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Federal Credit Union San Antonio | IBEW Credit Union | CPS Credit Union

IS IT TIME FOR A TEEN DEBIT CARD?

It’s a rite of passage for teens to start earning “cash” and learning how to be responsible for their own expenses. But how useful is cash these days? If you’re like most Americans, you use your debit and credit cards far more often. It’s unrealistic to assume teens will get very far with only cash in their pockets, particularly when most of their purchases are completed online and through apps.

Enter teen checking and debit cards. They can be a natural progression for a child growing into an adult. Here’s how:

Ideally, if your child or grandchild has $5 or more in cash laying around, it’s time for them to have their own savings account. That usually means before they’re old enough to count money. Why? It can be easy to lose track of the monetary gifts your child receives for birthdays, holidays, and other occasions from the moment they’re born. Accounts made for children, like the CPS IBEW Federal Credit Union Youth Savings Account, are special because they’re made to grow along with the child with no minimum balance, no monthly service fees, and dividends paid monthly.

As the child grows into a teen, their financial activity grows, too.

While a Youth Savings Account can be used for children up to 18 years old, we also offer CPS IBEW FCU Teen Checking Account with a debit card for 13-17 year olds who are interested in actively using funds. The account includes a VISA debit card with spending limits available to set up through our online banking and mobile app. To open an account it’s $25 minimum deposit, with valid ID and social security card.  It’s available for qualified members with a parent or guardian as a joint member.

The account can be set up and monitored by parents with security and spending controls in place.

Teens have the freedom to spend within the limits you set while learning valuable life lessons in financial responsibility—from depositing checks to deciding how much of what they earn should go to savings to monitoring for fraud and overspending. Getting started with these lessons on a debit card that’s monitored by a parent has been shown to improve financial savviness into adulthood.

“Do you recall qualifying for your first ‘plastic card’ as a young adult and immediately getting into debt? Back then, the idea of a debit or credit card was very abstract. It was easy to overspend because the connection from the card to the money in your bank account wasn’t apparent,” says Edna Narum, CPS IBEW FCU Chief Financial Officer. “Now that transactions are increasingly digital, it’s more important than ever to teach teens how clicking a ‘buy’ button affects the ‘cash’ in their account. A teen checking account with a debit card can be a helpful step in that education process.”