11 Best Prepaid Cards for Teens

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Let’s be honest…the days of the piggy bank are long gone, especially for teens.

I seriously doubt cash will ever go completely away, but so much of our money is now exchanged digitally, whether it’s being deposited into our accounts, used for paying bills online, or debited from our account as we shop online.

You may be used to handing your teen cash for their allowance, completing extra chores, or to pay for that thing they’ve been begging for.

But teens also need to learn how to manage their money when they can’t physically see or touch it.

Plus, sometimes cash is just inconvenient. It can get damaged, lost, or stolen, and it usually can’t be used to make online purchases.

Enter the prepaid card. You load a certain amount of money on a debit card and your teen has a set amount of money to spend. Good news: Companies are now making prepaid cards specifically for teens and parents.

Parents can easily transfer money to their teens while also tracking their spending and setting limits, and teens have a simple spending solution.

Best Prepaid Cards for Teens

There are lots of prepaid cards out there, but the best ones offer lots of features, some parental control, and low fees. We took these factors into consideration to come up with this list of the best prepaid cards for teens.

1. FamZoo

Firstly, FamZoo is an excellent pick for prepaid cards for teens. It’s a prepaid debit card (MasterCard) that incorporates financial education for families, as well.

This service links multiple cards together to help parents teach teens to earn, save, spend, and donate money wisely in a safe environment.

Parents operate a primary funding card that serves as the automatic funding source. Then parents can distribute funds to the other cards linked to their account.

Add money to your teens’ cards for allowance, rewards for extra chores, babysitting, or for spending money while on a trip.

In addition, you can even lock the cards temporarily or take money out to pay a shared bill (like splitting a cell phone bill or car insurance).

Teens and parents can both sign in to a shared online dashboard or the FamZoo app to check their spending. And don’t worry, parents – your teens won’t be able to see each other’s accounts.

What’s great about FamZoo is you can set up your own “money rules” to match your unique values. For example, maybe your family wants to give a weekly allowance, withhold “payroll” for saving or giving, or give extra rewards. It’s up to you!

Features include:

  • Free 1-month trial
  • $5.99/month, or pay as low as $2.50/month in advance
  • Subscription covers up to four cards
  • Free direct deposit and electronic reloads
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

2. Current

Current is a prepaid debit card for teens that offers a unique banking solution that still allows parents to oversee their teen’s spending while also giving teens some autonomy.

Parents sign up on the Current Bank mobile app, then connect a bank account. Their teen then downloads the app, and the parent links their account to the teen’s account.

Parents can instantly transfer money to their teen’s account. You can also automate allowance payments or set specific chores for your teen to complete to get a monetary reward.

Teens can also deposit their own checks or cash for free at any time.

If you so choose, sign up to get instant spending notifications, set spending limits, and block specific merchants. Pause or replace the card at any time via the Current Bank app.

Teens can create savings goals for themselves by using Savings Pods (all in the app) and enable roundups that move a little money to savings each time they swipe their card.

The cost for the card is $36/year per teen ($3/month), so it may be a little more expensive than FamZoo if you have multiple teens to cover.

Features include:

  • $36/year ($3/month)
  • Free cash and check deposit
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

3. Greenlight

Greenlight is another great option for prepaid cards for teens. Powered by MasterCard, it offers parents some flexible controls over their teen’s spending while also giving teens some autonomy.

Using the app, parents can set up chore lists that offer rewards to their teens for extra work. Also want to automatically transfer your teen’s allowance to their card? You can do that.

In addition, teens who have found out ways to make money as a teen can opt to have their paycheck direct deposited in their account.

Split your teen’s accounts into Spend, Save, and Give sub-accounts for extra guidance as they learn how to budget and use their money wisely.

Like some of the other plans mentioned here, Greenlight allows parents to turn the cards on or off and receive real-time spending notifications. You can also block specific categories of spending as well as specific stores.

Give your teens further incentives for savings by opting to pay interest on their savings (you pay, not Greenlight). Teens can also choose the Round-Ups option to automatically add the change to their savings account.

Greenlight’s plan includes up to 5 cards, and their base plan is $4.99/month. That makes this a very affordable month-to-month option for those with multiple teens. Plus, there’s a free 1-month trial to check it out.

For an extra fun perk, you can upgrade your teen’s card with a custom design for $9.99.

Features include:

  • Free 1-month trial
  • $4.99/month
  • Subscription covers up to five cards
  • Free direct deposit and reloads
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

4. American Express Serve

The American Express Serve card is an option for prepaid cards for teens, but it’s not my top choice for several reasons.

