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Compare kids bank accounts

Teach your kids good money habits with this kids banking guide.

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Our pick for a kids debit card: Greenlight

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  • Allowance payouts
  • Usage notifications
  • Parent-paid interest
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Every parent wants to teach their kids the value of saving, spending and giving. Thankfully there are banking products out there that let you monitor and control your kids’ progress as they develop good money habits.

What is a kids bank account?

A kids bank account is designed to help kids build their savings, learn about money and encourage them to save. One major perk of a kids bank account is that it typically has low to no monthly maintenance fees and no opening deposit minimums.

6 types of kids bank accounts

There are six different types of kids bank accounts you could open for your little one:

1. Education savings accounts

Also known as 529 plans, these types of accounts are set up to save for your child’s future education. The funds from these accounts are to be used solely for educational purposes, be it to cover elementary or secondary school expenses or college tuition. The number one perk of these savings accounts is that the earnings from the investment as well as any withdrawals from the account are not taxable for federal income tax purposes.

2. Custodial accounts

The two most common custodial accounts are Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) accounts and Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts. Since individuals under the age of 18 aren’t allowed to open savings accounts under federal law, custodial accounts were created. These accounts are considered to be the minor’s property, but are managed by an adult, the custodian, until they reach the age of maturity. Custodians are not allowed to make withdrawals from for their own benefit. Once the minor reaches the age of 18, the account is usually converted into a regular savings account. Some custodian accounts come with monthly fees, but offer ways to waive them. For instance, Bank of America’s UTMA savings account has an $8 fee that you can avoid by keeping a minimum daily balance of $500.

3. Trust funds

Contrary to popular belief, trust funds aren’t just for the ultra-wealthy. They’re also a great way for average families to ensure their kids make wise financial decisions after they’re gone. There are many different types of trusts, but they usually work like this: the person who sets up the trust is called the grantor. They decide what assets go into the trust, such as stocks, bonds, cash and property. They also decide when and how the beneficiaries get to use the money. When the grantor dies, the appointed trustee makes sure the trust is managed according to plan. Then, when the beneficiary reaches a certain age or milestone, the trustee gives them the money.

4. Joint checking accounts

This is a checking account that is opened up jointly by a minor and an adult — or parent and child. They both have access to the funds in the account, and the money is owned jointly until otherwise specified. With many of these accounts, banks allow parents to put withdrawal limits on the account and track their child’s spending habits to teach them responsible money habits. Most kids bank accounts, like USAA’s Youth Spending, offer no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

5. Savings accounts

Savings accounts like Capital One’s Kids Savings allow kids to learn the importance of saving money and financial responsibility from an early age. Many don’t have minimum opening deposits, and even more have zero monthly maintenance fees, which means your children’s money will earn interest even faster.

6. Prepaid debit cards

Prepaid debit cards for kids allow your little one to spend while you keep an eye on their habits. Most have robust parental controls that let you create chores, pay allowances, set spending restrictions and help them learn the basics of managing money. But prepaid cards for kids don’t earn interest and they typically have monthly fees or one-time card purchase fees.

How to choose a kids bank account?

Kids bank accounts are all vastly different. The right one for you depends on your child’s age, their financial maturity level and how you want them to use the funds. This table can help you decide which kids bank account you should go with:

Type of accountBest forEarns interestCommon featuresPopular accounts
Education savings accountParents who want to start saving for their child’s education.
  • Can be used for college, elementary or secondary school
  • Interest and withdrawals are tax free
Custodial accountAdults who want to gift their child money that can’t be touched until they turn 18.Usually
  • Custodian manages account while child is a minor
  • Converts to regular savings account when they turn 18
Trust fundsParents who want to leave a financial legacy behind for their kids.Depends on the account
  • Can hold stocks, bonds, cash and property
  • Grantor decides how the child can use the trust once they die
  • N/A
Joint checking accountsKids who are ready to start spending money with a debit card.Depends on the account
  • Comes with debit card
  • Jointly owned between the adult and the child
  • Child can spend wisely with parent’s supervision
  • Converts to regular checking account when the child turns 18
Savings accountsKids who are ready to have joint access to their savings.
  • Low fees & minimum opening deposit requirements
  • Child has joint access with a parent
  • Converts to regular savings account when child turns 18
Prepaid debit cardsParents who want an interactive way for their kids to learn healthy financial habits.
Parents can:
  • Digitally assign chores and pay allowances
  • Control how your child uses their prepaid debit card

Kids can:

  • Set savings goals and track their progress
  • Use the prepaid card for online and in-store spending

    Compare kids’ bank accounts and prepaid cards

    Compare top-rated prepaid cards for kids by fees and features. Or, click to the savings account tab and enter your deposit amounts into the table to see how much interest you could rack up with each savings account for your child.

