Bank cards for teenagers: Which playing cards to get and when?

FAQs about bank cards for teenagers

How outdated do you must be to get a bank card?

To open a bank card in your personal identify within the US, you should be not less than 18 years outdated — a authorized grownup. That goes for each secured and unsecured bank cards.

That stated, some could discover opening a bank card frustratingly troublesome earlier than age 21 — notably one which’s not secured. That’s partly due to the Credit score Card Accountability Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009, which successfully prohibits anybody beneath 21 from opening a card until they’ve bought ample proof of regular earnings that they’ll use to pay their payments.

What is an effective credit score restrict on a primary bank card?

A very good credit score restrict in your first bank card is round $1,000.

That may not sound like rather a lot, however it ought to be greater than sufficient for many youngsters. My first bank card provided me an preliminary $500 restrict — which was lots for the way in which I used to be utilizing it again then. And with some good compensation habits, my restrict elevated to $1,500 inside two years.

At what age are you able to begin constructing credit score?

You can begin constructing your credit score as quickly as you’re born. A toddler can start their credit score journey if their Social Safety quantity is added to an already present credit score account — normally that of the guardian. The most typical technique is including a baby as a licensed consumer on a bank card.

Learn extra: Tips on how to get a free credit score report and credit score rating

What’s a licensed consumer on a bank card?

If you happen to apply for and open a bank card, you’re the “major” cardholder. Approved customers are “secondary” cardholders.

As the first cardholder, you’ll be able to add licensed customers to your card, which provides them the power to make use of your credit score line. Dad and mom usually add their kids as licensed customers for quite a lot of causes, which we’ll contact on in a second.

Every bank card issuer enforces a particular age restrict for licensed customers:

  • American Specific —13 years outdated
  • Financial institution of America — No minimal age
  • Capital One — No minimal age
  • Chase — No minimal age
  • Citi — No minimal age
  • Uncover — 15 years outdated
  • U.S. Financial institution — 16 years outdated
  • Wells Fargo — No minimal age

Most often (with Citi because the exception), you’ll should submit the Social Safety variety of the licensed consumer in addition to their identify and date of start.

Do licensed customers construct credit score?

Approved customers will construct credit score. Nevertheless, the credit score historical past they purchase as a licensed consumer mirrors the credit score of the first cardholder. If the first cardholder is late in paying their bank card, the licensed consumer’s credit score historical past will likely be marred.

It’s solely a good suggestion so as to add a licensed consumer if the first cardholder has good credit score habits.

Learn extra: Can being a licensed consumer provide help to construct credit score?

Can including a licensed consumer harm my credit score?

Including your youngster as a licensed consumer to your bank card signifies that they’ll use your credit score line — and primarily spend your cash — when their card arrives within the mail. If you happen to’re not cautious, chances are you’ll discover fairly a tab that you simply weren’t anticipating. If you happen to can’t pay it off, you’ll incur curiosity. And relying on the dimensions of the stability, your credit score rating could even drop.

Nevertheless, there’s no hurt in including your child as a licensed consumer after which slicing their card into items when it arrives. In any case, they don’t have to make use of the cardboard to construct credit score.

Learn extra: Approved cardholders — the cros and cons

How protected are bank cards for teenagers?

Relative to different fee strategies, bank cards are literally one of many higher choices for teenagers. In contrast to debit playing cards and money, there’s no actual hurt carried out in case your youngster loses their bank card. You possibly can merely cancel their licensed consumer card and order one other.

The apparent draw back to a bank card is that it’s barely tougher for teenagers to grasp the rules of budgeting after they can’t witness a money wad, or perhaps a checking account stability, because it depletes.

FAQs about debit playing cards for teenagers

What are some great benefits of debit playing cards for teenagers?

The principle benefit of children utilizing a debit card is {that a} debit card can train elementary monetary classes. If a child attracts from their very own checking account, they’ll see the cash drain from their valuable stability  — and so they aren’t in a position to spend greater than they’ve saved.

