Bank accounts are not easy to open for teenagers. And in fact, it's getting harder and harder every day to do it because of global fraud. But with the help of your parents or a guardian you can actually get an account and even a debit card.
Most US and Canadian banks will not open a bank account alone for a teen below 18 years old. So you have to open a join account with your parent or guardian. To do so ask your parent to help with this. They will have to open an account with you. Most of these accounts don't even have a debit card since 2018. But at least your have a bank account that you can put money in, either in person, or via wire or ACH transfers from other banks.
This is still good for teens who want to put some money away, or if someone wants to pay them electronically.
Then you can go to the bank in person to withdraw money to spend.
You will need some kind of valid ID, like a school id, passport, birth certificate or social security card. Every bank will have their slightly different requirements.
If you're under 18 you cannot open a PayPal account. It's against the rules. Technically you can open the account, but if PayPal at some point asks for an ID and discovers you are under 18 years then the account will be closed.
Again, if you want your own Paypal account, you have to ask your parent or guardian to sign for it and approve it on your behalf, then you're pretty much set to go.
This article from Investopedia gives a good idea of the banks that can open a checking account for teens (with parent or guardians)
* Capital One
* Wells Fargo
* Chase Bank
* Union Bank & Trust
* USAA Federal Savings Bank
* Alliant Credit Union
* Citizens Bank
* Bank of America (not recommended)
* First National Bank & Trust
Normally we do not recommend prepaid cards for teens, because prepaid cards for anyone are a pretty bad idea anyway.
They have a lot of fees. Included the dreaded "reload fee" which can be several dollars to put money into the card.
If you really have to have a prepaid card so you can just spend all your hard earned money, then we recommend the TD Go Reloadable Prepaid Visa Card from TD Bank.
You might be laughing, but historically most people kept their money at home, and this was quite fine. The only problem was theft, fire and yes, forgetting where you put your money.
Who am I to say that you shouldn't do this?
The most important thing is the ability to control spending of your money by keeping some of it. Whether you use a bank account, or put it in a piggy bank - the fact that you are actually socking some of it away, is a good thing.