Compare the top children's savings accounts December 2018 | finder.com
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Compare the best savings accounts for kids

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Explore accounts with competitive interest rates, minimal fees, mobile banking apps and more.

Kids are expensive, but a child’s savings account can help teach responsible financial behavior from an early age. These savings accounts are specially designed with low fees, relatively high interest and other advantages that make them worth considering when you’re looking to open a bank account for your child.

Our pick for college savings: CollegeBacker

  • Higher rates of return possible
  • Fees are optional
  • Friends and family can pitch in

Our pick for college savings: CollegeBacker

An innovative way to start saving for college with help from your friends and family.

  • No minimum balance to open an account
  • No contribution limits
  • May offer tax benefits depending on your state
Promoted

Features of the best kids’ savings accounts

Some of the special features available for children’s savings accounts include:

  • No linked debit cards or checkbooks that are best kept out of reach of children.
  • Free and easy deposits.

Interest rates compared

Children’s accounts usually have no ongoing fees and offer extremely competitive interest rates by normal standards. However, there are differences from one account to the next, so it’s a good idea to see how each one will affect your child’s balance in the long run.

This table shows the interest rates of each account, conditions that apply for those rates and how much interest would be earned over 12 months with a $5,000 initial deposit. Amounts are for illustration only and assume monthly compounding. Actual terms may vary.

NameAPYInterest earned over 12 monthsConditions that apply
Justice Federal Credit Union (JFCU) Grow With Me Account4.473% intro rate for 12 months, then 3.304% thereafter$228.29
Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account1.8%$90
Northpointe Bank Kids Savings Account1.5%$75.52
Capital One Kids Savings Account1%$50.23

Justice Federal Credit Union Grow With Me Account

While the Justice Federal Credit Union Grow With Me account seems to be the best option by far, you should always keep an eye out for the terms and conditions.

  • High starting APY. This account starts with an extremely high 4.47% APY and 3.3% regular dividend yield. After the first 12 months, the interest rate drops to the federal funds rate plus 1%.
  • Rates could go up. Rates automatically increase if the federal funds rate increases.
  • Account automatically converts. At age 18, the account automatically converts to a Student Rewards Checking Account.
  • High minimum deposit. Requires a minimum deposit of $500, up to a maximum of $10,000.
  • Parent must have a JFCU membership. Parent must have a Justice Federal Credit Union membership for the child to be eligible for the Grow With Me account.
  • Can’t withdraw funds for first year. For the first 12 months, the account is considered a certificate of deposit, meaning you won’t be able to make withdrawals without a penalty.
  • Penalty for closing account before age 18. All dividends are forfeited if the account is closed before the child’s 18th birthday.
  • Maximum yearly contribution of $1,000. To get the most out of the account, it would be better to deposit the maximum when opening the account — $10,000 — then $1,000 every year after.

Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account

The Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account offers an easy way to keep track of your funds with an efficient online platform and great mobile app. If you can stick with the program for the long run, this account can earn an impressive amount of interest over time.

  • High interest rate. With an APY of 1.8%, Alliant boasts that this rate is 20x higher than most banks.
  • Low minimum deposit. To open the account, you’ll need to make a minimum $5 deposit — which Alliant will pay for you.
  • No monthly fees. Sign up for eStatements to waive the monthly maintenance fees.
  • Mobile app available. Helps you easily track progress toward your savings goals, deposit checks and more.
  • Free Alliant Convenience Card. Easily make deposits through an ATM.
  • Option to open a Teen Checking account at age 13. This account comes with a debit card that can be linked to the savings account, allowing for easy transfers between accounts.
  • Minimum balance requirement. A minimum daily balance of $100 or more is required to earn monthly dividends.
  • Parent must meet eligibility requirements. You must meet eligibility requirements for Alliant membership in order to open this account for your child, which includes working at a particular organization, living in a qualifying community or supporting a partner charity.
  • Potential fees. Several fees may apply, including a 12-month inactivity fee of $10.

Northpointe Bank Kids Savings Account

The Northpointe Bank Kids Savings Account is specially designed for children, allowing them to start saving early.

  • Competitive interest rate. Earn 1.5% APY on any balance below $1,000, then an APY from 1.3% to 1.5% on any balance over that amount.
  • No minimum deposit. You can open your child’s account and start saving with as little as a $1 deposit.
  • Parent needs to open joint or custodial account. As a parent, you’ll need to open a joint or custodial savings account, as minors are not legally able to open their own account.
  • Early account closure fee. You can’t close the account within the first 120 days without paying a fee.
  • Dormant account fee. If you don’t touch your account for 24 months, you may incur a dormant fee of $5 each month.

Capital One Kids Savings Account

Capital One strives to provide a hands-on approach to saving through its mobile app and customer service. Representatives and learning resources can help you and your child set goals, determine the best plan of action and monitor progress from home or while you’re on the go.

  • No fees or minimum balance requirements. You’ll enjoy minimal fees with this savings account, and you also don’t need to hold a minimum balance in order to earn interest.
  • No minimum deposit. Open this account with as little as $1 or as much as $10,000 — the choice is yours.
  • Top-rated mobile app. Easily track the progress of your saving with Capital One’s mobile banking app that comes with parental controls.
  • Automatic savings plans and goals. Make regular deposits or send your child’s allowance on a schedule.
  • Must be linked to your personal checking account. You’ll need to link the Capital One Kids Saving Account to your personal checking account, which is how you must make deposits going forward.
  • Deposits are subject to a four-business-day hold. If you deposit a check or make a transfer from another bank, you may not have access to the funds for four days.

