I used to bank with ING Direct. It was a cool, online-only bank and I felt really futuristic when I signed up with them and their big orange dot of a logo. I loved the bank and it was wonderful.
Then they were bought out by Capital One and renamed the bank Capital One 360. I had to call about something and expressed my sadness about the change and the customer service agent got a bit prickly and gave me a lecture on how much better the compensation and bonus structure and overall management was since the change. I told her I stood corrected and would not lament for the working conditions of the customer service staff from here on out.
That woman feels well treated, well-compensated, and happy with the change, so that’s some anecdotal evidence it was all for the best.
If you have a Walmart credit card (I did but don’t now because of the bankruptcy) they just recently switched to Capital One so if you want to see your balance or make payments online you and I share the same app. We’re app twins. Hooray!
Once Capital One 360 got rolling, one of the things I noticed is they were dropping emails my way about this MONEY account. (Their caps, not mine.) and after the seven thousandth email, I decided to look into it.
Turns out it’s this kind of middle-of-the-road account where I still had total control as a parent, but the kid got a debit card and an account they could access on their smartphone.
Since I never carry cash (probably why I failed with the envelope system) I thought, “This is a great way to teach my kids how to use and take care of a debit card before they go to college and screw it all up!”
I plan way too far in advance.
I called in and found out they would give your kid an account and debit card as young as EIGHT (caps mine) and I was like, “Hell yeah, sign her up!”
There may be privacy concerns associated with doing this. I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is that the last time I over-drafted my account for three days I got charged twenty-one cents. Yes, I said cents. So this is a great place for the kids to learn what with not having $30+ overdraft fees if they make a mistake and I don’t realize it for a hot minute.
The overall language is a bit confusing but feel free to delve in here: https://www.capitalone.com/bank/checking-accounts/online-checking-account/disclosures/#id_overdraftservices
So my kids have had debit cards for 5, 4, and 1 year respectively. They’ve been great. They run them as credit or debit depending on what they’re doing. When we first started, I went with them whenever they needed to use it. But now? They go to the Dairy Queen at the end of the street and use their debit cards no problem. Even the 10-year-old is an old hand at checking her balance and using her money wisely.
Sidenote: I haven’t gotten them on YNAB but I do plan on giving each of them an individual budget when they have expenses beyond, “Mom, can I go to DQ and get a cone.” and I think they’ll transition nicely to using them on their own in the real world with a budget once we bring those technologies together.
About Other Cards
I keep getting an ad for this one on my Facebook feed:
I don’t know about you but my thought when I see this ad (or the other five just like it) are, “WHY do I want my kid’s face on the card?” Like, I get you want the person at the register to see that it’s your kid’s card but….why?
There is no tangible benefit to having your child on the card, other than to get the message across that branded things with their face on them are SO COOL. The person behind the counter doesn’t usually care that I have written “ask for ID” on the signature line of my debit/credit card. I never get asked for ID. Why would having a picture change that? The person behind the register probably will assume it’s a sister’s card they have permission to use.
This is fine.
People are actually fairly trusting by nature. Add that to someone working retail and not getting paid enough to look out for identity theft and you’ve got a situation where it doesn’t matter that a card has a picture of your #1 daughter or whatever plastered on it. Even worse is the fee structure:
You get to pay $4.99 a month for the privilege of giving your child/tween/teen a debit card.
But WHY tho?
My kids don’t have any fees associated with having cards except for ATM fees, which, I have to say is neat the Greenlight card does not have…but I’m not here for the kids using their debit cards to take out cash. I’m teaching them to use a debit card which they will most likely use the rest of their lives. Monthly fees can kick sticks.
Here is an article from Investopedia on the top five teen bank accounts: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/102616/top-5-debit-cards-teens.asp
Oof, Bank of America has some interesting requirements. Definitely not for your average teen…..
USAA is for kids 13 and older, so that’s not so bad. USAA always has awesome perks and stuff, too, but I wouldn’t know about all that because I have less than zero connection to the military so I have no access to all the cool stuff USAA has to offer. If you have a USAA account give them a call and get into the nitty-gritty. They probably have great stuff available.
If you’re already with one of these banks then call and see what you can do. Otherwise, pick the one that sounds like it works for you. I know Capital One 360 will give your kid a debit card at eight years old which is exactly what I wanted. Yes, I have a tendency to try to get my kids “all teched up” too fast, but that’s because I want them to think of tech as no big deal by the time they need to use it for their own adult lives. I don’t want them to be scared of technology. Yes, there are privacy issues, but I’m a firm believer in giving them so much information it’s not worth sifting through vs. no information at all or very little that makes you look suspicious.
I’m not saying my worldview or opinion is right for your family. It’s just what I’ve come to terms with and am okay with.
Do your kids have a debit card? Are you planning on getting them one?
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments!