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Compare the Best Teen Checking Accounts of May 2024

  • Teen checking accounts offer a safe, supervised way of learning how to save money and start building a positive banking history.
  • Consider fees, parental controls and accessibility when choosing the right account for you.?
  • Minimize fees by selecting products that don’t include overdraft facilities and have broad ATM networks.
  • Opt for alternatives like prepaid debit cards and credit-building apps if a teen checking account doesn’t appeal.

Teen checking accounts are a great way for young people to learn about managing money. They’re co-owned with a parent or guardian, have low fees and come with spending limits. In this guide, we’ll walk you through four standout options and provide insights into essential features such as fees, APY and minimum balances to help you pick the right account.

Our top picks for the best checking accounts

Our top picks for the best teen checking accounts

Chime? Checking Account: Best for free overdraft

Just landed your first job? Congratulations on becoming financially independent! You’ve probably noticed that traditional checking accounts often come with pesky monthly and overdraft fees. If you’re looking to stash as much cash as possible without paying for the privilege, the Chime? Checking Account is worth exploring. Because it’s an online checking account, the company saves money by not running a brick-and-mortar store. In turn, Chime? passes on savings to customers by offering fee-free products.

Chime? Checking Account: An overview

For Ages APY Minimum Balance Fees
18+ N/A $0 No monthly fee, no overdraft fee up to $200 for eligible customers, out-of-network fees apply.

Chime? Checking Account: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
? No monthly maintenance fees
? Fee-free overdraft of up to $200 with SpotMe?
? Early access (up to 2 days) to paychecks
? Convenient online-only banking and large network of ATMs
? No interest
? No physical branches
? $2.50 transaction fee for withdrawal cash from out-of-network ATMs

Chase High School Checking?: Best for basic financial management

The Chase High School Checking? account empowers 13 to 17-year-olds to take their first steps toward financial independence. It’s a joint checking account with basic features and no monthly fees or overdraft function. As a guardian, that means you don’t have to worry about overspending with this Chase checking account. Besides, the Chase Mobile? app and account alerts offer a 24/7 window into your teen’s spending habits.?

When you need new beauty products or electronic devices, use your debit card for teens online or in-store — just like an adult. Want to become a savvy saver? Open a Chase Savings? account. While you’re under 18 and in school, you cash in on service fee-free savings.??

Chase High School Checking?: An overview

For Ages APY Minimum Balance Fees
13 to 17 at account opening N/A $0 No monthly maintenance fee until the account holder turns 19. Then, the account converts to a Chase Total Checking? account. Out-of-network fees apply.

Chase High School Checking?: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
? No monthly maintenance fees
? Chase Mobile? app and account alerts keep parents in-the-loop about spending
? No overdraft facility
? Automatically becomes a Chase Total Checking? account when you turn 19
? Requires in-branch setup with adult and young person present
? Relatively small network of ATMs
? Fee structure subject to change automatically when the account converts to Chase Total Checking?

SoFi Checking and Savings: Best high-interest account

Looking for the smartest way to save up for a music festival or tech upgrade??SoFi’s Checking and Savings account’s high APY rate can help you get there faster.

This online-only bank grants easy access to fee-free withdrawals?thanks to its network of over 55,000 ATMs. Need to snag tickets ASAP before they sell out? With SoFi, you can access direct deposit funds up to two days early. Even if you don’t stretch your money from paycheck to paycheck, you can still buy stuff a day or two before payday.?

SoFi Checking and Savings: An overview

For Ages APY Minimum Balance Fees
18+ Up to 4.60% on savings balances and 0.50% on checking balances $0 No monthly fee, no overdraft fee up to $50 for eligible customers, no dormant account fee, out-of-network ATM fees apply.

SoFi Checking and Savings: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
? High interest rates
? Access direct deposit funds up to two days early
? Fee-free overdraft up to $50
? Earn up to a $300 cash bonus by setting up direct deposit and meeting minimum deposit requirements within 25 days
? You have to deposit at least $5,000 within the 30-day Evaluation Period to be eligible for the highest APR rates
? No parental controls
? No physical branches or checks

Axos Bank First Checking: Best for fee-free banking

Ready to trade in the piggy bank for a real bank account??Axos Bank First Checking is a low-risk gateway to financial independence. It’s co-owned by you and your parent or guardian and has daily spending limits of $100 in cash and $500 in debit purchases.?

While many bank accounts call themselves fee-free, this one goes a step further. Axos provides access to more than 91,000?ATMs. It also offers up to $12 back per month in case you get stuck and use out-of-network?ATMs. You even earn 0.10%?APY on savings.

Axos Bank First Checking: An overview

For Ages APY Minimum Balance Fees
13 to 17 in all states except Alabama (18+) 0.10% $0 No monthly fees, no overdraft or fees, no fees for insufficient funds.

Axos Bank First Checking: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
? No hidden fees or costs
? Earn 0.10% APY
? Parents have full access to the account via the mobile app and can lock and unlock debit cards
? Daily transaction limits
? Limited features
? No physical branches or check writing service

What is a teen checking account?

A teen checking account offers a head start in the race to become financially savvy. While you’re under 18, you and your parent or guardian co-own a teen account as you learn the ropes of financial responsibility. There are minimal fees so you can get into good habits without being penalized for little mistakes. Issuers may impose spending limits and restrict which banking products you can access, including overdrafts.?

