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Minimum Age: What Age Can You Get a Debit Card?

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You might think you can only get your debit card once you turn 18. But what if you can get a debit card at a younger age? Getting older refers to becoming more independent. The initial part of self-dependence starts when you leave your parents to join college. However, self-dependency also means taking care of your finances. 

If you want to become financially independent, your first step would be to open a bank account and get your debit card. But how old do you have to get a debit card? The official adult age in most countries is 18 years. So, the best age to get your debit card is once you turn 18.

But what if you are not 18 and still require a debit card for self-independence? In this blog, you’ll learn about debit cards and their age restrictions. So, let’s get started!

What Is a Debit Card?

A debit card is a plastic card that people get when they open a bank account. You have to deposit money in this account to use your debit card because the bank does not provide credit by themselves. You can use debit cards for both online and offline purchases.

There are various types of debit cards, but the most common are Visa and MasterCard. Debit cards are accepted at most retailers, including supermarkets, gas stations, and department stores. Some prepaid debit cards also offer rewards programs, such as cashback or points that can be redeemed for merchandise.

How Does a Debit Card Work?

A debit card works by drawing funds from a checking or savings account. When the cardholder makes a purchase, the funds are transferred from their account to the merchant’s account. The cardholder can also use the debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or to make direct deposits into their checking or savings account.

Most debit cards have a Visa or MasterCard logo and can be used anywhere these cards are accepted. Some banks also offer their own debit cards that can only be used at their ATMs or affiliated retailers.

How to Use an ATM Card for the First Time?

If you are not sure how to use your debit card at ATM, follow the given steps:

  1. Visit any nearby ATM.
  2. Insert your Debit Card into the ATM
  3. You’ll be required to enter the PIN code of your Debit Card. (Some ATMs also offer biometric verification systems)
  4. ATM will show you options such as withdrawing cash, depositing checks, paying bills, transferring money, and viewing your account balance
  5. Select your required option, and that’s it!

Note: After you have completed your transaction process remember to take your debit card and receipt with you.

How to Put Money on a Debit Card?

Follow the given instructions to deposit/put money on your debit card:

  1. Go to your nearby ATM
  2. Insert your debit card into ATM.
  3. Now enter your debit card PIN or use the biometric verification option.
  4. You’ll have the following options on the ATM screen: withdrawing cash, depositing checks, paying bills, transferring money, and viewing your account balance
  5. Choose the deposit check option. 
  6. Insert the cash or check you want to deposit in ATM, and you’re done!

What Age Can You Get a Debit Card?

The ideal age for you to get a debit card is 18. However, there are still some options to get a debit card if you’re under 18. You can open a joint account with either of your parents to get a debit card before you turn 18. 

Most banks will issue a debit card to anyone who opens an account with them, regardless of age. However, there are a few banks that have age restrictions on their debit cards. For example, Citibank requires customers to be 18 years old to open a checking account and receive a debit card. TD Bank does not issue debit cards to customers under the age of 18 unless you have a guardian with you.

Reasons For Restrictions

There are a few reasons why banks may have age restrictions on their debit cards. 

Unauthorized Charges

For one, federal law limits the liability of cardholders for unauthorized charges. This means that if someone uses your debit card without your permission, you are only responsible for up to $50 in unauthorized charges. 

However, this limit does not apply to customers under the age of 18. As a result, banks may be hesitant to issue debit cards to minors who may be more likely to have their card stolen or used without permission.

To Prevent Fraud

Another reason why banks may have age restrictions on their debit cards is to prevent fraud. Debit cards are linked directly to your bank account, which means that if someone gets ahold of your card and PIN, they can quickly drain your account. 

It can be especially devastating for young people who may not have a lot of money in their account, to begin with. By restricting the use of debit cards to older customers, banks can help reduce the risk of fraud.

When to Give Your Child a Debit Card?

You can consider giving a debit card to your child at around 18 years old. Doing so prepares your child for future financing experiences. They can become more responsible by experimenting with finance for their school or college. 


One factor to consider is your child’s age. If they’re young, they may not be ready to handle the responsibility of a debit card. On the other hand, if they’re a bit older and have started to show signs of financial responsibility, they may be ready for one.

First Job

Another thing to consider is whether or not your child has a job. If they do, it’s likely that they’ll need a way to access their earnings. A debit card can be a convenient way for them to do this.

New Driver

If your child is a new driver, they may need a way to pay for gas and other expenses. A debit card can be a helpful tool in this case.

Frequently Asks for Money

If your child is always asking you for money, it may be a sign that they’re not ready for a debit card. On the other hand, if they’re able to save up their own money and only ask for money when they need it, they may be ready to handle a debit card.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to give your child a debit card is up to you. Consider your child’s age, maturity level, and financial responsibility when making your decision.

Build Good Money Habits With a Debit Card

As parents, you would never toss your car keys to your child and ask them to drive. You’ll first teach them how to drive and the rules and regulations of this skill. Then you would allow them to drive your car. Because card driving is a must skill for their future experiences. 

Then why would you send them off to the financial world without teaching them first? Giving your teens a debit card can be a good investment in their financing skills. Get your kids a youth debit card to learn digital finance management. In this way, you can still guide them through their financing mistakes under your guidance.

