Raising a child comes with numerous responsibilities. And all parents want their children to flourish. No investment is more powerful than what a parent initiates in their time. It’s always smart to make wise financial investments for your child’s future. For instance, you can open the best savings account for kids at most credit unions and traditional banks. It’s vital to open it jointly with your child. In this way, both the name of the child and parent are on the account.
There’s no minimum age requirement for opening a baby savings account. As your kid ages, however, they’ll have to transfer their money to a youth or student savings option. Eventually, they will need an adult savings account. Short of securing the future of your children, it’s advisable to teach them about money with a kids savings account. It is an excellent way to ensure children become financially responsible adults.
A custodial account is one of the best ways kids can learn about money. Keep in mind that under 18 children cannot sign legal documents, such as when opening savings accounts. Instead, parents or guardians can co-own a kids bank account with their child. Your child can take ownership of the account when they are old enough. We recommend that you apply due diligence to find the best savings account for kids for its full benefits. Therefore, in this article, we’ll explore all options on a child savings account so you can match one to your needs.
The Best Savings Account For Kids: Everything You Should Know
If you are reading this post, congratulations. We are going to prepare you for one of the essential tasks in your child’s upbringing; establishing healthy financial habits. First, avoid giving them more than they can handle. It is a slow learning process through which you must not rush your children. Thankfully, financial institutions now offer the best savings account for kids. You can leverage the savings account bonus to grow the funds. Also, there are plenty of benefits, including;
- Teaching your child to plan for the future
- It helps kids maintain their focus on goals and priorities
- Compound interest demonstrates to children how funds grow
- Kids learn to save for their needs patiently
- Educate children on the importance of money and why they shouldn’t waste it
- Learning essential math skills
- Learning basic banking services like depositing a check
Before we tell you about the best children’s savings accounts, here are five useful things to consider;
5 Important Tips and Advice to Consider Before Opening The Best Savings Account For Kids
Today, banks are designing products that specifically assist children in learning solid financial habits. Consider these five tips to help you open the best savings account for kids.
1. Don’t Open A Checking Account For A Savings Account
Remember that you are trying to help your kid learn the value of saving. Checking accounts are meant for spending cash. A checking account is recommended for children who have a job.
2. Combine Branch and Online Banking
Tech-savvy children can complete online banking functions. Even so, it’s still imperative for them to learn appropriate banking etiquette from a physical location. For example, they could deposit money with the teller and keep the receipts while tracking the growth of their deposits on the internet.
3. Encourage Financial Education
It’s not wrong to open a standard savings account where your kid will be putting their allowance. However, it’s recommended to use a kids’ bank account for your child. Most financial institutions make it fun for children to save money while still imparting good money habits. You could check with the bank to see if their website has money tutorials for kids.
4. Search For High-Yielding Accounts
Look for institutions that provide savings accounts with the highest returns. Internet-only banks and credit unions often have the best APYs. But don’t check for interest rates alone. Some high yield accounts may not offer the useful features you want.
5. Check Out Features and Avoid Account Fees
Many financial institutions will waive monthly charges and requirements on minimum balance for a minor’s account. You’ll still want to ask about the features and perks of each account, as the ATM card. The best savings account for kids should have the highest APY with low or no minimum balance requirements.
Top 11 Banks With The Best Savings Account For Kids
Getting a bank account for your child is a smart way to impart sound financial habits early on for a responsible future. The following are eleven banks that can set the foundation for your child’s financial future. We based our selection criteria on several factors, such as the savings account bonus, financial education tools, minimum deposit requirements, APY, and monthly charges. You can open a savings account with these institutions for kids aged from about six years.
1. Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account
The online kids’ savings account at Alliant is for under 12s. Non-Alliant employees can pay $5 to the union for a charity donation to qualify for an account.
- Encourages kids to use the Union’s Mobile Banking app for firsthand baking experience
- Provides online educational content
- 60% APY
- Offers kids’ introductory money management training in partnership with Visa
- $5 intro bonus offer
- Custodial accounts
- Traditional kids accounts
- 529 plan for educational purposes
2. BECU Early Saver Youth Account
Boeing Employee Credit Union’s children’s savings accounts come with all the features of a great account for its membership.
- No monthly charges
- Free mobile and online banking
- $0 opening balance
- 17% APY on the first $500 deposits
- 5% regular APY
- Joint ownership for parents with approved BECU membership
3. Bank of America Kids Savings Account
You can open a minor savings account with the Bank of America for kids under 18 years.
- $0 monthly service fee
- $25 minimum deposit at a branch
- 03% APY
- No daily balance requirement
- Co-ownership by minor and parent
- Custodial UTMA savings option
- A site with content on money management for kids
4. Capital One Kids Savings Account
The former 360 kids’ savings account provides useful tools to impart financial management skills in your child.
- Automatic savings plan
- Individual log-in for balance checking
- $0 opening deposit
- No service fees
- No maintenance charges
- 50% APY
- My Savings Goals tracker tool
- An app allowing parental control
- A website with useful learning content for kids
5. Chase Bank Kids Savings Account
Chase Bank has an attractive savings plan for under 18 children.
