whats the best childrens bank account

Whats the Best Childrens Bank Account in the UK?

Empowering the next generation with financial literacy is crucial, and what better way to start than with the absolute best childrens bank account? Dive into our guide that showcases 10 of the best children’s bank accounts in the UK.

From understanding the importance of early financial education to exploring top picks with their unique features, this article provides parents with the insights they need to set their young savers on a successful financial journey.

Best Bank Accounts for Kids & Teenagers in the UK

In today’s digital age, it’s [almost] never too early to introduce our young ones to the world of banking.

As they take their first steps into the realm of finances, it’s essential to equip them with the right tools that not only keeps their money safe but also teaches them the value of it in real terms.

Whether it’s their first pocket money or savings from festive gifts, having the right bank account can make all the difference.

In this section, we’ll delve into the top bank accounts tailored specifically for kids and teenagers in the UK, ensuring they get a head start in their financial journey.

It’s worth noting that younger kids tend to have to be attached to a parents account in some way but usually past the age of 14 they can be pretty much independent banking wise – appart from asking for the money to put in it of course!

Teaching kids about money from a young age sets them up for a lifetime of sound financial responsibility. One of the best ways to do this is by opening a bank account for your teenager. In the UK, various options are available, and finding the top bank account for your teenager can be a crucial step in their financial education.

You might be at the stage where your teenager asks for money for various things like cinema tickets, snacks, or clothes. While providing for their needs is essential, it’s also a great time to introduce them to the banking world.

A teenager’s bank account offers a convenient and cash-free way to provide pocket money and easy bank transfer. But also teaches your child valuable financial skills. It’s a safe space for them to learn about managing money, budgeting, and saving for their future.

In this guide, we’ll explore the options available for children’s bank accounts in the UK and prepaid cards.

We’ll help you understand the advantages of each so you can make an informed decision about which one suits your family’s needs best. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a children’s bank account or the flexibility of a prepaid card, there’s a solution out there for you.

After all, we all want our children to grow up with a solid financial foundation, and the proper bank account can be a significant step in that direction.

Can Children and Teens Open Bank Accounts?

In the UK, children and teens can indeed open bank accounts. Many banks offer specialised accounts tailored to the needs of young customers.

These accounts often come with features like debit cards and mobile apps, making it easy for children and teenagers to manage their money. Some accounts cater to kids as young as 11, while others may require the account holder to be at least 16.

However, it’s important to note that children’s bank accounts typically do not offer overdraft facilities, which can be a safety net to prevent overspending. Parents or guardians can often open these accounts on behalf of younger children, while older teens may be able to apply independently.

To open a child’s bank account, you must provide proof of identity and address.

How do I open a bank account for my child in the UK?

Opening a bank account for your child in the UK can vary depending on the bank and the type of account you choose.

Many banks allow parents to open accounts for their children, while others may permit older teenagers to apply independently.

You’ll typically need to provide banking documentation of kids, such as a birth certificate or passport and proof of address, which can be a recent household bill or bank statement.

Some banks may allow you to start the application process online, but you might still need to visit a branch for identity verification.

If you’re opening an account for a younger child, you, as a parent, will usually need to be present during the account setup. In short, I can say that if you have proper documentation, you may open any bank account for your 16-year-old child.

10 Best Bank Accounts for Over 14’s

Here is a comprehensive list of the top bank accounts for teenagers in the UK. Note that each account has its criteria of limitations. Before opening a kid account, you must visit their official website for their regulations and policies.

1.     Santander 123 Mini Current Account

The Santander 123 Mini Current Account is an excellent choice for teenagers looking to learn about managing money effectively while earning some interest on their savings. The tiered interest rates incentivize your child to save, and the option for online account opening makes it accessible for teens.

  • Age Range: Designed for teens aged 13-17.
  • Interest Rate: Offers an attractive rate of up to 3% on balances up to £2,000, with tiered rates: 1% below £1,000, 2% from £1,000 to £1,500, and 3% from £1,500 to £2,000.

