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Financial Foundations: Top Picks for Kids’ Bank Accounts in 2024

Teaching children about money is crucial to their financial education. One effective way to instill financial literacy is by helping them open the correct bank accounts. While it might initially feel daunting to release some control, parents can still maintain oversight to help their kids make sound financial decisions. Opening a children’s bank account has multiple benefits. It reinforces fundamental banking concepts, teaches budgeting skills, emphasizes the importance of saving, and provides a platform for long-term savings goals, such as education expenses.

The Best Bank Accounts for Kids & Children

  1. Copper Banking: Best Kids Checking Account

Copper Banking is an excellent choice for parents seeking a valid checking account for their kids. Copper stands out with virtually no fees, robust educational features, and additional capabilities like guided investing. Copper’s app and debit card are tailored for teenagers and help to promote wise financial choices by facilitating a connection between parents and their children. The application offers an uncomplicated method to monitor spending, enables instant money transfers, and includes features like automatic saving that instill sound financial habits.

  1. Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account: Best Savings Account for Kids

Alliant Credit Union presents an excellent savings account designed for children, featuring a competitive 3.10% APY. This shared savings account is accessible to children under 13, offering an early opportunity to initiate wealth-building. With a minimal initial deposit requirement of just $5, it stands as an ideal option for those aiming at long-term savings objectives.

  1. Greenlight: Best Kids Debit Card

Greenlight offers a compelling alternative with its prepaid debit card for parents who are not keen on opening a joint or custodial account. Greenlight is a kid-friendly debit card and money management app that empowers parents to oversee their kids’ allowance funds. The base plan includes features like an in-app chore list, automated allowance transfers, and real-time spending notifications.

  1. Step: Best Kids Credit Building Account

Step provides a unique opportunity to give kids a head start in building credit. This credit-building app and debit card for teens has no minimum age or balance requirements. With features like a 5% APY on savings with a qualifying direct deposit, early access to direct deposit, and investment options in stocks, ETFs, and bitcoin, Step equips teens with valuable financial tools.

When to Open a Children’s Bank Account

Opening a bank account for kids is advantageous as early as possible. The longer the money has to earn interest, the more it can grow to help children achieve their financial goals. With online banks and fintech apps available, ample opportunities exist to teach kids about money management and savings.

How to Open Bank Accounts for Kids

Most bank accounts for kids are joint accounts with a parent or guardian. If a parent already has an adult account at the bank, adding a kids’ account is usually a quick process. Opening an account at a different bank involves signing up for an adult account and then adding the child as the joint account holder. Personal identifying information, such as names, addresses, birthdates, and Social Security numbers, and linking an external bank account for funding is required.

Choosing the Best Kids Bank Account

Before choosing a kids’ bank account, it’s essential to determine specific requirements. When selecting an account, consider if it’s for saving or for additional features like credit-building, ATM access, or a debit card. Look for accounts with mobile apps for both kids and parents, providing kids with some independence to manage money while allowing parents to maintain control and intervene when necessary. Opt for FDIC-insured accounts with no monthly maintenance fees to maximize the funds in the child’s account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Kids Have Their Own Bank Accounts?

Due to U.S. law, children under 18 cannot have sole ownership of deposit accounts. However, most banks allow children to hold joint accounts with a parent or legal guardian.

Can Kids Have Their Debit Cards?

Before initiating conventional bank account setups, numerous parents opt for reloadable prepaid debit cards for their children. These cards offer strict parental controls and are available to kids of all ages.

What’s a Joint Bank Account for Kids?

Joint bank accounts for children are similar to financial accounts held jointly by spouses. Both the parent and the child are account holders in such accounts. Parents can exert control, set spending limits, and manage deposits and withdrawals.

Should You Open a Savings Account for Your Kid?

Yes, a savings account is beneficial for teaching kids to save for long-term goals. As kids develop financial discipline, consider opening a high-yield savings account for more significant savings goals.

What’s a Custodial Bank Account for Kids?

Parents or legal guardians can set up custodial accounts for minor children using the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) and Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA). These accounts are designed for minors who wish to hold assets for long-term savings goals.

Conclusion

Selecting the right bank for opening a kid’s bank account is a personal choice, with numerous banks and credit unions providing viable options. Parents can explore a range of choices, from well-established Banks like Bank of America to smaller entities like Alliant Credit Union, to identify the most fitting option for their family. Making an informed decision involves considering various factors, including monthly maintenance fees, minimum deposit requirements, and additional features each option offers. Exploring bank account promotions can benefit those without an existing banking relationship. The primary goal is to impart financial knowledge to children and instill responsible money management skills early on.

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