Best bank accounts for kids

Looking for a new home for your child's pocket money? Here's what you need to know about the best bank accounts for children.

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With cash becoming somewhat old-fashioned, the idea of providing kids with their own debit cards isn’t as weird as it would have sounded 20 years ago.

With a child’s current account, you can set up a standing order instead of withdrawing from an ATM to give your kids their pocket money and you can show them how banking works in real life. They’ll appreciate the trust you place in them and love the feeling of adulthood and independence that having a bank account conveys.

If you’re considering this step, this guide is for you. We’ve gathered some useful information on how bank accounts for kids work, who they’re suitable for and how to compare them (you’re welcome!).

gohenry

An easy and fun way to pay your kids pocket money and teach them good money habits

  • gohenry is a debit card and app with unique parental controls for young people aged 6 to 18.
  • gohenry costs just £2.99 per child per month, and you can cancel at any time.
  • Join 100,000s of families and get started for free
  • No obligation. No upfront payment.
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How do bank accounts for kids work?

Children’s bank accounts basically work like adults’ bank accounts: they come with a debit card and can be used to make payments and withdraw cash. They can be a useful alternative to cash for pocket money and help you teach your kids how to budget.

Standard children’s current accounts can be opened for kids from 11 to 18 years old. Some banks also offer separate “teen” bank accounts, that can be opened by 16-18-year-olds.

What’s the difference between children’s and adults’ bank accounts?

Your child’s account won’t be especially different from your own, but there may be some extra restrictions to look out for, such as:

  • Withdrawal limits. Some accounts only allow relatively low daily withdrawals, or may require a parent’s signature to authorise transfers over certain amounts.
  • No overdraft. You’ll like this: bank accounts for kids don’t offer overdrafts, so there’s no way your child can go into debt.
  • Age limits. Aside from the age limit to open the account, there may be specific ones to use certain account features, such as the app or Apple Pay.
  • Benefits and interest. Many current accounts for children come with tailored benefits, such as debit cards with personalised design or discounts. Some will also pay interest on the account balance, giving a little boost to your child’s money.

Like most adults’ current accounts, current accounts for kids usually have no monthly fee and allow fee-free card payments and ATM withdrawals. However, there’s usually a foreign currency transaction fee for using the card abroad.

How about prepaid cards for kids?

Prepaid cards are the main alternative to children’s current accounts. While also offering an account and a (prepaid) debit card to hold money and make payments, there are some substantial differences:

  • Prepaid cards are digital-only. They’re usually provided by fintech companies, not by traditional banks, and you can do everything online (which can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on how you prefer to bank).
  • They usually come for a monthly fee. Unlike current accounts, which are usually free.
  • Expect a slick app with great features. Your kids will love it and will probably learn how to use it better than you.
  • They offer much more control. With prepaid cards, parents are able to see how and when kids spend their money and can sometimes set personalised limits.
  • Kids as young as six can get one. If you want to start their money education from a really early age.

All in all, the deal with prepaid cards is that you have way more options and control, in return for a monthly fee. For this reason, they’re probably more suitable for young kids than for teenagers, whom you can (usually) trust with more independence.

The main prepaid cards for kids are gohenry, nimbl and Osper. Click on the one you’re interested in to read our dedicated review and learn more about what it offers, how it works and how much it costs, or you can learn more about the best debit cards for kids.

Kid debit cards

Latest bank accounts and prepaid cards for kids

Revolut Junior

£0

Monthly fee

£0

Card delivery fee

£0

Cash withdrawal fee

Challenger banking brand Revolut offers an account for kids called Revolut Junior. Aimed at children aged from 7 to 17, as a parent you must already have a Revolut bank account in order to open a Revolut Junior one. You can then add money to the child’s account and use the mobile app to set controls on how much they can spend and where, using the accompanying payment card. There’s no monthly fee for Revolut Junior, although transaction fees will mirror those of whatever tier of Revolut account the parent has (Standard, Premium or Metal). The exception to this is ATM withdrawals, which are only free for the first £40 taken out each month, after which a 2% fee applies across the board.
  • A parent can digitally top up their child’s account with spending money.
  • Instant parental notifications are generated whenever the child makes a purchase with the prepaid debit card.
  • Parental controls mean rules can be set on where the child’s card can be used.
  • The child gets their own account and payment card, which helps teach them financial skills.
  • The dedicated Junior app lets kids check their account balance and transactions.
  • The parent has to be a Revolut account holder.
  • If you have more than one child and want more than one Revolut Junior account, you’ll have to sign up to one of the fee-charging Revolut accounts.
  • There are charges for ATM withdrawals exceeding £40 per month.
Monthly fee £0
Card delivery fee Free
Card transaction fee Free
Cash withdrawal fee Free
Loading fee Free
Replacement card fee £5
Network VISA

