The Best Kids (Teenager) Debit Cards In Australia: Explained

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Parents want to know about the best kid's and teenager debit cards in Australia and if they are worth it.

 

Do you want to teach your kid how to manage money responsibly? Debit cards for kids are a great option that gives them access to money and makes them financially independent.

 

It familiarises them with using digital payments instead of cash and helps them build the skills they will require in the cashless world of tomorrow.

 

If it is your first time buying a kids or teenager debit card, this blog could be a perfect guide to learning the different aspects of a debit card as you compare the options.

 

 

1. What Is A Kids Debit Card?

 

A kid's debit card or prepaid card is a convenient tool designed for kids that teach them about money and spend their pocket money wisely. They can use them to make purchases online or in-store and withdraw cash from ATMs.

 

Some of the best kids' debit cards come with the following features:

 

  • Spending control limits to restrict weekly spending on the card.

  • Card lock if the card gets lost or you want to disable it temporarily.

  • Choose the mode of purchase - ATMs or in-store purchases.

  • Use spending tracking tools to teach your child about money management.

  • Instant money transfer from parent to child

  • In-built security features to ensure safe, secure, and convenient use 

  • You can use it anywhere

 

 

2. Can I Get A Debit Card For My Child?

 

Yes, you will find plenty of options in Mastercard and Visa debit card for kids and teenagers. Many trusted banks, such as Commbank, Westpac, ANZ, NAB, etc., offer the best debit card for teenagers in Australia as an optional extra when establishing a kid or teen transaction account online or at a branch.

 

However, your child needs to meet the minimum age requirements set by the card issuer to get a card. So, at what age can you get a debit card in Australia?

 

He must be 14 years old to get a Visa Debit card and 16 to get a Debit Mastercard. However, some banks offer debit cards for children as young as nine. Such debit cards work similarly to standard debit cards but have more restrictions on international usage.

 

However, if your child is below 14, he can still get a debit card, provided a parent or guardian is present to open the account.

 

 

3. How Do Debit Cards For Kids Work?

 

You can directly link kids' debit cards to a transaction account like regular debit cards. This account can be either the standard transaction account at a bank or a youth transaction account.

 

Regarding its use, your child can use the preloaded money in the card to withdraw money from ATMs or buy items in stores. This way, this digital form of money frees them from carrying cash wherever they want to make purchases.

 

 

4. Pros And Cons Of Owning A Kids Debit Card

 

Is a debit card the right choice for your kid? Looking at some of the pros and cons can help you determine what you both could get from experience:

 

 

Pros

 

  • It is safer than carrying cash. You can lock the card if it gets stolen and misplaced.

  • With its Parental control feature, you can easily monitor your child's spending and control spending limits and mode of use in the mobile banking app.

  • It helps your child learn how digital payments work and build skills in managing money. 

  • Linking a savings account to the card can teach him about savings and help him become financially responsible. 

  • Getting a debit card for kids is quick and easy. 

  • Instant loading of funds onto the card  

  • Easy and instant money transfer onto the card gives mental peace knowing your child gets money to support his needs. It could be beneficial in emergencies.

  • You don't need to rely on a parent's card to shop online.

 

 

Cons

 

  • The card comes with minimum age limits. Children below nine years are not eligible for an account with this facility. You must be at least 14 years to get a Visa Debit card.

  • Though there is usually no monthly account fee, you may need to pay other fees.

  • Kids could spend on unnecessary things if not monitored. 

  • Fewer choices are available.

 

 

5. What Debit Card Can I Get For My Kid?

 

Before you start comparing, you should first know the different types of cards available for children. There are mainly two types of debit card services that banks offer to children and teens:

 

 

Everyday Account with Linked Debit Card

 

  • It is designed specifically for minors

  • It works in the same way as an everyday account

  • Most accounts provide account access via online or app

  • The account comes with varying parental control levels based on its holder's age. 

  • After the account creation, your child gets a debit card (Visa/Mastercard) on meeting the minimum age requirement.

  • Your child can use it to withdraw cash from ATM or make online purchases.

  • Most accounts come with a monthly fee waiver feature for kids below 18.

 

 

 

Prepaid Visa or Mastercard

 

  • It is a kid's version of prepaid credit cards for adults.

  • Spriggy, FLX, and ZAAP are the two popular options to set up your kid with a prepaid Mastercard or Visa. ZAAP card comes in Mastercard and wearable form, whereas Spriggy's prepaid card comes with Visa network with no wearable option. However, with both these cards, your kid can shop online or in-store anywhere via a smart app. This app lets parents track their child's spending and immediately transfer funds.

  • These cards come in an array of kid-friendly and funky designs.

  • Prepaid cards are costlier than an average kids' account with a linked debit card. However, as they specialize in this feature, they offer more features than what you get in other similar accounts.  

  • Parents can keep tabs on their child's spending, chores, and saving using the "Parent Wallet" feature.

 

 

Company Card Type Min. Age Requirement
Spriggy Visa prepaid card Six years old
ZAAP Mastercard prepaid card Eight years old
FLX Mastercard prepaid card Six years old

 

 

6. Which Kids Debit Card Is Best?

 

Kids’ prepaid cards come with varied features and benefits. It makes it confusing to know which would be suitable for your child.

