Credit Card for Kids: Do Credit Cards for Kids Exist?

A credit card for kids may sound like a funny concept. But, they usually refer to a prepaid card or a debit card that is intended for children.

In this article, weโ€™re going to explain everything you need to know about credit cards for kids, including answering common questions we receive on the topic.

This article is part of our free series on US credit cards, including how to get a US credit card with an ITIN number, which you can access here.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Credit Card for Kids
  2. What Are the Benefits of Kids Credit Cards?
  3. What Should I Know About Kids Credit Cards?
  4. How to Apply for a Kids Credit Card
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

Credit Card for Kids

A credit card for kids typically refers to kidsโ€™ prepaid cards or debit cards for children. The purpose of these cards is to provide financial education for kids. And, at the same time, provide parental control on cards.ย 

This approach to empowering money management for children has many benefits. In short, teaching kids about money encourages safe spending, proper budgeting, and building responsible spending habits.

That said, there are instances where young people can obtain traditional credit cards as well. So, we will answer questions related to how young a child can be to obtain a credit card below and what options exist.

But first, letโ€™s start by taking a look at what the benefits are of a โ€œkids credit cardโ€.

What Are the Benefits of Kids Credit Cards?

The benefits of obtaining a kids’ credit card depend on the type of card being considered.

For example, if you are considering adding a child as an authorized user to your own credit card, then you may want to consider the risks of your child having unrestricted access to your credit limit.

On the other hand, if you are considering obtaining a prepaid card or a debit card for your child, then there is a wide range of educational benefits available.

These benefits include reinforcing responsible decisions, strong financial literacy, security, the ability to monitor spending and limits on the amount the child can access.

Here is a closer look at the available benefits.

Benefits of Kids Credit Cards

  • Financial literacy
  • Security against theft and loss compared to cash
  • Ability to monitor spending
  • Limits on the amount that can be spent
  • Reinforcing smart financial decision making

What Should I Know About Kids Credit Cards?

The first thing you should know about kids’ credit cards is that they are very rare. Instead, both debit cards and prepaid cards are common options for children. That said, these cards are not credit cards, so they do not build credit history for the child, still have age restrictions, and have fees that apply.

Can Kids Apply for Prepaid Cards?

Yes, kids can apply for prepaid cards. In fact, prepaid cards can be an excellent tool to help educate children on how to properly manage their money, budget their expenses, and be responsible. Additionally, prepaid cards limit the potential loss if a card is lost, stolen, or misused.

How to Apply for a Kids Credit Card?

There are a number of ways to apply for a kids’ credit card. Though, the specific steps that you will need to take depend on the following variables:

  1. Age of the child applying
  2. Desire for a credit, debit, or prepaid card
  3. Willingness to act as a cosigner
  4. Willingness to add child as an authorized user

Importantly, most children under the age of 18 years old will not be able to obtain a credit card on their own. Instead, they will only be able to choose between a prepaid card or a debit card, depending on the jurisdiction where they are resident.

Also, even after the age of 18, most credit card issuers will still require a cosigner on the child’s applicant. This is because the credit card applicant will not have a credit history to demonstrate creditworthiness and their ability to responsibly use the credit.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into a credit card for kids. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch.

Can I Get a Credit Card for My Child?

Yes, you can get a credit card for your child. However, credit card issuers do have specific restrictions and requirements for young people. First, in most cases, it is not possible to apply for a credit card until you are 18 years old. Secondly, even at the age of 18, applicants do not have sufficient credit history to obtain an unsecured credit card on their own. So, most credit card issuers require a parent or guardian to cosign responsibility for the card.

How to Get a Card for 9-Year-Old Kids?

You will not be able to get a credit card for a 9-year-old kid. However, there are other options that you can choose from, including prepaid debit cards and joint bank accounts.

Can I Add My 12-Year-Old to My Credit Card?

In most cases, it is not possible to add a 12-year-old child to a credit card. That said there are certain credit card providers that do offer specific programs for young teens. However, itโ€™s important to note that many of the safety mechanisms that can be added to cards specifically designed for young people (e.g. spending limits) are not made available to authorized users, regardless of age.

What Is the Youngest Age to Get Credit Cards?

The youngest age to get an unsecured credit card is usually 18 years old. That said, even at 18 years old, many major credit card issuers will require applicants to apply with a cosigner since they do not have an established credit history to apply for unsecured credit on their own.

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