Barclays child account review
Barclays offers a wide range of current accounts and savings accounts for children and teens, so you have good chances of finding what you are looking for.
Introducing your kids to banking from an early age is a great way of teaching them how to save, manage their money and get organised. In a nutshell, it prepares them for adult life.
There are a lot of options out there, but choosing Barclays is a pretty safe bet, as it carries all the advantages of a big brand and also offers a good range of accounts for children and teens.
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What type of child accounts does Barclays offer?
The first thing you need to figure out when picking a child account is whether you are looking for a prepaid card, a current account or a savings account. Current accounts and prepaid cards are for day-to-day spending, such as paying for the occasional ice cream with friends or for stickers. Savings accounts are for, well, saving, usually for the medium-to-long term.
With Barclays, you have a couple of current account and savings account options to choose from, but no prepaid card. Specifically:
- Current accounts for kids and teens. Barclays has two different current accounts for under-18s, one for children (aged 11–15) and one for “young people” (aged 16–17). There aren’t huge differences between the two and both come for no monthly fee. However, unlike the young person’s account, the children’s account also pays interest on balances.
- Two different types of savings accounts. These are meant for adults who want to put money aside for a child’s future. You can choose between an instant saver, which allows you to pay in as much as you like, whenever you like, and a regular saver, where you are expected to commit a certain amount every month via standing order. They’re both instant access accounts, so you can withdraw the money anytime, and rates aren’t half bad.
The main gap in Barclays’ child accounts offer is the lack of a prepaid card or current account for kids under 11. These usually come for a monthly fee, have stricter parental controls and allow you to teach your kids about money from a very young age. If this is the type of product you are after, you can compare options on this page.
How to open a child account with Barclays
Depending on whether you already bank or not with Barclays, you can open an account in-branch or via video banking. More specifically:
- Savings accounts. They need to be opened by an adult saving for the benefit of a child under 18 (for the instant saver) or under 16 (for the regular saver). The adult operates as a trustee for the child and you’ll need your kid’s birth certificate. If you are the parent or guardian and already bank with Barclays using the app, you can apply via video banking. Otherwise you’ll need to book an appointment at a branch.
- Children’s current account. A parent or guardian needs to be present when opening the account. If they already bank with the Barclays app, it can be done online via video banking. If they don’t, they will need to do it in person, bringing ID and proof of address of the adult as well as your kid’s ID.
- Young person’s account. If you can provide ID and proof of address, you can open the account by yourself in-branch. If you don’t, you’ll need a parent or guardian. Again, if they bank with Barclays, it can be done via video, whereas if they don’t, you’ll need to go in person.
How much does opening a child account with Barclays cost?
All Barclays’ child accounts come for no monthly fees. For the current accounts, debit card payments and cash withdrawals are also free.
The only thing you really need to worry about is the foreign transaction fee. If your child uses the card on a trip abroad, expect them to be charged for every transaction or cash withdrawal.
Is opening a child account with Barclays safe?
Barclays is a fully licensed bank, meaning that it’s regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and deposits are protected by the FSCS.
Neither the children’s bank account nor the young person’s account offer overdrafts, so you don’t have to worry about your kid going into debt. However, unlike other cards, Barclays does not offer any particular parental controls, so you’ll mostly have to trust your child with the money if you let them use the card.
Pros and cons of using Barclays for a child account
- Good range of accounts to choose from
- No monthly fees
- Dedicated app that allows children to manage their own account
- Decent interest rates on savings accounts
- Kids can personalise their card with a picture of their choice
- Bank accounts can be linked to Apple Pay, allowing kids to make purchases with their phones
- No card or account for kids under 11
- Little parental control options
- Unless you already bank with Barclays, you’ll need to open the account in person
Alternatives to children’s bank accounts
If a child’s bank account does not sound like the right idea, then there are other options available.
- Prepaid cards
As a parent you can purchase a prepaid card for your child. These are aimed for children aged 6 to 18. Parents can top up their child’s balance via an app, control where they shop and also can teach them about good money habits.
Learn more about children’s prepaid cards
Barclays is a very solid option for kids’ and teens’ accounts, both in terms of savings accounts and current accounts. This is especially true if the parent or guardian already banks with Barclays, allowing them to sort everything out stress-free from home thanks to video banking.
Barclays’ child accounts are very straightforward and do what their names say without much fuss. The lack of fees (for the most part), decent interest rates and dedicated app make them competitive for a traditional bank. However, the lack of parental control options might make them more suitable for older kids. In any case there are no current account options for under-11s.
Get started by visiting Bank of Barclays’s website and applying for an account. If you have read this review and decided that these accounts are not the right choice, you can also discover other bank accounts for children and the option of prepaid cards for kids.
Frequently asked questions
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