Ben Todd | Jun 2, 2017 | 1
Best Bank Accounts for Kids (Updated 2017)
Our review of the best bank accounts for kids are all savings accounts. After all, your kid will not need a checking account for paying bills or getting paid into, and it is highly irresponsible giving a child a debit card if said child is under the age of 16yrs old. That is why all the banks on our best bank accounts for kids review article are savings accounts. You may use the account to teach your child about saving, or you may use it to save for your child’s college education.
The Best Of The Best Bank Accounts for Kids In The Year 2017
We were surprised by how much we liked the BBVA Compass ClearChoice savings account because it is not prominent on the top lists of our competitors. It seems that many of them are put off by the $25 quarterly fee that BBVA charges, but the fee is easily waived.
To avoid the quarterly fee, you may set up recurring transfers or maintain a minimum balance. Set up recurring transfers for at least $25 per month, and you will avoid the fee. Alternatively, maintain a daily balance of $500, and your account is free. We consider the BBVA Compass ClearChoice savings account to be one of the best bank accounts for kids in the year 2017.
- Gain easy access to your money when you need it
- Open your account with a refundable $25 deposit
- Earn interest on the entirety of your balance thanks to compounded interest
- There is a switch kit for moving your money to BBVA
- Easily avoid the quarterly fee
- Opt out of image statement to avoid the monthly fee
- You may also opt out of paper statements to save on the monthly fee
- All balances get a 0.05% APY compounded
- Online and mobile banking
- Use an ATM to gain quick access to your money
BBVA was a bit of an odd duck for us because we applied for two different savings accounts with two different names, and in both cases they allowed us to create a savings account in a child’s name. One account was in the name of a 5yr old and the other was in the name of a 12yr old. Obviously, the guardian for each child set up the account and it all went through fine, but we have read user reviews where people couldn’t sign up for a child’s account in the name of their child. Maybe there has been a policy update recently that allows you to sign up your kids for an account. Nevertheless, if you have trouble signing up for a savings account for your child (younger than 16yrs old), then sign up for one in your name and transfer the account when your child reaches 16yrs old. Still, as I say, we had no problem signing up kids for savings accounts.
If you want a higher interest rate, then sign up for their Money Market account, deposit $10,000, and you get 1% APY. It is a big amount to add to an account, but if you are doing something such as saving for your child’s college education, then it is worth considering.
Best Bank Accounts for Kids With The Highest APY
If you are looking for the best bank accounts for kids to help them and you save for their future, then you are probably looking for the bank with the highest APY rate. There are credit unions and banks that offer slightly higher APY rates, but this is the best bank to choose if you want a high APY rate.
The Synchrony Bank High Yield savings account has the highest APY rate without any sort of catch or unwelcome downside. Unlike other banks and credit unions with a very high APY rate, Synchrony will not slap you with hidden fees, extra fees, poor service or terms, nor will they change the interest rate once they have hooked you into an account. Here are a few more selling points.
- Get a rate of 1.15% APY for amounts up to $25,000
- Play with their growth calculator on their homepage
- Reliable and high quality service standards
- No hidden fees or unexpected rate changes
- There are six easy ways of depositing into your account
- Transfer your money out to your Synchrony checking account for free
- You may also withdraw your money by Synchrony sending you a check
- There is no charge for occasionally going over six withdrawals or transfers out
- Withdrawals may be made by debit card withdrawals
- You may also get your money out through buying with your debit card
The great APY rate that Synchrony offers is one of the reasons it is near the top of our review of the best bank accounts for kids. It didn’t reach the top spot because you cannot transfer out to your account with a different bank without being charged an a fee. Synchrony prefers that you withdraw your money by using your debit card to buy things, or they want you to withdraw from an ATM with your debit card. They also want you to sign up for a Synchrony checking account so that you may transfer your money from your savings account to your checking account for free. They charge a fee for transferring money from your savings account to your account with another bank.
The Synchrony Bank High Yield savings account was also beaten by BBVA because BBVA has a slightly better online user interface and service standards. Nevertheless, if Synchrony keeps up the good work, keeps up its high APY rate, and keeps improving, then there is a good chance it will be at the top spot in the year 2018.