Starling Kite

£2

Monthly fee

£0

Card delivery fee

£0

Cash withdrawal fee

Starling Kite is a debit card designed for kids aged 6 to 16, helping to teach them good financial habits from an early age. You can only order it if you are a parent (or guardian) and already have a current or joint account with digital challenger bank Starling. A Kite card costs £2 per month, although it’s free for children to spend on it or make ATM withdrawals with it. It’s also free to top up the prepaid card from the parent’s Starling mobile banking app. Kite comes with parental controls, such as spending notifications, card freezing and merchant blocks, which are also managed through the app.
  • Monthly cost similar to other kids’ cards on the market.
  • No fees for topping up the card’s prepaid account.
  • Robust parental controls.
  • Easy for parents to manage from their existing mobile banking app.
  • Parents already need to be a Starling account holder to order and use Kite.
  • Children don’t get their own app or a way to monitor their spending/account balance.
Monthly fee £2
Card delivery fee Free
Card transaction fee Free
Cash withdrawal fee Free
Loading fee Free
Replacement card fee £5
Network Mastercard

Osper

£2.50

Monthly fee

£0

Card delivery fee

£0

Cash withdrawal fee

Osper is a prepaid debit card for children aged 8 to 18, and it’s linked to a mobile app which both parents and their kids can use. Parents load money onto the card via the app, and can also use the in-app parental controls. These include the ability to freeze the card, block certain merchants and receive alerts when their child spends money using the card. One unusual feature of Osper is that kids can save a percentage of their funds monthly, which encourages good financial habits. You can get four Osper cards per household, and they cost £2.50 per month each (after a one month free trial). You can also earn cashback if you shop at KidStart.
  • Both parents and children can use the mobile app.
  • Parental controls on spending.
  • Option for kids to put aside money as savings.
  • Up to four cards per household available.
  • Fees on a par with similar providers.
  • Cashback available through tie-up with KidStart
  • Fees for card use abroad - £2 per ATM withdrawal and a 3% surcharge on purchases.
  • 50p charge for an instant card load (outside of a pre-set automatic direct debit load each week or month).
Monthly fee £2.50
Card delivery fee Free
Card transaction fee Free
Cash withdrawal fee Free
Loading fee Free via DD/50p if not
Replacement card fee £4
Network Mastercard

Compare bank accounts for kids including prepaid cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Network Monthly fee Card fee Transaction fee UK ATM fee Loading fee
gohenry - with free custom card and one month free
VISA
£2.99
Free customised card
Free
Free
50p (one free top-up per month)
RoosterMoney Card
VISA
£24.99/yr
Free
Free
Free
Free for up to 3 per day and 10 per calendar month
Revolut Junior
VISA
£0
Free
Free
Free
Free
Starling Kite
Mastercard
£2
Free
Free
Free
Free
nimbl
Mastercard
£2.49
£0
Free
Free
Free
Osper
Mastercard
£2.50
Free
Free
Free
Free via DD/50p if not
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

How to find the best bank account for your child

Comparing bank accounts is always tricky, and the features you may want to look at when choosing an account for your child aren’t necessarily the same you’d value for your own account. To help you out, here’s our children’s current account comparison checklist:

  • Current account, prepaid card or savings account? That’s the first thing to figure out. The choice will depend on your child’s age, on what you’re planning to do with the account and on how much control you want to retain. You can learn what you need to know about children’s savings accounts on this page.
  • Interest rate. It’s a nice incentive to teach your kids why it’s important to save money, so it’s a good idea to look for an account that offers it. Most savings accounts’ rates will beat the rates offered by current accounts, but on the other hand, a current account gives your child more freedom and immediate access to the money.
  • App. Realistically, by the time your child becomes an adult, most banking operations will be done online. A slick, secure and well-functioning mobile app is an essential feature of any bank account these days.
  • Eligibility and limits. Make sure your child is old enough to qualify for the account and that you’re aware of any other limitations.
  • Costs and fees. Don’t forget to read the small print and make sure you know if, when and how much your child will be charged.
  • Related products. Some children’s current accounts automatically come with a savings account. It’s worth checking it out to see if it makes for a good deal.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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