Finding the Best Savings Accounts for Kids
Teaching your children financial responsibility from a young age can help them reap incredible benefits later in life. Opening a savings account for kids can be one of the first steps in this educational venture.
|Alliant Credit Union Read More||0.55%||$5|| |
|Garden Savings FCU Read More||0.50%||$5|| |
|Pen Air Federal Credit Union Read More||0.50%||$25|| |
|Northpointe Bank Read More||1.50%||$0|| |
|BECU Read More||2.02%||$0|| |
|Capital One Read More||0.30%||$0|| |
|First Internet Bank Read More||0.25%||$100|| |
|PNC Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
|Justice Federal Credit Union Read More||0.15%||$5|| |
|Citizens Bank Read More||0.01%||$25|| |
How We Determine the Best Savings Accounts for Kids
For this study, SmartAsset’s banking experts analyzed kids savings account options at more than 70 banks and credit unions. We scored each institution based on their bonuses, annual percentage yield (APY), financial education tools, monthly fees and minimum deposit requirements.
Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account
The Kids Savings Account from Alliant Credit Union received a near perfect score in our study. Even if your child is young and has no money to put into the account yet, Alliant will start him or her off with $5 to cover the minimum opening deposit requirement. However, any accounts that don’t maintain a $100 average daily balance won’t be eligible for the 0.55% APY.
Once your child turns 13, he or she will be able to apply for a Teen Checking Account with Alliant. This won’t replace the Kids Savings Account; instead, your child will maintain both accounts. All checking account holders also get a free debit card that they can use to access funds in both accounts.
Parents, grandparents or legal guardians can connect their Alliant account with a Kids Savings Account. This will give you access to the child’s current account balance, as well as mobile check deposit. The bank also has a few financial education programs available so kids can become more self-sufficient with their money management.
Although Alliant is a credit union, it has very lax standards for becoming a member. Fulfill any one of the following requirements and you will qualify:
- You are a relative or domestic partner of a current member
- You are a current or retired employee of one of Alliant’s partnered companies/organizations
- You live or work in communities near Alliant’s corporate offices in Chicago
- You make a $10 donation to Foster Care to Success, a college fund for foster youth in the U.S.
Garden Savings FCU Kids Club Savings Account
Garden Savings Federal Credit Union's Kids Club Savings Account is a basic children's savings option that features a strong interest rate on all balances. In fact, regardless of what your child's balance is, they'll receive a 0.50% APY. Although some of the other accounts on this list feature higher rates, they are often capped at a maximum balance amount, which can limit earnings. This credit union does not charge any monthly fees in conjunction with this account.
If you're also interested in teaching your child about money management, Garden Savings FCU offers a multitude of programs and tools. This includes educational articles, savings tools and games. You and your child will also be able to view their account's balance and transaction history through your computer or mobile phone.
Garden Savings FCU is a credit union, so you'll need to become a member if the Kids Club Savings Account is the account you want. Here's the qualifications for membership:
- You are an employee, former employee or relative of an employee who works in one of Garden Savings FCU's "Select Employer Groups."
- You live, work, worship, attend school, volunteer or regularly conduct business in Newark, Elizabeth or Jersey City, New Jersey.
- If neither of the above requirements apply to you, you can gain automatic membership by joining the American Consumer Council by applying online and using the code "garden" to avoid all membership fees.
Pen Air Federal Credit Union Level UP Savings Account
The Level UP Savings Account from Pen Air Federal Credit Union offers a unique opportunity to combine strong interest earnings with multiple savings bonuses. In fact, all balances in this account will receive a 0.50% APY, which is a great rate in comparison to many other children's accounts. However, regardless of what you do, there are no upgraded rates availale through Pen Air.
Your potential savings earnings won't stop there, though. Pen Air is offering up to $60 in savings bonuses if you can meet certain balance requirements. For example, if you meet the account's $25 minimum opening deposit, Pen Air will give you a $10 bonus. Then, when your account balance reaches $250, Pen Air will deposit a $20 bonus in your account. And when you finally reach a $500 balance, you'll get another bonus of $30.
While this account boasts many strong features, you'll need to become a Pen Air Federal Credit Union member to open it. Here's how you can gain membership to Pen Air:
- Join Friends of the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society by making a $1 donation, and keep $25 or more in a Pen Air savings account
- Work or belong to an eligible organization or association
- Have an immediate family member or member of your household who is a Pen Air member
- Hold one of the following statuses: active military, military reserve, retired military, coast guard, active civil service or retired civil service
Pen Air's branch locations are limited to southeast Alabama and northwest Florida. If you're not located near a branch, though, you can manage your account through Pen Air's website and mobile apps.
Northpointe Bank Kid’s Savings Account
Savings accounts for kids and teens are notorious for shrinking interest rates as balances grow in size. And while this is technically the case with Northpointe Bank's Kid’s Savings Account, the drop-off in APY is much smaller and it occurs at higher balances.
More specifically, this account offers kids a 1.50% APY on the first $1,000 of their balance, falling to between 1.12% and 1.50% for balances between $1,000.01 and $9,999.99, and 0.35% and 1.12% for balances of $10,000 and up. That means the lowest APY your child's account will receive is 0.35%, which itself is a better rate than many other accounts.
This account is available to open with any amount of money, so don't feel like your child needs to accrue a certain amount of savings before becoming a joint account holder with you. The only downside to this account is that you cannot open it online. That means you'll need to either visit a Northpointe branch or call the bank's new customer hotline to open an account.
