Updated October 31, 2023

Best Teen Checking Accounts

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A good teen checking account can be your kid's training wheels to become financially responsible. Discover 10 picks like Capital One MONEY and more.

Looking for a safe and controlled way for your teen to learn about money handling?

A teen checking account can equip them with essential financial skills while you keep an eye on their progress.

Here are 10 empowering options to get started.

Capital One MONEY Teen Checking

Initial depositAny amount
Monthly fee$0
Overdraft protectionNo
Customize spending limitsYes
Free ATM withdrawalCapital One, MoneyPass and Allpoint ATMs
How to applyOnline

The Capital One Teen Checking is an online account to introduce your kid to the world of money handling.

For starters, they will receive a MONEY debit card for purchases. That alone can leave them smiling ear-to-ear.

They can also use it for cash withdrawals from 70,000+ in-network ATMs without pesky fees.

Given its parental oversight capabilities, you can enjoy full control with spending limits and instant alerts.

Plus, this account has no minimum deposit or monthly fees. You even get a little something extra in the form of interest on their balance.[1]

What's your top reason for opening a teen checking account?

Note that you can only deposit cash through Capital One ATMs, brick-and-mortar branches, and, yes, Capital One Cafes.

Pros:

  • No fees on most everyday transactions
  • Strong parental oversight capabilities
  • Balance earns interest

Cons:

What banks allow 13-year-olds?
Capital One, Chase, and Bank of America are just some banks offering accounts to 13-year-olds or younger. Always contact the specific bank to learn about the availability of teen checking accounts and other requirements.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®

Initial deposit$25
Monthly fee$0 (for under 25)
Overdraft protectionNo
Customize spending limitsNot known
No ATM withdrawal feesBank of America ATMs
How to applyOnline

The Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® may offer flexibility like no other teen account.

Instead of transitioning to regular checking when your kid turns 18, the banking fee waiver is extended up to age 24. The monthly fee can also be waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $500.

If your child is responsible enough, they can start owning their account as early as 16. They can keep enjoying the benefits for up to age 24. These include no monthly maintenance and overdraft fees.

Aside from its generous accommodations, it has plenty of useful features and functions. You can use the budgeting tool in its mobile app to track spending habits and set saving goals. It also has a card lock/unlock feature in case your card goes missing.

Pros:

  • Flexible and loaded with features
  • Money management tools
  • No fees on most banking transactions

Cons:

  • No paper checks
  • No interest earned on the balance

Is there a bank account for those under 18 without a parent?
Minors are not legally allowed to open a bank account independently. Banks usually require one parent or guardian to be a joint owner or custodian of the account until they turn 18. However, Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® allows for sole ownership for ages 16+.

Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking

Initial deposit$5
Monthly fee$0
Overdraft protectionOptional
Customize spending limitsNo
Free ATM withdrawalATMS using app ATM locator
How to applyOnline

The Alliant Teen Checking is a joint account that gives you and your mini-me direct access to funds.

If your kid is in a pinch and needs to use an out-of-network ATM, Alliant Credit Union has you covered. That's because they'll refund you up to $20 in ATM fees per month![2]

You can even earn interest if you simply subscribe to e-statements, and make at least one monthly electronic deposit to the account.

However, with Alliant Teen Checking, you have the same app access points as your child, which may do nothing to control overspending. Best to assign this account to an older child who can manage it responsibly.

Alliant is a credit union, so you'd need to become members before opening this account. You can join by being a member of Foster Care to Success, and Alliant will even cover your one-time member donation of $5.[3] Sweet!

Pros:

  • Up to $20 rebate on ATM withdrawal fees
  • Balance earns interest
  • One-time membership fee is shouldered by Alliant

Cons:

  • No specialized parental controls
  • Alliant membership is required

Axos Bank First Checking

Initial deposit$50
Monthly fee$0
Overdraft protectionOptional
Customize spending limitsNo
Free ATM withdrawalATMS using app ATM locator
How to applyOnline

The Axos Bank First Checking account promises no fees on most daily banking transactions, including overdrafts and non-sufficient funds.

