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It’s important to give your children hands-on money management experience, but you want to take baby steps. Rather than going from 0 to 100, consider giving them some financial freedom with parental safeguards in place. A great way to ease children into financial responsibility is to give them a debit card designed specifically for kids.

But which kids’ debit card is the best? Does Copper or Axos First Checking offer more to its users? And is there an even better option?

You’re in luck. I’ve researched all of the top kids’ debit cards, including Copper and Axos First Checking.

Today, I’m going to detail all the ins and outs of Copper and Axos First Checking to help you make your choice. For each card, I’ll provide an overview, breakdown of costs, and list of noteworthy features. If you’re not completely convinced either card is the best choice, you can keep reading to learn about other competitive kids’ debit cards.

Copper vs. Axos First Checking Comparison


copper logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Nowaxos bank logo transparent text thin leftAffiliate CTA Apply Now
WealthUp Rating☆ 4.4 / 5☆ 3.6 / 5
App Store Rating☆ 4.9 / 5☆ 4.7 / 5
Price*Copper: $4.95/mo.
Copper + Invest: $7.95/mo.
No monthly fees
BillingMonthlyN/A
Special OfferFree 30-day trialN/A
Allowed Cards Per Subscription51 per account owner
Minimum Age**613
Features That Make This Card Stand ApartEarn money by filling out surveysPeer-to-peer money transfers; ATM fee reimbursements

Basics

copper logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
SpendingYesYes
SavingYesYes
InvestingCopper: No
Copper + Invest: Yes (ETF-only smart portfolios)
No
Giving/DonatingNoNo

Funding

copper logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Funding Source(s)Bank account, debit cardDirect deposit, mobile deposit
Direct DepositYesYes
AllowanceYesNo
ChoresYesNo
GiftingNoNo
Cash Reload FeeN/A (No cash reload)$0 (retailers may charge fee)

Saving/Spending

copper logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Savings APYCopper: 2.0%
Copper + Invest: 5.0%
0.10% APY
Round-UpsYesNo
Other Savings FeaturesDivvyNone
ATM NetworkAllpoint (55,000+ ATMs)None
ATM Transaction Fee$0 (Operator fee may apply at out-of-network ATMs)Up to $12 domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month
Card NetworkMastercardVisa or Mastercard
Compatible Mobile WalletsApple Pay, Google PayApple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay

Parents

copper logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Parental ControlsLow (Card lock, auto-blocks "inappropriate content")Low (Card lock)
Parental MonitoringYesYes
Parental NotificationsYesYes

Other Features

copper logo transparent text thin leftaxos bank logo transparent text thin left
Cash BackNoNo
Builds CreditNoNo
Customization optionsNoNo
Refund PolicyNo refunds given, month-to-month pricingN/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.

Copper Overview


copper banking

Copper Banking is a fintech app with a prepaid debit card that provides digital banking for minors. While Copper Bank is entirely online, customer deposits are FDIC-insured through their banking partner, Evolve Bank & Trust.

Copper 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 is available to kids age 6 and older. A parent can add up to five kids (and thus five Copper Cards) with each subscription.

Related: 25 Best Jobs for 15-Year-Olds [In-Person + Online]

Copper Plans + Costs


child kid debit credit card swipe

Copper has two plans to choose between:

PlanMonthly FeeFeatures Offered Under Plan
Copper$4.95

    - Copper Cards for up to five kids
    - Earn 2.00% on savings
    - Smart savings with Divvy and RoundUps
    - Automatic allowance
    - Instant P2P money transfers
    - Parental controls
    - Built-in financial education
    - Mastercard Zero Liability Protection
Copper + Invest$7.95Everything under the Copper plan, plus:

    - Investing for kids
    - Earn 5.00% on savings
    - Priority support

In addition to a monthly fee, other fees may apply. For instance, you will incur a $4.95 fee any time you load cash onto the card via the Green Dot network of retailers. You will also incur a fee for instant debit transfers; the fee is 2.5% of the total amount + 30¢ per transaction.

Related: 7 Best Investments for Kids [Investing for Children]

Copper Features


parents teen debit credit card payment

Copper Card

The Copper Card is a Mastercard-branded debit card that can be used for shopping at physical stores or online, as well as for withdrawing cash at more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs. This means your kid can spend virtually anywhere—Mastercard is accepted in more than 210 countries worldwide—with the exception of any vendors flagged for “inappropriate content.”

Parents can put money onto their kids’ Copper Cards for free from their Copper wallet. Parents have two ways of funding their Copper wallet:

  • Bank transfer: Transfers from a linked bank account are free and take three to five business days to clear.
  • Debit card transfer: These transfers cost 2.5% of the total amount +30¢ per transaction and the money instantly hits accounts.

You can manually initiate transfers or set up Auto-Reload to add money any time funds fall below a predetermined threshold.

Kids with Copper accounts can also send money to each other. So if a sibling borrows money, it’s easy to pay it back.

