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What Is the Best Bank for Kids?

VirginiaLynne is a mother of five. She writes about parenting, crafts, and games for children, family fun, and Christian ministry ideas.

What Is the Best Bank for Kids and Teens?

As the oldest of my five kids became teenagers, I knew we needed to find a better way for them to save money than to keep it in a stash in their rooms. We had savings accounts for kids at our bank, but those required making a trip to the bank to get money out or put it in, so we never really used them. The fact is, I had become my kids' bank, and I wanted to give up the job.

What was I looking for? I wanted an account that would:

  • not charge a fee, even if they didn't have much money in the account.
  • let me transfer money in and out of the account easily online.
  • allow my kids to see how much money was in the account and keep track of their spending.
  • encourage them to save their money by giving them interest.
  • give them a debit card so they could make purchases when I wasn't with them and practice handling transactions on their own.
As the oldest of my five kids became teenagers, I knew we needed to find a better way for them to save money.

As the oldest of my five kids became teenagers, I knew we needed to find a better way for them to save money.

How Much Do You Know About Kids and Money?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Most children imitate the savings and spending habits of their parents.
    • true.
    • false.
  2. 80% of parents believe schools teach about money.
    • true
    • false
  3. 85% of High School and College Students say that whatever they learned about money was from parents.
    • true
    • false
  4. What percentage of Americans fail a major life goal because of poor money management skills?
    • 1 out of 10
    • 1 out of 5
    • 1 out of 3
    • 2 out of 3
  5. What percentage of high schoolers have a budget?
    • 15%
    • 22%
    • 56%
    • 68%
  6. What percentage of Americans worries about money every day?
    • 15%
    • 33%
    • 57%
    • 70%
  7. What is the fastest growing age group filing for bankruptcy?
    • 18-24 year olds
    • 20-33 year olds
    • 30-40 year olds
    • 40-50 year olds
  8. Among college students who have credit card debt, what is the average amount?
    • $550
    • $1,000
    • $3,000
    • $7,800
  9. What problems can poor credit rating cause?
    • can't borrow money for car
    • have difficulty renting an apartment
    • have trouble getting a job
    • all of the above
  10. What percentage of parents of High Schoolers say their kids are not prepared to manage money?
    • 5%
    • 25%
    • 56%
    • 74%

Answer Key

  1. true.
  2. true
  3. true
  4. 2 out of 3
  5. 22%
  6. 70%
  7. 18-24 year olds
  8. $7,800
  9. all of the above
  10. 56%

Our Solution

After looking into some local bank programs and finding they did not meet our needs, I got an offer from my online bank, Capital One 360, about their Kids Savings Accounts and Teen MONEY Checking Accounts. I signed up all of my kids for both accounts over eight years ago and have never looked for another bank since. I recommend these accounts to my friends because Kids Savings and Teen MONEY accounts:

  • are easy for kids to understand and use.
  • allow teens to practice using a checking account, savings, debit card and checks.
  • are linked to my account so that I can monitor their spending and also transfer money.
  • allow quick online uploading of checks using a phone or computer.
  • give a debit card for teens to use (Teen MONEY).
  • allow 18-year-olds to easily transfer to a personal adult account, but also keep a joint account with their parents (which has made it very easy for me to give them money while in college).
  • allow kids to have both a checking account and a savings account.
  • Allow a young adult to move toward an adult banking account when they are ready (as my oldest just did when she graduated college!).

Having both a savings and a checking account helps teach kids how to use their money wisely. Just like in adult accounts, the savings account earns a bit more interest so they have an incentive to save rather than spend, and the checking account gives them a debit card so that they don't always have to carry cash. The checking account has an account and router number teens can use to sign up for direct deposits from a job, and they can order paper checks for $5.00 if they need them.

Is Capital 360 Banking Safe for Kids?

One way to teach your kids about using their money wisely is to help them understand what makes a bank safe. We looked at the Capital 360 website to find out about how safe this bank would be. Here is what we found:

  • Capital 360 is an online bank that started in 2000 and is headquartered in Delaware.
  • Bankrate gives them a "5 Star Safe & Sound" rating.
  • It is a federally charted bank insured by the FDIC, with deposits insured up to $250,00 per person.
  • The website offers financial education information to help customers understand banking.
  • Parents have control of adding deposits or transferring money online, but kids under 18 can only view their accounts online and need to use their debit card or checks for payment.
  • Debit cards can be locked and unlocked on the mobile app or online if they are lost or stolen.
As they became teens, I wanted to teach my kids how to handle money and encourage them to save.

As they became teens, I wanted to teach my kids how to handle money and encourage them to save.

Bank for Kids Poll

Why Online Banking Helped Our Family

Looking at the website, I realized that this banking plan was designed to teach kids to save money and to help them learn about interest. I've especially liked the fact that by having an account where they can track the money they have has encouraged my kids to save the money they've gotten from their grandparents or earned from babysitting.

