How do you teach kids to save their money when they’d rather spend it? Easier said than done.
The best way to show your kids the importance of saving their money is to give them a place where they can actually do it. Kids’ savings accounts are becoming more and more popular as parents work to teach financial independence at a young age. So with a number of great options for safe places to park your child’s cash, how do you choose which one is best?
We’ve picked out the best savings accounts for kids where they can practice saving with few risks and real benefits. Here are the top five accounts for different bottom lines and a handful of honorable mentions.
Best for Promo APY: Current Debit Card for Kids + Savings Account
Current is not actually a bank itself but a Fintech company that offers a Visa debit card for kids and as of January 2022, a savings account featuring a promotional APY (annual percentage yield) of 4.0%.
There are no minimum deposit or balance requirements, but the 4% yield is only paid on balances up to $2,000.
Because Current is not a bank, they have partnered with Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, who are both members FDIC.
This is a promotional offer and only available for a limited time.
Best for Earning Interest: Alliant Kids Savings Account
Alliant Credit Union is a popular and top-rated credit union with great high-yield online products and a positive customer experience. With competitive interest rates and minimal fees, its savings products are among the best and the Alliant Kids Savings Account is no exception. Choose this account if you want to reward your child with a high-interest rate when they save.
This joint savings account offers an interest rate of 0.55% for all balances at or above $100 (for the sake of comparison, the current national average savings rate sits at just 0.06%). This account is available to kids up to 12 years old who open this account with the help of a guardian or family member.
(Kids over the age of 12 should consider an Alliant High-Rate Savings account, which currently earns an interest rate of 0.55% as well).
A $5 deposit is required to open, but Alliant pays this on your child’s behalf. There are no monthly fees or penalties for low balances, only a $1 paper account statement fee. You can open as many savings accounts with your child as you like to help them set money aside for different purposes. Users can ask for Alliant Savings ATM Cards, which they can use to make fee-free deposits and withdrawals at Alliant ATMs.
Note that the joint owner, which can be a guardian or family member, must be an Alliant member. Anyone can join by becoming a member of Foster Care to Success for a one-time fee of $5.
As you will see, this is one of the best accounts across the board for the high-interest rate, flexibility, and ease of use.
Best for Learning to Save: Capital One Kids Savings Account
If you’re looking for a savings account to help teach your child the importance of saving, the Capital One Kids Savings Account is the account for you. This is a joint savings account that gives parents or guardians and kids equal access. It is available to kids of all ages.
This account earns an interest rate of 0.30% on all balances, compounded and credited monthly, so kids can start earning right away. There is no minimum monthly balance required to keep the account or earn interest, and there are no maintenance fees.
This account by Capital One has a few features that set it apart from others and make it one of our top picks. For example, your child can set savings goals within one account or you can even open different accounts for them for different goals. They can see their progress from their side of the Capital One app and easily make transfers and mobile check deposits as well.
You can also help them save automatically by having their allowance sent directly to their savings account from your linked savings or checking account. Log into the account from your side to set up recurring transfers.
When a child turns 18, this account automatically converts into a 360 Savings account and begins earning that interest rate. Your child may decide whether to keep you as a joint owner on the new account or not.
Although this savings option doesn’t offer the highest rate on our list, it does have an excellent app for a great mobile experience for you and your child and a number of features to help your child grasp the basics of savings.
Best for Saving for Your Child: Ally Bank Online Savings Account
You’ve heard of online-only Ally Bank and its online-only high-yield deposit accounts, but maybe you haven’t looked into opening one for your child. If you want to open an account on your child’s behalf and show them an example of responsible saving, you can’t do much better than an Ally Bank Online Savings account. You open it for your child and it transfers into their name when they are no longer a minor.
This account earns 0.50% on all balances and can be opened with any amount of money. There is no minimum balance requirement or monthly maintenance fee.
The main benefit of this account is that it helps you save more easily with handy features for passive growth. You can schedule recurring transfers from a linked account, enable Round-Ups to have your transactions rounded up to the nearest dollar and the extra deposited automatically to your savings, and/or enable Surprise Savings to have your checking account analyzed for money that you won’t miss and send it to your savings. You can also organize your savings into buckets to put away funds for different purposes.