Cardholders benefit from Mastercard Zero Liability Protection. This means you and your child aren’t held responsible for any unauthorized transactions as long as you used reasonable care to protect the card from loss or theft and promptly reported any fraudulent charges to Copper.

Savings

Copper accounts also have a savings area. Kids can create savings goals and put money away toward those goals. Copper will help that money grow faster by paying interest in any money saved. The annual percentage yield (APY) varies by plan: Copper users get a 2% APY on savings, while Copper + Invest users get 5%.

Parental Controls + Card Limits

Copper has adequate parental controls. Parents get real-time alerts on children’s transactions, so they’re always up-to-date on kids’ spending habits. The adults also have the option to freeze the card at any time to stop spending.

Copper has its own card limits in place as well, including the following restrictions:

  • Daily deposit limit (debit card or ACH): $500
  • Monthly deposit limit (debit card or ACH) $2,000
  • Daily spending/transfer limit: $2,000

You can, of course, instruct your child that you have stricter limits, if you so choose. But no matter what, your kid won’t be able to exceed these limits, even if there’s an emergency.

Copper also has a “merchant shield” so your kids can’t make purchases with any vendors flagged for inappropriate content.

Investing (Copper + Invest Only)

With Copper + Invest ($7.95 per month), your child also gets access to an easy starter investment platform that uses automatically curated smart portfolios built with their preferences in mind. While I personally prefer self-directed investing (you pick whatever stocks and funds you’d like), smart portfolios allow people with little investing knowledge to start putting their money to work in an effective way. Thus, they’re perfect for children.

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 by accessing the Support chat.)

Your child 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.

Allowance

Parents also can pay their kids an allowance using Copper. You have the choice of an automatic allowance or one-time payments when your kids need or request them. (And if you set up an automatic allowance, but your kid hasn’t exactly been on their best behavior, you can skip payments as needed.)

Tasks + Earn

Copper also has a chores feature called Tasks. To teach your kids the concept of earning, you can set up Tasks, such as cleaning, homework, or babysitting. Once the Task is marked as complete, the child gets paid. Tasks can be set up on a one-time basis or made to repeat.

Kids can also get paid through the Earn feature. When they complete surveys, they collect “creds” that can be cashed in for real money. (Parents don’t have to foot this cost—Copper covers it!)

Related: 40+ Ways to Earn Money as a Teenager

RoundUps

Copper’s round-up feature, RoundUps, helps children and teens save money every time they make a purchase. It’s simple: Every purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the change is put toward your kid’s savings goals. (Example: If your child spends $2.50 on candy,  50¢ will be put into their savings.)

Related: Best Round Up Apps + Savings Accounts

Financial Education + Literacy Development

Copper wants kids to build the financial literacy skills they’ll need to succeed. To help them, it has hired financial literacy experts to develop their literacy development content, including:

  • Liz Frazier, Copper’s Executive Director of Financial Education. Frazier is the author of the book Beyond Piggybanks and Lemonade Stands.
  • Lily Lapenna, Copper’s Financial Literacy Advisor. Lapenna has been recognized by Queen Elizabeth and the World Economic Forum for her work in personal finance.

Money Moves

Learning financial skills is helpful, but the process isn’t always fun. But Copper keeps things light via its = Money Moves—short videos that are organized into the following categories:

  • Debt
  • Budgeting
  • Investing
  • Saving

Each video answers a question children are likely to wonder about, such as “How do debit cards work?” and “What is the lottery?”

Direct Deposit + Divvy

Teens with their own jobs can take advantage of the direct deposit feature. Their paychecks will be instantly deposited into their Copper accounts—and by using direct deposit, they can get paid up to two days early.

Copper also offers a feature called Divvy that allows you to automatically put aside a percentage of each paycheck toward savings and/or investing.

You can sign up for Copper here.

Related: 10 Best Savings Accounts for Kids

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.

Related: Best Taxable Brokerage Accounts for Parents and Teens to Invest Together

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]

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


The choice of card might be as obvious as the age of your child. Copper’s minimum age is only six, while Axos First Checking is designed for teenagers, so if your child is under age 13, the choice is fairly clear.

But even if you have a teenager, there are several reasons you may want to pick Copper over Axos First Checking. Both Copper plans offer a much higher APY than Axos First Checking and those who enable roundups can save even faster. Other Copper features missing from Axos First Checking include investing (Copper + Invest only), Divvy, allowance, and chores.

Still, for some families, Axos First Checking may work better. The most significant benefit to this account is that there are no monthly fees. It also offers free cash reloads (though retailers may charge a fee), which is useful for teens who receive a lot of cash.

If you’re willing to pay for a kids’ debit card, though, Copper’s ample features are likely worth the cost. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can sign up for Copper here.

Our Pick: Copper
Runner-Up: Axos First Checking
4.4
3.6
Our Pick: Copper
Runner-Up: Axos First Checking

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 Copper or Axos First Checking, you might want to look at these other highly rated options:

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.