Kids can manage their personal finances with this virtual bank account.Bankaroo was designed by an 11-year-old to keep track of how he was spending his allowance and other monetary gifts. Bankaroo isn’t a real virtual bank account. Rather it simulates a bank account so that parents have a safe place to teach their kids about saving and spending before they’re ready for a real debit card or bank account.
$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open
Heather Petty is a personal finance writer at Finder specializing in home loans, banking and insurance. After falling victim to a disreputable mortgage broker when buying her first home, she’s on a mission to help readers avoid similar experiences when managing their own finances. A self-proclaimed word nerd, her writing has been featured on MSN, Credit.com and MediaFeed.org, among others. Heather previously worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Expert reviewBankaroo is best for kids who aren’t ready for a real bank account. Similar to RoosterMoney, the account gives parents and teachers the ability to teach kids financial management skills without using real funds. Bankaroo is better for parents who want to add interest or match their child’s savings to help kick-start their savings goals. On the other hand, RoosterMoney is handier with its allowance schedule and doesn’t require your child to manually input their allowance every time.
But if your child is ready to graduate to a real bank account, consider opening a kids’ prepaid debit card like Greenlight that allows your child to track and manage real money.
How much does it cost to use Bankaroo?Bankaroo has three different plans:
|Bankaroo Online||Designed for kids learning the basics of managing money.|
|Bankaroo Plus||Designed for kids ready to learn how to manage separate checking, savings and charity accounts.|
|Bankaroo for Schools||Designed for teachers to use in their classrooms. It includes a teacher portal and mobile app for kids.|
How do I open a Bankaroo account?
Download the app or sign up through the website in four simple steps:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- From the Bankaroo website, select Sign up for Free.
- Enter your full name, email and password.
- Select Sign Up.
What are the benefits of a Bankaroo account?Bankaroo helps kids use their math skills to learn about money. Other perks include:
- Printable bank card. Bankaroo can email you a bank card with a QR code to print out for your child. But it’s not a real bank card: Your child can’t use it to purchase items, and it only serves to bring up your child’s Bankaroo account.
- Encourage savings. Add interest or even match your child’s savings to help them reach their goals faster and teach them the benefits of long-term savings.
- Finance tracker. Your child will need to manually input their allowance amount and what they want to use their money for, so that they can track their money.
- Set savings goals. Your child can set a savings goal and win in-app badges for meeting those goals. For example, if they want to save up for a game, they can set that goal and subtract funds from their account to go toward their goals until they meet them.
What should I look out for?Bankaroo continues to update the app, but keep the following in mind before you download:
- Not a real bank account. You can’t add real money to the account or link an existing account to track and manage your kid’s spending and savings.
- No automations. Everything you do through Bankaroo is manual. It doesn’t connect to a real bank account, so it works more like a budgeting spreadsheet that you manually have to adjust and track.
- Updates are slow. Customers have complained about how slow the company is to address bugs and glitches in the app. The version history supports that, with updates a full year apart.
- Online only. Very few account features work offline, which means you’ll need reliable access to use the app. For example, your child can set a savings goal or make profile color changes, but they can’t do anything that involves the account balance.
- Doesn’t support multiple currencies. While you can’t have different currencies within the same account, you can open multiple accounts for the same child, each with its own currency.
If you want an account that allows your child to manage real money, consider a prepaid debit card for kids. These accounts give you the ability to add real money to your kids debit card account and include features like chore tracking.
Is Bankaroo safe for my child to use?Bankaroo doesn’t manage real money, so you won’t need to worry about losing your money. The app has security protocols in place to make sure your child is safe.
You aren’t required to use your child’s real name or email address in the app. Also, all of the information is stored on a secure, encrypted server and only you control who has access to your child’s account.
Compare Bankaroo with other kids accounts
How do I get Bankaroo Plus?
You’ll need to activate a Bankaroo account and then upgrade to Bankaroo Plus through the app.
How do I add an account for my child?
Once your account is active, use the following steps to add a kids’ account:
- Type your child’s name, username and password.
- Select an avatar from those shown or take a photo to personalize one.
- Select a color for the child’s banner.
- Determine the account parameters by selecting a currency, setting an initial balance, and choosing whether your child can go into a negative balance or if they can add funds to their own account.
- Option settings include:
- Set allowance. Choose a start date and a dollar amount to automatically add money to their account weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
- Match savings. Enter the amount that you want to match per $1 saved.
- Interest. Enter the interest rate and if you want it to apply to their savings, their account balance or both.
- Click Add to open the account.
- Download the app on your child’s tablet or smartphone, or have them log in to the account on the Bankaroo website to get started.
There’s no age requirement for Bankaroo, but you’ll need the following to access the application:
- An Internet-accessible tablet, smartphone or computer
- A valid email address to sign up for a Bankaroo account
How old does my child have to be to start using Bankaroo?
While there are no age requirements, Bankaroo is best for kids who have basic reading skills. Most Bankaroo users are between the ages of 5 and 14 years old.
How can I contact Bankaroo customer service?
You can contact customer service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the contact form on the website.