Piggy banks are fun for small change, but if you want to teach your kids important lessons about managing money and the power of compound interest, get them their own savings account. While your local bank branch probably offers more than one savings account product, you might consider looking online for one thatâ€™s designed with children in mind.
To aid in your search, we have chosen six savings accounts tailored for kids from a selection of nearly 100 kidsâ€™ savings options offered at banks and credit unions around the country. We based our selections on how well they met these five criteria:
Capital Oneâ€™s Kids Savings Account has all of the features youâ€™d expect to see in a savings account for adults but with the additional feature of parental controls, which makes it a great overall solution for kids of all ages. The account earns 0.30% APY, has no monthly fees and can be opened with $0. You can set it up the account, and make your initial deposit at a later date.
The Kids Savings Account parental controls allows parents to sign into the account under their own usernames and passwords to help their children manage their funds. Parents always control transfers in and out of the account, offering good balance between independence for the young holder and parental oversight. Kids get to view their balance and watch their money grow.
Capital One lets you create an automatic savings plan linked with other accounts, so you can automatically transfer your childâ€™s allowance into their Kids Savings Account. When it comes to geographical reach, Capital One has approximately 500 branch locations, as well as a great mobile banking app, which allows you to deposit checks and check balances.
If you want to be rewarded for consistent savings, the Citizens Bank CollegeSaver account has a bonus you might consider. If you open the account before your child is six and make a deposit of at least $25 each month until your child turns 18, Citizens Bank will give you a $1,000 bonus (the current account APY is a low 0.01%). You can also open this account if your child is between 6 and 12 years of age, but the minimum monthly deposit will be $50 and opening deposit is $500.
If you were to open the account today with an initial deposit of $25 upon the birth of a child (and assume the current APY held for 18 years), and then deposit $25 a month for 18 years, your $5,400 investment would accrue $24.48 in interest. Add the bonus and youâ€™ll end up with $6,449.48. The bank doesnâ€™t put any stipulations on how the money can be spent, so you can use the balance for college or any other financial needs.
If you want to engage your child with educational tools, PNCâ€™s S is for Savings account offers a lot. Granted, this account offers the lowest APY of the banks that made this list, but it makes up for it with its interactive online banking experience.
The Learning Center features Sesame Street characters that will help them learn basic money concepts. The site has fun activities you and your child can do together.
Features include the ability to set up automatic savings deposits that help them see the benefits of having a savings routine. Kids can work towards goals and learn about the three components of money: saving, sharing and spending. As your child gets older, you may choose to transfer their accumulated balance to a savings account at a bank that offers a higher interest rate.
When your child turns 13, Alliant Credit Union considers them to be a young adult, offering their High-Rate Savings Account with a 0.55% APY and no monthly fees. For teens who want to set savings goals, the credit union allows them to set up supplemental accounts that can be earmarked for specific items, such as saving for a new car.
What makes this a great option for a teen is that Alliant also offers an interest-paying teen checking account for kids ages 13-17. The checking account earns an APY of 0.25%. The two accounts can be linked and both will earn your teen interest. Alliant also refunds up to $20 per month in ATM fees if the teen uses out-of-network machines.
To open an account at Alliant Credit Union, you must be a member. Membership is open to employees or former employees of partner businesses or organizations. Or you can join by making a $10 donation to the Foster Care to Success Foundation.
Spectrum Credit Union currently offers the highest interest rate on the market for a kidâ€™s savings account, but only on a relatively limited balance. Spectrumâ€™s MySavings account earns 7.00% APY on account balances up to $1,000, making for a rate thatâ€™s higher than many CDs. Balances over $1,000 earn the regular savings rate, which is 0.30%. A high interest rate can help get kids excited about savings as their balance will grow quicker.
Spectrum Credit Union currently has branches in six states, but deposits can be made nationwide through the Credit Union CO-OP Shared Network. Membership is open to anyone by joining the Contra Costa County Historical Society ($15 membership fee) or the Navy League of the United States ($25 annual membership fee).
Itâ€™s never too early to start teaching your kids about money, and a savings account is a great tool to help accomplish this aim. According to the 9th Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey by T. Rowe Price, 55% of parents said their child has a savings account, but just 23% of kids said that they talk to their parents frequently about money. Parents who discuss financial topics with their kids at least once a week are more likely to have kids who say they are smart about money than than those who do not have a discussion with their children.
Savings accounts show kids the value of saving at an early age. They get to watch their money grow as compound interest work its magic, and they can set short- and long-term goals for the money they save. The reward of achieving the goals will teach life lessons on patience and planning. Once you open an account for your kids, share money management tips with them, things like â€śpaying yourself firstâ€ť by saving a portion of gifts and allowances they receive instead of spending it all.
When you teach your child good money habits early on, you help set them up for success later in life. Putting your child on the path for financial responsibility and independence by choosing the best savings account for kids could be the greatest gift you can give them.