Best Banks for Teenagers

In our profit-driven world, savvy parents understand that setting your teenagers up for a healthy financial future is one of the best gifts you can give. If you teach them to navigate the financial system early, they’ll have the right tools to be more financially independent in the future.

Get your teenager started by opening their own bank account. Whether it’s a teen checking account or savings account (or both, ideally), the responsibility of managing money is a huge step in the right direction, financially speaking.

Now, let’s reveal our top banks for teenagers, including their best accounts.

7 Best Banks for Teenagers

Here are the best banks and credit unions with accounts designed specifically for teenagers:

Chase Bank

🏆 Top Accounts for Teens:

  • Chase High School Checking
  • Chase First Banking
  • Chase College Checking

 

Chase Bank is the largest bank in the U.S., with branches in 48 states. It offers a huge variety of accounts and financial services, including some of the best teen checking accounts around.

Chase checking accounts serve young people ages 6 to 24, beginning with Chase First Checking, Chase High School Checking, and finally Chase College Checking. These accounts are tailored to the financial needs of each age group and offer progressively more financial independence as your children grow into adults.

All three accounts include access to online banking, bill pay, and mobile banking. While Chase College Checking does have an (avoidable) monthly service fee, it comes with a $100 sign-up bonus. The other two accounts are fee-free.

Chase First Checking allows for the most parental control for our youngest kids, with optional spending limits and chore assignments included. High School and College Checking mirror adult accounts with features like Zelle and direct deposit.

Pros:
  • Checking accounts for ages 6 to 24
  • Branches and ATMs nationwide
  • Fee-free High School Checking
Cons:
  • No teen-specific savings account
  • Fees on College Checking
  • Must be a Chase customer to qualify

Capital One

🏆 Top Accounts for Teens:

  • Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account
  • Capital One Kids Savings Account
  • Quicksilver Rewards for Students (credit card)

 

Capital One is a large hybrid bank that offers traditional banking as well as high-performing, online-only account options. For teens, Capital One offers one of the best checking accounts for young people, plus a savings account for young people.

Its MONEY Teen Checking is a fee-free joint account that comes with a debit card, plus a banking app that teens and parents can use. Pair that with the Kids Savings Account, which earns a solid 0.30% interest rate. You’ll also find Capital One has some cool online tools that your teen can use to learn the ropes.

Not to mention, Capital One is known for some of the best credit cards in the business. Capital One’s student credit card can increase your teen’s financial savvy even more, by helping them safely build credit.

Pros:
  • Checking AND Savings for teens
  • High APY
  • Student Credit Card Options
Cons:
  • Hybrid bank means fewer branch locations
  • Fewer checking account options to choose from

Axos Bank

🏆 Top Accounts for Teens:

  • Axos First Checking

 

Axos is one of the top online-only banks in the U.S. It’s FDIC-insured and offers the same wide variety of accounts and services as a national bank, minus the brick-and-mortar branches.

A digital bank can be a great option for young people already deft with technology. Teens can easily monitor their account balance and account activity and set up real-time notifications for card transactions from their mobile devices.

Axos only offers a single checking account for teens, but it’s among the best you can find. It’s interest-bearing with a 0.10% APY, and account holders get $12 in ATM withdrawal fee reimbursements per month. There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum opening deposits.

The downside here is that with no savings accounts for young people, your teen has limited opportunity to work on their savings goals with any special perks.

Pros:
  • Interest-bearing checking account
  • No fees
  • Built-in spending limits
Cons:
  • No physical branches
  • No teen savings account

Wells Fargo

🏆 Top Accounts for Teens:

  • Clear Access Banking
  • Everyday Checking
  • Kids Savings

 

Wells Fargo is a solid choice for parents and teens alike. Another of the biggest banks in the U.S., it has nearly 5,000 branches nationwide and over 13,000 fee-free ATMs.

Instead of offering child or teen-specific accounts, Wells Fargo simplifies things and offers young people a slightly different version of its adult accounts. The kid versions share the same name and features as the standard version but do away with pesky account fees.

The two checking accounts available to teens are Clear Access Banking, which is a good fit for high school students, and Everyday Checking, which is better for college-age teens. Both accounts are fee-free for anyone 24 or younger and come with access to the Wells Fargo app for mobile check deposits and more.

You can also get started with financial goals early with a Kids Savings Account. The account easily links to your Wells Fargo account, so you can quickly make allowance or gift transfers to the Kids Account. Of course, like most big banks, Wells Fargo isn’t known for its savings rates, and Kids Savings doesn’t offer much in interest.

Pros:
  • Huge bank with lots of locations
  • Multiple teen account options
  • No monthly fees for teens
Cons:
  • Low APY
  • Few teen-specific features

Alliant Credit Union

🏆 Top Accounts for Teens:

  • Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking
  • Kids Savings Account

 

Alliant is one of the largest NCUA-backed credit unions in the U.S., and it’s available nationwide if you can meet any of its qualifying requirements. Alliant has some physical branches for those who live in the Chicago area, but for the rest of the country, you can consider it an online banking option.

For teens, Alliant Credit Union comes with two excellent accounts: Teen Checking and Kids Savings.

