If you’re looking for ways to give your children a head start in developing good money management skills, you might want to consider getting them a debit card for teens.
But, what is the best debit card for a teen?
To help you narrow down the search, we compiled a list of the 7 best debit cards for teens in the UK. We looked at:
Written by, Marija Petkova
Updated July, 19, 2023
The Osper card is the best, prepaid debit card for both children and teens that want to improve their saving habits. It allows up to four cards for one household and lets parents decide whether and how their children can shop.
The Osper mobile app has an intuitive interface that’s great for less-tech savvy people and gives both the parent and child access to the app that’s linked to the card. As with most debit cards for children and teens, parents can set weekly and monthly spending limits, freeze the card from the app and see exactly how much the child is spending and where.
The child can’t spend more than what’s on their card and there’s a monthly saving option that gives your child the option to put aside a percentage of their allowance.
What’s more, the app allows ad hoc payments and transferring money to your child’s Osper account in case of an emergency, and sends text alerts when a transaction is declined.
Charges 50p for instant card load
Cashplus’ prepaid card is a great option for older teens that are starting to learn how to manage their finances in a responsible way and give you some control over their financial activities.
The Cashplus Prepaid Card is a typical prepaid card that allows cardholders to add a second cardholder that’s younger than 18 but older than 13. This means that your child will essentially use one of the debit cards connected to your Cashplus account (you can get up to 4 cards) as their own.
Cashplus’s app is easy to navigate. It shows a rundown of your account, like spending allowance and balance, allows cardholders to select different add-ons, views transactions, and request a bank statement.
As the primary cardholder, you can set daily, monthly, and spending limits, regulate ATM withdrawals, as well as online shopping purchases. The cardholder can also freeze the Cashplus prepaid Mastercard in case it gets lost or stolen.
No separate bank account for the child
If you’re looking for a debit card for minors, the Rooster bank is an excellent choice. Rooster is arguably the best platform for teaching children about financial freedom and responsibility. The company offers a variety of educational tools, including a prepaid Rooster card.
With Rooster, the parent and the child get a separate bank and app account. The parent account has every feature that the company has to offer (for a fee), including options to set limits on ATM withdrawals, online purchases, and dedicated spending limits.
The Rooster app, called RoosterMoney, also allows parents to set up recurring transactions, sends instant notifications about all transactions, has a blocking feature, a chore tool, and no overdraft option.
Children can see their balance too so they can learn how to budget their allowance properly.
What’s more, Rooster automatically blocks payments and purchases at places that are classified for people older than 18.
Some paid features
GoHenry is a UK children’s debit card provider that makes bank cards for teenagers.
Parents can get up to four separate cards for their kids and set spending limits, ATM limits, and get detailed notifications about every transaction. There’s a chore feature, which allows parents to add chores, like walking the dog or clearing the room, and unlock extra money for the child when the chore is done, as well as a blocking feature to instantly stop ATM withdrawal and online purchases.
The child gets a separate account and their own prepaid card where they can see their balance and spending limits. What makes this truly a kids-friendly debit card is that it’s personalised. For a fee of £4.99, the child can choose from a variety of designs and colours, and get their name on the front of the card (ex. GoEmily).
Finally, GoHenry automatically blocks purchases from pubs, betting shops, and off-licences stores.
The FairFX Family card is an excellent prepaid travel money card for under 18. It can hold up to 15 different currencies and can be used in a little under 200 countries.
Similar to the Cashplus prepaid debit card, the FairFX linked cards have one primary cardholder who can add additional cardholders, aged 13 and above. Unlike its competitors, FairFX users can order up to 10 cards in total, link them for free, and decide whether they share a balance with them or act as separate accounts.
The FairFX app lets parents transfer money to their children’s cards and set daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly spending limits. They can keep an eye on all transactions while giving their kids some financial freedom.
FairFX Family’s best feature, in addition to instant money transfers, is that cardholders can use different currencies and there are no fees for overseas payments.
Nimbl is a digital service with a mission to help children develop good money habits with the help of its prepaid cards for kids.
Nimbl’s app comes with two accounts. Essentially, it allows parents to create an account of their own (called Parent Account) and a separate Child account for their kids. The Nimbl registration and login process only takes a few minutes.
Parents can then use the app to top up their spending cards and set regular payments.
Additionally, the Nimble app has a feature that gives parents the ability to set up daily and monthly limits and spending blocks, check how much money is being spent, and freeze the cards.
There’s also a saving tool that allows children to set a portion of their pocket money aside, a tax-free gifting function if a relative wants to send some funds as a birthday gift.
On top of that, parents get instant notifications for every purchase.
The children’s prepaid debit card can be used online, in stores, and to withdraw cash at ATMs.
The Starling prepaid card is a debit card designed for young people and parents who want to have some control over their kid’s spending habits.
To order a Starling card for your children, you must have an existing Starling current or a joint account. Starling doesn’t have any top-up or ATM withdrawal fees, but the cards cost £2 per month.
In the Starling app, you can create a separate account for you and your child.
The parent can see whenever the child spends money, how and where they spent it, through instant notifications or on the app’s dashboard. They can block cash withdrawals and online payments and set daily and monthly limits.
With a Parent Account, you can manage multiple Child Accounts and freeze the card via the app.
Starling Bank automatically blocks any purchases at places classified as 18+ and doesn’t allow overdrafts on the prepaid cards for kids.
With the number of options available on the market, choosing a debit card is no easy feat. Here are the most important things to keep in mind when looking for prepaid debit cards for teens.
Money cards for kids come with administrative fees. Not all card issuers charge the same or for the same services. Some charge extra for ATM withdrawals and others require cardholders to subscribe to a monthly or annual plan.
Card providers have different minimum spending limits. If you want to make sure that your child doesn’t go overboard, especially if you opt for shared accounts, you might want to avoid cards with higher spending limits.
Most card issuers allow cardholders to make online purchases. In the case of teenage prepaid cards, the parent usually has the option to block online transactions. You can also earn cashback with some prepaid cards.
Some providers offer the option to split your account into savings and spending sections, a separate saving feature for the child account/ card, and additional limits that you can set up as a parent or guardian.
A teen debit card is a useful tool for teaching your kids about financial management and responsibility. Different providers offer different features to allow teenagers to obtain budgeting skills and give the parent the ability to have some control over their children’s spending habits.
The minimum age for a debit card, accompanied by a checking bank account, in the UK is 11. The debit card cannot be issued without the consent of a parent or a legal guardian.
A 14-year-old can only get a debit card with the consent of their parents or guardian. The parent can apply at a bank or a card provider of their choice.
Some financial companies offer prepaid debit cards, which are some of the best debit cards for teens, for children as young as 6.