10 Best Checking Accounts for Kids in 2024

Thanks to specialized accounts and apps that aim to instill a better sense of financial management in younger audiences, opening a checking account for kids is incredibly simple.

While you might consider a savings account first for your child, checking accounts for kids serves a different purpose. It allows kids to manage their spending better and develop good money habits – increasingly important skills as they age.

Kids’ checking accounts come in all shapes and sizes, making it difficult to choose the right one. This article evaluates some of the best checking accounts for kids and some top features you should consider.

10 Best Checking Accounts for Kids

Here are the best starter checking accounts for kids to consider:

  1. Chase: First Banking
  2. Axos Bank: First Checking Account
  3. Alliant Credit Union: Teen Checking Account
  4. Capital One: Money Teen Checking Account
  5. Current: Teen Banking Account
  6. Chase: High School Checking
  7. Copper Banking
  8. Step
  9. Wells Fargo: Clear Access Banking
  10. Fidelity: Youth Account

1. Chase First Banking

  • Age Requirement: 6 – 17 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: not offered

Chase First Banking accounts are open to kids aged 6 to 17 whose parents or legal guardians already have a qualifying Chase checking account. Like other checking accounts for kids, there is no monthly service fee.

Parents can open an account online or through the mobile banking app. It includes a debit card and withdrawals at over 15,000 fee-free ATMs in Chase’s network. The adult co-owner can set up category spending limits and receive alerts whenever the child buys something or withdraws money.

The app includes some exciting features designed to help kids learn about the importance of money and budgeting, including the ability to set savings goals and track their progress.

Adults can also set up recurring transfers and assign chores through the app with payment upon completing assigned duties and tasks.

2. Axos Bank First Checking Account

  • Age Requirement: 13 – 17 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: 0.10%

Axos Bank’s First Checking account is for kids looking to open their first checking account between the ages of 13 and 17. An adult must open the account with the child, acting as the co-owner.

The Axos Bank First checking account has no monthly maintenance fees. It also doesn’t charge overdraft or NSF fees; kids can earn a 0.10% APY on their balances.

The daily transaction limit is $100 for cash transactions and $500 for debit transactions. Axos Bank will also refund up to $12 per month in domestic fee reimbursements for the use of out-of-network ATMs.
The account also features high security, including SSL encryption, 2-step authentication, and anti-virus and malware protection. Axos also monitors accounts for fraudulent activity, helping keep the account safe and secure.

3. Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking Account

  • Age Requirement: 13 – 17 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: 0.25% (if you meet requirements)

Alliant’s Teen Checking account is available for kids aged 13 to 17. It offers joint ownership with a parent or legal guardian who must be an Alliant member. The account has no monthly balances and no monthly service charges.

One of the main reasons Alliant’s Teen checking account is one of the best checking accounts for kids is because it offers an APY (Annual Percentage Yield) of 0.25%.

To qualify for this interest rate, you must opt-in to e-statements (no longer receiving paper statements) and make at least one monthly deposit that does not originate from an Alliant account, such as a direct deposit, monthly ATM deposit, or transfer from another bank account.

Once the teen account holder turns 18, the account automatically converts to a joint Alliant Checking Account.

However, please note that you must remove the other joint owner, or they will remain on the account. After converting to a regular Alliant Checking Account, the credit union will also send a new Visa debit card.

4. Capital One Money Teen Checking Account

  • Age Requirement: 8 – 18 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: 0.10%

Capital One’s Money Teen Checking account is open for kids starting at age 8, helping the bank reach a broader market than its competition.

Once 18, kids can convert the Money Teen Checking Account to a 360 Checking account, Capital One’s standard checking account. However, the Money account will remain open if they don’t, unlike some banks that automatically close the account when kids turn 18.

Like most checking accounts for kids, the account must be opened with a parent or legal guardian, making it a joint account.

The apps for parents and kids look slightly different, with parents able to view and control the account while the child manages their finances.

The account has no monthly fees and minimum balance requirements, making it easy for kids to learn to manage their finances. There is no minimum opening deposit amount, either. It also includes a debit card for kids connected to the account so parents can receive alerts and use features such as card lock and unlock.

Adult co-owners can link any bank account to transfer funds, and funds earn an interest rate of 0.10% APY. Kids can use the debit card fee-free from any of the 70,000+ ATMs in the bank’s network. It’s important to note that the account is only available online.

5. Current

  • Age Requirement: Up to 18 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: not offered

The Current Teen Debit Card allows teens financial freedom while giving parents the visibility they desire to help kids learn how to manage money.

Current is not a bank but still operates like a standard checking account. Parents must have an existing linked Current account to create an account for their teens. After linking the accounts, parents can easily transfer money, assign chores, and automate allowance payments.

The Current Teen Banking account comes with a linked Visa debit card that your teen can use for purchases or to access over 40,000 Allpoint ATMs. They can shop with the card, but parents can block purchases at specific merchants or set spending limits.

6. Chase High School Checking

  • Age Requirement: 13 – 17 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: not offered

The Chase High School Checking account is available for students aged 13 to 17. It has no monthly fees and includes features like Zelle, zero liability protection, and 24/7 fraud monitoring.

Like all other checking accounts for kids, a parent or guardian must sign up as a joint owner and link their personal checking account to the High School Checking account.

Unfortunately, the only way to open this account is by visiting a Chase branch since you cannot open it online.

7. Copper Banking

  • Age Requirement: Up to 18 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: not offered

Copper has a different mission than most financial institutions. Copper’s main focus is banking for kids. Founded in 2019, it has since amassed over 800,000 users.

