Halifax child and teenager account review
A handy guide to children's current accounts and savings accounts offered by Halifax, to help you pick the right one for you and your family.
As a well-established traditional bank, Halifax generally offers a comprehensive range of finance and banking products. Accounts for children and young people are among them.
In this guide we look at their features and functionalities, to help you figure out whether Halifax makes a good choice for your kid’s first experience with banking.
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What type of child accounts does Halifax offer?
Halifax has a couple of current account options for kids and teens. Its Expresscash account is for those aged 11 to 17 and it’s a pretty solid product for day-to-day spending. The account has no monthly fee, can be managed from the app, includes a debit card, and even pays a small amount of interest on your balance.
Halifax also offers Money Smart which is a bank account and savings account in one application. Money Smart is suitable for 11 to 15 year olds and comes with a debit card that can be linked to Apple Pay and Google Pay and no monthly charges. The savings account pays interest up to a set limit. Parents have full visibility of their child’s account activities through the mobile banking app or online banking.
The main catch with these accounts is you can’t open them until your child turns 11. If you want to start earlier than that, you might want to look at prepaid cards for children instead, which are available to children as young as six and usually come with some kind of parental control features. You can compare them on this page.
Also note that to qualify for Money Smart, parents will need to be an existing Halifax Reward or Halifax Ultimate Reward current account customer.
If it’s only a savings account you are after, Halifax lets you choose between three options, which are all meant for an adult looking to save for the benefit of a child:
- A standard easy-access savings account. You can open one for a child aged 15 or under, and it allows you to withdraw the money anytime.
- A regular saver. Again, this is for children aged 15 or under and you can pay in a certain amount every month for a year. The interest rate is very competitive but withdrawals are not allowed.
- A junior cash ISA. Halifax is one of the few banks offering this type of account, which guarantees that the interest it accrues is tax-free. It belongs to the child and money can only be withdrawn when they turn 18. We’ve explained a bit more about how they work and the rare cases in which they might be worth it on this page.
You don’t need to be the child’s parent or guardian to open an easy-access or a monthly saver savings account for them, but you will need their permission. You can only open a junior cash ISA for a child you have parental responsibility for.
How to open a child account with Halifax
Halifax allows you to open all savings accounts for kids online. The only exception is if you are looking to open a junior ISA for a kid who does not live at the same address as you, in which case you will need to visit a branch. Money Smart must also be opened online.
As for the Expresscash current account, you will need to do it in person. You can start online if the child is 13 or older, but then you will need to visit a branch to complete the application. For children up to 15, Halifax will require both their own ID and a proof of identity and address of the parent or guardian. If you are 16 or 17, you can apply for yourself and you will need to bring your own ID and proof of address.
How much does opening a child account with Halifax cost?
It’s free, and there are no monthly fees. For the current account, card payments and cash withdrawals are also fee-free, both in the UK and in the EU, which is pretty rare for a traditional bank. It means that the child or teenager can use their card to make payments in Europe without being charged any extra fees.
That’s not the case for the rest of the world though, so foreign transaction fees are still something to be aware of when travelling overseas.
Is opening a child account with HSBC safe?
Halifax is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and deposits are protected by the FSCS. So a child account is pretty much as safe as an account for adults from that point of view.
Overdrafts are not available for under 18s, so you don’t need to worry about debt.
Pros and cons of using Halifax for a child account
- Competitive interest rates on savings accounts, and different options to choose from.
- The current account is almost entirely fee-free, including for transactions made in Europe.
- Children can manage the account via phone, online or on the app.
- Children’s savings accounts can be opened online.
- Children can pay with their phone thanks to Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- No account options for kids under 11.
- For the monthly saver account, withdrawals are not permitted until the account expires one year later.
- Parents must have a current account to qualify for Money Smart.
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
Halifax’s accounts for kids and teenagers have a few features that make them stand out. Savings accounts offer competitive rates, are easy and quick to open online, and you can choose between different options that suit different needs. The Expresscash current account is pretty standard, but has everything you need. Meanwhile, Money Smart could be a good option if you want to teach your kids more about money and give them some independence, but still be able to monitor their transactions.
You can’t get an account for under 11s, although that’s not unusual for a traditional bank.
Get started by visiting Halifax’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.
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