Axos Bank lets you use any ATM nationwide. It doesn't charge for domestic ATM withdrawals (though the ATM provider may do so). But Axos reimburses up to $12 monthly out-of-network ATM fees.

Does your kid have a side job? If your kid gets paid for waiting tables, for example, their employer can send their salary as a direct deposit to an Axos First Checking account.

Cash deposits can be made at cash registers in CVS, Rite Aid, and other store chains for a fee. But you can also fund their account by transferring money or depositing a check online at no extra charge.

Moreover, if they lose their debit card, you can immediately lock or unlock it via the app to prevent unauthorized usage.

Note that you cannot customize the app settings for spending. Instead, thresholds for ATM withdrawals and debit purchases are set by bank standards.

Pros:

  • Up to $12 rebate on ATM withdrawal fees
  • Accepts direct and mobile check deposits
  • 24/7 live phone support (except on some major holidays)

Cons:

  • No specialized parental controls
  • Third-party fees for cash deposits

Copper Teen Banking

Initial deposit$0
Monthly fee$4.95 - $7.95 per month
Overdraft protectionNo
Customize spending limitsYes
Free ATM withdrawalAllpoint and MoneyPass ATMs
How to applyOnline

Copper Teen Banking is more than just a teen checking account to hold funds. It also teaches your child financial literacy.

The app has a built-in financial education system delivered through bite-sized information. It allows you to set a monthly allowance so your kid can stay within their budget.

With Copper Teen Banking, teenagers can create savings goals that can be customized based on their needs. The best part? They can earn up to 5% savings rewards to help them reach their goals faster.

This account also has a cool RoundUp feature that rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar. And then, it transfers this spare change to your savings account - effortlessly turning your everyday spending into savings. Cha-ching!

If you go for the higher tier plan, it even includes an investing platform. For as little as $1, your kid can also begin their investing journey and start building a solid foundation for their future.

Pros:

  • Built-in financial education resources
  • Saves round-ups from purchases
  • Optional investing

Cons:

  • $4.95 - $7.95 per month[4]
  • No live phone customer support
  • No paper checks

What does a teen need to open a checking account?
You may need to provide your kid's basic information and present their government-issued ID, like a passport or SSN. Although banks usually offer their teen accounts for ages 13 to 17, some would allow anyone younger.

Chase First Banking℠

Initial deposit$0
Monthly fee$0
Overdraft protectionOptional
Customize spending limitsYes
Free ATM withdrawalChase ATMs
How to applyOnline

Sometimes you like your familiarity with your bank instead of going to another for your kid's first account.

Chase First Banking is a no-fee kids' debit card exclusively available to Chase checking customers. It's best for pre-teens and younger teens.

This parent-owned account can be accessed through the mobile app, where they can track balances and transactions. You can do the same using your existing Chase app access to view this account.

Using the app, you can exercise parental control over the following:

  • Adding spending places
  • Transferring money
  • Fulfilling requests
  • Setting allowances
  • Managing chores
  • Establishing spending amounts

There's also a feature where you can assign chores to your child and pay for them after. Essentially, you don't only fund their account but also teach them the value of money. However, this account does not allow direct deposits or peer-to-peer transfers.

Pros:

  • Lots of parental control functions
  • Use of a single platform to view all accounts
  • Reputable national bank

Cons:

  • No direct deposit and peer-to-peer transfer
  • Offer is limited to Chase customers

If you want your teen to access more banking features, Chase has another teen account that may be a better fit.

Chase High School Checking℠

Initial deposit$0
Monthly fee$0
Overdraft protectionOptional
Customize spending limitsYes
Free ATM withdrawalChase ATMs
How to applyIn-person

Chase High School Checking allows you to share account ownership with your child aged 13 to 17. It has more tailored content and experiences, while still enjoying zero monthly fees.

But here's where things get better.

Unlike Chase First Banking, direct deposits are available in this account, which is great if your kid has a job. They also get to write checks and make peer-to-peer transfers with Zelle for free.

Kids can also open a separate Chase Savings to use the Auto-save feature in the mobile app. Their monthly fees for this account will be waived until they turn 18.

