PayPal Alternatives for Kids
PayPal is a popular way to send and receive money online and is one of the most widely accepted payment platforms. However, their services are not available to the under-18s. Fortunately, several PayPal alternatives accommodate kids and young teens.
If you feel your child or young teen is ready for online financial freedom, here are some of the best PayPal account alternatives.
Prepaid Debit Cards
A prepaid debit card is a sound method for those under 18 to own a debit card. It works similarly to a gift card but with no restrictions on where it can be used. It can be used to purchase items offline or online, including with Google Pay or Apple Pay.
How a Prepaid Debit Card Works
You can deposit money into a prepaid debit card account, which will need to be topped up again once the balance is spent. This is an ideal way to control spending, as there is no risk of going into overdraft. The prepaid debit card is the perfect introduction to money management.
Here are some popular prepaid debit cards for young teens.
GoHenry is a prepaid debit card designed for parents and children. You can manage everything you need through a GoHenry online account, and your child will have their login details to learn how to manage their money. You can use GoHenry to help teach your pre-teens or teens how to budget and develop an understanding of the differences between needs, wants, and wise spending.
Here are some of the GoHenry features and reasons for its popularity.
- It allows you to add a co-parent to your account to create boundaries, manage chores, and receive notifications.
- You can set up weekly allowance transfers.
- You can encourage your kid to work for their money by setting up paid tasks.
- You and your child can set goals to track savings and work together to plan future purchases.
- You’ll receive notifications when your child uses their card and an alert if it gets declined.
- If the card is lost or stolen, you can easily block it and then unblock it if it’s found.
- You can decide how much you want your kid to spend by setting spending controls.
Greenlight is another debit card an under-18-year-old child can use and can be opened by investing as little as $1. The card provides many valuable features that assist parents in helping manage their kids’ finances. It’s Google Pay- and Apple Pay-compatible and has many other notable features.
- It offers the ability to set flexible controls for real-time alerts and spending notifications.
- Kids can monitor their balances and set goals.
- It offers the option to create a custom card by uploading a photo.
- The card can be switched on or off by a parent.
- The cards are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.
However, depending on the chosen plan, the Greenlight card costs around $5 to $10 per month per family. Fortunately, all ATM withdrawals are free, and kids of all ages qualify for an account.
American Express Bluebird
The Bluebird prepaid card is a hybrid between a credit card and a bank account. One stand-out feature of Bluebird is each “family account” comprises up to four prepaid cards for family members. From your central account, you can transfer money to those prepaid cards, monitor account activity, and set spending limits. Here are some of its valuable features.
- It offers “Purchase Protection” to help protect against accidental damage and theft for up to 120 days for eligible purchases.
- The card can be used anywhere that accepts American Express.
- It offers access to a paycheck up to two days faster with free direct deposit.
- It has no foreign transactions or monthly fees.
- It is free to transfer money to other Bluebird accounts.
- It comes with “Roadside Assistance” with coordination and assistance services.
Other Prepaid Debit Cards for Kids
FamZoo Family Accounts
FamZoo offers one of the easiest ways to manage multiple accounts via a single-family platform. One of its stand-out features includes automated allowances transferred to your kid’s account at set intervals of your choice. It also supports teaching the connection between work and income by connecting scheduled jobs and chores to penalties or payments.
Google Pay, once called Google Wallet, is another alternative to PayPal. Teens over 13 can have an account if an adult gives permission and accepts the terms. They can then connect a bank or credit card to the Google Pay account to transfer money. It’s the most straightforward and inexpensive way to allow kids to spend their money.
The MyVanilla prepaid card is another simple solution and can be found at Walmart and other supermarkets. An adult must purchase the card and add a child under 18 as the registered user. This service is currently unavailable in Vermont.
Online Bank Accounts for Kids
Opening a savings or checking account is another excellent opportunity to teach kids how to manage money and get around the PayPal age restriction. By setting up a custodial account when they’re younger, you can let them take ownership when they turn 18.
Here are some popular options.
Capital One Money Teen Checking Account
Capital One Money offers a zero-fee checking account for children and teens ages eight to 18. No minimum balance is required, and free online and mobile banking is included.
Here are some of its prominent features.
- Parental controls
- Access to over 70,000 fee-free ATMs
- You can deposit checks using the mobile app
- It offers parents and kids joint accounts with mobile app login credentials
- Accounts earn interest (0.10% annual percentage yield)
- A free Mastercard debit card
A bank account will develop your kid’s understanding of the banking world, including interest accumulation and how to save money and manage finances. You’ll be available to assist and transfer funds in and out of the checking account from your personal account.
Alliant is for young teens between 13 and 17 years old. You can set up a joint account for your child with no monthly fees or a minimum balance. It offers online and mobile banking, with interest rates more than double other teen bank accounts.
Bank of America Student Banking
This Bank of America account is for students and has no monthly fees, zero liability guarantee, and gives them the ability to make mobile check deposits.
Teens under 18 can own a Huntington Bank checking account when an adult opens one as a joining account or is a co-signer. This bank does not provide account information online, so if you decide to go with them, be sure to go through the fine print.
Chase High School Checking
The high school checking account is for students between 13 and 17 years old and doesn’t have a monthly fee like a parent’s bank account. Chase accounts tend to have overdraft and ATM fees. However, this is an ideal opportunity to teach your kid how to avoid such bank fees.
Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking
If your teen is between 13 and 16 years old, you can open a Wells Fargo checking account in their name. However, it has a monthly fee of $5 and a minimum deposit of $25. The account holder can make mobile deposits and withdraw funds from over 13,000 ATMs nationwide. Clear Access Banking also includes a contactless debit card and zero liability protection.
Can kids use Cash App?
In the U.S. and with the approval of a parent or guardian, anyone between the ages of 13 and 17 can acquire access to expanded Cash App features. Features include Cash Card, P2P transactions, Direct Deposit, and Boost. Once a parent or guardian has approved the account, the 13-17-year-old becomes the legal owner.
How old do you have to be to use Apple Pay?
To send and receive money using Apple Cash, you must be 18 and a U.S. resident. For those under 18, an adult with an Apple Cash Family account can set up Apple Cash on their behalf.
Learning Financial Responsibility as a Kid
PayPal is one of the most popular ways to access and manage money online, but the account holder needs to be at least 18 years old. Fortunately, many prepaid debit cards and bank accounts are offered to kids and young teens that can be managed by an adult. Many of the options available are an ideal way of teaching and experiencing financial responsibility before adulthood.
Which PayPal alternative did you like the sound of most? Share your opinions in the comments sections below.