It’s incredibly easy to set up and get started, which is why some parents might choose it. It also has a much higher spending limit than most – if not all – of the other prepaid cards in this list.

However, it offers no real financial education or savings incentives, although there are a few ways to control what your teen uses the card for.

You as the parent must open the account as you must be at least 18 years old to open an account (19 in Alabama and Nebraska). Once you create the main account, you can add up to four subaccounts for your teen(s).

This gives you the option to pay your teen’s allowance, send money to them at school, provide reimbursements or incentives, or whatever else you need.

Subaccount users receive their own card and login credentials, although they can’t add money to their own accounts.

Parents can also set up and manage controls like turning cards on and off, setting daily spend limits, enabling low balance alerts, and more. These controls aren’t quite as robust as some others in this list, but at least you’re not just handing over a card without being able to monitor any of it.

The card is reloadable and can be completely free, but only when you direct deposit $500 or more to the card. Otherwise, the fee is $6.95-$7.95 per month.

There are four different options for the American Express Serve card:

American Express Serve Free Direct Deposit
$6.95/month (or free when you direct deposit $500 or more)
Up to $3.95 for cash reloads

American Express Serve Free Reloads
$6.95/month
Free cash reloads at thousands of locations

American Express Serve 1% Cash Back
$7.95/month
Up to $3.95 for cash reloads
Unlimited 1% cashback

American Express Serve Pay As You Go
$0/month
Up to $3.95 for cash reloads
$1 transaction fee

So technically the fees are avoidable, but most likely you’ll end up paying for the card in some way, whether it’s paying for cash reloads or for monthly maintenance.

Features include:

  • $6.95-$7.95/month
  • Up to four subaccounts available
  • Free direct deposit and reloads using a bank account
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

5. TD Go

The TD Go reloadable prepaid card (Visa) is an option for those with a TD Bank account. There are over 1,200 TD Bank locations in the U.S across 16 states (all on the East Coast).

Parents can purchase a TD Go card online and load it with an initial $20. ((Please note that you will need to provide your teen’s Social Security number.)

Reload funds using your TD Bank debit card online or over the phone (a $1 reload fee applies for each transaction).

Or you can set up direct deposit for free. Friends and family can also load funds to your teen’s card using their TD Bank debit card.

You can’t really control how your teen spends the money on the card, but you can monitor and track the spending in real-time and receive text and email alerts.

Features include:

  • No monthly fee
  • $1 reload fee with your TD Bank debit card
  • Free direct deposit

6. gohenry

gohenry is a prepaid card for teens (via Mastercard) that allows parents to give their teens money while also working together to give them some financial education, as well.

Teens can earn an allowance, complete chores, set savings goals, give to charity, and learn to spend responsibly. The card is tied to an app so parents and teens both can see what’s going on.

Like other prepaid cards in this list, the parent creates an account, then customizes their teen’s account. Set automatic allowance transfers, tasks, and spending limits.

You can give your teen extra money for accomplishing specific tasks.

It’s also possible for parents to decide where their teens can use their prepaid cards. Don’t want them to withdraw cash at an ATM or shop online? You can turn both of those options off, easy peasy.

You can also receive real-time notifications about how much and where the money on the card is being spent.

Parents and teens can both set savings goals to work toward and see their progress via the app. There’s something about seeing a goal visually that makes it seem more tangible and attainable!

Upgrade to a personalized card for $4.99 per card.

Features include:

  • Free 1-month trial
  • $3.99/month per teen
  • Manage up to four teen accounts per parent account
  • Free direct deposit and reloads
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

7. Bluebird

The Bluebird prepaid debit card seems very similar to the American Express Serve card mentioned above. Bluebird is a great option for those who shop at Walmart and it’s totally free to reload the card – with cash – at Walmart.

Bluebird allows you to create up to four subaccounts. With the subaccounts, parents can set limits on spending and ATM access, and review activity for all linked accounts. The mobile app makes this all possible.

Each subaccount holder receives their own individual login information as well as a personalized card.

However, like the American Express Serve card, teens cannot add their own funds to their subaccounts. The main Bluebird account must fund all subaccounts. (That may be a pro or a con to you.)

So, in short, the Bluebird card is a lot like the American Express Serve card, but it can be completely fee-free if you do all of your cash reloads at Walmart or via direct deposit. Hey, I like free!