Pros:

  • More money management features
  • Paper checks and free peer-to-peer transfers
  • Comes with Auto-save option

Cons:

  • Must be opened in person
  • Balance does not earn interest

Checking account vs. savings account
A checking account is like a daily-use account to pay bills, buy things, and easily get your money when needed. In contrast, a savings account is more for keeping money longer.

Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking

Initial deposit$0
Monthly fee$0
Overdraft protectionOptional
Customize spending limitsNo
Free ATM withdrawalConnexus, Co-op and MoneyPass ATMs
How to applyOnline or in-person

Connexus Credit Union's Teen Checking Account could be worth considering for your kid at least 10 years old.

It earns a competitive APY for balances up to $1,000. Beyond this cap, it will still earn interest, albeit much lower.

Even though Connexus itself is only in WI, IL, and MN, it's part of the CO-OP Shared Branch network, so you can do banking activities at over 5,000 shared branches. You also get fee-free access to 67,000+ MoneyPass and CO-OP ATMs.

Note that this account is available even to non-members. That's because when you open it for your child, they automatically become a Connexus Association member, which makes good sense.

Pros:

  • Interest-earning
  • Access to large ATM network and shared branches
  • Free statements

Cons:

  • No parental control settings
  • Overdraft charges

USAA Youth Spending Account

Initial deposit$25
Monthly fee$0
Overdraft protectionOptional
Customize spending limitsYes
Free ATM withdrawalUSAA and preferred ATMs
How to applyOnline

Serving in the military does have perks. One of them is getting a USAA Youth Spending Account for your little trooper!

There's no minimum age requirement for this account. Your child simply has to be below 18 years old to qualify.

As a parent, you can oversee the money activities in the account. At the same time, your kid must be 13 years old to have online access.

During this stage, they can unlock more app features. They can view their account balances, transfer money, and make mobile check deposits.

They'll also get a Visa debit card they can use at over 100,000 in-network ATMs with no surcharge. And as a bonus treat, the bank will refund ATM fees up to $10 every statement cycle.

But unlike other teen accounts, the USAA app does not allow your kid to set saving goals.

Pros:

  • Decent parental control settings
  • Refunds up to $10/mo out-of-network ATM fees
  • No overdraft/NSF charges

Cons:

  • Limited to military members
  • No savings goals feature

Initial deposit$0
Monthly fee$0
Overdraft protectionOptional
Customize spending limitsNot known
Free ATM withdrawalNavy Federal and Co-op ATMs
How to applyOnline or in-person

The Navy Federal Credit Union Free Campus Checking is another excellent option for members of the armed forces and their families.

It's available for members from 14 to 24 years old. Thus, a grown-up child can enjoy an extended period of zero monthly fees and minimum deposits.[5]

It's a basic account, but it has good features for older teens and young adults with responsibility. They can pay bills, write checks, receive direct deposits, and deposit checks.

And it gives up to $10 in ATM fee rebates per statement period.

Pros:

  • Overdraft protection
  • Refunds up to $10/mo out-of-network ATM fees
  • Paper checks

Cons:

  • Charges overdraft fees
  • No financial education tools

What Are Teen Checking Accounts?

A teen checking account is a joint account designed for parents and teenagers to manage together. It is also known as a high school checking account.

You and your teenage child usually have access and control over the account as co-owners. Nonetheless, your teenager serves as the primary account holder, where they gain financial experience maintaining the account.

This account lets you and your child make deposits and withdrawals and use online banking services.

What is the minimum age to open?

You can open a teen checking account for your child at 13 for most banks, others younger.

Typically, at least one parent must be a joint account owner until your child turns 18. This ensures parental oversight and guidance during the early years of their financial management.

What will happen to the teen account when a teen is no longer a teen?
In many cases, the teen checking account converts automatically into a regular checking account. This means they will be the account's sole owner, enabling them to make independent financial decisions.

Pros and Cons of Teen Checking Accounts

A teenage checking account is great for teaching children to handle money from an earlier age. Here are some pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Educates children about managing money
  • Sense of financial independence for teens
  • Provides parental oversight
  • Ease of spending using a debit card

Cons:

  • Limited features compared to regular checking
  • Lack of credit building
  • Potential fees on overdraft and ATM withdrawals

How can parents help their teen manage a checking account?
Aside from monitoring their account and setting spending limits, you can help your child by providing basic financial education. You can use the built-in budgeting tools in some banks to assist you in this task.

