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Best Checking Accounts For Teens

Rita Oguntuase
Rita Oguntuase
Rita Oguntuase is an experienced content developer with a particular interest in the finance space. Over the course of her career, she has focused on multiple aspects of finance, ranging from insurance and investments to cryptocurrencies and corporate accounting. With a significant wealth of experience under her belt, Rita has helped to cover some of the most pivotal events in finance across this decade. Rita’s expertise has led to her work being featured in several reputable publications - Forbes, Seeking Alpha, Cointelegraph, and much more.

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Table of Contents

If you’re a parent looking to introduce your child to financial management, a teen checking account could be an excellent starting point. These accounts are designed to help boost your child’s financial confidence and provide you with the ability to monitor their transactions. To help you find the best option, we’ve compiled a list of top checking accounts for teens.

Zina Kumok, Personal Finance Expert

Teen checking accounts can be the building block to a solid financial future. It can give your teen the freedom to make financial mistakes without suffering major consequences. It can also help them feel independent.

The Best Teen Checking Accounts

Capital One MONEY Teen Checking

The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking account is a great option for parents looking to help their teens start their financial journey. The account is available to kids between 8 and 18 years old and has a $0 minimum balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fees.

The account provides access to basic financial tools such as online banking and a debit card. Purchases and withdrawals using this account are capped at $500 daily, although parents can set lower spending limits by contacting Capital One’s customer service

The account also allows your teen to set savings goals and earn up to 0.10% interest annually, as of 2023.

As for parents, the mobile app (both Android and iOS) that comes with the checking account provides proper account oversight and the ability to fund it directly. These accounts also don’t support transactions at establishments such as liquor stores, car rentals, and other related online retailers that mainly cater to adults.

Chase First Banking

Chase First Banking makes it easy for parents who are already Chase Bank customers to open teen checking accounts for their children and control their finances. The accounts are available for kids between 6 and 17, with a debit card and online banking support available.

With this account, your teen can set savings goals and process transactions when they wish. You can also monitor their spending habits and even approve or decline money requests.

While there are no monthly or overdraft fees, please note that this account charges $3 for using non-Chase ATMs. The Chase First Banking checking account also doesn’t earn interest and doesn’t require a minimum deposit amount.

Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking

The teen checking account from Alliant Credit Union provides optimal parental controls, allowing parents to get alerts whenever their children withdraw or deposit money or make a purchase with the card. The following requirements must be met to open an account:

  1. Be between the ages of 13 and 17 years old
  2. Have a parent or legal guardian as a joint account holder
  3. Meet the membership eligibility criteria for Alliant Credit Union, which includes living or working in a qualifying location or being a family member of an existing Alliant member
  4. Agree to sign up for electronic statements
  5. Provide a valid Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  6. Make an initial deposit of at least $5 to open the account

This account offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android, with no minimum balance or monthly fees, which makes this account suitable for teens.

It also pays interest on all balances (0.25% APY as of 2023), as long as your teen opts for electronic statements and gets at least one electronic deposit monthly, usually in the form of an allowance or a job.

As for limits, there is a $100 daily spending limit at ATM withdrawals and an overall daily spending limit of $300.

Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking

A notable credit union, Connexus provides an opportunity for parents to set up checking accounts for their kids between 10 and 17. As expected, these accounts come with standard perks – no fees, zero minimum balances, etc.

One notable feature of the Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking account is its high interest rate. This account offers a dividend rate of 2.00% on balances up to $1,000 and a dividend rate of 0.25% on any portion of the balance exceeding $1,000.

This results in a potential APY range of 0.43% to 2.00%. Dividends are compounded and paid out monthly.

Although the account doesn’t have a dedicated set of monitoring tools, parents will be able to access the checking accounts through their separate digital accounts. As expected, opening a Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking account is also limited to just credit union members – although membership requirements are pretty low:

To be eligible for membership, individuals need to be employees, retirees, family members, students or student alumni of participating groups, or residents of select communities and counties in Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

For those who do not meet the standard membership requirements, membership can be obtained by making a one-time $5 donation to the Connexus Association.

Copper Banking Teen Checking

Copper is a digital banking platform that provides access to a seamless set of tools that can help your teenager build sound financial habits via the Teen Checking account feature.

With this account, teenagers get no minimum deposit requirements and zero monthly maintenance fees. They can withdraw money at over 55,000 ATM locations, and parents get real-time alerts whenever a transaction is made with the account. The account doesn’t earn interest, but that shouldn’t necessarily be a dealbreaker.

What sets this account apart, however, is its focus on financial literacy. With optional quizzes, courses, and other educational content available, Copper helps your child to build the right financial habits and teaches them about how money works.

Teen Checking Accounts: What Are They?

A teen checking account is a bank account designed for teenagers, usually between the ages of 10 and 18. It is a joint account, with both the teen and the parent or guardian as co-owners.

Once the account is opened, the teen becomes the primary account owner, with access to all its features. In most cases, teen checking accounts are converted to regular checking accounts when the child reaches legal adulthood.

