Setting your teenager up with their own checking account is an excellent way to kick off their financial education. Many teen accounts offer regular banking features such as the ability to transfer money and deposit checks, as well as smart financial tools to help with budgeting and goal-setting. In this article, learn about some of the best bank accounts for teens, plus prepaid debit cards that are suitable for under 13s.
There are several options to choose from when it comes to checking accounts for children (that also include a debit card). Generally, they must be opened with a parent as a joint account holder. Check out some quick facts about three of the best child bank accounts around currently, so you can compare them:
Capital One® MONEY Teen Checking Account
- Suitable for children aged: 13-17.
- Monthly fee: $0 and no minimums.
- Interest paid: Yes – 0.25% APY on balances held.
- ATM debit card usage: Free at 39,000 Capital One and Allpoint® ATMs.
- Parental control: Yes – parents have the same access as the teen, except that they won’t get a debit card. It’s possible to set up text alerts too.
More details on the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account can be found here.
Chase High School Checking Account
- Suitable for students aged: 13-17.
- Monthly fee: Can be $0 but conditions apply. A $25 minimum deposit is needed to open an account.
- Interest paid: None.
- ATM debit card usage: Free at 16,000 ATMs.
- Parental control: Details of parental access aren’t entirely clear on Chase’s website. However, the High School Checking Account must be linked to the parent/guardian’s personal checking account, so the likelihood is that parents will have a complete overview.
View more information on the Chase High School Checking Account.
Alliant Teen Checking Account
- Suitable for children aged: 13-17
- Monthly fee: $0 and no minimums.
- Interest paid: Yes – 0.65% APY on balances held (conditions apply).
- ATM debit card usage: 80,000 fee-free ATMs plus rebates of up to $20 per month for out-of-network ATMs.
- Parental control: Yes – parents have full access and will receive their own debit card. Daily card limits are in place, for example, $100 for cash withdrawals and $300 for spending. Account alerts can be set up.
Learn more about the Alliant Teen Checking Account.
Other checking accounts for children
In addition to the three above, do check out alternatives offered by other banks, such as the Bank of America Advantage Banking account. Students who are enrolled in high school, college or university (up to the age of 24) can benefit from the monthly maintenance fee being waived on this product.
If you’re looking for a prepaid debit card to give your child some financial responsibility, rather than a checking account and all that goes with one of those, you might want to check out the following:
Greenlight® – kids of all ages are eligible for a Greenlight debit card. As a parent, you’ll load funds onto the Greenlight card, specifying how the money can be spent, e.g., in certain stores. Your child can then use the card when making purchases. When the funds run out, their card gets declined (and they can request more money)! Greenlight costs $4.99 per month.
BusyKid – more than a prepaid debit card, Busykid allows children to earn money through chores (or allowances) and then enables them to save, share, spend and invest their earnings. It costs $14.99 per family per year to use the platform and an additional $5 per year for a dedicated children’s debit card.
FamZoo – it works as a “virtual family bank” with debit cards for all the family (even pre-schoolers). Parents can encourage their kids to earn money by transferring funds for completed chores or good behavior. Both parents and kids can access the FamZoo app to set up savings goals and track expenditure. FamZoo costs $5.99 per month, although you can get a better deal if you’re prepared to pay upfront for say 6 months in advance.
One of the best financial lessons you can give your teenager is to let them manage their own money, with you on hand to offer guidance and support – before they enter the big wide world on their own!
That’s where teen checking accounts and prepaid debit cards for kids are useful. They allow you to give your child some financial responsibility and the room to make mistakes, while you retain overall control.
Bear in mind that prepaid debit cards for kids are generally more costly than teen checking accounts, but if you want to get your child involved in money decisions from a young age, they’re worth considering.
*The facts and figures included in this article are correct at the time of publishing.