NatWest child account review
Whether you are looking for a way to save for your kid's future or for their first debit card, NatWest has an account that can work for you.
“Child account” is a pretty generic umbrella term that can refer both to a savings account or to a current account for children and teenagers. So try and figure out what it is exactly that you need before picking a bank.
Either way, while NatWest’s range of current accounts for young people is not overly broad, it has suitable options for (almost) all needs. Here’s what they are.
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What type of child accounts does NatWest offer?
NatWest has two accounts for kids and teenagers:
- A current account. Current accounts are for day-to-day spending and come with a debit card to make payments and withdraw cash. Looking to streamline your kid’s pocket money? It’s a current account you need. NatWest’s can be opened for kids aged 11 to 17, has no monthly fees and even pays interest on balances.
- A savings account. This is an easy-access savings account, meaning you can withdraw as much as you like from it whenever you like. The interest rate is not especially good, but the account can both be opened by the child (once they are at least 7) or an adult who wants to save for a child.
These two options cover a good range of needs. NatWest is especially good if you want to teach your kid about how to save for the long term because it lets you open a savings account in their name. Many banks only offer savings accounts meant for adults who want to save for a child’s future instead. Having both accounts is more similar to real life personal finance and will make your kids feel like true grown-ups.
The only real gap is that, like most traditional banks, NatWest offers no current account options for under 11s. If that’s what you are after, you can look at prepaid cards for children on this page.
How to open a child account with NatWest
The application process can be done online. If the kid is under 16, they will need a parent or a guardian to complete the application. Young people of 16 and 17 can open an account for themselves instead.
You will need your contact information, address and ID.
How much does opening a child account with NatWest cost?
It’s free. The current account has no monthly fee, and there are no charges for cash withdrawals or card payments either.
The only thing you really need to worry about is the foreign transaction fee. If the 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 NatWest safe?
NatWest is a fully licensed bank, meaning that it’s regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and deposits are protected by the FSCS.
Overdrafts are not available on children’s accounts, so there’s no need to worry about debt. Unlike some prepaid cards for children, NatWest doesn’t offer any parental control features, so handing over the debit card and the account to the kid pretty much equates with trusting them with the money. But then, giving them pocket money in cash is not that different from that point of view.
Pros and cons of using NatWest for a child account
- No monthly fees.
- Children can manage the account online or using the mobile app.
- The current account pays an interest rate on all balances (no limit).
- The application can be done online.
- The savings account can be opened in trust by an adult who wants to save for the benefit of a child, but also directly in the child’s name.
- The interest rate on the savings account is quite low.
- No current account or prepaid card for children under 11.
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
NatWest has a pretty comprehensive range of accounts for children and teens, and it’s especially good for teaching about personal finance and simulating an adult’s “real” banking situation. The current account gets bonus points for a nice little interest rate on balances (with no cap, which is quite rare!), but you’ll need to be careful about the foreign transaction fee if you travel.
The savings account is a bit of a mixed bag. It has great flexiblity, but also not-so-great rates. If you are looking to maximise returns, you might want to shop around a little bit.
Get started by visiting Natwest’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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