- Minimum $25 deposit requirement
- 10% APY
- No monthly charges
- Savings goal tracker
- Online lessons for kids’ proper financial management
6. Fifth Third Bank Kids Savings Account
The Goal Setter Savings Account at Fifth Third Bank is an excellent tool for teaching kids how to budget and save.
- Savings account bonus for each savings goal the child meets
- $5 monthly service fee
- Financial literacy tools for children
- Between 0.01% and 0.05% APY
The bank can waive fees through one of the following requirements;
- Own a checking or express banking account with them
- Keep an average of $500 balance per month or more
- You are a Fifth Third military banking member
- The account belongs to an under 18
7. Justice Federal Credit Union Youth Account
JFCU provides three categories for children’s savings account.
General Top Features
- Cybersafety feature as an alternative to the lacking online banking program
- Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge in partnership with the FBI for kids’ online safety
The three accounts include:
1. Young Savers Account
- For kids below eighteen years
- $5 opening fee
- $0 monthly charges
- No minimum balance requirement
- 0% APY on qualifying balances
2. Grow with Me Savings Account
- High-yielding savings account for children of up to 18 years
- $0 monthly fee
- $500 minimum opening deposit
- Friends and family can contribute $1,000 maximum as new deposits
- Automatic conversion to Students Rewards checking account after 18 years
3. Coverdell Education Account
- Helps parents plan and pay their child’s education for all levels
8. PNC Bank Kids Savings Account
With PNC’s kids’ account, parents can leverage several tools to connect to their children’s finances.
- Safe, secure online funds management through Virtual Wallet Student feature
- Parent Alerts option for joint account holders
- 75% APY
- Convenient cash deposits for parents using the Money From Home feature
- Allows parents to link an existing PNC bank account with the kid’s account
PNC offers two savings options for children:
1. PNC S Kids Savings Account
The savings account is great for parents who want to teach their kids financial basics.
- Sesame Street feature for interactive, online funds management experience
- Online tips to impart financial basics
- $0 service for under 18s
- Earn interest from as little as $1 balances
- Goal Setting feature
2. PNC Standard Savings Account
You can still use the traditional regular savings account at PNC to teach your kids positive money management.
- Auto savings tool
- $25 minimum opening balance
- $0 service fee
- $0 minimum balance requirement
9. TD Bank Simple Savings Account
The everyday savings account at TD Bank is what you’ll get if you want to save money for your child. However, it has different features for a kids’ savings account.
- $0 monthly service fee
- No minimum daily balance
- 15% APY
- Free automatic transfers from other bank accounts
10. USAlliance Federal Credit Union Kids Savings Account
The USAlliance Credit Union has one of the best savings accounts for kids. MyLife savings account for children has different transition options for your child.
- Kids earn $10 yearly in birthday gifts
- Budgeting aid tools
- Dedicated Financial education page with a student center
- Account transitions to MyLife Savings or MyLife Teen Checking account after 13
- 05% APY on qualifying account balances
11. Wells Fargo Ways2Save Savings Account for Kids
The Ways2Save is another excellent option for parents who wish to guide their kids through proper money management.
- $25 minimum deposit to open
- 01% APY
- $0 monthly charges
- $0 charges to transfer funds online between Wells Fargo accounts
Wells Fargo is another banking institution that offers different options for kids’ savings. Parents can pick from one of the following three choices;
1. Joint Ownership
- Allows the child to use the savings account as you monitor its activities
- Both you and the child can deposit and withdraw funds
- Optional ATM card for your kid
- Optional to link the account to a Wells Fargo debit card
- Wells Fargo Online feature for kids from 13 years
2. Minor By
- Only the parent can deposit and withdraw funds
- Optional to link the account to a Wells Fargo debit card
- Children can access the account once they turn 18
3. UTMA or UGMA
The Uniforms Transfers Minors Act or Gift to Minors Act is for parents or adults who want to make an irrevocable gift to their child.
- The parent is the sole custodian for the account’s funds
- Kids can control and access the account once they reach an age defined by the state
You’ve seen the top best savings account for kids. But there are other ways you can put aside funds for your son or daughter.
7 Best Alternatives For Kids Savings Accounts
1. Roth IRA
Roth IRA accounts are a tax-smart method to set aside college money plus other investments for your children. Simply open an account at a discount brokerage and deposit up to $5,500 annually. Since 2019, the IRA is allowing as much as $6,000 annual contributions. Account-holders of age 50 and above can deposit up to $7,000 yearly to a Roth IRA.
While Roth IRA funds are not tax-deductible, you can use the growth to;
- Pay for school
- Purchase the first house
- Manage life after retirement
- Tax-free growth on contributions and earnings
- Withdraw contributions at any time without income tax charge or penalties
- You can withdraw all the funds with no tax or penalties at 59½ years for your kids’ or grandchildren expense
- Parents can retain the remaining Roth funds in the Roth account to fund their retirement
- Low annual contribution limits compared to what you can deposit to a bank or 529 plan
- Roth contributions have no state income tax deductions
2. Coverdell Education Savings Account
Coverdell is very similar to Roth IRA. The maximum $2,000 annual deposits are not tax-deductible. But unlike Roth accounts, growth and distributions are tax-deductible for Coverdell accounts.
