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The best teen checking accounts give young savers hands-on learning experience…with a safety net. Since nearly half of teens have a bank account, per Fidelity, it’s important that parents guide young adults toward a product that charges few fees, offers useful budgeting tools and comes with a large ATM network.

Annual percentage yields (APYs) and account details are accurate as of June 6, 2024.

Best teen checking accounts

Why trust our banking experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of banking products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 300+ accounts from 120 financial institutions reviewed.
  • 4 levels of fact checking.
  • Nearly 60 data points analyzed.

Best for low fees

Axos Bank First Checking

BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
On Axos Bank’s Website
Annual percentage yield
0.10%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
Axos Bank First Checking offers many of the features and services you’d want in a teen checking account. There’s no minimum balance requirement, which is important for teen savers with inconsistent income, and no monthly maintenance fees, which would only eat away at whatever money your kiddo had stowed away. Since this would be their first time on their own, it’s important that they aren’t dinged for sloppy mistakes, such as making an overdraft or not having enough money in their account for a transaction, neither of which Axos penalizes with a fee. It also provides $12 in domestic ATM fee reimbursements if they wander outside of its huge, fee-free ATM network. (A near certainty for a first-time banker.) Moreover, the daily transaction limit is relatively low at $100 in cash and $500 in debit spending, thereby limiting the amount of spending, or trouble, your kiddo can get into in one day. They’ll also earn a tiny amount of interest, currently 0.10% APY. That’s not a meaningful rate, to be sure, but may help them learn the concept of compounding interest.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • No monthly fees or minimums.
  • Earns interest.
  • About 91,000 ATMs.
Cons
  • Interest rates are tiny.
  • No physical banking branches.

Best for ATM rebates

Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking

Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
Annual percentage yield
0.25%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
Alliant Teen Checking is one of our favorites because it’s easy to set up and cheap to operate. First, the costs: there’s no monthly maintenance fee, no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees, while you’ll have access to free debit card replacements and stop payments requests (when you ask your bank to not process a payment). You’ll have access to more than 80,000 ATMs fee-free, in addition to $20 in monthly ATM fee reimbursements should you venture out of network. There’s no minimum balance requirement, a plus for young savers, as well as a 0.25% APY on whatever you do hold in the account. You do have to opt for electronic statements and have either one direct deposit, ATM deposit or a transfer from another financial institution. Daily limits on the Teen Checking account are $500 in cash ATM withdrawals, $500 in PIN-based debit card transactions and $5,000 in signature-based debit card purchases. As an adult co-owner, you can set up transaction alerts to monitor your teen’s spending. You and your kiddo will have to become members of the credit union, which you can do for free: Alliant will pay the one-time $5 donation on your behalf to Foster Care to Success (FC2S).
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Competitive checking account yield.
  • 80,000+ ATMs.
  • $20 per month in ATM free rebates.
Cons
  • Membership required.
  • Online only; no branches.

Best for military families

ӣƵA Youth Spending Account

ӣƵA Youth Spending Account
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
Annual percentage yield
0.01%
on balances over $1,000
Minimum deposit requirement
$25
What should you know
This account is ideal for parents who want maximum control over their kiddos’ banking habits. You can increase or decrease how much they can take out daily, receive text alerts when balances are low or there’s a large withdrawal, and allow your kid to enlist remote deposits or transfer money upon their 13th birthday. That means you can extend their autonomy upon good behavior, and constrict it if they err. The account itself charges few fees. There’s no monthly service or overdraft fee, for instance, though the purchase may be rejected if you haven’t signed up for overdraft protection. You’ll have access to more than 100,000 fee-free ATMs, as well as $10 in monthly ATM rebates should you use one outside of ӣƵA’s network. However, it’s the only one of our picks that requires a minimum deposit to open an account: $25. ӣƵA’s Youth Spending provides zero-liability fraud protection on the account’s debit card. While all banking institutions in the U.S. can only hold you liable for $50 if you report fraudulent activity within two days ($500 if within 60 days), ӣƵA states that you’re not liable for the unauthorized use of a debit card that you report. To open the account, the adult must already be a ӣƵA member or qualify for membership by being an active, retired or honorably discharged member of the U.S. armed forces (or the spouse or child of one). The child in a Youth Spending account only has to be under 18 — there isn’t a minimum age requirement for them to have an account.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • 100,000+ in-network ATMs.
  • Parental controls.
  • Fee savings tools.
  • Very few fees.
Cons
  • Available only to parents and their children under 18.
  • Strict ӣƵA membership requirements.
  • Very low interest.

