Giving your son or daughter hands-on experience with a kids savings account might be the best way to show them that setting money aside can help it grow.
You’ll have to co-sign the application, and you’ll want to show your child how to make the most of the account. As with a standard savings account, that begins with finding a high rate and avoiding monthly maintenance fees.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite savings accounts for kids. To see if you could get a better return on your own savings accounts, skip ahead to our quiz.
|Capital One 360 Kids Savings Account|
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|Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account|
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|Boeing Employees Credit Union Early Saver Account|
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|Bank of America Minor Savings Account|
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Best online tools
Capital One 360 Kids Savings Account, 1% APYCapital One 360’s tech tools and easy-to-use website are crowd favorites, and its kids savings account is just as impressive. It comes with an above-average annual percentage yield of 1%, and the online bank doesn’t charge a monthly service fee or require a minimum opening deposit.
You and your child can create automatic savings plans and establish goals to track and tweak as you go. The account can be opened for anyone younger than 18. (To see how one of the bank’s other savings accounts compares, check out our list of high-yield online savings accounts.)
Best credit union option
Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account, 1.45% APYAlliant’s offerings, its kids savings account doesn’t disappoint. The 1.45% APY can help children earn a good return on their savings, but the account earns interest only once it has at least $100 in it. The account is free as long as you enroll in electronic statements. The credit union will even pay the $5 opening deposit requirement.
But before you open this or any other account at Alliant, you’ll have to become a member. Membership requirements are broad: either work or have worked for an eligible employer, be a member of a qualifying organization, live in a qualifying community in Illinois, be a relative of a member, or donate $10 to an Alliant-affiliated nonprofit that supports foster children. Alliant doesn’t have many branches, but its website and mobile app are easy to use. The kids savings account is available to children 12 and younger. Parents of older children can open a standard Alliant savings account for them; it also comes with a 1.45% APY.
» Want more options? Here’s the full list of NerdWallet’s best savings accounts
Best special APY
BECU Early Saver account, 0.10% APYBoeing Employees Credit Union offers a kids savings account that has all the hallmarks of a good account, like no monthly maintenance fee and a low minimum deposit requirement. But what really separates the Early Saver account from the pack is its 6.17% APY on your first $500 in deposits.
The 0.10% APY that kicks in after that is far less impressive, but the credit union’s tools and customer service are solid enough to warrant a spot on our list.
The account is available for kids 17 and younger. Once they turn 18, they can convert their kids savings account into a Member Advantage account, the credit union’s best savings option. One shortcoming that may require you to park your savings elsewhere: To open this or any other account at BECU, you’ll have to be a member, and membership is mostly limited to residents of Washington state, as well as Boeing employees and their families.
Best brick-and-mortar option
Bank of America Minor Savings Account, 0.01% APY
Although online banking has enabled people to take care of most banking tasks from home, some parents may want to give their children the chance to visit a branch. If that’s the case, Bank of America’s savings account for minors will be your best bet, as the bank has about 4,500 branches across the U.S.
The 0.01% APY is lower than the already paltry national average of 0.06%, but at least the account is free. The account can be opened for children younger than 18 at a branch.
Using a kids savings account as a learning tool
Once you’ve opened an account, introduce your child to the basics of money management, like setting aside a portion of his or her allowance and differentiating between short- and long-term savings. Start early enough, and your child will be a seasoned pro by the time he or she turns 18.
Updated Nov. 27, 2017.
To determine the best accounts, we took a close look at 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, Internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. For this roundup, we considered only those banks with at least 1,000 branches in at least 15 states.
Financial institutions surveyed include: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Bank5 Connect, BankDirect, Bank of America, Bank of Internet, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIT, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, EverBank, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, M&T Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, PurePoint Financial, Qapital, Radius Bank, Regions Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Simple, Star One Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, Union Bank, UFB Direct, USAA, U.S. Bank, Varo, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank, and Zions Bank.