Best Checking Accounts for Kids

Thanks to specialized accounts and apps that aim to instill a better sense of financial management in younger audiences, opening a bank account for kids is now easier than ever before.

While a savings account might also be on your mind, checking accounts for kids serves a different purpose.

It allows kids and teens to manage their spending money better – a skill that becomes increasingly important as they grow older.

Kids’ bank accounts come in all shapes and sizes, making it difficult to choose the right one.

This article will look at some of the best checking accounts for kids available right now and some of the top features you should consider.

In This Article

8 Best Checking Accounts for Kids

Here are the best checking accounts for kids that you can open today:

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

Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking Account

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; however, there is an NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) fee of $25. It’s important to note that Alliant is currently refunding NSF fees within a maximum of 2 days. This refund is temporary, with the credit union warning that it will stop issuing funds soon.

While the account is a checking account, it offers an APY (Annual Percentage Yield) interest rate of 0.25%. To qualify for this interest rate, you will need to opt-out from receiving paper statements and make at least one monthly deposit that does not originate from an Alliant account.

Once the teen account holder reaches 18 years of age, the account will automatically be converted to a joint Alliant Checking Account.

The primary account holder must explicitly remove the other joint owner of the account since the account doesn’t convert to a single account automatically.

Upon conversion of the account, the credit union will also send a new Visa debit card.

Axos Bank First Checking Account

As the name suggests, Axos Bank’s First Checking account is for kids looking to open their first checking account. The account must be opened as a joint account with an adult co-owner. It is open for teens aged 13 to 17.

The account has no monthly maintenance fee nor any overdraft or NSF fees. It also earns an interest rate of 0.10% APY.

There are account alerts, biometric authentication, and peer-to-peer payments, among other features.

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 ATM fee reimbursements.

The account also features a high level of security, including SSL encryption, 2-step authentication, and anti-virus and malware protection. The bank also monitors accounts for any fraudulent account activity, helping you stay safe and secure.

Capital One Money Teen Checking Account

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 the kid reaches 18 years of age, they can convert the account to a 360 checking account. However, the Money account will remain open if they don’t.

Like other checking accounts for kids, the account needs to be opened with a parent or legal guardian, effectively making it a joint account.

Both parent and kid get a different kind of app, with the parent having the ability to view and control the account while the child manages their finances.

The account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements, making it that more accessible. It also comes with a debit card for kids, which is connected to the account so that the parent can receive alerts and 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.

Chase First Banking

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

The account can be opened online or through the mobile banking app. It comes with a debit card and fee-free withdrawals for 16,000 ATMs in Chase’s network. The adult co-owner can set up category spending limits and receive alerts whenever the kid buys something or withdraws money.

The app includes some exciting features designed to help kids learn about the importance of money and budgeting. One such feature is the ability to set savings goals and track individual progress for each one.

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

Chase High School Checking

Chase High School Checking account is available for students aged 13 to 17. It has no monthly fees, Zelle, Zero Liability Protection, and 24/7 fraud monitoring, among other features.

Like all other kids checking accounts, a parent or guardian must sign-up as co-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.

Copper Banking

Copper has a slightly different proposition to what most of the competition is offering. Instead of just offering an account for kids, the whole of Copper is designed for teens. Founded in 2019, it has since amassed over 300,000 users.

Copper is not a bank, but their 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 comes with a Mastercard debit card, no minimum fees, no overdraft fees, and automated allowances. Copper also has a unique bonus system that allows account holders to send $3.00 to friends with Copper footing the funds.

If those friends join Copper, not only do they get the $3.00, but the account holder gets another $3.00 for themselves.

Step

Just like Copper, Step is also designed from the ground up for teens and teens alone. Parents need to act as sponsors and invite their teens to Step. The account has no monthly fees, ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees, and minimum balance requirements.

You can link step cards to Google Pay and Apple Pay, making it that much easier to shop. 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 will earn you a bonus of $5.00 for each successful referral. The account can also help teens build positive credit that will surely come in handy in the future.

Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking

Wells Fargo’s Clear Access Banking is a checking account that targets different users. The account is for teens and students aged 13 to 16 and those looking for an account without overdraft or NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) fees.

The account has a monthly service fee of $5.00. However, this is automatically waived for the younger cohort. There is also a minimum opening deposit amount in effect, which stands at $25.00

The account comes with a few bells and whistles that include tools for budgeting, spending, and cash flow management, Bill Pay, Zelle, alerts, free eStatements, and a few others.

An adult co-owner is required to open this account which replaces what was known as Wells Fargo Teen Checking.

Why Should You Get Your Kids a Checking Account?

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

With just under 70% of Americans not having $1,000 in savings, teaching financial responsibility as early as possible is very important.

A bank account goes a long way in helping kids learn how to set financial goals and, more importantly, how to reach them.

It can help them learn at an early age how to manage their personal finances and help them in the future when they get their first credit card, and so on.

With many kids checking accounts having an educational element to them, it might very well be one of the best decisions in your kids’ financial education.

What To Consider

Kids’ bank accounts come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to know what to look for in one.

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

  • Online Banking: Online banking can save you more than a few trips to the bank by giving you the facility to bank online.
  • Fees: Fees such as monthly maintenance fees can put a dent in your child’s ability to save up money, especially if their budget is not very high.
  • Limits: Limits and restrictions such as account opening deposits and minimum account balance can put some accounts out of reach or make them ill-suited for your intended purposes.
  • Mobile App: With kids being more familiar with smartphones than any other technology, a great mobile app can go a long way in ensuring your kids familiarizes themselves with their accounts.
  • Easy Transfers: The ability to transfer money quickly, along with a good set of parental controls, can help you stay on top of things as the joint account holder.
  • Interest Rates: A good interest rate can help your kid grow their money. It’s worth planning ahead, as it might not be a good enough incentive if the account balance is not that high anyway.
  • ATM Access: Good ATM access and fee-free withdrawals can be necessary if cash withdrawal is required from time to time
  • Learning Tools: Tools to learn money management and budgeting can give a serious boost to your kid’s financial education.

FAQs

Which bank has the best children’s account?

Many banks offer children’s accounts. The best one will be the one most aligned with your goals, so be sure to check different reviews before making a final decision.

For example, you might value parental controls more than ATM access or vice-versa, in which case the best account for you might be different than someone else’s.

Can I open a checking account for my child?

Most banks offer checking accounts for children. As a parent or legal guardian, you will be required to sign-up as co-owner.

That means you’ll need to provide your information, including SSN (Social Security Number) and anything else the financial institution might ask for during the sign-up process.

What kind of account should I open for my child?

It depends on what you are hoping to achieve. If you intend to teach your child better financial management skills, a checking account is going to be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you want your child to have a deposit account not for spending money, a savings account might be a better option.

Do bear in mind that some checking accounts include vital features that are usually only found in a savings account, including interest and savings tools.

At what age can a child have a bank account?

The minimum age for a bank account will vary by the type of bank 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.