Best for interest checking

Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking

Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
Annual percentage yield
0.25% to 2.00%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
Parents might want to consider the Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking account if they want to teach their kids the benefits of compounding interest. They’ll earn 2.00% APY on balances under $1,000 and 0.25% APY on greater balances, which is more than what they could earn on most teen savings accounts. You don’t need to jump through any hoops to earn this rate and, while they won’t get rich, it is a good way to introduce them to an important money topic. Those between the ages 10 and 17 can enroll with a parent co-sponsor. There’s no minimum deposit, direct deposit, monthly fee or debit transactions required. Connexus is part of the credit union CO-OP Network, you can walk into nearly any credit union—there are more than 5,000 participating branches—and complete your banking tasks. There’s roughly 67,000 available ATMs they can access for free, but there are no reimbursements for out-of-network pitstops. To join the credit union, you only need to make a one-time $5 donation to the Connexus Association, which provides scholarships.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Few fees or minimums.
  • Earns interest.
  • Over 5,000 credit union branches.
Cons
  • No monthly ATM fee rebates.
  • Overdraft fees.

Best for financial education

Georgia’s Own Credit Union Youth Checking

Georgia’s Own Credit Union Youth Checking
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
Annual percentage yield
0%
Minimum deposit requirement
$0
What should you know
Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s Youth Checking, also called i[check], is a good option for older teens verging on fleeing the coop. (It’s available for folks between the ages of 14 and 25.) There’s no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance or direct deposit requirements. The institution also offers , including short videos on the benefits and pitfalls of various personal finance products. Parents might try to engage their kids in a few of these videos, especially before heading off to college. Regarding access, Georgia’s Own has 32 of its own branches in Georgia and is part of the with over 5,000 branches nationwide. The additional partnerships with the Allpoint and MoneyPass networks give you access to over 110,000 fee-free ATMs. To qualify for membership, you’ll need to join the Getting Ahead Association, which charges $5 in membership fees.
Pros and cons
Pros
  • No monthly fees or minimums.
  • Open to ages 14 to 25 years.
  • 110,000+ ATMs.
Cons
  • Membership required.
  • Doesn’t pay interest.

Compare the best teen checking accounts

ACCOUNTSTAR RATINGAPYMINIMUM DEPOSIT
Axos Bank First Checking
5
0.10%
$0
Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking
4.8
0.25%
$0
ӣƵA Youth Spending Account
4.7
0.01%
$25
Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking
4.6
0.25% to 2.00%**
$0
Georgia’s Own Credit Union Youth Checking
4.5
0%
$0

**Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking offers 2.00% APY on balances under $1,000 and 0.25% APY on greater balances.


Methodology

We looked at over 300 checking accounts offered by 119 financial institutions, including Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Discover, TD Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs and ӣƵA. Overall, we compiled more than 60 data points for each account.

With over 60 data points for each bank, we created a weighted scoring system that culminated in a star rating. Here are the categories we analyzed and how we weighted each.

Fees: 55%

As you start out building your finances, you don’t need parasitic banking fees dragging you down, which is why we weighted fees as the heaviest factor in our considerations.

We incorporated monthly service fees (25%), the ability to waive those fees (17.5%), overdraft and NSF fees (10%) and all other fees (2.5%).

