The Best Savings Accounts for Kids [2024]: Teach Them to Save Early

BANKING - SAVINGS & MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS
The best savings accounts for kids come with minimal fees and can be linked to a parent's account for easy monitoring and fund transfers.
Updated Aug. 4, 2023
Fact checked
A grandparent teaching his grandkids how to save

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The best savings accounts for kids include the Capital One Kids Savings Account, the Alliant Kids Savings Account, the First Tech Federal Credit Union Start Up Savings, and the USAlliance Federal Credit Union MyLife Savings for Kids.

These accounts provide useful features, such as the ability to link a parent and child's account and automated savings to help kids' accounts grow.

Let’s explore the best savings accounts for kids to see which account is the right fit for you and your child.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • Savings accounts for children are typically jointly owned with a parent or guardian.
  • Age limits vary for these accounts, but some accounts don’t have a minimum age requirement if co-owned with a parent or guardian.
  • Some bank accounts for kids impose a maximum age of 12 or 13 for a kid's account, while other accounts transition to standard accounts at age 18.
  • Parents should consider the annual percentage yield (APY), account fees, ATM accessibility, age limits, and ease of funding the account when selecting the best savings account for their kids.
  • Opening a savings account for kids can teach them money management, delayed gratification, budgeting, and other essential personal finance skills.

The best savings accounts for kids

  1. Capital One Kids Savings Account
  2. Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account
  3. First Tech Federal Credit Union Start Up Savings
  4. USAlliance Federal Credit Union MyLife Savings for Kids

Comparison of the best savings accounts for kids

Account name Main features Annual percentage yield Fees and minimums
Capital One Kids Savings Account
  • No minimum age limit with a parent or legal guardian
  • Account transitions to 360 Savings automatically at 18
  • Automatic savings feature
  • Account can be linked to a parent account
0.30% (as of Jul. 21, 2023)
  • $0 monthly maintenance fee
  • $0 minimum balance
Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account
  • No minimum age limit with a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian
  • Maximum age limit is 12
  • Complimentary ATM card available
  • Account can be linked to a parent account
3.10% (as of Aug. 3, 2023)
  • $0 monthly maintenance fee with electronic statements
  • $0 minimum balance, but requires a $100 balance or higher to earn interest
First Tech Federal Credit Union Start Up Savings
  • No minimum age limit with a parent or legal guardian
  • Account transitions to a standard First Tech account at 18
  • First Tech Credit Union membership is required to open the account
  • ATM access is available
Up to 5.00% (as of Feb. 9, 2024) on balances up to $1,000
  • $0 monthly maintenance fee
  • $0 minimum balance
USAlliance Federal Credit Union MyLife Savings for Kids
  • No minimum age with a parent or legal guardian
  • Maximum age limit is 13
  • Elevated APY rate on the first $500
  • $10 in birthday bucks contributed to the account annually
2.00% (as of Aug. 3, 2023) on balances up to $500
  • $0 monthly maintenance fee
  • $0 minimum balance

Capital One Kids Savings Account

Pros
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance
  • Automated savings and a link to a parents’ account simplify adding money
  • Top-rated mobile app
Cons
  • Low APY rate
  • No debit cards for withdrawals

Capital One allows a parent or a legal guardian to open a savings account for a child of any age. This savings account offers plenty of great features for kids and their parents or legal guardians, including a $0 monthly maintenance fee and a $0 minimum balance requirement.

You can create multiple accounts for different goals and link them to a parental account to easily monitor and move funds. You can also automate savings so you don’t have to worry about making transfers every month.

However, the APY rate on the Capital One Savings account is only 0.30% (as of Jul. 21, 2023), so kids won't earn much interest on their balances. The account doesn’t offer a debit card, which can make taking money out of this account a bit of a hassle.

For those focused on saving and who want to limit their kids' access to the account funds, the absence of a debit card — combined with the fact parents must log in with their own password before money can be withdrawn — may be an attractive feature.

Visit Capital One Kids Savings Account.

Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account

Pros
  • No monthly maintenance fee with eStatements and no minimum balance
  • An APY rate of 3.10% (as of Aug. 3, 2023) on balances of $100 or more
  • Grandparents can open an account for their grandkids, as well as parents and legal guardians
Cons
  • The adult account co-owner must be an Alliant credit union member
  • A $100 minimum balance is required to earn APY

Alliant Kids Savings Account is designed for children 12 and under. While certain banks allow children to use kids accounts until age 18, this savings account has a lower age requirement that restricts eligibility.

However, Alliant makes opening an account easier by allowing parents, legal guardians, and grandparents to be a co-owner on a kid's savings account. Keep in mind that the co-owner of the account, be it the grandparent, parent, or legal guardian, must be an Alliant Credit Union member to help their child open a kids' savings account.

You can become a member if you live and work in an eligible community near Alliant's corporate headquarters or if you become a member of Foster Care to Success, which requires a $5 membership fee, which Alliant will pay back to you.

You can also become an Alliant member if you are a current or retired employee from a company that is an Alliant Partner or if you are a domestic partner or immediate family member of a current credit union member.

Once you open your Alliant Kids Savings Account, you'll benefit from the ability to set up automated transfers to the child's account. You'll also receive an ATM card for easy account access.

Visit Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account.

First Tech Federal Credit Union Start Up Savings

Pros
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance
  • An APY rate of 5.00% (as of Feb. 9, 2024) on balances up to $1,000
  • Kids can maintain the account until age 18 when it transitions to a standard account
  • ATM access is available
Cons
  • The adult account co-owner must be a First Tech Credit Union member
  • You must schedule an appointment to open an account

First Tech Federal Credit Union offers the Start Up Savings account for children up to age 18. The account is co-owned by a parent or guardian and transitions to a standard checking account at age 18. This makes the account more accessible even to older teens who want to save.

First Tech Start Up Savings provides an APY of 5.00% (as of Feb. 9, 2024) on balances up to $1,000. However, kids with larger account balances may prefer a different bank that provides high returns on their entire balance, not just the first $1,000.

Parents and kids alike will appreciate having a $0 monthly maintenance fee and a $0 minimum balance requirement. There is, however, a requirement to make a minimum initial deposit of $5.

You must make an appointment to open the account and must be a First Tech credit union member to be eligible. You can become a member by having a family member or a household member who is already a member or by becoming a member of the Financial Fitness Association or Computer History Museum, among other qualifying criteria.

Visit First Tech Federal Credit Union Start Up Savings.

USAlliance Federal Credit Union MyLife Savings for Kids

Pros
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance
  • $10 in birthday bucks deposited annually
  • An APY rate of 2.00% (as of Aug. 3, 2023) on balances up to $500
Cons
  • The adult account co-owner must be a member of USAlliance Financial
  • The APY rate applies only to balances up to $500

USAlliance Federal Credit Union offers MyLife Savings for Kids up to age 13. This is a younger maximum age than some competitors, so eligibility is more limited. However, they also have a dedicated teen checking account.

The MyLife Savings for Kids account has several benefits, including an APY of 2.00% (as of Aug. 3, 2023). Unfortunately, this rate applies only to balances up to $500. If you expect your child to maintain a larger balance, you may want to consider a different savings account.

USAlliance stands out by offering $10 in birthday bucks annually. However, to be eligible for this account, you need to become a member of the credit union. This restricts who can take advantage of this unique feature and other MyLife Savings Account perks.

You can become a member of USAlliance Federal Credit Union if your employer or an association you are in is a partner with USAlliance. You may also be able to become a member based on where you live and work.

Visit USAlliance Federal Credit Union MyLife Savings for Kids.

Why should kids have savings accounts?