This is not a joint bank account, so it’s up to you what role your child plays in their savings. Your child won’t have as much access to this account as they would others on this list, making it a good choice if you have time to spend walking them through your choices and teaching them good habits–or if you just want to do the saving for them. You can involve them as much or as little as they are ready for.
Best for All-in-One Money Management: Greenlight Kids
We’ve talked about the Greenlight Kids Debit card and app many times, but today we’re focusing on the savings side. This product is best for your child if they are completely new to saving because the user-friendly app makes it easy. It is also ideal if you want your child to be able to manage all of their money in one place, from their spending to their savings and even investing.
Greenlight users have the option to set goals for their savings and can enable Round Ups to have their purchases rounded up to the nearest dollar and the change deposited automatically into their savings. Both parents and children can see saving goals.
One thing that sets Greenlight apart from other savings products is that parents can get involved. You may decide to help them save by scheduling a percentage of their allowance to be added to their savings or even paying interest on their balance to encourage good habits. Once you set the percentage, the amount is automatically transferred from your linked account to your child’s savings.
Greenlight also pays interest on the balance in your child’s general savings and savings goals. The rate for users with the Greenlight and Greenlight + Invest Plan is 1.00% and for users with the Greenlight Max Plan is 2.00%. $5,000 is the maximum balance eligible to earn interest at this rate.
This isn’t a traditional savings account. You have to purchase a plan in order for your child to use the app, but you can cancel at any time and there are no other fees. A subscription starts at $4.99 a month for up to five kids’ accounts. The most basic plan, the Greenlight Plan, gives them access to all saving, spending, and giving features but does not include investing.
Best for Low Balances: MySavings Youth Account Spectrum Credit Union
The MySavings Youth account by Spectrum Credit Union takes the cake as our top pick for low balance saving. If you want to get your child started learning the importance of saving and want to make their initial experience extremely rewarding, this is the perfect account for your family. We especially recommend this one for people who are already members of the credit union.
For this joint account, your child is the Primary Member and you are a joint account owner. They must be under the age of 21 to be eligible for this account. This account earns an APY of 7.00% on all balances up to and including $1,000 and the Primary Share Savings rate on the portion of the balance that exceeds this. This rate is currently 0.30%, so definitely still competitive even if your child maintains a higher balance.
There is no minimum required balance to earn interest and there are no fees for low balances or monthly maintenance. Users over the age of 13 qualify for ATM cards that can be used to make up to six transactions into or out of this account per statement period.
You must be a member of Spectrum Credit Union to open a MySavings Youth account on a child’s behalf. Anyone can join by becoming a member of a Spectrum Credit Union nonprofit partner including the Financial Fitness Association, the Navy League of the United States, and the Contra Costa County Historical Society. Limit one youth savings account per credit union member.
PNC “S” is for Savings Account
As you can probably tell from the name, the PNC Bank “S” is for Savings kids account is geared toward a younger demographic than most of the others. This is a great account for actually giving your child the resources they need to learn about money and making their introduction to saving fun.
This account is unique because it offers more educational resources than the others on this list. In addition to a thoughtful platform with graphics that are clear and engaging, there is a Learning Center featuring characters from Sesame Street. Here, your child has access to activities led by the characters that teach basic money management concepts in a format they’ll enjoy. These interactive resources are free to use.
You can make unlimited deposits into this account and help your child save by activating Auto Savings, which will automatically withdraw money from your PNC checking account and deposit it into this account.
The only downside is that this account earns next to no interest, so it’s really best if you’re looking for something educational for your child and don’t expect them to keep a high balance. Currently, all balances over $1 earn an APY of 0.01%.
There is a monthly service fee of $5, but it is waived for users under the age of 18. Once your child turns 18, they can choose to keep the account open but will need to maintain a balance of at least $300 or schedule monthly Auto Savings transfers of at least $25 from another linked account to avoid the fee.
USALLIANCE Financial MyLife Savings for Kids Account
Is your child under the age of 13 and interested in learning to save? The MyLife Savings for Kids account by USALLIANCE Financial might be the account for them if you eventually want to help them make the transition from a kids account to a teen savings account. However, we recommend this account for low balances only.
This account earns an APY of 2.00% on balances up to $500 and 0.02% on the portion of a balance in excess of this maximum.