 

To find the best one, you should research the available options and compare them to a range of factors specific to your circumstances, such as:

 

  • The age of your child

  • The product’s terms and conditions

  • Spending limits and overdraft (Choose one that allows a cap on daily spending, allow or disallow overdraft)

  • Level of parental control required, such as: control a spending limit, card lock, control on card usage - instore purchases, online purchases, or ATM, and tracking and monitoring

  • Your usage preferences

  • Card funding options

  • Card-keeping fees (Weigh the card’s features and benefits against its cost)

  • Any interest accrues on the existing card balance, and 

  • The kind of experience you want to give your child

  • ATM network coverage (This is important as the most common fee you will incur is from using other-brand ATMs. Look for banks with an extensive ATM network in your area to gain more freedom from fees).

 

 

7. What Documents Do I Need To Receive A Debit Card For My Kid?

 

The bank would ask you to submit the following along with the debit card application:

 

  • Child’s ID proof (birth certificate or passport)

  • Child’s tax residency information (a government requirement)

  • At least 1 form of Parent’s ID, e.g., Driver’s licence, Medicare card, passport, or birth certificate.

 

If needed, you may even require to provide a court order to identify yourself as the parent or legal guardian of the child.

 

 

8. When Should I Give My Child A Debit Card?

 

It is a personal decision that depends on you and your own experience. You might consider giving a debit card to your child when:

 

  • They start socializing and going to social activities like movies, restaurants, etc., with friends.

  • When they get into a high school

  • When they require travelling a long distance to and from school using public transportation, a debit card can help in delays or the bus breaks down.

  • They need to buy things when you are not with them.

 

Note: Debit card for kids comes with age restrictions. Only kids who are nine or above can access the card.

 

 

9. What Bank Can I Get A Debit Card For My Child?

 

Following are the most trusted Australian banks you can consider when comparing your options:

 

 

Bank Account Debit Card/s Minimum Age Requirement Access Details
NAB Classic Banking Visa Debit card 14 years old Kids between 14 and 16 years must have a parent or guardian to open the account and enable joint access.
CommBank Smart Access Account for Youth Debit Mastercard Nine years old Kids aged 9 to 14 must have a parent or guardian to open the account and enable joint access.

14+ kids can open an account online in their name.
Westpac Choice Debit Mastercard

Handy card
16 years old (Debit Mastercard)

12 years old (Handy card)
12-year-old kids can open an account in their name online. Handy cards are used just like debit cards in Australia; however, you can use them only to withdraw cash overseas.
ANZ Access Advantage Account Visa Debit card 14 years old Kids between 12 and 14 can open an account online, but you must be 14 or above to get a debit card.
ME Everyday Transaction Account Visa Debit card 16 years old Customers aged 16 and above can open this account in their name online and get a debit card.
Bendigo Bank Student Account Debit Mastercard

Youth Debit Mastercard
16 years old (Debit Mastercard)

12 years old (Youth Debit Master Card)
12-year-old kids can open an account in their name online. Easy Money Cards are similar to debit cards in Australia. However, you can use them only to withdraw cash overseas.

 

 

Note – Currently, only CommBank and Westpac provide parental controls on its account. With the Commbank app or Westpac Online Banking, parents can track their child’s transactions, modify their weekly spending limit and lock the card or payments.


Non-banking institutions that offer kids debit cards in Australia:

 

Virgin Money Go Account Visa Debit Card 14 to 17 Years old Use the card on everyday purchases, or ATM withdrawals
Suncorp Everyday Options Account Visa Debit Card 16 years or above Use the card to withdraw money at EFTPOS, ATMs machines and make purchases online, over the phone, or in person
Macquarie Transaction Account Daily Debit Mastercard 12 years or above Use the card to withdraw money from domestic ATMs, purchase online, over the call, or in stores.

 

 

10. Can I Get A Debit Card For Kids Under 13?

 

Yes. 13 years or younger children can get a NAB Debit Card. They can use it to withdraw money from their account at an ATM and make purchases at shops via EFTPOS.

 

 

11. What Banks Allow 11-Year-Olds To Have A Debit Card?

 

If your child is nine years and above, you can apply for a child debit card at commonwealth bank. You must first open your Smart Access Account for Youth online or visit the branch.

 

The card comes with parental controls that Parents or legal guardians can use to do the following via the CommBank app:

 

  • Adjust the spending limit per week 

  • Lock online and contactless payments

  • Lock the child’s card anytime

 

 

12. Where Can You Get Free Debit Card For Kids?

 

Most prominent banks in Australia do not charge monthly fees on debit cards for kids and teens. If you are looking for a fee-free debit card, then the following could be the best options to consider:

 

Account Type Of Card Min. Age Required Monthly Fees

ANZ

Access Advantage Visa

Debit card

12 years

Waived off if below 25 years
CommBank

Smart Access Account

for Youth
Mastercard

Debit card
Nine years No
NAB

Classic Banking
Visa debit card 14 years No
Westpac

Choice
Handy Card EFTPOS

Debit card
12 years Waived off if below 30 years

 

Including the above, ME also offers Everyday Transaction Account debit cards for 16 years and above with zero account-keeping fees and zero minimum deposits.