Benefits of giving a debit card to your kids:

  • As practice makes perfect, swiping the debit card for their needs will teach them how much each swipe costs. 
  • Carrying a lot of cash is never safe for children. So, teens should have a debit card in their wallets will not protect their money from being stolen. Via debit cards, you can also limit how much they can spend.
  • Debit card limits can help your teens in removing the temptation to overspend
  • They will get the idea of spending and savings. 

Debit Card vs. Credit Card

There are a few key differences between debit and credit cards that you should be aware of before using either one. Here’s a breakdown of the main distinctions:

Debit cards are linked directly to your checking account, whereas a credit card entails borrowing money from a lending institution.

When you use a debit card, the funds are transferred immediately from your account to the merchant. With a credit card, you’re borrowing money from the credit card company up to a certain limit in order to complete a purchase.

Debit cards offer less protection than credit cards in terms of fraud and disputes. If you have a problem with a purchase made with a debit card, it may be more difficult to get your money back than if you had used a credit card. Credit cards typically offer rewards programs, such as cashback or points that can be redeemed for travel, that debit cards do not.

Now that you know the key differences between debit and credit cards let’s take a closer look at each one’s pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Having a Debit Card


  • Debit cards are the most convenient and widely accepted around the world.
  • You can spend your money without worrying about any interest.
  • You don’t have to pay any extra charges such as an annual fee.
  • You can manage your finances better with debit cards.


  • A debit card’s spending limit depends upon the balance in your bank account. 
  • Debit card spending doesn’t improve your credit score
  • Debit cards have limited fraud protection.

Age Requirement for Debit Card

For joint account: 13 to 16 years old

For individual account: 18 years or older

Pros and Cons of Having a Credit Card


  • Credit cards are the best option for building your credit score
  • Credit cards are safer than cash.
  • Credit cards are widely accepted.
  • Credit cards come up with discounts and rewards.


  • Most credit cards have high APRs
  • Credit cards often lead to overspending
  • Having too many credit cards can damage your credit score.

Age Requirement for Credit Card

You should be at least 18 to get a credit card. However, you must also show proof of income source to be eligible for a credit card.

What to Look for in a Debit Card?

When choosing a prepaid debit card, there are several things you should keep in mind. Here are the most important factors to consider:

  1. Fees: Does the card have any account fees associated with it like overdraft fees? Some cards will charge you for things like ATM withdrawals or foreign transactions. Others may have monthly or annual fees. Make sure you know what all of the fees are before you choose a card.
  2. Rewards: Many debit cards offer rewards programs now. If you’re someone who likes to earn points or cash back on your purchases, make sure the card you choose offers a good rewards program.
  3. Security Features: With identity theft on the rise, it’s important to choose a card that has good security features. Look for things like EM chip technology and fraud monitoring.
  4. Location Acceptance: If you travel often or plan to use your card internationally, make sure the card you choose will be accepted in the places you want to use it.
  5. Customer Service: When something goes wrong with your card, you’ll want to be able to reach customer service easily. Make sure the card issuer has good customer service ratings before you choose a card.

Keep these factors in mind when choosing a debit card and you’ll be sure to find one that’s right for you.

debit card under 18

What If I Already Have A Debit Card?

If you already have a debit card, you can use it to withdraw cash from your checking account at an ATM. You can also use it to make purchases with your debit card number and PIN. If you’re using a credit card, you’ll need to enter your credit card number and PIN. If you’re using a debit card, you may be asked to enter your PIN. You can also use your debit card to make purchases online or over the phone. 

When you use your debit card, the funds will be withdrawn from your checking account immediately. You can also use your debit card to get cash back when you make a purchase at a store. Just ask the cashier for cash back when you’re paying for your purchase. 

You’ll need to have enough money in your checking account to cover the amount of the purchase plus any fees that may apply. Be sure to check with your bank or credit union about any fees before you use your debit card.


How to Get a Debit Card at 16 Without Parents?

Although some banks don’t allow teens to get a debit card without their parent’s consent, some banks allow children 16 years or older to open a bank account and get a debit card without a legal guardian or parents.

Can My Parents See My Debit Card Purchases?

If you have a joint account with your parents, they can surely check your debit card purchase and limit your spending at any time. However, your parents can’t see your debit card purchases if you have an individual account. 

What Age Can a Teenager Get a Credit Card?

Most credit card issuers require applicants to be at least 18 years old. However, there are a few options for teenagers who want to establish credit early on.

  • One option is to have a parent or guardian co-sign for a credit card in their name. This means that the adult will be responsible for making payments on the account if the teenager is unable to do so.
  • Another option is to get a secured credit card. With this type of card, the teenager will need to make a direct deposit into a savings account which will then be used as collateral against the credit limit and spending limits.
  • Either way, it’s important to teach teenagers how to use credit responsibly before they are given access to an account. This includes showing them how to track their spending, make payments on time, and keep their balance low.

Final Considerations

Getting a debit card as a teenager is an excellent investment in your financial (money management) habits. You can get a personal debit card once your turn 18. You can also start experimenting with debit cards at the young age of 13 to 16 years with a youth debit card with your parent’s consent.

However, you must remember that getting a debit card at a young age will train you for the financial world. So, avoid overspending or any other misuse of debit cards.