BECU Early Saver Account
The Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) Early Saver Account isn’t a stand-alone offering. It’s paired with a free checking account that both kids and their parents can use, giving this credit union a complete set of kids and teen banking accounts. Because of this, children are likely to get a very full experience of what it's like to manage finances, both on a long- and short-term scale.
BECU applies a 2.02% APY to the first $500 you deposit in an Early Saver Account, which translates to more than $10 in interest over a full year. Any money deposited past that amount receives a 0.02% APY, which is actually quite low.
Once your child turns 13, he or she will gain access to BECU’s free online banking service. But the real break occurs when your child turns 18, resulting in an upgrade to a Member Advantage® account. This is essentially an adult version of the account, featuring a free debit card, partial out-of-network ATM fee refunds and other benefits.
Becoming a member of BECU isn’t as restrictive as it might seem. In fact, you can meet any of these requirements to gain membership:
- You are a current or past Boeing or Boeing subsidiary employee
- You are a Washington resident who works, worships and/or attends school in the state
- You work or live in various eligible counties in Oregon
- You belong to the University of Washington Alumni Association
Capital One Kids Savings Account
Capital One has two accounts that can help your child learn about money management and banking through their childhood and teenage years.
The Kids Savings Account from Capital One offers a 0.30% APY. Your child won’t have to pay any maintenance fees to hold onto this account, nor is there a minimum needed to open it. The account comes with the ability to set up savings goals for your children, as well as an automatic savings plan. This will aid your child in making scheduled, regular deposits to their account. You can even connect your account to your child’s account to simplify the deposit process.
As early as eight years old, your child will be able to open a MONEY teen checking account at Capital One. While a savings account can help them accrue money, a checking account like this one will show them how to manage and spend it. They’ll receive access to the Capital One mobile banking app and website, along with a free debit card. Again, there are no fees or minimums with this account.
Once your child turns 18, the Kids Savings Account will convert to Capital One’s standard savings option: the 360 Performance Savings Account. The MONEY teen checking account has a similar setup, as it will turn into a 360 Checking account on your child’s 18th birthday.
First Internet Bank Tomorrow’s Tycoons
First Internet Bank calls its kids savings account “Tomorrow’s Tycoons.” The account comes with a 0.25% APY, which ranks in the upper echelon of savings rates for children’s savings accounts. Account owners will not be charged a monthly fee with this account, though there is a $100 minimum opening deposit requirement. Like any savings account, you can only withdraw money from this account up to six times per month.
Although your child will be an actual owner of this account, First Internet Bank requires that you are also added as a joint owner with them. Through this setup, you and your child will be able to check their account’s balance and transaction history through the bank’s extensive online and mobile banking platforms.
Ownership of a Tomorrow’s Tycoons account only lasts until your child turns 18 years old. When their 18th birthday arrives, the account will be converted to First Internet Bank’s Free Savings Account. This account currently has a 0.25% APY, no monthly fees and a $25 minimum opening deposit.
PNC 'S' is for Savings®
What the PNC Bank 'S' is for Savings® account lacks in APY and other financial perks it more than makes up for in children’s tools for learning about the management of finances. This begins with an interactive online banking program that includes help from Sesame Street to teach children financial lessons and tips. This experience is centered around three financial focal points: saving, sharing and spending.
There is no cap on the number of deposits you can make with an 'S' is for Savings® account. This is pretty rare around the kids banking sphere and will allow the account to grow as much as possible in as short as possible. But for those who might want some help building their savings, PNC has created the Auto Savings system so recurring deposits are made at specific times.
It only takes $25 to open an 'S' is for Savings® account, making it a feasible option for just about anyone. There’s also no monthly fees on the account if the child is younger than 18, although that changes past that age. If you’re over 18, PNC will charge a $5 monthly fee, unless you make automatic transfers of at least $25 a month or can manage to hold a $300 average monthly balance. If you meet either of these requirements, PNC will waive the $5 fee.
Justice FCU Young Savers Account
Justice Federal Credit Union's Young Savers Account is a children's savings account that only requires a $5 minimum deposit to open. While there are other kids accounts that feature better interest rates, you could do worse than Justice FCU's 0.15% APY. However, this rate only applies to balances of up to $19,999. Once you reach the $20,000 mark, your APY will increase to 0.20%. This account does not charge a monthly service fee.
Just in time for college, this account will automatically turn into a regular savings account when the account holder turns 18. These accounts have no monthly fees and a full suite of account management services.
Because Justice FCU is a credit union, you need to be a member to open an account. Fulfill any one of the following, and you will qualify for membership:
- You are a current or former employee of a qualifying government department, government contracted company or other eligible company
- You are an immediate family member of a member
- You receive a referral as a relative, friend or coworker of a member
Citizens Bank® CollegeSaver®
Citizens Bank® CollegeSaver® account holders will receive a bonus of $1,000 on the day they turn 18. Interest is included in this payment, and it’s calculated as if the money was in the account from the day it was opened. However, you must open an account prior to the child’s 12th birthday, as children older than that become ineligible for the bonus.
If you open a CollegeSaver® account before your child turns six, there’s a $25 minimum opening balance, but that minimum jumps to $500 if you wait to open the account when your child is between 6 and 11 years old. Either way, there are no monthly fees associated with this account. The account will also earn interest at a 0.01% APY; this low rate is the primary downside of the CollegeSaver® offering.
Note that Citizens Bank does have minimum monthly deposits for this account. If your child is 6 years old or younger, the minimum monthly deposit is $25. But if they're 6 to 11 years old, the minimum deposit jumps to $50.