Pen Air Level Up Spending account review

A checking account whose credit union membership is not location-based. But it has a steep inactivity fee.’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0


The Pen Air Level Up Spending account is geared toward children as young as eight years old. These young members can even use Online Banking to watch their money grow with them and get a debit card with parental controls. But you’ll want to watch out for its overdraft and inactivity fee.


Minimum deposit to open


Minimum deposit to open$0
ATMs30,000 ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Overdraft fee$29

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

Pen Air Level Up Spending account gives children and teens the chance to learn about money management from an early age. Its debit card has parental features like spend limits and text alerts. Plus, once your child is in high school, they can apply for a scholarship, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.

But other than these benefits, it doesn’t stand out when compared to other checking accounts for kids. For instance, accounts like Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking also earn interest, and debit cards like Greenlight offer even more parental controls, including chores and allowance tracking.

How do I open a Pen Air Level Up Spending account?

Open an account in eight steps.

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the provider site, tap the menu bar. Under Bank, select Youth.
  3. Choose Open a Pen Air Level Up Spending Account.
  4. Add your name and your child’s name.
  5. Enter your ZIP code and check off your eligibility qualification.
  6. Select your financial products, including the required Level Up Savings account and the optional Pen Air Level Up Spending account.
  7. Enter the personal details of your child and the account holder.
  8. Follow the prompts to fund the account.
  9. Eligibility

    Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for a Pen Air Level Up Spending account:

    • A minor child between 8 and 18 years old
    • A Level Up Savings account, with a $25 minimum deposit
    • Qualify for Pen Air membership

    Once your teen turns 18, the Pen Air Level Up Spending account will automatically transition into an adult Pen Air Federal Credit Union checking account.

    Required information

    You’ll need the following details to complete the Pen Air Federal Credit Union application:

    • Government-issued ID with your current address
    • Valid mailing address
    • Your and your child’s Social Security numbers
    • Full name
    • Date of birth

    Who qualifies for a Pen Air Federal Credit Union membership?

    You’ll need to be a member ——or an immediate family member — of one of the following groups:

    • Active duty or retired military
    • Civil service employee
    • An employee of a Select Employer Group

    What are the benefits of a Pen Air Federal Credit Union account?

    You and your child will enjoy the following benefits of a Pen Air Federal Credit Union account:

    • No minimum balance. While you need a minimum of $25 to fund your required savings account, there’s no minimum deposit needed for your Pen Air Level Up Spending account.
    • Debit card with parental controls available. Members as young as eight years old can receive a debit card with parental safeguards, such as spend limits and text alerts.
    • Financial education and money management tools. Pen Air has an education program and videos for teens to help them take control of their money. Plus they can keep track of their spending and budget through online banking or the mobile app.
    • Scholarship opportunity. Your child may apply for the Pen Air Scholarship worth up to $10,000 if they are the primary owner of a Pen Air Federal Credit Union account in good standing and they’re a graduating high school senior planning to attend an accredited college or university.

    What should I look out for?

    Like most checking accounts for kids, a parent or guardian needs to be a joint account holder.

    • Inactivity fee. While most checking accounts have an inactivity fee, you’ll want to watch out for it if you don’t think your child will be very active. If either of your Level Up accounts is inactive for 12 months, you’ll get hit with a $15 monthly charge.
    • Overdraft fee. Overdrawing from your account may incur a $29 overdraft fee.
    • Online banking requirement. If your child is under 13 years old, you’ll need to add yourself as an authorized user for your child to access online banking.

    Pen Air’s ATM network and fees

    Access over 30,000 ATMs for free, including:

    • Pen Air Federal Credit Union branches
    • Surcharge-free ATMs
    • Deposit-taking ATMs
    • CO-OP shared branches

    Pen Air doesn’t charge a fee for using an out-of-network ATM, but the ATM owner might.

    Compare Pen Air Level Up Spending with other checking accounts

    Compare other checking accounts for kids by fee, ATMs and minimum opening deposits.

    Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
    Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
    You can withdraw money from our network of 30,000 ATMs for free.
    Step banking accounts help teens and kids as young as age 6 to learn to manage money manage their money while building their credit scores. Earn $1 for every person that joins using your unique link or code. They'll also get $1.
    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. The teen also receives a free $5 when signing up and completing the savings goal.
    Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
    No access to ATMs
    Jassby is a virtual debit card for kids, complete with chores and allowance tracking.
    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.
    Nationwide First Checking
    Nationwide First Checking
    No access to ATMs

    Compare up to 4 providers

    How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

    Here’s how you can access your funds in-person and digitally:


    • Direct deposit
    • Mobile check deposit
    • ATMs, including Pen Air ATMs and specific deposit-taking ATMs
    • Transfer money from an external account


    • Debit card purchases
    • Paper checks
    • Online bill pay
    • Pay a person online
    • ATMs all over the country

    What other checking options does Pen Air offer?

    Pen Air also offers two additional checking account options:

    • Pen Air checking account. A personal checking account with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
    • Business checking account. A business checking solution with a team dedicated to your business needs, including account questions and loans.

    How to contact Pen Air customer service?

    Aside from stopping into a local branch for in-person assistance, your other customer service options include:

    • Calling 850-505-3200 to get support over the phone.
    • Connecting with a representative via live chat on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.

    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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