How to Choose the Best Teen Checking Account

When choosing the right checking account for your teenager, here are some key features to consider:

Parental oversight
You should be able to monitor and control your teen's financial transactions by having your own online access. This way, you can stay informed and guide them in keeping their finances on solid ground.

Spending limits
This is something you can either customize in the settings, or the bank has set by default. Usually, the amount would be much lower to prevent your kid from overspending.

Overdraft protection
This feature will add a layer of financial security. At the same time, it spares your kid from the embarrassment of not having enough funds in the account.

Not having overdraft protection for a teen checking account can also have the following advantages:
  • Promotes financial responsibility
  • Avoids unnecessary debt
  • Teaches the consequences of overspending
  • Encourages budgeting skills
  • Foster open communication about money matters

Fees
While many teen accounts don't have monthly and overdraft fees, make sure they are minimal if there are.

Mobile banking
Mobile banking allows convenient access, making it easier for your kid to manage their finances on the go.

ATM access
Your teenager should be easily able to withdraw cash at many nearby ATMs for free.

Can I open a teen checking account online?
Yes, you can open a teen checking account online in many banks and credit unions. Chase, Axos Bank, and Alliant Credit Union are just some of them. Simply visit the bank's website, navigate the section for teen checking accounts, and follow the account-opening instructions.

How to Open a Teen Checking Account

Opening a checking account for your teen is straightforward:

  1. Visit the branch or open online.
  2. Fill out the account opening form by providing your kid's personal information and yours.
  3. Present you and your kid's IDs
  4. Review account terms and conditions
  5. Submit your initial deposit (if required)
  6. Start using your account!

And that's it! It's usually pretty simple and there are no special requirements. Note that the actual account opening process may vary by bank.

Alternatives to Teen Checking Accounts

Prepaid cards
Prepaid cards can be a great alternative to teen checking accounts. They also give parents and teens control over spending while providing flexibility.

But unlike teen checking accounts, the teenager owns their prepaid card. It cannot be linked to a bank account for funding purposes. Instead, you can load a specific amount of money onto the card, giving your child a budget to work with.

Nonetheless, prepaid cards usually come with online and mobile banking features, enabling them to track transactions and manage finances.

Prepaid cards often have more costs associated with them than traditional debit cards. Although some may offer fee waivers or reduced fees, prepaid cards typically include activation, transaction, and reloading charges.

Methodology

To find the best teen checking accounts, we looked at over 50 banks and their account offerings for kids under 18.

While most bank accounts are available to kids within their required age, we did not exclude those with other pre-qualifying conditions.

These are teen accounts for military members and families and existing account holders in a given bank. However, all of them are opened as joint accounts with the child.

Furthermore, we also considered other features that may appeal to many parents. These include parental oversight and controls, receiving timely alerts, zero to minimal fees, and educational tools.

Bottom Line

The best teen checking accounts in this article offer a range of features and benefits that could be right for your child.

From setting spending limits to built-in educational tools, these accounts can provide a solid foundation for teens to begin their financial journey.

With the right teen checking account, they can develop financial habits that will serve them well into adulthood.

References

  1. ^ Capital One. Teen Checking Account Money Disclosures, Retrieved 7/14/2023
  2. ^ Alliant Credit Union. Teen Checking, Retrieved 7/14/2023
  3. ^ Alliant Credit Union. Membership, Retrieved 7/14/2023
  4. ^ Copper. Pricing, Retrieved 7/14/2023
  5. ^ Navy Federal Credit Union. Navy Federal Free Campus Checking Account Fees and Terms, Retrieved 7/14/2023

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Best First Checking Account for Kids

By Donna Tang - Tips for Bank Reviews & Deals
Financial literacy doesn't happen overnight. Help your child develop good money habits with these starter checking accounts for kids.
What's your top reason for opening a teen checking account?
77% Teach financial responsibility
8% Convenience for everyday spending
8% Save for college
8% Emergency fund
Source: CreditDonkey. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
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