Last updated on May 23rd, 2023
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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
Step Card for Teens Review
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.
Step is an allowance app and online banking solution for teens and young adults starting their financial journeys. Evolve Bank & Trust and Member FDIC manages the app and program. This means the government protects your funds for up to $250,000, giving you peace of mind.
Best Suited to Teenagers
The Step Card is an ideal companion for teenagers looking to build a strong financial background. That’s because the Step Card is more than just a basic allowance app and banking service. Step combines an allowance app, mobile banking solution, and a secured credit card for kids.
This unique combination means teenagers have access to the same credit-building powers that 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.
So, how is Step like a secured credit card?
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 credit card. Simply 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, 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.
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.
Step Vs. Other Allowance Apps and Banking Solutions for Kids
Here are a few more kids’ banking apps to choose from:
|Cost||from $4.99 per month||$36 per year||$9.98 per month||$4 per month|
|Kids per account||5||1||4||4|
|Account features||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|
No Interest, No Fees
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 in the same way as 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 per-swipe fee charged by banks to merchants using credit or debit cards.
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).
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
- Visa debit protections
Here’s how Step and Evolve Bank & Trust rate according to the experts:
|BestCards||Better Business Bureau||TrustPilot|
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.