Key Details:

  • Account Opening: Teenagers aged 13-17 can open an account online.
  • Debit Card: Comes with a Santander contactless debit card or a cash card for ATM withdrawals.
  • Parental Involvement: Parents can fund the account but can’t monitor spending.
  • Transition to Adult Account: Automatically converts to an adult account at 19.

2.     HSBC – My Money Account

The HSBC My Money Account caters to the financial needs of children aged 11-17, offering a competitive rate and a convenient mobile app for account management. It’s an excellent choice for young savers.

  • Age Range: Tailored for ages 11-17.
  • Notable Feature: Provides access to a separate MySavings account, offering an impressive 5% interest on balances up to £3,000.

Key Details:

  • Account Opening: Children can apply online if a parent or guardian has an HSBC account. Otherwise, a branch appointment is necessary.
  • Debit Card: Operated via a contactless debit card and a mobile app.
  • Maximum Daily Withdrawal: Allows a complete cash withdrawal of £100 per day, up to the account balance.
  • Balance Checking: Parents can quickly check their kid’s balance through online and mobile banking.

3.     Nationwide FlexOne Account For Kids Under 18 Years Old

The Nationwide FlexOne Account is attractive for young savers due to its 2% interest rate on balances up to £1,000. This can help teenagers grow their savings while learning financial responsibility.

When comparing it to other options, some may find that the 2% interest is lower than some alternatives. However, it remains a reliable choice for teenagers looking to start managing their finances.

  • Age Range: Designed for individuals between 11 and 17 years old.
  • Interest Rate: A 2% interest on balances up to £1,000.

Key Details:

  • Account Opening: An account can be opened for kids aged 11-17 who can apply online. For those aged 11 or 12, an in-branch application is required.
  • Debit Card Options: Provides a cash or debit card choice. Cash cards are suitable for ATM withdrawals and printing mini statements.
  • Contactless Payments: Allows contactless debit card payments up to £45.
  • Parental Control: Parents can discuss additional restrictions for contactless payments for added security.

4.     TSB Under 19s Bank Account

TSB’s Under 19s Bank Account is an excellent option for Kids ages between. The account provides an impressive 2.5% interest on balances up to £2,500, significantly higher than many similar offerings. This feature alone makes it a competitive choice for young savers.

  • Age Range: Specifically designed for youngsters between 11 and 17 years old.
  • Interest Rate: Offers an attractive 2.5% interest on balances up to £2,500 and 0.1% on amounts above this threshold.

Key Details:

  • High-Interest Rate: The standout feature of this account is the generous interest rate, which encourages saving and helps young individuals grow their money.
  • Contactless Debit Card: The account comes with a contactless debit card, enabling teenagers to conveniently make purchases or withdraw money.
  • Mobile and Internet Banking: TSB offers easy-to-use mobile and Internet banking, making it simple for teens to manage their money and stay on top of their spendin

Compared to other options, TSB’s Under 19s Bank Account provides an excellent opportunity for young people to start saving and managing their money efficiently. However, it’s essential to consider the age range and interest limit when evaluating its suitability.

5.     Starling Kite Account

The Starling Kite Account is a top choice for parents looking to introduce their children, aged 6 to 16, to responsible financial management. What sets it apart are the robust parental controls and spending limits, making it an excellent option for teaching kids about money.

  • Age Range: Geared towards ages 6 to 16.
  • Notable Feature: Offers comprehensive parental controls, allowing parents to set daily, weekly, and monthly spending limits.

If you worry about monitoring and setting daily, weekly, or even monthly spending limits. Then check my Monthly budget planner. You can save money and manage your spending this way.

Benefits:

  • Age-Appropriate: This account is tailored to suit the needs of children between 6 and 16 years old. It’s designed to be easy for kids to understand and use.
  • Parental Controls: The standout feature of the Starling Kite Account is the extensive set of parental controls. Parents can define daily, weekly, and monthly spending limits, ensuring children learn to manage their finances responsibly.
  • Interactive App: Both parents and children have access to an interactive app. Parents can monitor their child’s spending, while kids can learn to manage their accounts independently.