    Name Product Annual or monthly fee ATM withdrawal Features
    Greenlight
    $4.99 per month
    $0
    • Allowance payouts
    • Usage notifications
    • Flexible parental control
    • Parent-paid interest
    Greenlight is the prepaid debit card for kids that parents manage from their phones with flexible parental controls.
    BusyKid
    $1.67 per month ($19.99 annually) includes free card; $0.67 per month ($7.99 annually) for additional cards
    • Competitive fee
    • Flexible paydays
    • Savings match feature
    The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Card gives your kids the freedom to spend anywhere Visa® is accepted, and parents see every transaction made.
    FamZoo
    $5.99 per month
    $0
    • Free trial
    • Real-time requests
    • Parent-paid interest
    Teach your children good money habits with this comprehensive prepaid card and account.
    Gohenry
    $3.99 per month
    $1.50
    • Free trial
    • Custom tasks
    • Spending limits
    Teach your kids to save with a reloadable card you control, but you pay $3.99 a month.
    Akimbo
    $0 per month
    $1.98
    • Automatic reloads
    • Send money instantly
    • Create up to five subcards
    Get up to five debit cards that you control from your main account — but it will come at a cost
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    Name Product Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned
    Alliant Kids Savings Account
    0.65%
    $0
    $5
    This Kids Savings Account has no maintenance fees with e-statements and a high APY with a minimum daily balance of $100.
    Capital One Kids Savings Account
    0.50%
    $0
    $0
    Kids Savings Accounts are fee-free and don’t require a minimum balance.
    BECU Early Saver Youth Account

    2.02% on $0 to $500
    0.02% on $500.01+
    $0
    $0
    Offers your child a premium interest rate on the first $500 in deposits.
    Justice Federal Credit Union Young Savers

    0.20% on $20,000+
    0.15% on $5 to $19,999
    $0
    $5
    Justice Federal designed the Young Savers Account especially for children to start saving money early and to learn money management skills.
    Bank of America Minor Savings Account
    0.01%
    $0
    $25
    Help a child build a savings account and learn about banking.
    Golden 1 Youth Savings Account
    0.10%
    $0
    $1
    This account allows members under the age of 18 the ability to make withdrawals and deposits and experience managing their own money, all while earning dividends.
    PNC 'S' Is For Savings
    0.01%
    $5 per month
    (can be waived)
    $25
    PNC's 'S' is for Savings account helps young children learn financial basics through an interactive, online experience with tips from Sesame Street
    Citizens Bank College Saver
    Citizens Bank College Saver
    0.05%
    $0
    $25
    A rewarding college savings plan that can make higher education more affordable.
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    Learn more about kids bank accounts

    From opening an account for your newborn baby to saving for college, explore various kids banking topics below.

    Compare bank accounts for your baby

    Opening a bank account in your child’s name can be a great way to save for future educational expenses and teach your child good money habits. But not all banks and credit unions allow you to open an account for a baby. Find out which ones you qualify for here.

    529 savings plans

    Education savings accounts, also known as 529 plans, are set up to save for your child’s future education. The funds from these accounts are used to cover educational expenses, such as elementary or secondary school expenses or college tuition. The number one perk of these savings accounts is that the earnings from the investment as well as any withdrawals from the account are not taxable for federal income tax purposes.

    Teen debit cards and bank accounts

    Teens can open savings accounts at most banks and credit unions, which can come in handy when they get their first job. Compare top-rated accounts for teens and find out how they compare to prepaid cards and traditional bank accounts.

    How to save for college

    College gets more expensive every year. The earlier you save, the greater the chance you have to combat student debt in the future. Uncover the average cost of tuition, fees and room and board. Then learn how to create a savings plan that helps your money go further.

    Banking programs for kids in the US

    There are a host of banking programs available for children in the United States. These programs are designed to educate and engage your child in money-related topics such as saving and budgeting. In addition, each bank offers different rewards and incentives that may be worth considering when looking for a bank account to open for your child.

    Program nameBest forFeatures
    BankarooAges 5 to 14This virtual bank account helps kids learn the basics about managing money. It’s only a simulation, so your child won’t be handling real cash. It’s best for kids who aren’t ready to graduate to a real kids bank account. Bankaroo teaches kids how to:
    • Set financial goals
    • Log and track spending
    • Budget and save
    Hands on Banking programK–12This program provides free resources for teachers who are looking to add financial lessons in their curriculum. Lesson plans include topics on:
    • Spending
    • Saving
    • Giving
    School Savings programK–12This program, approved by the US Department of Education, allows kids to make savings deposits at school through Websaver and features:
    • An online savings register
    • An animated budgeting app
    • Prizes for kids who save money throughout the year
    Fifth Third Bank Young Bankers ClubFifth gradersThis is a 5- or 10-week program taught inside the classroom. Kids learn how to:
    • Make basic money calculations
    • Create and use a budget
    • Manage a bank account
    • Navigate the stock market
    TD Bank WOW!ZoneK–12This program provides financial literacy lesson plans to teachers:
    • Kids 12 and under learn about about the value of money by watching videos, taking quizzes and playing games.
    • Kids 13 and up learn how to create a budget and develop lifelong saving habits.
    • Young investors learn about the stock market through a virtual stock market game.
    Teach Children to Save DayK–8This annual event is put on every April by bank volunteers who teach kids how to:
    • Make basic money calculations
    • Create and manage a budget
    • Develop good money saving habits

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