When a child has their own savings account, it can help them learn about the value of money and how to use it. These money lessons for children include:

  • Learning about financial responsibility: Saving money is a financially responsible choice, even when it may seem more fun to spend. By opening a savings account, kids can learn how to manage financial goals, which can prepare them for having their first credit card or car loan in the future.
  • Learning about delayed gratification: A savings account helps kids learn how to save for big purchases. Learning how to save for things they want at a young age can prepare them to save for bigger things, like a car or even a home down payment.
  • Developing money-saving habits: Some studies have shown that children form their ideas about money as young as 7 years old. If children have a savings account and begin putting money into it regularly, this can help make saving a lifelong habit.
  • Exploring the benefit of earning interest: When children put money into savings, they can earn interest on their deposited funds. This helps them grow their account balance and learn about compound interest.
  • Setting and achieving savings goals: Parents can work with their kids to set attainable goals and help them put money into savings regularly so they can achieve those goals. This can help kids learn about the satisfaction of working toward a goal and making it happen.
  • Learning how to interact with financial institutions: Kids can learn how to use their ATM card, how to make deposits, and how to track their account balance online or via mobile banking through a banking app.

What to look for in savings accounts for kids

When choosing savings accounts for kids, there are some key features to look for, including:

  • APY rate: The higher the APY rate on an account, the better returns children can earn. Look for an account that offers a generous APY on the largest possible balance, as some savings accounts for kids restrict how much money is eligible for interest payments.
  • Account fees: Kids want to earn money on their savings, not spend their hard-earned funds on fees. So, look for a savings account that doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee or other account fees.
  • Minimum balance requirement: Children may not be able to keep a large balance in their account, so parents should look for a savings account that doesn’t require a large initial deposit or impose minimum monthly balance requirements.
  • ATM accessibility: ATM accessibility can make accessing account funds easier, so some parents may prefer an account that offers a debit card. Other parents may prefer an account that isn’t as easily accessible to help their children grow their savings.
  • Age limit: Most banks don't have minimum age limits for children's bank accounts that are co-owned with adults. However, some banks may have maximum age limits for child accounts, which can restrict eligibility.
  • Children's access to account funds: Parents should look into what restrictions, if any, banks have on children being able to access the funds in co-owned child savings accounts.

Children’s savings accounts FAQ

What's the minimum age for opening a savings account?

In most states, you must be at least 18 years old to open a savings account, since you can’t sign a legal document under that age. However, minors and children can have joint savings accounts with their parents, legal guardians, or in some cases, grandparents.

Can a grandparent open an account in a child's name?

In some cases, a grandparent may be allowed to open an account for their grandchild as a co-owner or joint account holder. For example, a grandparent can open an Alliant Kids Savings Account for their grandchild. However, policies often differ between banks, so it’s best to speak to a banker at your financial institution.

How do joint bank accounts work for minors?

Typically, when a parent opens a joint bank account with a minor, the parent becomes a co-owner and has full access to the account. Depending on the bank's policy, the child who is a co-owner may also have full access to the account, including being able to make withdrawals.

Some banks that offer special child accounts may limit children's access, such as requiring their co-owner parent or guardian to sign in with their username and password to approve transfers or withdrawals.

The best savings accounts for kids: bottom line

Opening a savings account for kids can be a smart financial choice. When researching the best savings accounts for kids, consider the APY rate, account fees, minimum balance, and ATM accessibility. These factors can help you narrow down your options.

If your kid is nearing 18, consider introducing them to one of the best banks or best high-yield savings accounts. They can also explore our list of the best online banks for more account options that are easily accessible from anywhere.

Our methodology

To choose the best savings accounts for kids, we researched and compared different options available in the market. We looked at factors such as interest rates, monthly service fees, minimum opening deposits, age limits, and parental controls. We also considered the stability and reputation of the banks offering these savings accounts.

Based on these factors, we selected several savings accounts for kids that are NCUA or FDIC insured and offer attractive benefits and features. We considered the pros and cons of each account and how it can help children learn about money and saving.

Note that our list is not in any specific order, and we did not review every savings account for kids in the market. Our recommendations are meant to serve as a starting point for your research. We suggest that you compare different savings accounts available after you read our recommendations to find the one that matches your goals for your child.

Customers Bank High Yield Savings Account Benefits

  • Incredible 5.11% APY1 to boost your savings
  • Interest is compounded daily and posted to your account monthly
  • Enjoy 24/7 online access to your account and funds
  • FDIC insured, no fees, $1 minimum deposit

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.

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