The Starling Kite Account provides a comprehensive solution for teaching children about responsible money management. Its intuitive app, along with the robust parental controls, ensures that both parents and kids can actively participate in financial education. However, consider the age limitations and the absence of credit interest when assessing its suitability.

6.     Barclays – BarclayPlus

The Barclays – BarclayPlus Account is tailored for children between 11 and 15. It offers a stepping stone into the world of banking and financial responsibility.

  • Age Range: This account is designed for individuals aged 11 to 15, making it an ideal choice for early financial education.
  • Interest Rate: The account pays interest on credit balances up to a set amount, promoting the habit of saving.

Benefits:

  • Early Financial Education: It’s never too early to start teaching kids about money management. BarclayPlus Account allows children to learn the basics of banking and budgeting from a young age.
  • Interest on Balances: The account pays interest on credit balances, providing an incentive for saving. This encourages children to develop good financial habits early in life.
  • Personalisation: Kids can design their debit card with their favourite photo, making the banking experience more enjoyable and relatable.

BarclayPlus Account offers numerous benefits for early financial education, it’s essential to remember that it’s designed for a specific age range, 11 to 15. As children grow, they may need to transition to more age-appropriate accounts.

Additionally, the interest is limited to balances up to a certain amount.

This account might not be suitable for teenagers or those with significant savings.

7.     GoHenry Teen Debit Cards and Account

GoHenry offers a unique approach to teaching children financial responsibility. With the ability for parents to top up their child’s balance and set spending limits, it’s an effective tool for hands-on financial education. While GoHenry doesn’t provide interest, it does come with a range of features to help children understand the value of money.

  • Age Range: Designed for kids aged 6 to 18.
  • Interest Rate: They don’t pay interest on any child account

Benefits:

  • Age-Appropriate: GoHenry caters to a broad age range, making it suitable for children as young as 6, right up to teenagers of 18.
  • Parental Control: One of the most notable features is that it puts financial control in the hands of parents. They can easily top up their child’s account and set spending limits.
  • Financial Education: More than just a bank account, it’s a financial education platform. Parents can actively teach their children about budgeting, saving, and responsible spending.
  • User-Friendly App: The GoHenry app is designed with kids in mind. It’s easy for children to check their balances, track their spending, and learn about financial transactions.
  • Pocket Money Incentive: Encourages saving and responsible spending by offering £15 in pocket money when you sign up, making it engaging for kids.

This account is suitable for a wide age range, from young kids just starting to learn about money to older teenagers getting ready for financial independence.

8.     NatWest – Adapt Current Account

NatWest’s Adapt Current Account is tailored to the needs of young people, offering an array of features designed to foster financial responsibility.

  • Age Range: Geared towards those aged 11-18.
  • Interest Rate: Offers a competitive 2.7% AER.

Benefits:

  • Broad Age Range: This account caters to a wide age group from 11 to 18, making it suitable for various teenagers.
  • Attractive Interest Rate: With an interest rate of 2.7% AER, NatWest’s Adapt Current Account encourages saving and responsible financial habits.
  • Modern Banking Services: Benefit from a contactless Visa debit card, enabling accessible in-store and online transactions.
  • Paym Service: The ability to send cash using the Paym service is convenient, especially for teenagers who want to transfer money to family and friends.
  • Parental Guidance: While teens aged 16 to 17 can open the account themselves, parents can play a role in guiding their younger children toward financial independence.

The convenience of a contactless Visa debit card and the Paym service for cash transfers make it a versatile choice. However, parents should be aware of the age restrictions and potential parental involvement for younger teenagers.

9.     NIMBL Ezee Teen Account

This account, designed to kids, offers unique features to enhance financial awareness and responsibility.

  • Age Range: Tailored for ages 6-18.
  • Monthly Fee: There is a monthly fee, so weighing the costs against the benefits is essential.

