing instant spending alerts and parental controls.

You can choose to freeze the card, set controls on how they use the cards online and with contactless payments through your Revolut app. Further, you can set spending limits on how much your child can use with the prepaid card.

Parents use the card and accompanying app to teach kids about earning, budgeting, saving and even investing money (depending on the plan chosen). You can also use the card to manage chores and allowance, set savings goals as a family and help your children manage their money.

And if your child did something deserving of a reward? You can send parent-paid bonuses when they complete specific tasks. Simply add money to their digitized piggy bank through the app. You can send and receive money in seconds through Revolut’s Payments feature, which allows instant transfers between account holders and also global transfers at transparent rates.

Of note: You must have a personal Revolut account before you can open a Revolut <18 account for your children. You can add up to five Revolut <18 accounts per parent account.

To learn more about Revolut <18, consider visiting their site and opening an account for yourself and your child.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Kids [Start Building Credit Early]

4. GoHenry (Best for Customer Service)


gohenry signup acorns new

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 1 month free. Individual: $4.99/child/mo. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children

GoHenry is a financial solution for minors that includes an app, prepaid debit cards, and even financial lessons. Parents are given an online account that’s linked to, and allows them to oversee and manage, individual accounts for each of their children via both the GoHenry app and the online account portal.

Each child will receive their own GoHenry debit card; you can choose from 45 different designs or create your own customized card for $4.99. Each card is governed by parental controls you can set for your children.

What’s nice about GoHenry is that kids can only spend whatever money is available on the card—and thus parents don’t need to worry about costly overdraft fees or their kids accruing debt.

When you open a GoHenry account, you should receive your children’s debit cards in the mail seven to eight business days later. Once you do, you can set up events such as automatic weekly allowance transfers into your children’s accounts, real-time spending alerts, and one-off or weekly spending limits. You can also keep your children’s spending in check by choosing the stores where your kids can shop, and even blocking/unblocking the card as needed.

With time, the controls provided by the app and the guidance you offer can help your kids develop good money habits around earning, saving, spending, and giving.

But the GoHenry card really sticks out as one of the best kid-friendly debit cards for customer service in our testing. When we checked with their customer service, they offered everyday phone availability, email access, and social media engagement, ensuring users can solve their problems quickly and with little hassle. One small nit we found was reduced hours of customer service representative availability compared to our last annual check when they offered 24/7 support. Still, the customer service was found to be admirable in our estimation.

GoHenry has no minimum age requirements but recommends starting at age 6 or older.

Learn more by reading our GoHenry debit card review.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight

What Is a Debit Card for Kids?


Children generally can’t open their own bank account until they reach the age of majority in their state—often 18 years old. Thus, parents often look for other paths, such as opening a sub-account from their own bank account so they can provide their children with a card to use. In that event, your child likely will need to be at least 13 years old before receiving a card.

Unfortunately, these accounts might not come with the custom spending controls, parental oversight, or feature-filled mobile apps provided by many new debit cards for kids. These new apps provide numerous controls over your children’s spending, including spending notifications, limiting where your child can use the card, and even allowing you to quickly lock and unlock the card. And in many cases, you simply fund your child’s debit card, so it effectively functions as a prepaid debit card.

Traditional banks or prepaid debit cards might not allow you to do this beyond keeping the account balance at a certain level.

Related:


Step Disclaimer

Disclaimer: Step is a trademark of Step Mobile, Inc.

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.