Compare with savings accounts for all ages

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Minimum balance to earn interest APY
$0
$0
$1
2%
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account.
$0
$100
$25,000
or set up a direct deposit of $100+ each month
2.25%
A super-high interest rate if you're in the habit of saving at least $100 per month or have $25K in the bank. From Nov. 27, 2018 through Dec. 20, 2018, CIT Bank will donate 100 meals to people in need.
$0
$0
$0
2.05%
Earn one of the highest interest rates without the fees.
$0
$0
$0
2%
The most common services and transactions are free with Ally Bank.
$15 per month
(can be waived)
$25
$0
1.8%
Earn one of the highest interest rates if you have at least $10,000 in savings, and access your money by ATM, check or bill pay.
$0
$1,000
$0.01
2.16%
With no maintenance fees, it's easy to grow your savings. Put your money to work with an online account from CIBC Bank USA.

Compare up to 4 providers

Fees and costs

Savings accounts for kids typically have fewer fees and costs than other types of accounts, but some may still apply. If you’re not careful, you might end up losing a significant amount of savings to fees and lost interest in the long run.

Fortunately, none of the accounts we’re looking at today have monthly service fees or deposit fees. And they all allow up to six withdrawals a month before charging you for them. However, you should watch out for minimum balance requirements, monthly statement fees and other charges.

Here, we look at some of the most common fees that could apply to your account and how to avoid them.

Justice Federal Credit Union Grow With Me Account

The Justice Federal Credit Union Grow With Me Account doesn’t have many unavoidable fees, meaning you can essentially deposit money and let it accumulate free of charge. That said, there are some fees that are avoidable:

  • Inactive account fee — $2.50 per month for accounts older than 24 months. Can be avoided by holding a balance of $300 or more.
  • Excessive withdrawal fee — $5, with a one-time allowance. Can be avoided by making six withdrawals or less per month.
  • Monthly or quarterly statement of accounts fee — $1. Can be avoided by opting for eStatements.

Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account

The Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account is designed for children and has nearly no unavoidable fees. While the account does require a $5 minimum deposit to open, that amount is paid by Alliant when you open the account. Here are a few avoidable fees to watch out for:

  • Monthly statement of accounts fee — $1. Can be avoided by opting for eStatements.
  • Inactivity and dormant account fees — $10. Can be avoided by maintaining a minimum balance.
  • Early closure fee — $10. Can be avoided by keeping your account open for at least 90 days.

Northpointe Bank Kids Savings Account

The Northpointe Bank Kids Savings Account also has fees that are entirely or almost-entirely avoidable depending on how you plan on using the account. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Dormant account fee — $5. Can be avoided by maintaining a minimum balance.
  • Early closure fee — $10. Can be avoided by keeping your account open for at least 120 days.
  • Excessive withdrawal fee — $15. Can be avoided by making six withdrawals or less per month.
  • Foreign check deposit fee — $45. Can be avoided by asking friends and family to send money through wire transfers, which are free to receive.

Capital One Kids Savings Account

The Capital One Kids Savings Account comes with only two fees to worry about, making it easy for your kids to save for college, a car and more. The only fees you’re looking at are:

  • Statement copy fee — $5. Can be avoided by not requesting paper statements from the past two years.
  • Excessive withdrawal fee — $10. Can be avoided by making six withdrawals or less per month.

Otherwise, you don’t need to worry about early closure fees or maintaining a minimum balance. You also won’t be charged to deposit a foreign check, though the paying bank may deduct a fee from the proceeds.

Other conditions to be aware of

Before deciding on any one children’s savings account, you should also take a look at the conditions that apply, including:

  • Age limits. Does your child only need to be under 18 years old, or are their stricter requirements?
  • Account transfer. Some accounts will automatically convert to a student or teen checking account when your child reaches a certain age, while others may require you to transfer the funds to a new account yourself.
  • Signatory requirements. Look into who’s required to legally sign their name to the account in order to have access to the funds.
  • Transaction access. Some accounts allow your kids to deposit or withdraw funds of their own volition, while others require a parent’s signature.
  • Eligibility requirements. Are there any special eligibility requirements to open the account for your child, like already being a member of the bank yourself?
JFCUAlliantNorthpointeCapital One
Age limitUnder 18Under 13Under 18Under 18
What happens to the account at the age limit?Automatically converts to Student Rewards Checking AccountOption to open Teen Checking AccountNot stated on websiteNot stated on website
Signatory requirementsParent, guardian or other adult with verified identityParent, guardian or other adult with verified identityParent, guardian or other adult with verified identityParent, guardian or other adult with verified identity
Who can make transactions?Not stated on websiteParents and childrenNot stated on websiteParents, and children with signature from parent
Special eligibility requirementsMust hold a JFCU membership and savings account with $5 minimum depositMust hold an Alliant membershipNot stated on websiteNot stated on website

Educational resources and kids’ programs

Many banks provide educational games, community programs, online activities and other ways for kids to learn about money. These resources can help your child understand the concept of saving from a young age and can help bring it all to life in a hands-on way.

Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account

Alliant Credit Union partnered with Visa to offer “The Money Guide,” an introduction to money management for kids ages eight to 12. Through a collection of games, calculators, worksheets and podcasts, your kids will learn the basics of budgeting, saving and borrowing — and how to apply these topics to their everyday life.

Capital One Kids Savings Account

While Capital One doesn’t have a learning center or guide to money for kids, it does have a great mobile app and online platform. You can use these tools to set savings goals, make routine deposits and teach your child the benefits of saving from an early age.

Justice Federal Credit Union

Though JFCU doesn’t offer a program on online banking, it does have one on cyber safety. The credit union teamed up with the FBI to offer their Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge, which teaches students in third through eighth grades how to recognize and respond to online threats.

Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com, comparing products, writing guides and looking for new ways to help people make smart decisions. He's a fan of insurance, business news and cryptocurrency.

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