Minimum deposit and balance requirement: 20%

Most teenagers don’t have a boatload of money to deposit in a bank account. We considered the existence (or lack of) minimum deposit requirements to open a bank account (15%) and minimum balance requirements to avoid fees (5%).

Access: 15%

We rewarded accounts that are part of a wide-ranging ATM network, while also giving some points to available bank branches. We considered the size of the institutions’ ATM network (11.25%) and the number of branch locations (3.75%).

Customer and digital experience: 10%

Customer experience metrics, including the Trustpilot rating and Better Business Bureau (BBB) grade, and digital experience metrics, such as app ratings, were calculated into the overall score.

Why some banks didn’t make the cut

Many of the most well-known banks didn’t make the cut because they charge fees. As the defacto option for many Americans, huge, brand-name banks don’t need to offer the best deals to consumers who already know their names.

Smaller financial institutions are typically more competitive.

National average for interest-bearing checking accounts

For interest-bearing checking accounts, the is 0.08% APY as of May 20, 2024, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

SAVINGS PRODUCTNATIONAL DEPOSIT RATE
Interest checking
0.08% APY
Savings
0.45% APY
Money market
0.68% APY
Three-month CD
1.53% APY

What is a teen checking account?

A teen checking account is a type of joint checking account designed for a parent and their teenage child. While both co-owners can make deposits and withdrawals, oftentimes the adult co-owner has certain powers, like the ability to set a spending limit for the teen, lock and unlock the debit card. 

Teen checking accounts are useful when your teen starts to make an income and/or starts having bills to pay — their first car payment, for example. 

Even if your teen doesn’t have their own cash flow yet, providing them an allowance and a debit card via a teen checking account can be an optimal way for them to start building banking history and learn money management.   

Checking on account balances, setting up direct deposit, using a debit card and transferring funds are all aspects of adulthood that may be best taught in a hands-on manner. A teen checking account allows this to happen but with a safety net.  

“Many banks will have parental controls, such as daily spending limits,” said Erin Wood, senior vice president of financial planning at the Carson Group. “These types of oversight provisions can be a great tool.”

How to choose the best checking account for teens

Out of the nearly 9,000 deposit-insured banks and credit unions in the U.S., start your search with our list from above. 

To make a decision on which one, you should:

  1. Ask what features you want. As the adult, do you want the power to cut off debit card access if you get a whiff of a spending spree? Or are you OK with the common preset spending limit of $500 a day? Determining what you want is key to deciding what “best” means.
  2. Look at some banks. See which banks offer what you’re after and what they charge by way of fees. Keep in mind that your teen will likely make some mistakes that involve fees. For example, if your teenager overdrafts the account five times in one day, how much will the fees cost? Here are the best no-fee checking accounts.
  3. Pick a winner. Based on what you want and what’s available, narrow down your contenders until you have a winner. 

Features to consider

Here are elements to keep in mind as you look for the best teen checking account — your teen could even help you pick out the right one.

Consider safeguards. Not all teen checking accounts are made equal. Some allow for greater adult control than others. Depending on the account, you may be able to set the debit card limit higher or lower, block access to the card or to online transfers…or not. Choose the controls you want in part based on how responsible your teen is. Student checking accounts tend to have fewer adult controls.

Seek low fees. You likely pay enough for your child’s education as is it, you don’t need to pay bank fees as well. The best teen accounts don’t charge monthly maintenance fees and have low or no overdraft fees. 

Look for low balance requirements.  “Some banks want you to keep a minimum amount in the account, otherwise you lose interest or get hit with fees,” said Nicholas Bunio, CFP in Downingtown, Pa. Most teens work part time and don’t make more than the minimum wage. High balance requirements might be a high bar to jump and difficult to maintain.

