If you’re thinking of giving your teenager their own credit card, there are a number of things you’ll want to consider, such as whether it can be linked to your account and what fees and interest rates are associated with the card. Most of the best credit cards for minors under 18 don’t require an extensive credit history to open them, but many do have an annual fee. Before you open a credit card for your teen, take a look at your best options and decide what works best for you and your child.
|Best Credit Cards for Teenagers|
|Credit Card||Annual Fee||APR||Rewards/Bonuses|
|QuicksilverOne from Capital One||$39||22.47% to 26.47%||Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase; get access to a higher credit line with Credit Steps after making your first five monthly payments on time|
|Platinum Credit Card from Capital One||$0||22.47%, 24.47% or 26.47%||Get access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time|
|Discover it Secured||$0||24.99%||Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter; earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases|
|Secured Mastercard from Capital One||$0||24.99%||Deposit more than the minimum required security deposit before your account opens to get a higher credit line; get access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time|
|Green Dot Platinum Visa||$39||19.99%||none|
|OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card||$35||18.64%||none|
|First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card||$29||19.99%||none|
|First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card||$39||14.99%||none|
|First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card||$44||11.99%||none|
|USAA Secured American Express Credit Card||$35||11.90% to 21.90%||none|
|*Rates are accurate as of Dec. 11, 2018.|
Related: Best Student Credit Cards
Your teen will earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash-back rewards with this Capital One credit card. Rewards don’t expire and can be redeemed for any amount at any time. The card also comes with unlimited access to CreditWise from Capital One, so you can monitor your teen’s credit score and credit profile, and watch as their credit grows. If you want to open this credit card for your teen, you can do so as long as they provide their Social Security number.
The QuicksilverOne is also one of Capital One’s best credit cards.
This no annual fee card comes with access to Capital One’s CreditWise credit monitoring tool, $0 fraud liability coverage and compatibility with the Capital One mobile app. If you sync the credit card account to your phone’s Capital One app, you can sign up for instant purchase notifications to keep track of your teen’s spending in real time.
Find Out: The Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards
The Discover it Secured card requires a refundable security deposit to open, which you can get back if you pay your balance in full and close the account, or if your teen has shown responsible credit management for eight months or more. Not only does this card allow your teen to earn cash back with every purchase, but Discover will also automatically match the cash back the teen has earned at the end of the first year. With cash-back perks and no annual fee, the Discover it Secured card is one of the best credit cards for teenagers to build credit.
To open this secured credit card for your teen, you’ll need to make an initial $49, $99 or $200 refundable deposit based on creditworthiness. When you make the minimum required security deposit, you’ll get an initial credit line of $200. With this card, you can choose the monthly due date and payment method, and you can also receive instant purchase notifications when you link the account to the Capital One mobile app.
See which secured cards are the best options for you and your teen.
Good credit and bank accounts are not required to get the Green Dot Platinum Visa. To start using the card, make a refundable security deposit as low as $200 at participating retailers, which include Walmart, 7-Eleven, Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens. There is a $4.95 fee to make the security deposit at a retail store, but there is no fee if you mail in the deposit. Green Dot will report credit card usage and payment activity to the three major credit bureaus, which can help your teen improve their credit history over time.
OpenSky does not check credit when you apply, so even a teen with no credit history can be approved. You choose the credit line and secure it by making a one-time refundable deposit.
Before You Sign Up: What Is a Good Rate for a Secured Credit Card?
All three of First Progress’ secured credit cards are designed to build or rebuild credit. There’s no credit history or minimum credit score required for approval with any of the secured cards offered, but all three cards require a security deposit to establish the credit line. Credit card behavior on each active card account is reported monthly to each of the three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
What distinguishes the Platinum Elite MasterCard from the other First Progress secured cards is that it has the lowest annual fee — but it has the highest APR, which is something to consider if your teen will be paying their own bill and won’t be able to pay in full each month.
Like the Platinum Elite MasterCard, the First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card does not require credit history or a minimum credit score for approval. Of the three cards, it has the second-lowest APY as well as the second-lowest annual fee.
What distinguishes the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card from the other two secured credit cards offered by First Progress is that it has the lowest APR. However, it has the highest annual fee.
To activate this credit card, you’ll need to make a security deposit of $250 to $5,000 that will serve as the credit limit. Unlike with other secured cards, the deposit earns interest, and you get to keep your deposit as long as you don’t default on your payments. The card also comes with zero liability and free access to your teen’s credit score.
Why You Should Open a Credit Card for Your Teen
Is it a good idea to open a credit card for your teenager? That really depends on the circumstances: Are they generally responsible? Are you willing to pay their bill if they can’t? In some cases, it might be a bad idea to open a credit card for a 17-year-old high school student, but there are certainly benefits to opening a credit card for your teen. For starters, it can help them to establish their credit early, which can benefit them later on in life when they start applying for their own lines of credit to get a car or a home. It can also teach them financial responsibility and help them develop better spending habits — especially when it comes time to pay their first bill. Lastly, even if you don’t want your teen to charge everyday expenses on their card, giving them a credit card can be a good way to ensure that they have access to funds in case of an emergency.
Click through to read about the best banks for high school students.
More on Credit Cards
- Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Best Low-Interest Credit Cards
- Best Rewards Credit Cards
- Watch: How to Build Credit
We make money easy. Get weekly email updates, including expert advice to help you Live Richer™.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of GOBankingRates alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.
GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their personal circumstances.