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The best bank accounts for kids feature low fees, convenient access, and helpful money management tools. Kids can also earn interest with a savings account.
Opening a bank account on behalf of a child can be a great way to introduce them to the basics of money management. Online banks and traditional banks may offer checking accounts and savings accounts for kids, though they aren't all alike.
The best bank accounts for kids are ones that are easy to open, charge minimal fees, and provide multiple ways to access money. They can also come with added benefits, such as a debit card or a great rate on savings deposits.
Best accounts for children and teens
|Product||Best for||Account type||Minimum deposit||Monthly fee||ATM network|
No load fees
$4.99 per kid
$9.98 for up to 4 kids
Use any ATM at no fee
Chase First Banking
15,000+ Chase ATMs
Secured spending card
Credit union accounts
Checking and savings
$0, when you opt in to e-statements
$4.99/$9.98/$14.98, depending on services
Any ATMs that have a Mastercard, Visa Interlink, or Maestro logo
Capital One 360
Checking and savings
Best for teen checking: Axos First Checking
Axos First Checking is designed specifically for teens aged 13 to 17. This account features zero monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and non-sufficient-funds fees, with a low opening deposit requirement of $50.
Checking account balances earn interest and teens have access to more than 91,000 ATMs. Axos refunds up to $12 in foreign ATM fees monthly. Daily transaction limits of $100 for cash withdrawals and $500 for debit card purchases allow teens some freedom in spending while encouraging them to get in the habit of tracking transactions.
Best for no load fees: GoHenry
GoHenry is a reloadable debit card for kids as young as six that includes a savings component to help them reach their goals. Parents can set up a GoHenry account and add money with no load fees or transaction fees. There are no foreign transaction fees either, which is great if your family occasionally travels abroad.
There is a monthly fee to use GoHenry, but it's relatively low. Parents can add up to four child accounts for $9.98 per month and can sign up for a free one-month trial to test it out. It's also worth noting that kids can use their debit card at any ATM to withdraw cash at no fee for those transactions.
Best for traditional banking: Chase First Banking
Chase First Banking is a debit card that allows kids to spend, save, and withdraw cash at more than 15,000 Chase ATMs. There are no minimum deposit requirements or monthly fees and parents can open an account for a child aged 6 to 17.
Kids can use their Chase debit card to make purchases in stores or online. Parents can set spending limits and use alerts to keep track of where their child spends. If you'd like to set up a Chase First Banking account for your child, you'll need to be a Chase customer.
Best for building credit: Step
Step is a next-gen financial platform that allows teens to spend, save, and invest while building credit with a secured Visa debit card. Teens get access to a mobile banking app, a Step account, and a Step reliable spending card with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. There are no overdraft fees either.
The Smart Pay feature allows teens to build credit history as they spend, without racking up debt. Step uses your transaction history to report positive payment history to the three major credit bureaus. Teens can also earn a competitive rate on savings or start investing through the Step app with as little as $1.
Best for added features: Copper
Copper is a debit card for kids and teens that's designed to teach them about personal finance and money management. Parents can set up a Copper account and choose which controls they'd like to include. Kids, meanwhile, can use their debit card to spend or withdraw cash at more than 55,000+ ATMs.
Some of the added features include savings rewards; round-ups; direct deposit; and Divvy, which helps kids set aside money toward their financial goals automatically. Auto-reload makes it easy for parents to transfer money to their kids' accounts and there's also an investing feature for kids who are interested in building a portfolio.
Best for credit union accounts: Alliant
Alliant Credit Union offers a teen checking account and a kids savings account, both of which you can open online. The teen checking account is designed for teens aged 13 to 17, while the savings account is ideal for kids 12 or younger. Both accounts are meant to be jointly owned with a parent or grandparent.
Teen checking has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fees, and balances earn a decent rate. It includes a debit card and teens have access to 80,000+ fee-free ATMs. The kids savings account earns a highly competitive rate and there are no monthly maintenance fees when you opt in to electronic statements.
Best for parental controls: Greenlight
Greenlight is a banking and investing app for kids and teens that includes a debit card for spending. When kids use their debit card, they can earn 1% cash back which goes to savings. They can also get a boost with savings rewards, which allow them to earn up to a 5% bonus.
Parents can use the Greenlight app to pay kids for chores or good grades and set controls on spending. Real-time notifications let parents keep track of where their child is spending or when they withdraw cash. If there's one potential downside with Greenlight, it's that it isn't free. Monthly plans range from $4.99 to $14.98, depending on the range of features you'd like to have.