Best Bank Accounts for Kids With The Second-Highest APY
You may wonder why EverBank’s Pledge savings account isn’t listed as the winner of the second-highest APY rate on our list. It isn’t here because despite what you may read on other 2017 articles, there is no longer an EverBank Pledge savings account. The best you can do with EverBank is a savings account that offers 0.51% APY. If you are looking for a bank with a high APY with no catches, and that offers a good service standard, then the GS Bank’s Online savings account is the winner at 1.05% APY. The rate they offer is not as good as the rate that Synchrony offers, but it is still far better than what most banks and credit unions offer.
- Select a primary or joint owner for one or both guardians
- There is no minimum deposit to open the account
- You are given numerous ways to access your money
- There are no transaction fees
- Interest is compounded daily
- Be warned that the bank reserves the right to change the rate
- The maximum deposit limit is $250,000
- There is a rate calculator you can play with on the homepage
- Fund your account by wire transfer, check or electronic transfer
EverBank advertises the fact that it is FDIC insured and that you are allowed up to six withdrawals per statement cycle (per month). All of the savings accounts listed on this article are FDIC insured, and most savings accounts will allow you to withdraw up to six times. If a savings account sees more than six withdrawals per month, then the issuing bank is not legally allowed to call it a savings account, which is why many banks limit withdrawals to six times per month, or they penalize people for withdrawing more than six times per month.
EverBank offer a good service, but they were very close to not appearing on our list because they are a little tricky here and there. For example, on their website they compare their savings rate with the national average, but they only mention in the small print that the national average is for a balance for $2500. They also pull other little tricks such as comparing their rate with rates they beat, while leaving off the banks that beat their rate. Those are just a few of the sneaky methods they use. Nevertheless, despite their sneaky little ways, we still feel they deserve a place on this article, especially since the other banks we reviewed and excluded from the list were pulling far nastier tricks.
Best Bank Accounts for Kids With The Third-Highest APY
Capital One was also present on last year’s Best Bank Accounts For Kids article, and their APY rate of 0.75% has not changed in all that time, which is very reassuring. If I had my way, Capital One would have appeared in second place on this article for its high APY rate and its consentient rate. However, our ranking methodology demands that I place it here on the list. Here are some of the sexier selling points of the Capital One Kids Savings account.
- The rate of 0.75% APY is very good
- No fees are added to your account
- Opt out of paper statements to avoid statement fees
- No minimum balance requirements
- Set up automatic savings plans for free
- Kid-friendly tools to help teach your kids about saving
- You may manage your account with the Capital One app
- Photograph your checks and deposit them
The APY rate is not as high as many of the others on this list, but it is the Capital One 360 group, and they are doing very well for themselves these days. They are able to provide a lot of services that a child, young adult, student and adult may need. Many of their services, both online and offline are fee free. Capital One 360 are a big corporation that misguided liberals think are the mother of all that is evil, but Capital One are actually providing the most flexible and fee free banking and credit options, and they do not discriminate against people with poor credit ratings. They are a great company to get you child involved with, especially since they will reward long-time customers when it comes to lending options and interest rates.
Our Hot Picks From Last Year
These savings accounts didn’t make the cut this year for several reasons, but one of the biggest and most common reasons is because many people cannot apply or gain access to these accounts. This year, we decided to only include savings accounts that mostly anybody in the USA is able to apply for and get, no matter what state they are in.
There were other reasons why these savings accounts didn’t make it into our Best Bank Accounts For Kids review article this year. For example, in some cases the service standards had slipped, and in some cases the APY rate had dropped or extra terms had been introduced.
Northwest FCU – Youth Club Share Savings
APY in 2017 between 0.25% – 2.27%
APY in 2016 between 2.28% – 4.00%
You will only find a branch in Virginia, but their online services are nationwide and you can still use local ATM machines. This is only a small bank, but a healthy one that allows kids to save up to $1500 with an interest rate of 2.27%.
As you can see, the APY rate has dropped from last year. Last year they only allowed you to save up to $1000 before the rate dropped to 0.25%, but this year you may save up to $1500 with a 2.27% APY before it drops to 0.25%.
Apple FCU – eXtras Student Savings
APY in 2017 is 2.00% up to $1499
APY in 2016 was 2.00% up to $1499
Not affiliated with the Apple technology company, they are the Apple Credit Union with branches in Virginia and a nationwide account you can use over the Internet. You can use ATMs in your local area. You get 2.00% APY up to $1,499.99 and 0.10% APY for any balances over $1,500. It is a bank for saving smaller amounts.