 

 

13. Can I Get My Kid A Prepaid Debit Card?

 

A Prepaid debit card is a debit card that needs you to preload money on it to be able to spend using it. These cards have gained a lot of traction among parents for a variety of reasons:

 

  • This is an excellent way to teach your kid about spending and managing money independently.

  • Ideal for children who don't have a bank account in their name 

  • Having the card, kids and teens can use their pocket money in shops, online, for transportation, etc. 

  • A good gifting option for students or young people who are planning overseas travel

  • Parents can easily buy it online or at several stores, including post offices, with no credit check requirement.

  • It has built-in safety measures to offer heightened protection against theft, loss, or fraud if your card has been lost or stolen. 

 

 

14. Prepaid Card Types

 

Before stepping into the market for a prepaid card, an adequate knowledge of the types of prepaid cards available will help you make an informed purchase.

 

 

Everyday Prepaid Cards

 

  • Suited for daily spending and budgeting

  • Compatible with tap-and-go payments

  • Ideal for younger children to make them learn to manage their money

 

 

Travel Prepaid Cards

 

  • Designed for travellers abroad 

  • It allows them to load multiple currencies onto the card and avoid currency conversion fees. 

  • Allows tap-and-go payments

  • Additional benefits include frequent flyer points and free Wi-Fi access.

 

 

Gift Prepaid Card

 

  • As the name suggests, you can offer it as a gift to someone 

  • You can load any amount of your choice onto the card and deliver it to the recipient. 

  • The recipient can then use it online or in-store, wherever the card is accepted. 

  • One drawback of the card is that you can't reload it again with more money.

 

 

Money Transfer Cards

 

This card enables multiple people in different nations to access the funds in a single account. It is helpful if your child is travelling or studying in a foreign country and you want to keep his online transactions in check.

 

You, as a parent, can deposit money in the account, and your child in a different country can access it once the funds clear in the account.

 

 

Reward Cards

 

Reward prepaid cards like Qantas Travel Money Card are associated with rewarding programs and let you earn points as you spend.

 

Note: Prepaid card has several advantages but comes with a range of fees, cash withdrawal, and spending limits. You may need to pay an ATM withdrawal fee to withdraw cash above a specified monthly limit.

 

 

15. Required Documents To Get A Prepaid Debit Card

 

The eligibility and document requirements for a prepaid card can vary from one provider to another. Usually, you need to fulfil the following eligibility requirements and furnish the following documents to get a prepaid card.

 

  • Teens between 14 to 16 years can apply for this card. For example, you must have a minimum of 14 years to get the CommBank Travel Money Card and a minimum of 16 years to get the Qantas Travel Money Card.

  • Must have a valid Australian residential address

  • Valid email address or phone number

  • Provide 100 points of ID to confirm your identity as per the Australia ID points system

 

 

16. How To Use Prepaid Cards?

 

  • Load a minimum amount onto the card

  • Activate the card over the phone, online, or in person

  • Choose a PIN at the time of card activation

  • Sign the card after activating it. It is essential to protect yourself against any unauthorized transactions.

 

 

17. Prepaid Card Options

 

You can find prepaid or reloadable debit cards from various brands.

 

  • Travel Money Oz Currency Pass

  • Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard (Debit)

  • CommBank Travel Money card (Visa Debit)

  • Travelex Money Card (Debit Mastercard)

  • Australia Post Everyday Mastercard (Debit) (Available through post offices)

  • Qantas Travel Money Card (Debit Mastercard)

  • Mastercard Prepaid every day (Debit)

  • Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard

  • Westpac Worldwide Wallet

 

 

18. Can Kids Get An EFTPOS Card In Australia?

 

Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) Access card allows you to use your money anywhere via swipe, insert or tap. However, you can't use it online, over the phone, or in other places where you and your card are not physically present.

 

You can link an EFTPOS Access card to your Everyday accounts, including Loan Offset accounts and Overdrafts. It gives a secure and convenient means to access your money.

 

Kids who are 12 and above can apply for this card at Regional Australia Bank. Here are some of its usage-related features:

 

  • Accepted throughout the EFTPOS network

  • Swipe

  • Chip

  • Contactless Tap & Go

  • Available on 2-To-Sign accounts

 

 

19. Is Greenlight Debit Card Free?

 

Greenlight kid's debit card comes with a 1-month free trial; after that, it is chargeable. Each plan offers services for up to 5 kids.

 

You can choose from any of the three plans:

 

  • Greenlight Core

  • Greenlight Max

  • Greenlight Infinity

 

 

20. Conclusion

 

More parents nowadays allow their kids to use debit cards instead of cash. It is undoubtedly an excellent way to learn about money and savings early on.

 

However, with both good and not-so-good cards available in the market, parents need to compare deals online and educate children about the use and charges to ensure its correct use.

 

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