Copper is not a bank, but its account works like a checking account. It’s also worth mentioning that while Copper is not a member FDIC institution, it is FDIC-insured through Evolve Bank & Trust – which acts as its partner.

The account includes a Mastercard debit card, no minimum fees, no overdraft fees, automated allowances, and early direct deposit of your paycheck.

8. Step

  • Age Requirement: Under 18 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: not offered

Step is a banking app for teens that works similarly to checking accounts for kids but with additional features. Parents need to act as sponsors and invite their teens to Step. The account has no monthly fees, ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements.

You can link Step cards to Google Pay and Apple Pay, making shopping much easier. You can also set up a direct deposit and link bank accounts and debit cards to ensure there is always enough money in the account.

Inviting people to Step with your unique referral link will earn you a bonus of $5 for each successful referral. The account can also help teens build positive credit to help them in the future.

9. Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking

  • Age Requirement: 13 – 17 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $5 (avoidable)
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: not offered

Wells Fargo’s Clear Access Banking isn’t just a checking account for kids but also a second-chance checking account for adults. The account is for teens and students aged 13 to 17 and those looking for an account without overdraft or NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) fees.

The account has a monthly service fee of $5. However, Wells Fargo automatically waives it for customers ages 13 – 24. Keep in mind there is a $25 minimum opening deposit for this account.

The account includes features such as a digital wallet, Zelle, mobile deposit, and online card control.

An adult co-signer is required to open this account, which replaced Wells Fargo Teen Checking.

10. Fidelity® Youth Account

  • Age Requirement: 13 – 17 years old
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • APY: not offered

The Fidelity® Youth Account is another excellent option for teaching kids about finances with the bonus of teaching them about investing.

While other accounts focus on teaching teens to build savings, this account allows kids to learn about the core concepts of investing. Kids can use their Fidelity® Youth Account to begin trading through the stock market, ETFs, and Fidelity mutual funds, starting with just $1.

Fidelity® has excluded riskier investments, like penny stocks and cryptocurrencies, to prevent teens from losing money on their investments.

When the youth account holder turns 18, they can convert the account into a standard Fidelity® brokerage account. The adult co-owner will no longer be on the account.

Fidelity® also offers educational resources that teens can access through the youth brokerage account. Teens can learn about compound growth, investing, and sound financial habits.

Why Should You Get Your Kids a Checking Account?

It may seem like a big step to get your kid or kids a checking account – after all, some full-grown adults do not have a checking account. But that is precisely the point.

With only 48% of Americans holding enough money in savings for emergencies, teaching financial responsibility and good spending habits as early as possible is very important. A checking account goes a long way in helping kids learn how to set financial goals and, more importantly, how to reach them.

It can help kids learn at an early age how to manage their personal finances and help them in the future when they start making larger financial decisions. With many checking accounts for kids, including an educational aspect, it might be one of the best decisions in your kids’ financial education.

Choosing the Best Kids Checking Account

While not all features and perks might be important to you, knowing what is generally available can help you make a better decision when choosing an account.

  • Online Banking: Online banking can save you more than a few trips to the bank, making it easier to manage money.
  • Fees: Fees such as monthly maintenance fees can dent your child’s ability to save money, especially if their budget is not very high.
  • Limits: Limits and restrictions such as account opening deposits and minimum account balance can make some accounts inaccessible for teens.
  • Mobile App: Mobile deposit, tracking savings, and transferring money are just a few of the key features mobile banking offers. Since most teens have a smartphone and use it often, it could be a good way to help them stay on track.
  • Easy Transfers: The ability to transfer money quickly and solid parental controls can help you stay on top of the account as the joint account holder.
  • Interest Rates: Compound interest helps your child’s funds grow. Checking accounts don’t have very high APYs, but something is better than nothing.
  • ATM Access: Ensure the in-network ATMs are near you so your child can avoid unnecessary fees.
  • Learning Tools: Tools to learn money management and budgeting can give a serious boost to your kid’s financial education.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I open a checking account for my kids?

Most banks offer checking accounts for children. You must sign up as a co-owner of your child’s account as a parent or legal guardian. Some banks also require you to have an account at the bank to open an account for your child.

Can kids under 13 have a checking account?

Yes, but the parent or legal guardian must open the account for a child. The Capital One MONEY account is available to kids ages eight and up, and the Chase First Banking Account is available to kids ages six and older.

Which bank has the best children’s account?

Many banks offer children’s accounts. The best checking accounts for kids are the accounts most aligned with your goals. Check the account’s features fees and read reviews before making a final decision. For example, you might value parental controls more than ATM access or vice-versa, in which case what you consider the best option may differ from someone else’s ideas.

At what age can a child have a checking account?

The minimum age eligibility for a checking account varies by the type of account and the bank or the financial institution itself. You should be able to find accounts for children of all ages, but the account structure may vary.

What does it mean to open a joint checking account for my child?

Most of the best checking accounts for kids under 18 require a co-owner or joint ownership, typically the parent or legal guardian. This means that as a parent, you can access the account just as the child does. You may also set daily limits or block specific merchants to help your child manage their finances.

What if my child overdrafts their checking account?

Every bank is different in how it handles overdraft protection. I would read the bank’s overdraft policy before opening a checking account for kids. Don’t assume they offer protection or will decline purchases that exceed your child’s balance.

Will my child get a debit card with their checking account?

Yes, most checking accounts for kids include a kids debit card for purchases and ATMs. I recommend looking at the parental controls the card includes to see what limits you can set to help your child learn about finances.

What kind of account should I open for my child?

It depends on what you are hoping to achieve. A checking account will be your best bet if you intend to teach your child better financial management skills. On the other hand, if you want your child to have a deposit account, not for spending money, a kid’s savings account might be a better option.

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