It is a good place to get a savings account, but not so great for getting a loan; though that will not be a problem for younger people. The bank is not too pushy about selling services, especially to your kids, which is a nice touch. They also have accounts for students and for saving for vacations. Your kid may keep the account up to the age of 23yrs old.
Northpointe Bank – Kids Savings
APY in 2017 is between 0.82% – 1.50%
APY in 2016 was 1.50%
This bank is based in one place in Michigan, but it is fairly big on its own with over 180 employees. You can use the account online and transfer money out online. It is handy for having your younger kids pay money in without any real means of getting it out. The child can be in charge of the online account, but will have to transfer the money to you to draw it out, which is not a terrible thing.
Their savings rate is rather good and ideal for a younger person that shouldn’t really be spending too much anyway. After all, you do not want to raise a spender. They are a good starter bank, but may become unsuitable for your child once he or she reaches college. You get a rate of 1.50% up to $1000, and that drops to 0.82% for any money after $1000.
Lake Michigan Credit Union – Kids Club Savings
APY in 2017 between 0.25% – 1.00%
APY in 2016 between 0.25% – 1.00%
A reasonable 1.00% APY makes this a pretty good choice if you have children. Up to $1,000 you get 1.00% APY, and after that you get a very reasonable 0.25% on balances above $1,000. It makes it an account you should consider for children that are maybe going to leave their money in the account a little longer. It is also a healthy company and having your child registered for a number of years will work in their favor years down the line when they want to try their lending products.
Some of their products are a little deceptive, where it is wise to read the small print. But, their children’s accounts are very good, and even though other banks and credit unions on this list have better online services, this one has a good rate for balances over $1000, so you should consider it when choosing an account.
Pen Air FCU – Minor Account Savings
APY in 2017 is 0.50%
APY in 2016 was 0.50%
When they are making more money, they lower their APY rates, yet this year‘s APY rate is the same as last year. Their account is mostly for smaller children of children that work in the services. If you are in the military or your spouse is in or was in the military in any way, then your children may be eligible for a Pen Air FCU minor account.
What was once a great bank has now going down the toilet a little. They do not care very much about customer privacy and security, and they are charging as many fees as they can, including a few unfair ones. The company has lost focus and is making money at the expense of the customer. You shouldn’t get one of their adult accounts, but their savings accounts are safe and you are unlikely to be displeased. Just make sure your child gets a better account when he or she becomes a teen and/or a student.
Northrop Grumman FCU – Youth Account
APY in 2017 varies depending on the performance of your shares
APY in 2016 was 0.25%
There are branches in five states, and even though their APY rates are low, they are offering a good service. Their company is growing and is healthy. They offer a good deal for young people, and a good customer history will help younger people gain credit with the company when they are older.
Getting into the credit union has a paradoxical difficulty about it because on the one hand, it is relatively exclusive, but on the other hand, there are so many different ways of becoming a member that you are probably not going to be rejected. If you are lucky enough to live in one of the areas where they have branches, then walk in and see if you can get an account. It is worth signing your kids up for accounts with Northrop Grumman FCU if you can.
Connexus Credit Union – (2017 Koala Club Kids Savings)
APY in 2017 is 0.25%
APY in 2016 was 0.25%
The “Youth Savings Account” from last year has been discontinued. In the year 2017, you may join their Koala Club Kids Savings program. You earn your 0.25% on your balance, and your kid earns Koala bucks that may be redeemed for prizes on your kid’s birthday.
This is a very large credit union, though it is only for people with a lot of money. If you are looking to teach your children how to save, then give them an account and teach them how to avoid spending. Their wire transfer fee is $20, which means this is not the sort of account where you should put in your spare cash. This is the sort of account where you throw in a few hundred at a time.
If you have a lot of money and you want to teach your kids how to save, then this is the account for you. Otherwise, you need to avoid this account like the plague because their rates are mostly made up for larger balances, and their wire transfer fees are foolishly high. Unless you have a lot of money, we cannot recommend this account. If you do have a lot of money, you can teach your kids about money whilst teaching them that taking money out is a negative thing.
