What Parents Should Know Before Handing a Debit Card to Their Kids

What Parents Should Know Before Handing a Debit Card to Their Kids

Financial literacy starts at home, but it takes more than old-school “money doesn't grow on trees" adages to build strong money habits. One important tool you can use to impart money wisdom is pairing a kid's debit card with an allowance system. A debit card for kids can help them understand the concept of budgeting while teaching about the importance of financial account safety, and illustrating how basic banking works.


If you think you're ready to introduce your kids to the world of card swiping, tapping, and dipping, here are some things to keep in mind about debit cards for kids:

The debit card fees are minimal

While some bank accounts for kids are free, consider a kids debit card that is specifically designed to help manage your child's allowance while also teaching them smart money management habits – even if it has a nominal fee. For example, GoHenry debit cards include a suite of interactive financial education tools that are available for a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 per child per month. To put that in perspective, that's less than the cost of your favorite latte.

It's a secure way to save

Unlike piling up a bunch of cash in their pajama drawer, a debit card is a safe way to save. Look for kids' debit cards that use chip technology and PIN codes, and take advantage of account protections like the ability to instantly block the card if it is lost or stolen. What's more, take the time to explain the reason for these features to your child to help them develop a strong foundation of account security best practices.

They promote financial literacy

Kids today are comfortable working in app environments, so why not make financial literacy fun and modern with an app that teaches about money, savings and budgeting skills? Watching how they progress toward different savings goals in real time can give them some “skin in the game," while teaching them how to handle delayed gratification. Apps can also encourage giving and highlight additional earning opportunities (like picking up an extra chore).

Parents get to stay involved

Children need guidance when it comes to learning about money, but they may also need limits. Having a tool that allows the parent to monitor activity, get notified when transactions take place, and set spending controls and limits (up to and including how the card can be used) can help kids gradually learn to be responsible.

It's great practice for the financial future

As payment apps and cashless options grow in popularity, giving kids a strong foundation to understand that there are real dollars behind the digital clicks is important. Having practice with a debit card early on will set them up for better habits once they graduate to credit cards and other payment apps later on.


Debit cards for kids and the financial literacy that goes with them can help your child stay ahead of the curve and prepare them for their future. By taking advantage of the technology available to help you teach smart money habits, it takes some of the burden off of you, while benefiting your kids for life.


If you are looking for more information on finding the right card for you, here is what CardRates.com is saying about GoHenry.


Written by GoHenry Published Sep 24, 2021 ● 4 min. read