Metro Bank child account review
With a cash account and a savings account that can be opened for kids and teenagers, Metro Bank is a straightforward but valid option to get them started with banking.
Metro Bank is a relatively new bank that has pledged to put customers’ needs at the core of its model. Unlike other challenger banks, it has a strong focus on in-branch services, which can potentially make it a good option for a family that values good old customer service over a digital-first approach.
Metro Bank’s range of accounts for children and teens isn’t very broad, but it does the job quite efficiently. Here we look at account types, features and fees as well as the pros and cons.
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What types of child accounts does Metro Bank offer?
Unlike most banks, Metro Bank does not really have any accounts meant exclusively for children. However, it does offer two types of accounts that can be opened by under 18s:
- A cash account. This is the simplified version of a current account. It comes with a debit card that you can use to make payments and withdraw cash in the UK, but not abroad. Overdrafts, as usual with children’s accounts, are not available. Direct debits are also not allowed. This account can be opened for children aged 11 or older.
- An easy-access savings account. This is a generic “young saver” savings account that can be opened by anyone under 21. The interest rate is not exactly spectacular, but money can be withdrawn any time (this is what “easy-access” means).
Your kid can get both these accounts and enjoy the full “grown-up” banking experience, learning both how to deal with day-to-day spending and with savings. The savings account also has a nice little extra feature that looks like a lot of fun: children can save their loose change in a money box, bring it to a Metro Bank branch every month and receive a “special prize” for their efforts.
Unfortunately, there are no savings accounts for adults who are looking to save for the benefit of a child. This is a pretty common product among other banks though, so you should shop around (some have pretty good interest rates too!). Also, if you would like to start early with your kids’ banking, here are some prepaid cards that can be opened for kids as young as six.
How to open a child account with Metro Bank
Both the savings account and the cash account need to be opened in person by visiting a Metro Bank branch. The good news is, unlike other traditional banks, Metro Bank’s branches have pretty long opening hours.
For the cash account, children aged 15 or below will need a parent or guardian to be present when opening the account. They will need to provide both their own proofs of identity and address as well as the child’s ID.
The savings account can be opened by an adult for a child up to the age of 10. Between 11 and 15, children can hold their own savings account, but they will need a parent or guardian to apply. If you are 16 or older, you can apply for yourself.
How much does opening a child account with Metro Bank cost?
Both accounts are completely fee-free. For the cash account, this means no fees for cash withdrawals and card payments either.
Keep in mind that you can’t use the debit card outside the UK and that cash withdrawals are limited to £300 a day.
Is opening a child account with Metro Bank safe?
As Metro Bank is fully licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, deposits are protected by the FSCS.
As we said, these accounts are not meant only for children, so they offer little in terms of parental control features. If you entrust your kids with the cash account’s debit card, you’ll mostly have to trust them with the money.
Pros and cons of using Metro Bank for a child account
- Fee-free cash account for daily spending that can be opened by a kid as young as 11.
- Monthly prizes to encourage children to save.
- The accounts can be managed online, via app or via telephone.
- The savings accounts can be held directly by the child.
- Not many accounts available.
- The savings account’s interest rate isn’t super competitive.
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
Metro Bank’s offer of accounts for kids is a bit basic. The products are not specifically meant for children, and it shows. There are no options to open a savings account for the benefit of a child, and rates aren’t very competitive anyway.
However, there are also some advantages. A savings account that can be held directly by a minor isn’t that easy to find, and Metro Bank prides itself on its customer service and flexibility. If you are not looking for a particularly sophisticated product, Metro Bank’s cash account and young saver account make for solid, fee-free options.
Get started by visiting Metro Bank’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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