Zions Bank – Kids Savings
APY in 2017 between 0.08% – 0.24%
APY in 2016 between 0.08% – 0.24%
This is an account for children under the age of 12yrs old. There are practically no fees unless you do things such as make frequent withdrawals, and you get a reasonable rate of 0.24% on balances up to $1000, and a rate of 0.08% APY on balances above $1000. Their business is doing very well, so it is likely that they will be more powerful and stronger when your children are older, which means getting an account history with them may be a good thing if your children wish to enjoy credit in the future.
The staff has the customer service skills of a Libyan government official, which general means they are truly awful in every way and need to be wiped out by insurgents. However, their accounts for kids are great, and as the kids grow older, they become eligible for the better deals that Zions have to offer. They should be a strong contender in your quest for a good account for your kids.
American Bank – Young American Statement Savings
APY in 2017 the rate is 0.01%
APY in 2016 the rate was 0.15%
This is a small bank, but it is growing at a healthy rate and is offering people a reasonably good deal on their younger person and adult accounts. Their website could use a little improvement, but otherwise their service is fine and for a small bank, they are providing a service that most people are happy with.
The general opinion is that the bank is hitting a little above its weight and that is a good thing. It is not able to offer you the options or flexibility that larger banks can offer, but it does offer a fair younger person account. You do not get the features you would with a checking account, but that is not really a problem for younger people. They can always get a checking account when they get a little older and/or when they are earning their own income.
Banks From Last Year That We No Longer Recommend
These are the banks or credit unions that have changed so much since last year that we cannot recommend then anymore. Read why we cannot recommend them anymore and read what we wrote last year about them.
Affinity FCU – Revolution Save
We cannot recommend this credit union anymore because they seem to have made their rates and rewards system purposefully confusing. In many cases, you get as little as 0.05% APY on your money, and in some cases you get 0% APY on your money up to $4999. Plus, they have a daily rate tracker because they change their rates that often. Below, you can see what we wrote about them last year.
This is a New Jersey credit union that can offer you branches in New Jersey and an online account anywhere else. Up to $2,500 you get 1.25% APY and at $2,500.01+ you get 0.25% APY. They offer a good rate for children saving, but their business is mostly associated with businesses and they do not pay much attention to getting new savings customers, so do not expect to be romanced.
They have a good rate, but they do not offer a good service for people wanting to use their services regularly. Their accounts are more for people that are looking to put their money away and leave it in there. For example, there are times when it takes over two days to register cash deposits on the system.
First Community Bank N.A. – Sprout Savings
We cannot recommend this account because it no longer exists. You cannot get a Sprout Savings account with the First Community Bank N.A. anymore. In fact, we didn’t test any of their savings services because they didn’t offer them when we started our reviews.
This bank has 19 locations in Texas, so it is a fine choice if you have a branch near you. Otherwise, their online services are okay for savings accounts. Save up to $2,499.99 and get 1.00% APY, and balances of $2,500 and over get 0.15% APY. This makes the account ideal for older children and teens that you are trying to teach how to save on a larger and more consistent level. This is the sort of account you may give your child if you wanted to teach him or her how to build wealth.
Your user experience is far better if you live in Texas because you get the added benefit of their branch service. Otherwise, you are stuck with using their online services, which are not bad, but when you consider that there are so many others to choose from, it may be worth putting it a little lower down your list of possible accounts to choose.
Justice FCU – Young Savers Account
The Young Savers account does still exist, but it has changed quite a bit. I am not saying that this is a bad savings account, but we simply cannot recommend it this year. The Young Savers account is now a “Grow With Me” account. The rate starts out at 4.47%, but after 12 months the rate changes to whatever the credit union decides. We will take another look at this account next year to see what sort of rate the “Grow With Me” account drops down to. If they drop the rate down to something reasonable, then next year we will reconsider putting this savers account back on our list. Below is what we said about their older savers account from last year
Start your child’s college fund early and start it with a Justice FCU account. With a balance of $20,000+ you get 0.25% APY. They have branches in seven states, and they change their APY rates on an almost yearly basis, so you may soon enjoy even better rates for your money. It is a comparatively small credit union, but has a great savings account for you to save up for your child’s college fund.
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The savings account alone is perfect for saving for a college fund or saving money for your child from a young age so that one day your child may be able to buy a house. However, their customer service is probably the worst on this list. Their reputation has been ripped to shreds online by the sheer weight of people that are angry at their customer service both over the phone and in person. If you are not a people person, then you may need to avoid this credit union.