Best for savings tools: MPH Bank
MPH Bank, short for "Make People Happy" offers multiple bank accounts for people who prefer to manage their money online. The First account is for anyone ages 10 to 24 who's interested in saving or spending with a contactless debit card. There are no monthly fees and you can withdraw cash at 55,000+ ATMs fee-free.
Inside the app, kids can use the round-up widget to save money automatically from debit card purchases. Savings balances earn interest at a rate that's well above what the standard kids savings account offered by traditional banks pays. Teens who have a job can also get paid up to two days early with direct deposit and funnel some of their pay directly into savings.
Best for fee-free banking: Capital One 360
Capital One offers two banking options for kids: MONEY teen checking and kids savings accounts. The teen checking account is a joint account that teens can share with a parent. Teens get a debit card for spending, and both parents and teens can manage the account through the Capital One mobile banking app.
There are no minimum deposit requirements for teen checking or the kids savings accounts. The savings account earns interest and it's possible for parents to set up multiple accounts to fund different goals. There are no monthly maintenance fees or fees of any kind associated with either account. Teens also have access to more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.
To find the best bank accounts for kids, we compared checking accounts, savings accounts, and debit card accounts at top online and brick-and-mortar banks. Our final rankings reflect the banking options that rated best for low fees, convenient access, and solid features. We also considered the types of accounts offered and the minimum requirements to open an account when choosing the best banks overall.
How to open an account for teenagers
Opening a bank account for a child or teenager isn't that different from opening a bank account for yourself. Once you decide which account you want to open, you'll need to give the bank some basic information.
Banks typically expect you to provide the following for yourself and your child:
- First and last names
- Dates of birth
- Social Security numbers
You'll also need to share your phone number, mailing address, and email. The bank may ask for a valid, government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport.
Once you've filled in those details, the next step is funding the account. If you're opening a bank account for a child online, you can do that by linking an account at a different bank. You'll need to know your account number and routing number to schedule an ACH transfer for the deposit.
Depending on what's included in the account, you and your child may both receive a debit card. You'll just need to activate the cards and set a PIN before using them.
When to open a children's account
There's no specific age that's better for opening a children's bank account. You might open a savings account for a child as young as six or wait until they reach their teen years to get them a checking account or debit card.
Generally speaking, kids are ready for a bank account when they either become curious about how money works or have money of their own to manage. If you're paying your kids to do chores or rewarding them with cash for good grades, for example, it could make sense for them to have a checking account or debit card for spending and a separate account for saving.
Likewise, a teen who has a side hustle or part-time job can benefit from having a place to deposit their paychecks and fund their savings goals. The earlier you begin instilling good money habits, the more likely they may be to carry over those habits to adulthood.
How to choose an account for kids and teens
There are plenty of banking options for kids and teens and it's helpful to know how to pick the right one. Here are a few of the most important things to consider when comparing kids' bank accounts.
- Account types offered (i.e., checking, savings, debit card, etc.)
- Minimum deposit requirements
- Monthly fees and other banking fees
- ATM access
- Mobile and online banking access
- Features and benefits, such as savings tools or trackers
- Interest rate and annual percentage yield (APY), if the account earns interest
You may also be interested in parental controls if you'd like a say in where and how your child or teen can spend money. Some prepaid debit card options for teens and kids offer more controls than others.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can kids have their own bank accounts?
Kids can have a bank account if their parent or guardian helps them to open it. Generally speaking, you must be at least 18 to open a bank account on your own.
Can kids have their own debit cards?
Kids can get a prepaid debit card or a debit card attached to a checking account if they have a parent or guardian set up the account on their behalf. Debit cards for kids usually include some built-in controls that allow parents to decide how much they can spend and where they can make purchases.
What's a custodial bank account for kids and should you have one?
A custodial bank account is a bank account a parent sets up for a child. The parent retains control of the account until the child becomes an adult, which is age 18 in most states. Once the child is an adult they can take full control of the account. You might set up a custodial account to save money for college expenses or if you want to have control over your child's savings until they turn 18.
What's a joint bank account for kids?
A joint bank account for kids is an account that's shared by a child and an adult. For example, a parent may set up a joint bank account with their teenager. Both names are on the account but the parent is considered the primary account owner since a minor cannot have a bank account in their name alone.
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