Opening a savings account for your kid is a great way to teach money management skills and start him or her on the way to financial success. The best savings accounts for kids have great interest rates and few fees — like the best savings accounts for adults. They also have tools for parents to help their kids set goals and watch their money grow.
Here’s a look at NerdWallet’s favorites. To see if you could get a better return on your savings account, skip ahead to our quiz.
Best Savings Accounts for Kids 2018
- Capital One 360 Kids Savings Account, 1.00% APY
- Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account, 2.00% APY
- Bank of America Minor Savings Account, 0.03% APY
- Golden 1 Credit Union Youth Savings Account, 0.15% APY
- BECU Early Saver Account, up to 6.17% APY
|Capital One 360 Kids Savings Account|
|Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account|
|Bank of America Minor Savings Account|
|Golden 1 Youth Savings Account|
|Boeing Employees Credit Union Early Saver Account|
» Want to explore top-notch online savings accounts? Skip ahead to compare three options
Capital One: Best online tools
CAPITAL ONE 360 KIDS SAVINGS ACCOUNT, 1.00% APY
Capital One 360 has a kids savings account that offers mobile deposit, a phone app and the ability to link to external bank accounts. It comes with an attractive annual percentage yield of 1.00%, and the online bank doesn’t charge a monthly service fee or require a minimum opening deposit.
Is there a special toy that is at the top of your child’s wish list? You and your child can create an automatic savings plan with the account, establish goals and track the balance as it grows. The account can be opened for anyone younger than 18.
Alliant: Best overall APY
ALLIANT CREDIT UNION KIDS SAVINGS ACCOUNT, 2.00% APY
Alliant offers 2.00% APY, so your child can earn a stellar return, though the account earns interest only if the balance is at least $100. The account is free as long as you enroll in electronic statements (otherwise there’s a $1 monthly fee for paper statements). The credit union operates mostly online, and its mobile apps are highly rated.
The kids savings account is available to children age 12 and younger. There’s an opening deposit requirement of $5, but Alliant will pay it. Parents of older children can open a standard Alliant savings account for them; it also comes with a 1.95% APY. Or your teen could open an Alliant teen checking account, which earns interest and comes with a debit card.
Before you open this or any other account at Alliant, you’ll have to become a member. Requirements to apply for membership are broad: You need to be an employee, or former employee, of an eligible company; be a member of a qualifying organization; live in a qualifying community in Illinois; or be a relative of a member. Or you can indicate support of an Alliant-affiliated nonprofit that helps foster children; Alliant will pay the $5 donation on your behalf.
» Want to compare more options? See NerdWallet’s list of best savings accounts
Bank of America: Best brick-and-mortar option
BANK OF AMERICA MINOR SAVINGS ACCOUNT, 0.03% APY
Although online banking lets you do most basic 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 is a good option, as the bank has about 4,400 branches across the U.S.
The 0.03% APY is lower than the already dismal national average of 0.09%. The big plus? The account is free. It can be opened for children younger than 18 at a branch with a $25 minimum deposit.
Golden 1: Best for kid autonomy
Golden 1 Credit Union Youth Savings Account, 0.15% APY
Golden 1 Credit Union has a youth savings account that lets kids deposit and withdraw money without an adult present, though an adult member does have to be a joint owner on the account. The savings account has no monthly fees, requires just $1 to open and earns a little bit more than the national average savings rate of 0.09% APY.
You can access the account via mobile app, but Golden 1 also participates in a shared branch co-op with other credit unions, so members can access more than 5,000 branches across the country. If you live in California, you may be near one of Golden 1’s own 80 statewide branches.
You and your child will need to be Golden 1 members to open an account, but the credit union has lenient requirements. You can be eligible if you live or work in California, belong to a partner employee group, or join the nonprofit Financial Fitness Association, which costs $8.
BECU: Best special APY
BECU EARLY SAVER ACCOUNT, 6.17% APY
Boeing Employees Credit Union is not an easy credit union to join, but its steller promotional APY earns it in a mention on this list. You and your child could tap the Early Saver account’s 6.17% APY on the first $500 in deposits. A lackluster 0.10% APY applies to the rest of the savings, but it has other hallmarks of a good savings account, including no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum deposit requirement.
The BECU Early Saver 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 premier savings option. As with the Early Saver account, once the balance tops $500, the account’s enticing APY falls to 0.10%.
You have to be a credit union member to open an account. Membership is mostly limited to people who live or work in Washington state — or a few counties in Oregon and Idaho — as well as Boeing employees or members of partner associations.
Online alternatives for parents
The following accounts have competitive interest rates and are a great choice for parents looking to maximize their own savings accounts.
Using a kids savings account as a learning tool
Once you’ve opened an account, help your child to learn the best practices for managing money, like setting aside a portion of his or her allowance and understanding the difference between short- and long-term savings. Start early enough, and your children will be seasoned pros by the time they turn 18. (Read tips on when to pay your child’s allowance in cash and when to go for prepaid debit cards or bank transfers.)
Best Savings Accounts for Kids 2018
|Account||Interest rate on savings||Minimum deposit to open|
|Capital One 360 Kids Savings Account||1.00%||$0|
|Golden 1 Youth Savings Account||0.15%||$1|
|Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account||2.00%||$5|
|Boeing Employees Credit Union Early Saver Account||Up to 6.17%||$0|
|Bank of America Minor Savings Account||0.03%||$25|
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.
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, TIAA Bank, 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.