A kids savings account is a great way to start teaching your child the basics of money management.
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 comparing interest rates and 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 an automatic savings plan and establish goals to track and tweak as the savings grow. The account can be opened for anyone younger than 18. (To check out the bank’s other savings accounts, see our list of high-yield online savings accounts.)
Best credit union option
Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account, 1.50% APYAlliant’s offerings, its kids savings account doesn’t disappoint. The 1.50% APY can help children earn a decent return on their savings, but 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 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: You need to 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 1.50% APY.
» Want to compare options for yourself? See NerdWallet’s list of 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, including no monthly maintenance fee and a low minimum deposit requirement.
Be aware that 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.
If you qualify, 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 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. Note that, as with the Early Saver account, once the balance tops $500, the account’s enticing APY falls to 0.10%.
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 will be your best bet, as the bank has about 4,500 branches across the U.S.
The 0.03% APY is lower than the already dismal national average of 0.07%, but at least the account is free. The account can be opened for children younger than 18 at a branch with a $25 minimum deposit.
Using a kids savings account as a learning tool
Once you’ve opened an account, help your child learn the best practices for managing money, such as setting aside a portion of his or her allowance and understanding the difference between short- and long-term savings. Start early enough, and your child will be a seasoned pro by the time they turn 18.
Updated April 11, 2018.
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.