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!).
An easy and fun way to pay your kids pocket money and teach them good money habits
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
Currently over a quarter of Brits (27%) say they have at least one bank account with a digital-only bank. This is a percentage increase of 16% from last year when 23% of Brits said they had an account with a digital bank. It is also over 3 times the amount of Brits who had one in January 2019 (9%).
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