If you’re one of those kids whose dream is to become financially independent ASAP, you are probably wondering: how old do you have to be to get a debit card? Is it 18 or 21?
Moreover, when is the right time to open a bank account and start saving for that brand-new iPhone?
Well, it turns out there are no age requirements for using debit cards. However, the same cannot be said about having a bank account. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry. We’re here to help clear things up.
Here’s all you need to know about the age requirements and debit cards.
Debit Card Age Requirement
In the United States, there is no federal law that states you must be a certain age to have a debit card. However, this doesn’t mean that all banks will issue cards to anyone who wants one.
Some banks, such as Chime, offer debit cards only to older teens and require that you are 18 years old before giving you one. Others, like Chase, have debit cards specifically designed for kids aged 6–12.
The best way to find out the bank’s debit card minimum age precondition is to contact them directly or visit their website.
Sounds great. Where do I sign?
Not so fast. Here comes the tricky part. Namely, if you’re underage, you’ll have to get a parent or guardian to help you open a bank account and request a debit card. You also have the option of opening a joint account.
Let’s explore both options.
Requesting a Debit Card for an Underaged Person
When requesting a debit card for an underage person, the process is similar to that of an adult. The first step is to find a bank or credit union that offers youth accounts, i.e., debit card for teens.
Once you’ve found a financial institution that meets your needs, the next step is to visit their website or branch location to open an account.
When opening an account for an underage person, the parent or guardian must provide their personal information, such as their name, date of birth, Social Security number, and contact information.
They will also be asked to provide the minor’s personal information. Once the account has been opened, the parent or guardian can request a debit card for the child.
Opening a Joint Account
Another option to get a debit card for those under 18 is to open a joint account with a parent or guardian.
This option is often chosen by couples who want to share finances, but it can also work for parents and their children.
To open a joint account, the parent or guardian and the minor will need to visit a bank or credit union branch location together. The parent or guardian will need to provide their personal information.
They will also be asked to provide the minor’s personal information (name, birth date, and social security number). Once the account has been opened, the parent or guardian and the minor will each be issued a debit card.
Age Restrictions by State
There is no difference in the age requirement for a debit card between various states. However, there are age restrictions when it comes to opening an individual bank account.
While in most states, the minimum age to open a bank account is 18, in some states, such as Missouri, the minimum age is 16, whereas it’s 19 in Alabama and 21 in Mississippi.
On the other hand, in states like Arizona and Colorado, the age of majority of getting a debit card and opening a bank account is not specified.
Best Age to Get a Debit Card
There’s no simple answer to this. The best time to get a debit card is when you feel ready to handle the responsibility. For some people, that might be as young as 12 or 13. Others might not feel comfortable using a debit card until they’re 18 or 19.
You should get a debit card if the following scenarios apply to your situation:
- You have a steady income: this could come from a side job for teens, allowance, or government benefits.
- You have recurring costs: such as tuition, groceries, or phone bills.
- You are responsible: you’re able to spend only what you have, refrain from overdrawing your account, and keep track of your transactions.
- You’ve grown somewhat independent from your parents: this could mean you live away from home, are about to leave for college, or are simply ready to manage your own finances.
As you can see, there is no debit card age limit in the US. In other words, you can get your brand-new debit card even as a minor (with the help of your parents or guardians).
However, before making your to-buy list, check if your local bank offers any accounts for minors and if there are specific age requirements involved.
Can a 14 year old own a debit card?
Yes, but with some restrictions. I.e., you would need a parent or guardian to co-sign on your account. This gives them some financial responsibility if you misuse the card.
Additionally, many banks place spending limits on cards for minors. For example, your bank may only allow you to spend $100 daily.
Can a 12 year old get a debit card?
Yes, a 12 year old can have a debit card. In fact, many banks, such as Chase, provide debit cards for their underage clients.
However, you’d have to check if the bank has any requirements, such as age restrictions or special accounts for juniors. Alternatively, you could use a prepaid debit card attached to your checking account.
Can an 11 year old get a debit card?
Yes, an 11 year old can get a debit card with their parent’s permission. That said, both the child and parent must go to a nearby bank branch together.
In addition, some banks require that the parent’s name be on the account and that they also have an account at the same institution.
At what age can you get a debit card?
You can get a debit card as soon as you have a bank account, which you can open at around age 13 with your parent’s help.
How old do you have to be to get a debit card and a bank account of your own? When it comes to opening individual accounts, in most states, you have to be at least 18, while in Alabama and Mississippi, you need to be 19 and 21, respectively.