Explore access options. Being able to navigate an in-person visit to a brick-and-mortar banking branch is likely a skill that will be called upon rarely, but is still useful. Check the ATM network, too, if that type of access interests your teen.

Peek at customer reviews. Look at the bank’s reviews online and at the reviews for its mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. 

Ensure FDIC or NCUA coverage. It would be no fun to build up a banking account balance, only to lose it if the bank went out of business. The second biggest bank to collapse in the U.S. did so on March 10, 2023 — Silicon Valley Bank. In the event that a bank fails, the FDIC guarantees that depositors will receive at least $250,000 of their deposits back. The NCUA guarantees the same thing for credit unions.  You can check this and this for coverage. 

How to open a teen checking account

Depending on the bank you choose, you may have the choice of whether to open it online or go in person. Either way, you’ll need a teenager (or an adult) and the following things. 

  • Personal information. For fraud prevention, federal agencies require that both co-owners provide their name, birthday, address, phone number and a government ID number, like a Social Security number (SSN). Yet, “you don’t have to be a US citizen,” said Sarah Behr, registered investment advisor (RIA) and founder of Simplify Financial Planning in San Francisco. A taxpayer identification number (TIN), driver’s license number, valid passport or Alien Identification Number (AID) are acceptable. 
  • Agreement to terms and conditions. You’ll both need to agree to the terms and conditions with the bank or credit union. This contract states all of the rights and obligations you have with the account. 
  • Any minimum required deposit or fee payment. Some banks require you to make a minimum initial deposit (which you don’t have to maintain) while others do require a constant minimum account balance. Either way, you’ll need to have some funds ready to go if this is the case. Also, if you or your teen is joining a credit union, you may be required to make a nominal donation to a charity to qualify for membership. 

Benefits of opening a teen checking account for your child

Teen checking accounts allow you to do the following with your teen.

Helps them build a positive banking history. Similar to how you have a credit history, you also have a banking history. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), ChexSystems builds a consumer report on your banking, keeping track of red and green flags. Poor banking history, like a series of unpaid fees, can block you from opening new accounts, while positive history helps grease the wheels of any banking application

Teaches money management. Budgeting, managing cash flow, balancing your checkbook — no one is born knowing how to do these things. And doing it yourself is one of the best ways to learn. Here’s how to decide on whether to get a checking vs. a savings account.

Lets them figure out how to use banking tools. Teenagers are typically whizzes at figuring out apps. Unleash them on their own banking account app and allow them to master common tools like funds transfer, automatic bill pay, direct deposit, savings goals and more.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Yes, a minor can have a checking account, but they are often required to have an adult as the owner or co-owner.

Yes, some banks only allow you to open their teen bank accounts online, such as the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account.

We think the best bank for teen accounts is at the top of our list

The best checking accounts for teens don’t cost anything in maintenance fees, but, rather, provide some rewards like debit cash back.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Jenn Jones

BLUEPRINT

Jenn Jones is the deputy editor for banking at ӣƵ Blueprint. She brings years of writing and analytical skills to bear, as she was previously a senior writer at LendingTree, a finance manager at World Car dealerships and an editor at Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ. Her work has been featured on MSN, F&I Magazine and Automotive News. She holds a B.S. in commerce from the University of Virginia.

Taylor Tepper

BLUEPRINT

Taylor Tepper is the lead banking editor for ӣƵ Blueprint. Prior to that he was a senior writer at Forbes Advisor, Wirecutter, Bankrate and Money Magazine. He has also been published in the New York Times, NPR, Bloomberg and the Tampa Bay Times. His work has been recognized by his peers, winning a Loeb, Deadline Club and SABEW award. He has completed the education requirement from the University of Texas to qualify for a Certified Financial Planner certification, and earned a M.A. from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York where he focused on business reporting and was awarded the Frederic Wiegold Prize for Business Journalism. He earned his undergraduate degree from New York University, and married his college sweetheart with whom he raises three kids in Dripping Springs, TX.