The best children's bank accounts

On the hunt for a current account for your children? Here are our top picks for 11-18-year-olds.

If you are keen for your children to get used to managing money, you should encourage them to open their own current account.

Most providers offer bank accounts to children between the ages of 11 and 18.

They are generally similar to adult ones; you can pay money in and make withdrawals from an ATM or in a branch.  

The main difference is that children’s bank accounts don’t offer overdrafts. So, there’s no way your child can accidentally or intentionally spend more than is in the account and be hit with fees.

You’ll also find these accounts will offer the choice between a cash card, which allows ATM withdrawals or a debit card which can be used in shops, online and at ATMs.

Most banks will let you control which card your child gets.

You should bear in mind you will usually have to accompany your child to open a bank account in branch or do it on their behalf if they are under 16.

Some banks let you fill in an application form online, but you’ll probably still have to go in branch to complete the application.

Here’s our roundup of the best current accounts for children.

Santander 123 Mini (11-18)

The Santander 123 Mini current account is available to kids between the ages of 11 and 18.

It pays tiered rates of interest.

Your child will earn 1% on balances from £100, 2% on balances from £200 and 3% on balances from £300 to £2,000. Interest is calculated daily but paid monthly.

The account comes with the choice of a cash card, which limits them to taking money out of ATMs, or a Santander debit card, which also allows them to shop online and in stores.

The maximum that can be withdrawn each day on either is £300.

Those that are 16 or over can take advantage of Retailer Offers, a scheme that allows the account holder to earn up to 15% cashback when shopping with a Santander debit card.

Kids can keep track of their money through text and email alerts, over the phone, online, through mobile banking or via a branch.

Only one current account per child can be held.

You can open an account online if your child is between the ages of 13 and 18, or by going to a local branch if they are under 13 years old.

Compare current accounts

TSB Under 19s (11-18)

The TSB Under 19s account can be opened by 11 to 18-year olds.

It pays an attractive 2.5% rate of interest on balances up to £2,500, while balances over £2,500 will earn 0.1%.

On top of that, once your child turns 17, they’ll also get driving discounts.

They could save £36 on AA driving lessons and also get a further £20 off a Pass Plus course, which teaches advanced driving skills.

The account comes with a Visa debit card to use in shops, online or at cash machines (with a maximum daily withdrawal limit of £300).

Apple Pay or Google Pay can also be used, but only for those that are at least 13 years old.

The account also comes with a Save the Pennies option.

Each time your child purchases something with their Visa debit card, the amount is rounded up to the nearest pound and transferred into a TSB savings account.

Kids can manage their account in branch, as well as online, over the phone and through the mobile app, but age restrictions may apply.

Accounts can only be opened in branch.

To open an account, children between the ages of 11 and 15 must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian.

Two forms of ID such as a passport or birth certificate will be needed for the child, as well as proof of the parent or guardian’s identity and address.

Those over the age of 16 do not need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian but will have to bring two forms of ID and proof of their address into a branch.

Teenagers shopping online. (Image: Shutterstock)

Lloyds Bank Under 19s (11-17)

The Lloyds Bank Under 19s account is open to children aged 11-17.

It pays 0.5% interest on balances of up to £2,500 and no interest on balances above this amount. Interest is paid quarterly directly into the account.

The account comes with the choice of a Cashpoint card, allowing kids to withdraw money from cash machines or a Visa debit card, which also allows them to pay for things in shops or online.

The limit on daily cash withdrawals is £500.

For 17-year-olds, there’s the chance to save up to £76 with the AA Driving School. They can get £36 off AA driving lessons and will receive a free ‘Pass Your Test’ CD-Rom worth £20.

After passing the test, young people can get £20 off the Pass Plus course, which teaches inexperienced drivers advanced practical skills such as motorway driving.

The account also comes with a Save the Change option. Each time your child purchases something with their Visa card, the amount is rounded up to the nearest pound and transferred into a Lloyds Bank savings account of their choice.

Kids can manage their money through text alerts, online banking, through the mobile app, over the phone and in a branch.

‘Money Manager’, a free service, automatically breaks down your child’s spending to help them understand how much they are spending and where, as well as help set up a savings goal.

The method for opening an account will depend on the age of your child.

11 to 12-year-olds must have a parent or guardian to apply for the account and it must be done in a branch.

Children between the ages of 13 and 15 also must have a parent or guardian to help them open the account, but they can do this online or in any Lloyds branch.

