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:
Digital challenger bank Monzo has launched a new Premium tier for its current account. We take a look at the cost and what’s on offer.
Are you aged over 50 and looking for an easy access account for your savings? Our guide examines how you can choose the best option.
Aiming to join forces with a partner to save for a shared financial goal? Then a joint savings account could be what you’re looking for.
In this guide, you’ll learn the key differences between Tide and Starling business bank accounts and which is most likely to suit you.
Find out the different types of bank accounts for your teenager and how to choose the right one.
Here’s how we came up with our ratings for kids debit cards and those we picked as best for different categories of use.
Find out what the best bank account is for packaged accounts, basic accounts and cashback accounts.
Wondering what to do with £50k that has just dropped into your lap? Read our guide for some thoughts on how to spend it well.
Discover the alternatives to Monese and how they compare to this mobile bank account.
This guide evaluates the alternatives to Chip, so you can make the best choice for automated savings.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.