Golden 1 New Generation Checking review

Free checking account for teens with checking-writing capabilities.’s rating: 3.3/ 5


Golden 1 New Generation Checking is for teens between the ages 13 and 17. There’s no minimum deposit or monthly maintenance fee, but you’ll need to open a Golden 1 Regular Savings account before signing up.

$0 per month





Minimum deposit to open


Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$2
Overdraft fee$30

Review by

Kimberly Ellis is a writer at Finder. She hails from New York City with a BA from Queens College and a New York State teaching certificate. After teaching in both public and private schools, Kimberly decided to take the world by storm and dive into the media industry — where she covers everything from home loans and investing to K–12 education and shopping. She’s also an aspiring polyglot, always in a book and forever on the hunt for the perfect classic red lipstick.

Expert review

The Golden 1 New Generation Checking account’s lack of monthly maintenance fees and minimum deposits make it a good option for teens as young as 13. Plus, once your child turns 18, the account will automatically convert into a free checking account, so their bank account will grow with them.

Compared to other checking accounts for kids, there are other standout accounts out there. For instance, an Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking account is also free and requires no minimum deposit. But it stands out for its ability to earn interest. It earns up to 0.25% APY when you opt into e-statements and make at least one deposit a month.

How do I open a Golden 1 New Generation Checking account?

To open a Golden 1 New Generation Checking account, you’ll need to become a Golden 1 Credit Union member and open a Golden 1 Savings account with a $1 minimum deposit.

Apply online in seven steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. Select Checking and Savings from the navigation menu. Then select Checking Accounts.
  3. Choose New Generation Checking and then Apply Online.
  4. Choose the account type and add your name and your child’s full name. Then select Continue.
  5. Select whether you live or work in California and if you’re a current Golden 1 member.
  6. If you’re not a current member, choose a savings account to open and decide if you want to include an ATM card with the savings account. Then select Add Account and Continue.
  7. Add your child’s information, including their Social Security number and date of birth. Include your address, email and other contact details. Then select Continue to fund the account and continue with the application process.

Account eligibility

Parents or legal guardians must sign as a joint account owner if their teen is under the age of 18.

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Teen applicant ages 13 to 17
  • US citizen or resident alien
  • Live or work in California
  • Golden 1 Regular Savings account owner with a $1 minimum deposit

Required information

You’ll need to provide basic personal information with your application, including:

  • Name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport

What are the benefits of a Golden 1 checking account?

The Golden 1 New Generation Checking Account is one of three checking accounts offered by Golden 1 to help kids learn how to manage money. Like most checking accounts, your teen can use the account to deposit funds and withdraw money and it comes with a debit card printed with your teenager’s name.

Other benefits specific to the Golden 1 New Generation Checking include:

  • No monthly fee. Like most checking accounts for kids, you won’t need to worry about paying a monthly fee to maintain this account.
  • No minimum deposit is required. Although you’ll need to fund a Golden 1 savings account with at least $1, the Golden 1 New Generation Checking account doesn’t have an opening deposit requirement.
  • Check-writing capabilities. Write checks from this account, and your first 40 checks are on the house.
  • Converts into a free checking account. Similarly to other kids’ accounts, this one converts into a regular checking account once your child turns 18. Although this is where some banks start charging a fee, Golden 1 converts to a free checking account.

What should I look out for?

New Generation Checking is a good starter account for teenagers, though potential drawbacks include steep penalties for overdrafts:

  • Limited to people who live or work in California. To open an account, you’ll need to meet Golden 1 Credit Union’s membership requirement, which requires you to live or work in California.
  • Requires a Regular Savings account. To open this checking account, you’ll also need to sign up for the Golden 1 Regular Savings account with a $1 deposit. Although your application allows you to pair this checking account with a Youth Savings account, only the Regular Savings account is eligible to meet membership eligibility requirements.
  • Overdraft fee. If a transaction drops your account below $0, Golden 1 will charge you a $30 overdraft fee, with a maximum of six overdraft fees per day.

Golden 1’s ATM network and fees

The Golden 1 New Generation Checking account comes with a debit card for your teen to make deposits, withdraw money or check account balances at any of Golden 1’s 240 ATMs in California. Free account access also extends across an additional 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide, including convenience stores and pharmacies like 7-Eleven and Costco.

But using an out-of-network ATM will cost $2 per transaction, on top of any fee the ATM owner charges.

Compare Golden 1 New Generation Checking to other stundent checking accounts

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Axos Bank First Checking
Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank First Checking
Made for teens ages 13 to 17, this account earns 0.1% APY and has no monthly fees.
Chase First Banking℠
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Chase First Banking℠
16,000 ATMs nationwide
A debit card for teens and kids with a set of digital tools to help them learn good money habits in the Chase Mobile app. Requires parent to have or open a Chase checking account.
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Copper is a digital checking account that teaches your teen healthy money habits through interactive quizzes and an intuitive mobile app.
Current teen banking
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Current teen banking
Over 55,000 free in-network ATMs
Current connects your money to friends, family, brands, and experiences that matter.
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
No access to ATMs
Jassby is a virtual debit card for kids, complete with chores and allowance tracking.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

In addition to ATM access, you or your teen can deposit or withdraw money in several ways:


  • Remote check deposits via Golden 1’s mobile banking app
  • Incoming ACH transfers, including direct deposits
  • Incoming wire transfers
  • Transfer from another Golden 1 member


  • Paper checks
  • Debit card
  • Outgoing ACH transfers
  • Outgoing wire transfers
  • Transfer to another Golden 1 member

What other checking options does Golden 1 Credit Union offer?

This credit union offers several other types of checking accounts to its members:

Account nameType of account Highlights
Free CheckingPersonal checking accountEnjoy no monthly fees, but it doesn’t earn interest.
Premium CheckingPersonal checking accountEarn 0.1% APY with a minimum $1,000 balance.
Golden 1 Credit Union Freedom CheckingChecking account for high school students who are 16 or 17 and maintain at least a B grade point average. Free checking account but it doesn’t entice students to keep earning good grades as you only need proof of grades during the application process.
Student CheckingChecking account for college studentsNo monthly fees, but it converts into the Free Checking account after five years.

How to contact Golden 1 Credit Union customer service?

Get support for your Golden 1 New Generation Checking account by:

  1. Calling 877-465-3361 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
  2. Emailing for a response within a business day.
  3. Visiting your nearest Golden 1 Credit Union branch for in-person help.

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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