Why Open A Teen Checking Account?

A teen checking account can provide numerous benefits for parents and teenagers alike. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Financial education: A teen checking account can be a useful tool for teaching financial responsibility and money management skills. It can help teens learn how to maintain money, keep an account, and manage their expenses.
  • Budgeting: A teen checking account can help teenagers learn how to budget their money, make responsible financial decisions, and develop good spending habits.
  • Independence with oversight: A teen checking account can give teenagers the freedom to manage their own money while still providing a level of parental oversight. Parents can step in to guide their child if they are having trouble managing their account or developing dangerous financial habits.
  • Building a financial history: A teen checking account can help teenagers build a financial history, which can be helpful when they apply for credit cards or loans in the future.
Zina Kumok, Personal Finance Expert

Having your own checking account as a teen may be necessary when you start working. You’ll learn how to budget your money, save for long-term goals and manage your expenses.

Selecting A Teen Checking Account

When choosing a teen checking account, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Fees: Look for an account with low fees, including monthly fees, overdraft fees, ATM charges, and notification alert fees.
  • Account minimums: Choose an account with low balance requirements or no minimums.
  • Platform access: Look for an account that allows your teen to use mobile platforms, online banking, ATM transactions, cards, and in-person banking if necessary.
  • Parental controls: Make sure the checking account allows parental oversight.
  • Customer experience: Choose an account with good customer experience and support channels.
  • Interest rates: While interest rates may not be as important for teen checking accounts as for regular checking accounts, it can still be a useful feature to teach teenagers how it works.
  • Protection: Make sure the bank or credit union has insurance from the FDIC or NCUA to ensure your teen’s funds are safe.

Opening A Teen Checking Account

To open a teen checking account, you will typically need to provide the following:

  • Proof of full names: This is usually a birth certificate or some other sort of state-issued means of identification
  • Social Security Numbers: For both you and your child
  • Proof of residency: If your child lives with you, then this shouldn’t be a hassle.

Most banks allow customers to open accounts online, but you can also open one in person.

Potential Downsides For Using A Teen Checking Account

While teen checking accounts can provide a useful tool for parents to teach their children financial responsibility, there are also some risks and downsides to be aware of:

  • Overdraft fees: Teens may incur overdraft fees if they spend more money than is available in their account.
  • Account restrictions: Some teen checking accounts may come with restrictions, such as lower transaction limits or restrictions on where purchases can be made.
  • Fraudulent activity: Teenagers can be at risk of identity theft and fraudulent activity, so it’s important to monitor their account for any unauthorized transactions and to teach them about keeping their personal information private.
  • Limited financial education: Teen checking accounts do not necessarily provide a comprehensive financial education, so parents should supplement their child’s learning with additional resources.
  • Opportunity cost: Some teen checking accounts may not offer high interest rates or other features that can be found in other types of bank accounts, such as savings accounts or money market accounts.

Advice For Parents Teaching Their Teenagers Financial Responsibility

To guide your teenager towards responsible financial behavior, consider the following tips:

  1. Encourage them to set financial goals: Setting financial goals is an essential step towards becoming financially responsible. Encourage your teenager to set short-term and long-term goals, such as saving for a car or a college fund. Help them create a budget that will help them achieve those goals.
  2. Involve them in household finances: Involving teenagers in household finances can help them understand how financial decisions are made and the consequences of those decisions. Consider involving them in budget discussions, bill payments, and saving for family vacations or events.
  3. Teach them about credit scores and credit cards: Credit scores and credit cards are an essential part of financial responsibility, but they can be confusing to teenagers. Teach them how credit scores work and how they can affect their ability to get loans or credit in the future. If you decide to get them a credit card, make sure they understand how to use it responsibly and that they pay it off in full each month.
  4. Emphasize the importance of saving: Saving money is crucial to financial success, but it can be difficult for teenagers to prioritize saving over spending. Help them create a budget that includes a savings plan and encourage them to put a portion of their income into savings each month. Some parents also choose to match their child’s savings in order to encourage them. Teach them about the power of compound interest and how it can help their money grow over time.
  5. Model responsible financial behavior: One of the most effective ways to teach teenagers about responsible financial behavior is to model that behavior yourself. If you manage your money wisely, your teenager is more likely to do the same. Be transparent about your own finances and demonstrate responsible money management practices.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on the best savings accounts for kids.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Can I Start My First Bank Account?

Starting your first bank account may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Begin by answering simple questions such as why you need a bank account and what type of account you require to simplify the process.

Is It Possible To Open A Bank Account For Teens Online?

Whether you can open a teenage bank account online depends on the bank. Some banks, including those that operate exclusively online, offer digital applications and the ability to fund accounts electronically. Others may require you and your teenager to visit a branch in person to open an account.

Is A Minor Allowed To Have A Checking Account?

Although a minor may have a checking account, they cannot be the sole account holder. For this reason, children’s savings accounts and teenage checking accounts require an adult to be the co-owner of the account until the child turns 18.

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