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Best Teen Savings Accounts at Community Banks – NerdWallet’s Picks

Nov. 30, 2012
Personal Finance
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For teens, a savings account is the perfect starter account. Savings accounts allow a limited number of withdrawals each month, which encourages teens to keep their money stashed away for later. It also rewards them for saving by paying them with interest. The more teens save, the more money they make. It’s easy to see that saving money is a good idea. It’s not so easy to know which account is right for your teen. When you and your teen are looking for the perfect bank, why not stay local? NerdWallet’s research shows that community banks can almost always offer you a better deal than a big bank. With a community bank savings account, your teen can support a local business and still reap big rewards.

Teen savings accounts: things to look for

A good savings account, for teens or adults, has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. You should also look for a high interest rate when possible. Under federal law, you’re allowed a maximum of 6 covered transactions per month. Also, if your teen isn’t a legal adult (under 18), you’ll have to cosign the account and assume responsibility for any overdrafts, missed payments or fees. We did the homework for you and compiled a list of fantastic teen savings accounts at community banks across the country, just to give you a taste of what’s out there.

Alarion Kids Club – Alarion Bank (Ocala, FL)

Don’t let the name fool you: the Alarion Kids Club account is perfect for anyone under 18. You only need $5 to open it, so it’s an especially good fit for new savers. If your teen balks at the idea of being in a kids club, you can also get them a regular savings account, which earns the same interest rate but has more restrictions. While you’re researching accounts, be sure to check out Alarion Bank’s simple college planning calculator. Alarion Bank has branches in Ocala, Gainesville, Alachua, Jacksonville, St. Augustine and The Villages.

Teen Club – Bank North (Crivitz, WI)

Bank North’s Teen Club is great for teens 12 – 18 who need the flexibility to make regular purchases. It allows up to 10 withdrawals per month with no penalty, plus it comes with an ATM card and easy access to online banking. Teens 16 and older can also open a Teen Club Checking account. This free account automatically converts to a regular free checking account when your teen turns 18, and it gives them great money management practice. Bank North has branch location in Amberg, Crivitz, Pembine and Wausaukee.

Moola – Chesapeake Bank (Kilmarnock, VA)

Chesapeake Bank’s Moola youth savings account offers the same interest rate as the adult account, but requires a lower minimum balance to earn interest. Your teen has the option of keeping this account for their first few years of college, too (the maximum age is 22). If your teen’s balance drops below $25, they won’t earn interest, but the account is still free. Youth under 13 can take advantage of the Moola account’s prize program. Chesapeake Bank has branches in Irvington, Lively, Matthews, Gloucester, Williamsburg and Richmond.

KleinKids Smart Saver – KleinBank (Big Lake, MN)

KleinBank’s KleinKids Smart Savers account is a good fit for preteens and younger teens up to age 15. It has a low minimum balance requirement of $5 and comes with 4 free in-person withdrawals each month. Teens will also get a gift on their birthday, and younger teens may want to take advantage of the prize program, too. Older teens can sign up for a Basic Savings account, which requires a minimum balance of $50 to avoid fees. KleinBank has branches in Big Lake, Buffalo, Chanhassen, Chaska, Cologne, Coon Rapids, Madison, Maple Grove, Montevideo, Norwood Young America, Otsego, Plymouth, Savage, Shakopee, St. Bonifacius, Victoria and Waconia.

Youth Statement Savings – Malvern Federal Savings Bank (Paoli, PA)

Youth ages 8 – 18 can open a Youth Statement Savings account at Malvern Federal Savings Bank with a deposit as low as $1. You only need $10 in the account to earn interest, but even if you don’t, the account’s still free. The Youth Statement Savings account also comes with Internet banking, making it incredibly easy for you and your teen to keep tabs on your balance. Malvern Federal Savings Bank has branches in Berwyn, Glen Mills, Pottstown, Exton, Downingtown, Malvern, Paoli and West Chester.

RISING STAR Savings – Northside Bank (Adairsville, GA)

Northside Bank’s Rising Star Savings Account is open to teens 17 and under. It earns the same interest rate as the regular SHOOTING STAR Savings account, but has a lower minimum opening deposit. This free account pays dividends monthly. Northside Bank has branch locations in Adairsville, Cartersville and Calhoun.

Children’s Savings – Renasant Bank (Tupelo, MS)

Renasant Bank’s Children’s Savings account is open to teens 18 and under, and it doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit requirement. While you’re doing research, be sure to check out their unique, user-friendly collection of savings calculators. The Cool Million calculator lets you know how long it will take to have a million dollars with your current savings plan. There’s also a college savings calculator, an emergency savings calculator, and even a lunch savings calculator, in addition to many others. Renasant Bank has locations in select areas of Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

MyStyle Savings – Union Bank and Trust Company (Lincoln, NE)

The MyStyle Savings account from Union Bank and Trust Company is perfect for the tech-savvy older teen or college student. It’s open to anyone ages 16 – 25. Choose 3 of 4 bonuses to create the perfect account: a monthly maintenance fee waiver, a $25 anniversary bonus, one overdraft fee waived per year or 2,500 rewards points. We definitely recommend getting the fee waiver! For most teens, we also recommend the waived overdraft fee, because it gives them a buffer in case they withdraw too much. For the third bonus, they can earn some extra money in the form of cash or points. Each bonus comes with unique restrictions, so be sure to read the fine print. Union Bank and Trust Company has branches in Nebraska and Kansas.

Young Saver Account – First Liberty Bank (Oklahoma City, OK)

First Liberty Bank’s Young Saver account is open to teens 17 and under. You don’t need a minimum deposit to open the account, making it a good choice for new savers. It also comes with online banking with electronic or traditional paper statements. This account also earns more than double the national average for savings accounts: 0.25% APY on any balance. First Liberty Bank’s main branch is located in Oklahoma City.

Teen Advantage – HomeTown Bank (Roanoke, VA)

HomeTown Bank’s Teen Advantage account for teens 13 – 17 has a low opening deposit of $10. It comes with unlimited deposits and in-person withdrawals, plus easy access to online banking. For more information about saving money, or opening a checking account, be sure to check out HomeTown Bank’s Student Life Stages page. HomeTown Bank has branches in Roanoke, Moneta and Christianburg.