For teenagers, having a checking account prior to heading off to college can provide valuable real-world experience in managing a budget, cash flow and bills. There are numerous options and features for these accounts, including mobile banking, text alerts when funds run low and person-to-person (P2P) transfer capabilities. Because these accounts require an adult’s participation as a joint owner, parents may also want to place certain controls on the accounts, such as withdrawal and transfer limits. The following are the 10 best checking accounts for teens.
The Money account offered by Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) is a no-fee, no-minimum account that pays a 0.25% annual percentage yield (APY) as of February 2019. Mobile deposits are done by taking a picture of the check and submitting it through the app linked to the account. Parents interested in tracking account activity can elect to receive text and email notifications for every transaction.
The Teen Checking account at Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) requires a $25 initial deposit and comes without maintenance fees. For parents, notifications on transactions can be sent via text or email, and limits can be set on debit card spending and account withdrawals. Teens can benefit from the money management tools available through the account.
The Chase High School Checking account from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) offers parents and teens a full suite of ways to track account activity and balances, including mobile banking, online bill paying and account alerts. The minimum deposit to open is $25. The bank requires an adult to link an account to the teen's checking account, which waives the $6.00 per month maintenance fee.
Union Bank & Trust
The Teen Access Checking account at Union Bankshares Inc. (NASDAQ: UNB) requires $100 to open and does not charge a monthly maintenance fee. The key feature of the account is the ability for parents to set daily spending and withdrawal limits on the ATM or debit card that comes with the account. The account offers access through its mobile banking app, the online banking website and with its bill-paying program.
The teen checking account offered by USAA Federal Savings Bank does not charge maintenance fees and has no account minimums. The checking account offers adult account co-owners a variety of options to limit spending, withdrawals and transfers, as well as overdraft protection with linked credit cards or accounts. The account includes mobile banking and online access.
Alliant Credit Union
The teen checking account at Alliant Credit Union offers online and mobile access, as well as limits on spending and withdrawals. The key feature is its APY of 0.65% (as of February 2019), which is available for accounts that sign up for paperless statements and direct deposits. The account also offers a P2P tool for mobile payments. Nonmembers can join the credit union by making a $10 donation to the Foster Care to Success Foundation.
Opening a teen account at Citizen’s Bank, which is a subsidiary of Citizen’s Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG), provides an account experience similar to joint checking accounts with online access and mobile banking. The advantage for teens is that, when a savings account is linked to the checking account, the bank provides extra tools to help set goals and track savings for the purchase of a car, travel or college.
Bank of America
While Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) does not have a checking account dedicated to teens, parents can open a joint checking account with teens with all the features of a regular joint account. The bank adds value for teens with a comprehensive plan for college, repaying student loans and long-term planning, which can help to build a solid foundation of financial knowledge.
First National Bank and Trust
With a checking account focused on 16- and 17-year-old age brackets, First National Bank and Trust Company has no monthly fees and a $25 minimum balance to open. To personalize the account for teens, the bank offers high school logo checks and debit cards with personalized photos for a small fee. Mobile banking, online access and bill paying are included with the teen checking account.
A Local Community Bank
Local community banks generally offer many of the same features as larger banks, but often have a more personal touch, with teen-centric websites, financial blog posts and educational resources. Additionally, the personal environment at smaller banks can be more conducive to the sharing of advice, knowledge and experience from people who have been in the business for years.