Key Details:

  • Versatile Age Range: Suitable for children and teenagers aged 6 to 18, making it an inclusive choice for families.
  • Real-Time Notifications: Parents can stay informed with real-time notifications, allowing them to monitor their child’s spending habits.
  • Parental Guidance: The real-time notifications of card transactions provide an added layer of oversight, ensuring that parents can guide their children as they learn about financial responsibility.
  • Financial Education: By allowing children as young as 6 to access the kid’s account, this account contributes to early financial education.
  • Merchant Blocking: Blocking specific merchants can help protect young holders from making unwise spending decisions.

This account offers a unique blend of oversight and educational value, making it a compelling choice for parents who want to teach their children about responsible financial management. However, the age restriction and the monthly fee should be considered when considering this option.

10.                       Starling Bank Teen Account

The Starling Bank Teen Account is designed to provide young adults with a sense of financial independence, preparing them for the financial responsibilities of adulthood.

  • Age Range: Tailored for ages 16-17.
  • Interest Rate: Offers a 0.05% interest rate up to £85,000.

Benefits:

  • Targeted Age Group: This account is specifically crafted for teenagers aged 16 to 17, offering a bridge between youth and adult banking.
  • Competitive Interest: The account provides a competitive interest rate of 0.05% on balances up to £85,000, encouraging savings.
  • Financial Independence: This account fosters financial responsibility by empowering teenagers to manage their finances within the framework of a bank account

The Starling Bank Teen Account is an excellent choice for your teenagers, especially who are seeking to take their first steps toward financial independence.

With a competitive interest rate and features supporting responsible financial management, it provides an ideal platform for young adults looking to manage their finances. However, it’s important to note that it’s exclusively available to those aged 16 to 17, and the interest rate is relatively modest.

Do Children Pay Income Tax?

Like adults, children in the UK have income tax allowances. This includes the personal savings allowance, meaning they can earn a specific interest tax-free. During the 2023-24 tax year, the personal budget is £12,570, and there’s a £5,000 starting rate for savings.

Children also have a £1,000 personal savings allowance. Children typically only pay income tax if their annual income exceeds £18,570.

However, there’s a particular rule regarding money gifted by parents. If the interest earned on this money is more than £100 per year before tax, it may be subject to taxation as if it were the parent’s income, not the child’s.

Is it Safe To Use Prepaid Debit Cards for Those Under 18?

Prepaid debit cards designed for individuals under 18 are generally considered safe. These cards are typically associated with mobile apps that parents and children can use to manage spending. Parents can set spending limits, restrict specific spending categories, and receive real-time notifications about their child’s transactions.

Additionally, most providers offer features like text alerts and app notifications for tracking expenditures. These prepaid cards often automatically block specific merchants, such as adult stores, gambling sites, and off-licenses.

However, it’s essential to be aware of potential fees associated with these cards, including annual or monthly service fees for ATM withdrawals or using the card abroad. Unlike children’s bank accounts, prepaid cards are not typically covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so choosing a reputable provider is essential.

Final Thoughts:

When considering the best bank account for teenagers in the UK, it ultimately depends on the individual needs and preferences of the young account holder and their parents.

Each of the featured accounts has its unique advantages.

  • Santander 123 Mini Current Account: Ideal for those aged 13-17 looking to earn interest on their savings.
  • HSBC – My Money Account: Suitable for children between 11 and 17 who want access to a separate savings account.
  • Starling Kite Account: Perfect for children aged 6-16, promoting financial literacy with parental controls.
  • Barclays – BarclayPlus: Designed for children aged 11-15, offering flexibility in card design.
  • nimbl: A financial tool for children aged 6-18, emphasising financial education and budgeting.
  • NatWest – Adapt Current Account: Catering to 11-18-year-olds with a contactless Visa debit card and Paym service.

The best account for your teenager will depend on their age, financial goals, and your preferences as a parent. Some prioritise interest rates, while others focus on parental controls or educational features. When deciding, it’s essential to consider what matters most to you and your child.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and tell us which bank account you believe is the best fit for teenagers in the UK.

Your thoughts can help other parents make informed choices for their children’s financial future.