Those over the age of 16 don’t need to have a parent or guardian with them to open an account. They can open an account online or in any branch with the appropriate ID and proof of address.

Compare current accounts

Halifax Expresscash (11-17)

The Halifax Expresscash account is tailored for children aged 11 to 17.

It offers 0.5% credit interest on balances between £1 and £2,500.

The Halifax account comes with a Visa debit card which has a maximum withdrawal limit of £500 a day.

Your child can manage the account online, through the mobile app, in a branch or over the telephone.

The method of opening an account will depend on the age of your child.

Kids aged 11 to 12 need to be with a parent or guardian and the account can only be opened in a branch.

Proof of ID and proof of the parent or guardian’s identity and address will need to be provided.

Those aged between 13 and 15 can apply online or in a branch with a parent or guardian.

Proof of ID for the child and proof of ID and address for the parent or guardian will need to be provided.

For 16 to 17-year-olds, the account can be opened online or in branch.

There’s no need for a parent or guardian to be involved, but the child will have to provide proof of ID and address.

Nationwide FlexOne (11-17)

The Nationwide FlexOne account is available to 11 to 17-year olds.

The account pays 1% monthly interest on balances of up to £1,000, which is only beaten by interest rates offered by current accounts from Santander and TSB. 

Nationwide FlexOne offers the choice of a cash card or a contactless Visa debit card.

Both have a maximum daily withdrawal limit of £300, but the FlexOne cash card only lets you withdraw money from ATMs.

The Visa card lets you make payments in stores and online, as well as pay using Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

The account can be managed through text alerts, online, through the mobile app, over the phone, as well as in a Nationwide branch.

Again, the method of opening an account will depend on the age of your child.

11 to 13-year-olds will need to go into a branch with a parent or guardian.

The child will need valid identification and proof of address.

The adult will need to bring something with their name on like a credit or debit card and a household bill that is less than three months old.

14 to 15-year-olds can apply online or in a branch with a parent or guardian.

A child will need to go into a branch to show proof of ID, while the parent or guardian will need to show similar documents to those described above.

While 16 to 17-year-olds can apply online or in a branch, they don’t need to have an adult to join them.

But, a visit to the branch will probably be required to show proof of ID and address.

Child with a bank card. (Image: Shutterstock)

NatWest Adapt Bank Account (11-18)

The NatWest Adapt account is available to children aged 11 to 18 years old.

It allows kids to earn 1% interest on any credit balance in the account. The interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.

The account comes with a Visa debit card to use in shops or online.

Your child can take out up to £250 a day.

Your child can manage the account through text alerts, online, through the mobile banking app, in a branch or over the phone.

You can open an account online or in a branch. If your child is under 16, you need to open an account on their behalf.

NatWest needs to see proof of ID and address documents to open an account.

Compare current accounts

Barclays BarclayPlus (11-15)

The BarclayPlus account is available to 11 to 15-year-olds.

It allows a child to earn 0.6% on balances of over £1 and 1.1% on balance of over £1,000, but they may be better off getting a different current account depending on the expected balance.

The account comes with a cash card or a Visa debit card, which Barclays allows you to personalise with a photo.

With the cash card, the account holder can withdraw up to £50 a day from cash machines, while the debit card allows shopping in store and online, as well as daily ATM withdrawals of up to £300.

If the parent or guardian banks with Barclays, an application can be made via Video Banking, but if not, an application will have to be made in branch.  

A child will need to bring ID, which can be a passport or National Identity Card, while proof of address and identity is also required for the parent or guardian.

HSBC MyAccount (11-17)

The HSBC MyAccount is a current account for children aged 11 to 17.

It doesn’t offer much in the way of perks like interest, but you can choose to combine it with a MySavings account.

MySavings is open to seven to 17-year olds and pays a rate of 3% on balances of up to £3,000.

The MyAccount comes with a HSBC Visa debit card, allowing your child to shop online and in store, as well as take up to £100 out a day from an ATM.

The account can be managed online, through the mobile banking app, over the phone (from the age of 11) and in a HSBC branch.

To open an account, you will need to print an application form, fill it in and take it to your local branch.

You will need to provide ID and proof of address for the child and yourself, unless you as the parent or guardian are an existing HSBC customer.

More on family finances:

Mortgage, marriage, children: you can’t have it all at once – opinion

Bank of mum and dad: how to help your children buy a home

Children's inheritance: how much is too much for your kids?

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