When we had traditional banking accounts, they always seemed reluctant to give me their money because it seemed to "disappear." I hated to have them keep cash or checks in their rooms because I was always worried it would get misplaced. Moreover, before it seemed my children always felt they needed to spend all of the money they received. Now that they can use the app to see their accounts, they are much more inclined to save rather than spend.

What do You Need to Open a Kid's Savings Account?

Parents will need to have their own bank account in order to open an account for their child. Additionally, opening an account requires:

  • opening up a Capital One 360 checking account for the parent (if you don't already have one).
  • giving personal information about the parent, which includes a Social Security number.
  • providing account and routing numbers of the parent's bank account.
  • verifying the parent's ownership of the checking account by confirming one or two small deposits made into the account by Capital 360.

Benefits of Teen Checking

Teens can save up for bigger purchases.

Teens can save up for bigger purchases.

Facts About Kid's Savings Accounts

  • The accounts earn interest.
  • There are no fees or minimum balances.
  • You can set up savings goals.
  • Parents can link their account to their child's to deposit or transfer money.
  • You can create different accounts for different savings goals.
  • Automatic payments can be made from a parent's account for allowance or other regular earnings.
  • Kids can view their account at any time but only parents can transfer funds.
  • You can't withdraw funds from the account until the link is validated. New accounts can't be withdrawn for 10 banking days.
  • Only 6 transfers can occur each month.
  • Up to 3 personal checking accounts can be linked to one Kids Savings account, which means that parents and grandparents or other relatives can all add or withdraw money easily online.
  • If you have any trouble with the account. You can chat online or call 1-877-514-2265.

MONEY Teen Checking Account

Although it is called a Teen account, there is no age minimum, so I set up one of these for all of my kids at the same time that I set up the savings accounts. My two teenagers at the time (14 and 17) kept track of their own debit card, while I held on to the cards of the 3 younger siblings until they were older.

Features of Teen MONEY Checking Account

  • No fees for setting it up.
  • No minimum balance.
  • Small interest rate which is variable.
  • Mastercard Debit Card with PIN.
  • Access cash from 39,000 free ATM machines.
  • Deposit checks directly using a phone, or transfer money into the account from parent account.
  • Text alerts can be set up to help parents and teens keep track of money.
  • Transactions can be viewed by parents and teens.
  • The account can receive direct deposits from a teen's job.
  • No foreign transaction fees if students are traveling outside the country (I know this because both of my kids took trips abroad and used this debit card for transactions and cash).

What Can Teens Do on MONEY Accounts?

  • See balance and transactions.
  • Change the nickname, PIN, personal information and "Saver ID."
  • Set up and receive text and email alerts about account activity.
  • Use the debit Mastercard for purchases or getting money from ATM machines.
  • Deposit checks using their phone or computer, and set up direct deposit.
  • Look at and download account history and statements.

What Can Adults Do on MONEY Accounts?

  • Everything the teen can do.
  • Use Automatic Savings plan to transfer money to account systematically.
  • Use personal finance software like Quicken, Money, or CSV to download transactions on this account.

Signing Up Facts

Teen MONEY Accounts operate similarly to the Kids Savings Account, but some differences are that:

  • The adult sponsor does not have to be the teen's parent, but must be over 18.
  • The adult sponsor must have a Capital 360 account.
  • Both the teen and the adult must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a Social Security number.

Other Kids Banking Tips?

Capital 360 has been an excellent bank for us. My kids also liked the fact that they got an extra $20 in their account when I responded to a special offer.

Once my oldest daughter turned 18, I got a notice that the bank would work with us to turn the account over to her. That process took a while but went smoothly for both my oldest daughter and then my son. While they were in college, these accounts made it easy for me to transfer funds to them when necessary.

When my daughter went out of state for graduate school this year, she closed our joint account and is now banking on her own. We feel that using the Capital 360 accounts prepared her for handling her finances and making responsible banking decisions.

If you know a tip for helping kids learn about banking, please leave a comment below!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 25, 2012:

You are right about changes toknowinfo! Actually, ING just added a feature that lets you use an app to deposit checks by taking pictures with your phone or iPad. That will be great for us. I haven't tried it out yet, but plan to with my daughter's checks she gets from babysitting for our neighbor.

toknowinfo on October 25, 2012:

This is a very helpful and informative hub. Letting kids have their own savings account is a valuable way to teach them the value of money and good savings habits. It is important to keep up on what the banks do, because sometimes they change the rules in mid stream. Great hub.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 18, 2012:

Tipstoretireearly--you are right. I love the fact that I get about the same interest or more than my brick bank savings/checking. So I use my ING DIRECT account for savings and transfer from my own home back and forth as needed.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 18, 2012:

I am so glad to help Dee--I was so glad to find this bank myself that I was hoping it would help others.

tipstoretireearly from New York on September 18, 2012:

Great info. I've found that ing direct has some innovative accounts for adults too.

Dee aka Nonna on September 18, 2012:

This is amazing. I have been looking for online banking information so that we can get accounts started for my grandchildren. The local banks are very difficult make is impossible for kids, who do not have large amounts of money, to enjoy the checking/savings banking experience.

Thank you for sharing this. Voted up, useful, and sharing.