You must spend the funds on qualified education expenses or pay the penalty. Qualified may include items such as;
- Elementary school payments
- Fees for middle school
- High school tuition
- Funding secondary education
- No waiting period to make your distributions
- Easy to open an account with online brokerages
- Spend on education from elementary level to secondary school
- Tax-free deductible contributions
- Low annual deposits
3. Custodial Accounts
A custodial account is an excellent way to save money for your kids without allowing them access to the funds until they come of age. Most states allow children to access custodial accounts once they reach 18 years. While the money is your child’s name, you make the deposits and manage the account.
Parents can set up custodial accounts at banks like Chase, PNC, or TD Bank. Alternatively, they can open an account with brokerage companies such as Franklin Templeton or Schwab. The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act, also UGMA, and the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act, also UTMA, are responsible for governing these accounts.
- Allows kids to own other assets or securities
- Secure way to save money for your children without their interference
- Best financial preparedness tools for children who may not go to college
- Great way to give a monetary gift when your child reaches adulthood
- No tax benefits as other savings options
- Doesn’t teach kids financial management
4. 529 Plans
The 529 plans work similarly to Roth IRAs, although they are for education expenses and not retirement. Initially, you could only use 529 or post-secondary education. However, recent expansions through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cover K-12 tuition with a maximum of $10,000 for each beneficiary.
529 plans will vary depending on the state. Besides, they offer the flexibility of investing in a different state to where you live. For example, you can invest funds in Wisconsin’s 529 plans but live in Texas. Even though some states have tax-deductible contributions to a set limit, these are only for state residents on the said plan.
The two main types of 529 plans include;
- Prepaid education plans: The program allows you to make upfront payments for the beneficiary’s expenses at their designated schools
- Savings plans: Tax-free savings accounts like Roth IRAs and Coverdell
- Benefits on state income taxes for its 529 plan contributions
- Tax-free contributions and earnings
- No limits on age or income
- Allows significant contributions depending on the state requirements
- Tax-free withdrawals for qualified education payments
- Allows switching of beneficiaries
- Penalties for non-education expenses withdrawals
- Limited investment options
5. Life Insurance
Life insurance is among the most complex methods to save money for your child. Even so, it’s still one of the best savings accounts for kids. For each dollar you pay for permanent life insurance premiums, part of it goes to a death benefit, and another goes to cash-value account. Comprehensive or whole life insurance is the best type of permanent life insurance. In this case, the issuer will credit your account by a certain amount.
You could get more payments if the investments are doing well. The majority of policyholders can expect returns between 3% and 6% after the first few years. Meanwhile, funds in the cash-value account will continue to grow untaxed, just like a 529 plan.
- Flexibility on how to use the funds without attracting penalties or taxes
- It doesn’t count as a financial aid calculation for college students
- No limitation on your contributions
- Upfront and recurring charges make it costly and unattractive.
6. Health Savings Account
A family insurance plan can help you put away money for your children. The government allows policyholders to set up a health savings account. However, this option is only available for high-deductible plans. In this arrangement, you can deposit as much as $7,000 annually to the savings account.
- The funds are tax-deductible and grow with no taxes
- Enjoy tax-free withdrawals for eligible medical expenses
- Withdraw the funds for any reason at regular income tax rates at age 65
- A dedicated account to healthcare costs can give your child a smooth transition into adulthood
- Limited health savings account for a married couple.
7. Set Up A Trust Fund
While a trust fund is uncommon, it’s among the best savings accounts for kids. While you can set up a trust fund with any amount, it makes sense when you have large cash deposits. You’ll need an attorney to prepare relevant documents for the trust and appoint someone to manage the funds.
- Protects the funds from creditors or splits in a divorce
- Secure way to save money for your kids if you large amounts of cash
- Provides better control over funds disbursements
- Unsuitable plan if you’re not wealthy
- Costly to set up and manage
The Bottom Line
Your child can learn plenty of lessons using a savings account. It imparts vital skills in future planning and staying focused on their priorities and goals. Moreover, children get firsthand experience through witnessing funds growth. In this way, they learn to build patience, save, and wait to purchase an item when they can afford it. It’s an excellent way to teach children not to waste money through impulsive spending. It’s advisable to start with the best savings account for kids before you consider a checking account. The latter is best for college students or those who have a job.
Also, while today’s children are incredibly tech-savvy, they must learn proper banking manners. You can ensure this by encouraging them to deposit money with tellers at a brick-and-mortar branch. The tangible experience that comes with visiting a physical, financial institution branch is vital to reinforcing money lessons.
Opening a savings account for children with one of these institutions is a great idea. But keep in mind that some banks don’t serve in every state. Therefore, it’s recommendable to confirm if they function in your zip area before proceeding. Besides, credit unions come with membership requirements. It would be best to review the conditions first. You can maximize yields on your child’s account by comparing rates on multiple savings accounts.