How to talk to kids about their first debit card

Your child is growing up in a world where cards and Digital Wallets are replacing cash. Learning how to use them responsibly is a critical skill.

Why it matters


Handle an ongoing expense, such as a gaming subscription

Frequently ask you

for money

Receive regular payments through

an allowance or job

Having their own account and card can teach valuable lessons about spending. Your child may be ready when they:

Ready for a debit card?


Your child may already put money in a savings account that has a debit card. Make sure they understand that paying with a debit card takes money out.

Saving vs. spending


A dedicated savings or checking account for your child can give them a sense of ownership. Look

for one that has:

Set up a separate account


Deposit allowance and cash gifts. Some apps let you assign specific chores and will transfer money into the account when the chores are done.  

Funding the account 


Keep an eye on activity and show your child how to track deposits, spending and balances on the account’s website and mobile app. Discuss any patterns.

Monitoring the account


Help them budget so they don’t spend more than is in the account. Explain they may incur fees if the balance falls below a set minimum.

Using the card wisely


Stress they shouldn’t share the debit card, PIN or account details in person or digitally. Have them ask you before entering banking information online.

Staying secure


Help your child add the debit card to their mobile phone’s Digital Wallet. Explain that paying with the phone adds security and convenience.

Moving beyond plastic


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How to talk to kids about their first savings account

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How to talk to kids about money

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