Children under the age of 18 cannot apply for their own credit card...but does that mean they shouldn't have one?

According to Creditcards.com:

There are lots of reasons to give a child a credit card before he or she turns 18 – they can get a head start in building credit and learn how to manage their finances. But they can also make unauthorized purchases and damage the parent’s credit.

But if they don't learn now, how and when will they learn...and you don't need a physical card they can now make payments on a cellphone or computer...

Psychotherapist Debra L. Kaplan said one of the greatest changes to an adolescent’s life is their new and growing relationship to money and spending.

And parents must teach children limits on any behavior, including access to credit cards, cellphones and other devices that enable online payments.

There is a risk that your child could make an unauthorized purchase although credit card companies do offer some protection against such things.  More importantly giving your child a physical credit card or making them an authorized user on your account comes with educating them on how to use the card responsibly, which would be a benefit in later life.

It might also be advisable to first start with a prepaid card or a debit card that’s linked to a low-balance account.