Teen Checking comes with one of the highest interest rates you’re likely to find in a teen checking account at 0.25%. The account comes with two debit cards — one for your teen and one for you. It also has no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees, and your teen can withdraw cash for free at over 80,000 ATMs. Plus, even if they can find an in-network option, Teen Checking comes with $20 in fee rebates per month.

Kids Savings is available to children as young as 8 and comes with a very solid 1.05% APY. All your kid needs to get started is an Alliant member as a joint owner, and Alliant will even cover the $5 minimum initial deposit to get started.

Pros:
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Very few fees
  • Tons of free ATMs
Cons:
  • Few physical branches
  • Need to qualify for membership

Bank of America

🏆 Top Accounts for Teens:

  • Advantage SafeBalance Banking
  • Advantage Savings

 

Bank of America (BoA) is one of the most popular banks on the East Coast and one of the largest financial institutions in the world.

Like Wells Fargo, BoA does not offer much in terms of teen-specific accounts but makes its standard accounts accessible for all ages. For example, with all BoA Advantage accounts, there’s no monthly fee if you’re 25 or younger.

With this in mind, the two best options for teens are Advantage SafeBalance Banking and Advantage Savings. SafeBalance Banking is a checkless account with no overdraft fees. Otherwise, it serves a pretty standard adult checking account. Advantage Savings is similarly simple, with a low-earning 0.01% APY.

Overall, the best perk of BoA is its educational tools for teens, which are extensive. Whether you’re hoping to learn about money management or investing, BoA comes flush with resources to help you level up.

Pros:
  • Branches and ATMs all over the country
  • Huge presence on the East Coast
  • Great educational resources
Cons:
  • No teen-specific accounts
  • Lackluster savings rates

USAA Bank

🏆 Top Accounts for Teens:

  • USAA Youth Spending
  • USAA Youth Savings

 

If you or a family member is on active duty or a veteran, you should definitely check out USAA. It’s easily one of the top military banks in the US and provides plenty of great banking features for the children of service members, too.

For USAA youth accounts, all you need is at least $25 for an initial deposit. This applies to both USAA Youth Spending and USAA Youth Savings. Both accounts are completely free of service fees, and you can easily make transfers from your own USAA account. Plus, both you and your teen can set up text alerts to keep an eye on those account balances.

USAA debit cards can be used at more than 60,000 free ATMs nationwide, so there is no need to worry about finding one near you. Unfortunately, USAA doesn’t bring the same energy to its savings rates for youth accounts, which clocks in at just 0.01% APY.

Pros:
  • Great for military families
  • Plenty of ATMs
  • No fees
Cons:
  • Only military and family qualify for membership
  • Poor savings rates

How To Choose the Best Account for Your Teen

Consider the following factors when selecting the best bank for your teenager:

Account Fees

As with adult accounts, you don’t want a ton of fees for your teen to deal with. Fortunately, most bank accounts geared toward young people are fee-free. However, there are exceptions, so always read the fine print and know what you’re signing your kid up for.

Ideally, a teen or “student” account should come with no minimum deposit or minimum balance requirements, no monthly maintenance fees, and no out-of-network ATM fees. This way, young people can focus on banking basics without getting nickeled and dimed.

Overdraft Protection

Think about the first bank account you opened. At that point in your life, were you at your most financially responsible? Probably not, and your teen isn’t either. This is why the last thing you want is for them to run into overdraft fees.

Part of the financial learning process is making mistakes. Teens shouldn’t be paying high prices for these mistakes with their limited funds while they learn. That’s why it’s important to ensure your teen’s bank has overdraft protection so one mistake doesn’t wipe them out.

Parental Controls

If your teen is under 18, a parent or legal guardian will need to serve as a joint account holder. Minors can’t own their own bank account, and as a co-owner, you accept the liability.

The plus side of this is that co-ownership allows you to monitor your teen’s spending and set spending limits if you choose to, which, in turn, helps guide them through healthy budgeting and spending habits. Some banks even allow for shared access to the account within a mobile app.

Educational Tools

A good bank for teens provides them with basic educational tools, like lessons on money management skills, and perhaps even some interactive, gamified activities. Ideally, these tools should allow your teen to learn in an engaging way. They shouldn’t feel like homework.

Talk to your kids, weigh the pros and cons of different banks, and take that next step toward setting them up for a bright financial future. They will probably thank you for it someday.

Frequently Asked Questions

What bank is best for a teenager?

It depends on you, your teen, and what you both need from a financial institution. All of the banks and credit unions on our list are great options for teens, but depending on the features and controls you’re looking for, one might stand out over another.

Can I open a bank account for a teenager?

Yes. In general, you can either open an account as the sole owner that your teen can access, or you can operate as a joint owner with your kid. Keep in mind that most banks will not issue a solely owned account to minors.

Which is the best bank for those under 18?

If your teen is still a minor, then you want to focus on banks that prioritize education and building good money skills. Unlike adult accounts, where you want to focus on a good annual percentage yield (APY) and other perks, the top features of a teen account should be learning and safety.

What bank can a 16-year-old use?

Lots of them! All of the banks I’ve covered here are available to 16-year-olds (with a parent or guardian as a co-owner of the account).