The MyLife Savings for Kids account does not require a minimum opening deposit. There are also no minimum balance requirements to earn interest and no maintenance fees to worry about. Your child will receive $10 in Birthday Bucks every year deposited into their account.
USALLIANCE Financial offers both a MyLife Savings for Kids account, the one we’re reviewing now, and a MyLife Savings account open to users over the age of 13. The MyLife Savings account earns the same rates mentioned above.
You must be a member of USALLIANCE Financial credit union to open a MyLife Savings for Kids account on your child’s behalf. Anyone is eligible to join. You can become a member by
BECU Early Saver Youth Account
BECU, originally Boeing Employees’ Credit Union, offers an Early Saver Youth account that pays a 2.02% interest rate on balances up to $500 and 0.02% on the portion of a balance in excess of this. This account is owned jointly between you and your child. Users over the age of 13 years are eligible to access full online and mobile banking features.
There are no minimum deposit requirements, daily balance requirements, or monthly service fees. This account comes with a free ATM card that your child can use surcharge-free at in-network ATMs. When a user turns 18, they can choose to convert this account into a checking or savings account and leave you on the account as a joint owner or remove your name and access.
Membership is open to people in select counties across the state of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, employees of Boeing, and employees of select universities and credit unions. If you qualify for membership, you can become a member by opening a free online account. Note that you may open only one Early Saver Youth account per child.
Northpointe Bank Kids Savings
The Kids Savings account by Northpointe Bank uses a tiered interest structure. It earns 1.50% interest on balances up to and including $1,000, 1.11% on balances between $1,000.01 and $9,999.99, and 0.34% on balances over $10,000.
A minimum opening deposit of $10 is required to open this account but any positive balance will earn interest (compounded daily). There are no monthly maintenance or low balance fees. We recommend this account for higher balances as the interest rate after the first $1,000 is more competitive than most.
There is no ATM card available but up to six withdrawals are permitted when you transfer money from this account to a linked bank account.
Northpointe Bank has branch locations across the country, but you and your child can also manage this account completely online. Your child can access their account by signing into Northpointe’s site or logging into the app.
Pen Air Federal Credit Union Level UP Savings Account
Are you a member of Pen Air Federal Credit Union? If you are, maybe you’re familiar with their Level UP Minor accounts which include a saving and spending account. Maybe you already know that the Level UP Savings account pays an interest rate of 0.40% on all balances over $25.
Kids of all ages (under 18 years old) qualify for this account. A minimum opening deposit and average daily balance of $25 is required. If the balance falls below this, the account will not earn interest but no fees will be charged.
Your child can set milestone savings goals for themselves and might be awarded account bonuses by Pen Air when they reach their goals (subject to availability). Otherwise, this is a pretty basic savings account. It is free to use but there are limited resources and features for helping your child learn about saving. You may choose this one if you are already a member of Pen Air.
Pen Air Federal Credit Union restricts membership to active duty and retired military personnel, civil service employees, employees of partner employer groups, and family members of these groups. There are a lot of partner employer groups, but you probably won’t qualify if you don’t work in retail or live in Florida.
Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings Account
The oldest traditional bank on our list, Wells Fargo, has a kids savings account worth checking out if your child is 13 years old or older. The Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings account, though not designed for kids specifically, requires a minimum opening deposit of $25 and earns an interest rate of 0.01%.
There are a few options for how you want to distribute ownership of this account. When you open this account on your child’s behalf, they become the owner and you become a joint owner. Alternatively, you may choose to make this a custodial account that makes you the sole custodian until your child turns 18 years old under the Uniform Transfers/Gifts to Minors Act. The third and final option is Minor by ownership, which puts your child as the account’s owner but does not give them access to the account until they turn 18.
There is no minimum age requirement for this account, but users under the age of 13 are not eligible to use online banking.
This is a good option if you are just looking for a safe place for your child to put their money but not ideal if you’re hoping to help them grow their balance as the interest rate is so poor. We only recommend this option if you are already a Wells Fargo member and want in-person branch access.
Online banks and credit unions tend to offer the best kids saving products. From competitive interest rates to kid-friendly platforms, there are so many great savings accounts for kids to choose from. Help your child learn the importance of saving their money and have fun doing it by opening a savings account for them now.
We hope this article helps you find the perfect savings product for your child.
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