My daughter is starting to ask to go to stores and online so she can spend her allowance, birthday money, etc. While I want her to be able to shop, I also want her to establish good spending habits and teach her financial responsibility. I've seen a variety of prepaid debit cards options for families to pay kids for chores, load money for spending, allowing them to shop, or save, and even invest or donate as they see fit (all monitored through apps or alerts). These card companies claim they're safer than a regular banking account. Are these viable options for kids and besides recurring costs, what are the down sides to these services?

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Thanks for your comment and hats off to you for working with your daughter to help her build good financial habits.


We posted an article , that may be helpful for you on that journey. A basic no-fee checking account (you can check out USAA Youth Checking Account here) with a debit card may be a good first step. I’m not sure how old your daughter is, but combine that with a savings account and she could be on her way.


From a fraud perspective, protections for a checking account are laid out in Federal law (The Electronic Fund Transfer Act). For example, if you notice unauthorized charges and notify your bank within two days, you can be held responsible, but only up to $50. Protections for prepaid cards are not covered by federal law and are a function of the issuer’s rules. Bottom line? Fraud is a part of our financial landscape and the sooner your daughter learns how to protect herself and follows basic rules like closely monitoring accounts and reporting fraud immediately, the better! Good luck!

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