How outdated do you must be for a debit card?

Most banks implement some type of age restrict for debit playing cards, usually round age 13. Nevertheless, you’ll find kid-focused playing cards which have age minimums as little as six years outdated.

Clearly, the kid will nonetheless want an grownup guardian or guardian to supervise the account.

Do debit playing cards construct credit score?

Most debit playing cards don’t assist their customers construct credit score. Conventional debit playing cards merely take the cash out of your checking account to pay in your purchases — there’s no credit score concerned.

Nevertheless, a brand new breed of debit playing cards is clawing its manner into recognition. These playing cards work equally to secured bank cards. Right here’s what they do:

  • They provide you a credit score line equal to your checking account.
  • While you swipe your debit card, the cardboard provides you a single-use credit score line for that buy.
  • The subsequent day, the cardboard can pay itself by withdrawing cash out of your checking account.
  • On this manner, you’re technically utilizing credit score, however spending your cash as you’d with a debit card.

How protected are debit playing cards for teenagers?

Debit playing cards are intrinsically much less protected than a bank card. If you happen to lose your debit card, you’ve bought to report it instantly or you could possibly find yourself dropping a critical amount of cash. If you happen to report a lacking debit card even three enterprise days after it’s been misplaced or stolen, you’re on the hook for as much as $500 per federal legislation.

Now, debit playing cards are nonetheless safer than money. However, then once more, your youngsters most likely aren’t strolling round with a number of hundred {dollars} in money.

FAQs about pay as you go playing cards for teenagers

What are some great benefits of pay as you go playing cards for teenagers?

Utilizing a pay as you go card is a wonderful manner to assist your youngster price range. Expenditures are restricted to the amount of cash you load onto the cardboard, and youngsters should make that final till you determine to load extra money for them.

How outdated do you must be for a pay as you go card?

Many pay as you go card providers stipulate a minimal age, however there are some that don’t. With corporations like Greenlight you’ll be able to arrange a pay as you go card for teenagers of any age.

Nevertheless, the age limits on kid-focused playing cards, usually round six years outdated, shouldn’t be too prohibitive. Not many youngsters under that age will care about or perceive the worth of cash, anyway.

Do pay as you go playing cards construct credit score?

We’re unaware of any pay as you go card at present in the marketplace that builds credit score. The closest approximations to credit-building pay as you go playing cards are secured bank cards, which offer a credit score line matching a bit of cash you deposit as collateral, or the aforementioned credit-building debit playing cards.

How protected are pay as you go playing cards for teenagers?

Pay as you go playing cards are barely extra protected than debit playing cards for one cause: They’re not linked to a checking account. They solely have as a lot cash as you load onto it. So if you wish to give your child $100 monthly, that’s all you’ve bought to lose if the cardboard is stolen.


The right fee card in your kiddo relies upon solely on their age and the stage of life they’re getting into. However whether or not they’re a kindergartener or a school scholar, there are at all times steps that you simply as a guardian can take to assist your youngsters alongside of their monetary journey.

We advise the next methods for various ages:

Ages 0–12

After they’re too younger to totally perceive the worth of cash, you’ll be able to nonetheless add a child as a licensed consumer in your bank card and reduce it up when it arrives. They’ll immediately start gaining good credit score out of your optimistic monetary habits.

Ages 13–17

After they begin getting a token allowance and doing chores, you’ll be able to open a pay as you go card or debit card for them and present them the worth of labor and financial savings.

Age 18+

As soon as they’ve reached authorized maturity you’ll be able to encourage them to open a secured bank card or scholar bank card with a manageable credit score restrict. After a couple of years of accountable use they’ll doubtless be capable to progress to a bonafide, unsecured bank card.

By progressively incorporating several types of fee playing cards into your youngster’s life, they’ll have already got a strong credit score rating and good monetary habits after they’re sufficiently old to be actually financially impartial. They’ll even be capable to get auto loans and different credit score traces with out you having to cosign!

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