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My son wants a checking account, but with a debit card. We are on Bank of America. I told him I could set up a second card on my account but realized- the money would come out of my account.

He is 12 and a half and he is also trying to do direct deposits with his routing number with the cash app. I currently cannot find a solution with these requirements.

  • Real Debit Card (VISA or Mastercard)
  • Bank of America
  • Able to make deposits using the routing number on his own, without me doing it.
  • Checking, not savings

Edit: This also shouldn't be a prepaid card. I want a debit card for him.

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    Did you ask the bank? My son was 14 when he opened a checking account, it also included a debit card. – mhoran_psprep Jun 21 '17 at 4:06
  • Not BOA, but Chase has some really good features for family banking. – Pete B. Jun 21 '17 at 8:55
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    Just go to the bank and ask. Bring your son. – Joe Strazzere Jun 21 '17 at 10:49
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    Side note: don't get overdraft protection that pulls from your account. He needs to feel the pains of bouncing a check and having a debit card declined, otherwise a debit card feels like "free money". Teach him to manage money responsibly, not just how to swipe a card to magically buy stuff. – D Stanley Jun 21 '17 at 13:45
  • You will not be able to open an account only in your son's name as he is a minor. We had to open accounts with our daughter's names. They still get all you need, it just can't be a completely standalone account. – Peter K. Jun 21 '17 at 20:51
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Could you not open an additional checking account using both of your names?

Of course, this additional account will technically also be yours, but if he's the only one placing money into it, then he's not spending your money from your existing checking account.

I'd recommend going to bank of america, letting them know you have an existing checking account and stating that you'd like to open a second checking account.

I don't see any problem with this, do you?

  • If I opened this second account, would the money he spends that he has 'insufficient funds' for charge my account? – Elijah Ciali Jun 21 '17 at 16:39
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    @EliappleTechkid Most bank accounts give you an option for this. It's usually known as 'Overdraft Protection'. It depends on the type of payment he's using. Checks that he writes that 'bounce' and can't be covered generally will always incur a non-sufficient fund fee somewhere. But you can have them turn off 'overdraft' protection on the account, and tell them explicitly to deny any debit card charges that would exceed the balance of the account. They have to get some form of consent from you to have it come out of another account or go negative. – schizoid04 Jun 21 '17 at 16:41
  • @EliappleTechkid So to recap - as long as he's just paying for things with a debit card, and you tell them that you want to make sure that debit card purchases that can't be covered by the balance in the account are declined, you should be fine. – schizoid04 Jun 21 '17 at 16:42
  • Got it! I'm sure he'll love this so that he can spend his 'Cash app' money! – Elijah Ciali Jun 21 '17 at 16:43
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    One thing to keep in mind is that if either of you write a check with insufficient funds, that does get reported to your credit file at ChexSystems. It could negatively impact both of your ability to open checking accounts in the future if that happens. – seanr Jun 22 '17 at 2:29
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If "Bank of America" is truly a hard-and-fast requirement, the best solution is to go to a branch and see what they can do. If they turn you down, it likely can't be done.

  • Agreed - also, bring your son along, to make him involved in the process of setting up the account (as recommended in a comment by Joe Strazzere) may help him feel accountable for the process, and responsible for upholding the terms of the account. If he comes home one day and a card is on his nightstand, he may not understand what you've had to do to get him one, and may not respect the money as much. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Jun 21 '17 at 15:10

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