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The best UK bank accounts for kids and teenagers

The best UK bank accounts for kids and teenagers

On the hunt for a current account for your kids? Here are our top UK bank accounts for 11-18-year-olds.

lovemoney staff

Banking and Borrowing

lovemoney staff
Updated on 8 November 2022

If you are keen for your kids to get used to managing money, you should encourage them to open their own bank 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 a 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 into a branch to complete the application and provide proof of identity for both you and your child.

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

Starling Kite (6-16)

The Starling Kite account from Starling Bank is open to kids from as young as six to as old as 16 and can be opened online.

Parents can set all sorts of controls over the account, from how much can be spent to what shops the debit card can be used in and whether it can be used online.

You can also ensure that you get notifications whenever money is spent on the account, so you can keep an eye on your child’s money habits.

As with the normal Starling account, you can set savings goals to help educate your child about the benefits of saving money regularly and get them into the savings habit.

The account can be topped up as and when you need to, or you can set up regular payments of pocket money.

Importantly, the account isn’t free. There’s a £2 monthly fee per card to bear in mind but at the time of writing, Starling offers a free one-month trial.

Head this way to learn more about the Kite account.

HSBC MyAccount/MySavings (7-17)

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.

MySavings is available to children between the ages of seven and 17 and pays a rate of 3.5% (up from 3.25%) on balances of up to £3,000 and 1% (up from 0.75%) on balances over this amount.

MyAccount comes with a Visa debit card, allowing your child to shop online and in-store, as well as withdraw money from an ATM.

If your child is under the age of 11, they'll get a cash book, which they can use to take money out at any HSBC branch – but they'll need a parent or guardian’s permission and signature to take out £50 or more.

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

If the parent or guardian is an HSBC customer, they can apply for their child's account online, but if not, they’ll have to go in-branch to open an account.

You need to provide ID and proof of address for the child and yourself. If your child is over the age of 16, you won’t need to accompany them to your local branch.

HSBC has warned customers that it might take longer than usual to process their applications at this time.

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 a branch. Children between the ages of 11 and 15 must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian.

Proof of identity 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 to a branch.

Santander 123 Mini (11-17)

The Santander 123 Mini current account is available to kids between the ages of 11 and 17. It pays tiered rates of interest.

Your child will be able to earn 1% on balances of up to £999, 2% interest for balances between £1,000 and £1,499 and 3% interest for balances between £1,500 and £2,000.

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 shop online and in stores. The maximum that can be withdrawn each day 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.

You can apply for an account online if your child is between the ages of 13 and 17, 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 (who has a Santander current account) if the child is under the age of 13. You’ll need proof of your name and address, and your child’s name to open an account.

NatWest Adapt Bank Account (11-17)

The NatWest Adapt account is available to children aged 11 to 17.

It allows them 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 and need to have a NatWest current account.

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.

Alternatively, NatWest offers Rooster Money, a pocket money app managed by parents or legal guardians but you may get charged for this app.

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 £999 and no interest on balances above this amount.

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.

Once your child turns 18, they can receive up to 15% cashback via Everyday Offers.

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

‘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. 

For 16 to 17-year-olds, the account can be opened online (and ID can be provided) although you might need to visit a branch to provide identification if it can’t be checked online. There’s no need for a parent or guardian to accompany the child.

The best bank accounts for cashback

Lloyds Bank recommends that those aged 13-17 start their application online.

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 £999.

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 via text alerts, online, through the mobile app, in a branch or over the telephone.

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 (and ID can be provided) although you might need to visit a branch to provide identification if it can’t be checked online. There’s no need for a parent or guardian to accompany the child.

Halifax recommends applicants aged between 13 and 17 start their application online, while those aged 11-12 will still need to visit a branch.

Nationwide FlexOne (11-17)

The Nationwide FlexOne account is available to 11 to 17-year-olds. The account pays 2% interest (up from 0.25%) on balances of up to £1,000.

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.

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

If you’re applying online (which won’t be possible for accounts for 11 to 12-year-olds), any ID such as a passport, birth certificate or proof of address, may need to be checked in a branch.

At the time of writing, Nationwide only accepts FlexOne applications for 11–12-year-olds over the phone or at certain branches with a tablet, while those between the ages of 13 and 17 can apply online.

Barclays BarclayPlus (11-15)

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

The account comes with a cash card or a Visa debit card. 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 a branch.  

The child will need to bring ID, while proof of address and identity is required for the parent or guardian.

Gohenry (6-18)

While it doesn't have all the features of a children’s bank account, the gohenry finance app is available to kids as young as six, so could be worth considering if you want to teach your kids about money from a younger age (most traditional accounts are only available to those aged 11 and over).

The app aims to make it easier for parents to give their children the freedom to spend any pocket money in a safe way while teaching them how to be good with money.

There’s no overdraft available so there's no risk of your child racking up debt and charges.

Sadly, while many of the top children's bank accounts mentioned above offer interest, that's not the case with gohenry although you can set up 'parent-paid interest.'

On the upside, there's no need to trek to your local bank branch to set it up. 

You simply download the app, sign up and your child’s prepaid card will arrive within seven working days. Once you get the card, you log into the website or app to activate your parent account and the card.

It’s important to note you need to make a minimum deposit of £5 with your debit card to activate your kid’s account, while the contactless feature won’t kick in until a chip and PIN payment is made.

The app does charge £2.99 a month per child, which could put some people off although at the time of writing, gohenry offers a free one-month trial.  

You can read our full gohenry review here.

HyperJar (6-17)

The great thing about HyperJar is that it's free to use, although it does lack some of the functionality and flexibility of the accounts mentioned above.

Parents can set up an account for a child between the ages of six and 17, but it must be linked to their own HyperJar account.

HyperJar doesn’t work like a normal bank account where there is one pot of money. Instead, you put money into small pots, or 'jars', that you can then let your kids access with their card.

So, for example, you could set up a 'pocket money' jar that you pay a set amount into each week or month. Or you could be more specific and set up a jar for entertainment, one for treats, and so on.

Don't worry, you can apply spending caps on any jar to ensure that your child doesn’t spend it all at once!

While any general jar you create won't earn interest, you can link one to a specific retailer that HyperJar has partnered with, and in return for pledging to spend this money only with that shop, you get a generous interest rate which can vary depending on the retailer. 

You can schedule regular payments and your child can download the app so they can see their own jars and link their card to jars themselves.

Both parents and kids get spending notifications, and any jars can be shared, plus your child can never go overdrawn with HyperJar.

The one downside is that money cannot be withdrawn from an ATM with this card.

Check out our full review here.

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

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