| Last updated on January 26th, 2024
At a Glance
The Step Card is a Visa debit card for teens from Evolve Bank & Trust. The card lets parents teach their kids about finances while earning rewards on eligible purchases - with no hidden fees.
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- No annual fee
- Earn cash back or crypto as your build credit
- Parental controls including real-time notifications, balance tracking, merchant category blocks, mobile payments, and more
- Intuitive mobile app
- Foreign Transaction Fee: See Terms
- You have a teenager you want to whom you help provide a financial education
- You want your kids to have a good degree of financial independence
- You do't want to pay a subscription fee
In-Depth Step Card Review
Step is an allowance app, debit card, and online banking solution for teens and young adults starting their financial journeys. Evolve Bank & Trust and Member FDIC manage the app and program. This means the government protects your funds for up to $250,000, giving you peace of mind.
Step is an excellent option for families not looking to spend money on monthly subscription fees. The Step Card charges no hidden or monthly fees and helps prepare your kids for a bright financial future through a hands-on approach to money management.
How to Get Step
Opening a Step Debit Card account is a straightforward process that can be done online or through a mobile application. The first step is to visit the Step Debit Card website or download their mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Once the app is installed, you can create an account by providing basic information such as your name, email address, and date of birth.
After creating your account, you must link your bank account to the Step Debit Card. This can usually be done by entering your bank account details or using your online banking credentials. Once your bank account is linked, you may be required to verify your identity by providing additional documentation, such as a government-issued ID or proof of address.
Once your account is set up and verified, you will receive your Step Debit Card in the mail. The card will typically arrive within a few business days and can be activated by following the instructions. Once activated, you can use your Step Debit Card to purchase and access your funds.
Step Card Benefits
Perhaps the best benefit of Step for parents is the impressive savings rate it provides via its associated Step banking account. Kids earn an impressive 5% APY on savings with Step – a huge increase over the national average for a savings account, currently around 0.45%.
The impressive APY yield with Step can quickly help your child save money when paired with an allowance/chore routine. If your child deposited $1,000 into Step and saved an additional $100 each month, they would stand to have a closing balance of $ 2279.05. That’s an impressive $79.05 in interest!
And, unlike some savings accounts, there are no monthly fees, minimums, or limits on when kids and parents can access their money with Step.
Build Credit with Smart Pay
The Step Card is an ideal companion for teenagers looking to build a strong financial background. The Step Card is more than a basic allowance app and banking service. Step combines an allowance app, a mobile banking solution, and a secured credit card for kids.
This unique combination means teenagers can access the same credit-building powers their [parents enjoy. Making purchases (and payments) using the Step Visa debit card can help build credit. Evolve Bank & Trust regularly reports to the three main credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – meaning on-time payments and responsible card use can help save them money on auto, student, mortgages, and more.
Step shares some similarities with a secured card –your kids can only spend what they have in the Step account. They’ll have access to their savings and any funds they earn through chores, allowance, or other incentives, but nothing else, making the card much safer than a credit card. Use the Step Visa to make purchases and Step reports to the credit bureaus – it’s that easy!
Earn Rewards on Purchases
Kids can also earn rewards on select purchases. Your teens can earn a sign-up bonus for every friend joining Step, meaning that with Step, it pays to recommend friends.
Even better, kids can also activate offers and swipe their Step Visa Card at qualifying merchants – including go-to coffee shops, clothing stores, streaming services, and more. Rewards hit their account within seconds, not a month later, meaning they can access their rewards immediately. And with an ever-changing list of major brands, there’s certain to be something they love.
Invest with Crypto
Kids can even opt for crypto rewards instead of cash back—step partners with ZeroHash to provide cryptocurrency investing services. Your kids could be the talk of school, establish a strong financial history, and earn cool cryptocurrencies to diversify their portfolio.
Visa Debit Benefits
|Dovly Uplift™ credit score monitoring
|ID Navigator Powered by NortonLifeLock
|Visa Zero Fraud Liability
|Lost/Stolen Card Reporting
Other Card Features
Other notable features of the Step Visa debit card include:
- Get paid up to two days early
- EMV chip technology for an additional layer of protection
In addition to chip and PIN technology, Step provides real-time transaction alerts. These alerts notify you via SMS or email whenever a transaction is made using your card. This allows you to closely monitor your account activity and quickly identify any suspicious or unauthorized transactions. By staying informed, you can take immediate action to protect your account and prevent any potentially fraudulent activity.
One of the best features of the Step banking program is the complete lack of any hidden fees. There is no annual fee, monthly membership fee, subscription cost, or anything else. Thanks to the Visa Plus Alliance, Step cardholders can access their money at 30,000 no-fee ATMs nationwide.
Unfortunately, users can’t add funds via an ATM. Instead, you can only fund an account through the app with a linked bank account, debit card, or direct deposit. Fortunately, it’s easy for parents to reload their child’s card.
So, how does Step make money? Essentially, Step operates like a credit card payment network – Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover. Your kids use their card to make purchases, and included in the purchase price is an “interchange fee.” Interchange fees are an often-unseen charge added to the cost of a credit card transaction. These interchange fees, also known as “swipe fees,” are added by payment networks as per-swipe fees charged by banks to merchants using credit or debit cards.
|from $4.99 per month
|$36 per year
|$9.98 per month
|$4 per month
|Kids per account
|Educational app, savings, parental controls, optional investment platform
|Savings, parental controls, educational tools
|Flexible parental controls, savings, Split pay bill pay, Money Missions, education tools
|BusyPay, APEF-approved educational tools, investment platform, savings, some parental controls
What We Like About Step
There are several advantages to using a Step Debit Card for your banking needs. Firstly, it offers enhanced security compared to carrying cash. With a Step Card, you can make purchases without worrying about losing money or becoming a victim of theft. Step Card comes with advanced security features such as chip and PIN technology, biometric authentication, and real-time transaction alerts, providing peace of mind and protecting you against fraudulent activities.
The Step Debit Card offers additional perks, like cash back rewards, discounts at partner merchants, and the ability to track your spending through the app. These benefits not only make banking more convenient but also help your kids save money and manage your finances more effectively.
Things to Consider
Lacking Comprehensive Parental Controls
If Step has any downsides, it’s the limited parental controls. Step provides essential parental controls like monitoring spending habits, blocking transactions from unsafe merchants, and joint account access. Step doesn’t offer the same robust parental controls as other apps (especially Greenlight and GoHenry).
Here’s how Step and Evolve Bank & Trust rate according to the experts:
Should You Get the Step Debit Card Account for Teens?
Step is a quality choice for teenagers getting their first experience with a bank account, debit card, or secured credit card. Since there’s no interest, kids can build credit without the risk of going into debt. The addition of rewards and crypto is especially alluring to kids and is sure to make the hit of the lunch table or at the mall on weekends. More parental controls would be nice, but what’s available isn’t a negative – just less impressive than you’ll find elsewhere.
Other Debit Cards for Teens
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