The best children's bank accounts


Updated on 16 September 2020 | 0 Comments

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 may offer the choice between a cash card that 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.

It’s worth flagging that you may not be able to open an account at the time of writing if you need to go in branch as services and opening hours may be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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.

Since July 2020, the amount of interest on offer has changed.

Your child will be able to earn 1% on balances of up to £999 (up from a previous limit of up to £100).

But the balance needed to get better rates of interest is higher than before. Your child will get 2% interest for balances between £1,000 and £1,500 and 3% interest for balances between £1,500 and £2,000.

Interest is calculated daily but paid monthly.

The account comes with the choice of a cash card that limits your child to taking money out of ATMs, or a Santander debit card, which also allows them to also shop online and in stores. The maximum that can be withdrawn each day on either card is £300.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 via text and email alerts, over the phone, online, through mobile banking or in 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.

The 123 Mini account must be opened in trust and managed by an adult if the child is under the age of 13.

COVID-19: bank opening times at Barclays, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest & more revealed

TSB Under 19s (11-18)

The TSB Under 19s account can be opened for 11 to 18-year-olds. It pays an attractive 2.5% rate of interest on balances of 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 get £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 £500).

Apple Pay can be used by children over the age of 13, while Google Pay can only be used by those at least 16 years old.

The account also comes with a Save the Pennies option. Each time your child buys 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 in proof of their identity and 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 to 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 and 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 £200 for a Cashpoint card and up to £500 with a Visa debit card.

The account 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, but they have to be 16 years old to use telephone banking.  

‘Money Manager' 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 with them 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 fill out the application form online.

They’ll then need to pop into a Lloyds branch with their proof of identity, while the parent/guardian needs to provide proof of their identity and address. 

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

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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 (if they are at least 16 years old).

Similar to Lloyds, 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, then visit a branch with a parent or guardian to provide the necessary identification. 

For 16 to 17-year-olds, the account can be opened online before visiting a branch to provide identification. 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 0.1% monthly interest on balances of up to £1,000 after recently being cut from 1%.  

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, but it’s worth warning that Nationwide is currently not accepting new applications in branch.

This means you have to apply online (which won’t be possible for accounts for 11 to 12-year-olds), and any ID (passport, birth certificate, proof of address) will need to be checked in a branch.

For the most up to date information from Nationwide, check out this page.

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, and your child can take out up to £250 a day.

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

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

You might be able to upload proof of identity and address for yourself and your child when you apply online, but this depends on the application.  

So, you may need to pop into a branch to show these documents.

Barclays BarclayPlus (11-15)

The BarclayPlus account is available to 11 to 15-year-olds. It allows a child to earn 0.1% on balances of over £1 and 0.6% on balances of over £1,000.

The interest rate was recently cut from 0.6% on balances from £1, which rose to 1.1% if they had over £1,000 in their account.

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 the Video Banking app, but if not, an application will have to be made in branch.  

The child will need to bring ID, which can be a passport or National Identity Card, while proof of address and identity is 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 combine it with a MySavings account.

A MySavings account is available to seven to 17-year olds and pays a rate of 2.5% (recently cut from 3%) on balances of up to £3,000 (0.25% over this amount – down from 0.75%).

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

The account can be managed online, through the mobile banking app and over the phone, as well as in a HSBC branch.

To open an account for your child, you will need to print an application form and fill it in.

HSBC has warned people to only visit a branch if ‘you have a financial need that can’t wait’ so it might be worth waiting if you can until service availability improves.  

If your child is under the age of 16, you need to accompany them to your local branch.

You also 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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