Features include:

  • No monthly fee
  • Free direct deposit and cash reloads at Walmart
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

8. BusyKid

BusyKid is primarily a chore and money management app for families, but it also comes with a prepaid debit card (VISA) to help your teen learn how to spend responsibly using money they don’t physically see and hold in their hands.

This app (and card) is tied directly to chores. Parents set chores each week for their teens to complete, and allowance is directly deposited to the account and card on Fridays (or a day of your choice).

This gets your teen used to being paid on a regular schedule and ties the value of money to hard work.

If you don’t want to tie your teen’s account to chores, that’s OK – you have the option of just giving them a weekly allowance and/or deposit funds at any time.

Each week a percentage of your teen’s weekly allowance is automatically saved, and they can also donate a percentage of their allowance to charity. There’s even the option to invest!

Everything that’s left in their Spend account is tied to the BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Debit Card.

Parents can see every transaction made, although it doesn’t look like parents can set any limits on how their teens spend the money.

One card is included in a family’s subscription which is $19.99/year. That’s pretty affordable at less than $2/month. If you want additional cards for your other teens, those are $7.99/year each.

Features include:

  • $19.99/year ($1.67/month)
  • One card included; additional cards $7.99/year
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

9. Jassby

Jassby is a unique addition to this list of best prepaid cards for teens because it’s entirely virtual – they will not send you a physical debit card!

Instead, the Jassby Virtual Debit Card (powered by Mastercard) is accessed entirely via the app. The account itself can be added to your phone via Apple Pay.

The other unique aspect about Jassby is that it has no monthly fee…if you’re using it, that is. As long as you use the virtual debit card to make a purchase each month, you won’t be assessed any fees.

This debit card integrates with the Jassby Family Finance app which allows parents to manage allowance, chores, and budgets with their teens.

Teens can even take initiative by requesting money for completing particular chores.

Use the app to send your teens money through your phone and track what they spend it on. They can use the virtual debit card to purchase online or in-store.

Interestingly, it appears that the Jassby virtual debit card is just one account and you as a parent decide who has access to it at any given time.

I couldn’t find anything that stated that each teen has their own separate account. However, parents can view all of their family members’ activities through the app.

Features include:

  • First six calendar months free
  • $2.99/month fee for inactivity
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

10. Copper

Copper is a new banking solution built for teens that provides physical and virtual prepaid debit cards.

The physical card can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted, and your teen can also add the virtual card to Apple Pay or Google Pay.

The best part? Right now, it’s 100% FREE. It’s a newer service and at the moment they will charge you zip, zilch, nada for creating an account and transferring money with a linked bank account.

If they decide to add a monthly fee in the future, those with current accounts will be grandfathered in to the “no fee” service.

To get started, a parent must download the app and create an account, then the teen creates an account. Parents can send money to their teens via the app, and teens can also set up direct deposits to their cards.

Each Copper account can have up to 5 linked accounts. The only bummer is that your teen must have their own phone number to create a linked accounts.

So for those of you who don’t give your teens phones, you’re out of luck. (Are there still parents that don’t give their teens phones?)

Parents can choose to set up recurring transfers to their teen’s account for allowance purposes and the like.

The Copper app itself also provides financial education for teens to help them learn how to spend, save, move, and manage their money.

Features include:

  • No monthly or annual fee
  • Free direct deposit and transfers with a linked bank account
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

11. Capital One MONEY

Capital One MONEY is a teen checking account that works as an actual bank account with a debit card.

So technically it’s not a prepaid card for teens, but parents can still add money to their teen’s account and check the balance, so I’m including it in this list.

Parents can transfer money to their teen for whatever reason – birthday gifts, allowance, babysitting money – without needing a Capital One account themselves.

Teens and parents can both check the account balance online or via the mobile app. There are separate logins, so the teens can manage the money while parents have visibility and control.

Parents can use the app to auto-pay allowance, track what their teen is spending the money on, and lock or unlock the debit card as necessary.

As mentioned previously, there are no fees for this account, and teens can earn interest (however tiny) on their checking account balance.

Features include:

  • No monthly or annual fee
  • Free transfers
  • Mobile app for iPhone and Android

Summary

There are many fantastic options out there for prepaid cards for teens and even a few that are completely free!

Whether you’re looking for something that allows you lots of control over your teen’s account or you’re just browsing for an easy way to give your teen an allowance, there’s bound to be an option for you on this list.

Have you used any of these best prepaid cards for teens? Please comment below to share your experience!