Teen checking accounts are different from student checking accounts, which are typically reserved for those over 18. Both serve as stepping stones for teens learning the arts of budgeting, saving and responsible spending.

Here are some top reasons to open a teen checking account:

What are the age limits to open a teen checking account?

Teen checking accounts are usually available for individuals aged 13 to 17.?

Checking accounts for teens vs. savings accounts for teens

A checking account for teens is your day-to-day buddy. Use it to pay bills, make purchases and access your cash. On the other hand, teen savings accounts are long-distance champions. Open one to tuck cash away, and watch the interest grow the more you save. Savings accounts tend to have higher?APYs, but there are usually strict rules governing what you can and can’t do. For example, you might have to maintain a minimum balance to cash in on high interest rates.?

Pros and cons of checking accounts for teens

There are advantages and disadvantages for parents and young people when it comes to teen checking accounts.

Pros
  • Teaches financial literacy from an early age
  • Provides hands-on money management experience
  • Helps build a positive banking history
  • Provides secure, convenient money management tools
  • Promotes open dialogue between caregiver and child about finances
Cons
  • Requires parental involvement
  • Out-of-network ATM fees
  • Limited flexibility and functionality compared to regular checking accounts

How to choose a teen checking account

The best checking account for a teenager should include features to help introduce safe, responsible banking.

Consider these features when comparing checking accounts for teens:

  1. Look for accounts with minimal fees to avoid unnecessary charges.
  2. Opt for an account with parental controls. This enables parents to set limits and?supervise spending.?
  3. Choose an account with preset spending limits.
  4. Ensure banking products are FDIC-insured?and have fraud and identity theft protection.
  5. Consider whether online-only or traditional banking is more suitable.
  6. Think carefully about whether to have access to overdraft.
  7. Explore each banking app and select one with budgeting tools and financial education resources to promote healthy money management.??

Questions for parents about teen checking accounts

The best teen checking account for your family depends on your circumstances, goals and preferences.?

Here are some key questions to ask to help you make a smart choice.

Can the parent set restrictions on the account?

Many parents of teenagers opt for checking accounts with parental controls.?

Popular options include:

If you plan on supervising your teen as they learn how to bank responsibly, these tools offer a balance between autonomy and independence.?

Does the parent need an account with the bank?

In most cases, yes, parents must already have a checking account with the same bank to?open a joint teen checking account. Check the terms and conditions for a definitive answer.?

What happens when the teen turns 18?

At 18, providers may offer teens the chance to convert their account into a standard checking account. In some cases, the teenager might need to open a new account in their name only. Once they turn 18, they’re in the driver’s seat and have full control over their finances.?

How to open a teen checking account

To open a teen checking account:

  1. Research fees, features and accessibility, and compare several options.
  2. Gather ID for both parent and teen, your Social Security numbers and proof of address.
  3. Visit a branch or apply online.
  4. Deposit funds to activate the account.

How to avoid fees with a teen checking account

Here are some tips for avoiding teen checking account fees:

For example, say your teen joins a bank with fewer than 15,000 ATMs, and the one nearest their home is out-of-network. The fee for taking cash out from an out-of-network ATM is $2.50. For convenience, they withdraw cash 10 times per month from that ATM, costing a total of $25 per month. Over a year, they spend $300 they could have saved by simply making sure their local ATM is in-network.

Alternatives to a teen checking account

Let’s explore some alternatives to teen checking accounts:

Our top picks for the best checking accounts

FAQ: Best teen checking account

Is a teen checking account worth it?

Yes, a teen checking account is worth it as a supervised way of teaching young people financial responsibility.

What is the best bank account for teens?

The best bank account for teens depends on your priorities. Compare fees, parental controls and access to make a personal decision.

Can a minor have a checking account?

No, minors can’t typically open their own checking account. But they can be authorized users on their parents’ accounts or open joint checking accounts for teens.

Can I open a teen checking account online?

Some banks let you open a teen bank account online, but you’ll need parental authorization and supervision.

How much do teen checking accounts cost?

Fees for teen accounts vary, but they are typically minimal so users can get used to managing money without too much risk.

How much money should you keep in your teenager's checking account?

Start with a small amount and encourage your teen to boost their balance over time instead of whittling it away.

What happens to my teen checking account when I turn 18?

It depends on the bank. Some accounts automatically convert into regular checking accounts, while others require you to take action.

Imogen Sharma
Imogen Sharma Finance Contributor

Imogen Sharma is an experienced writer, specializing in business, culture, and financial guidance for young adults. She has contributed to articles for Varo Bank, Lendzi, MoneyTips and Indeed, providing invaluable insights into budgeting, financial planning, and lines of credit.

As a dedicated self-employed writer, she cherishes the opportunity to share her knowledge and experience with others, offering advice so they can master their bank accounts and secure their financial futures. Her articles, published in CMSWire, Reworked, WalletGenius and The Customer, serve as actionable guides to help people make solid financial decisions.

Prior to her writing career, Imogen honed her financial acumen in management roles, excelling in P&L analysis, budgeting and HR. During her tenure at Smith & Wollensky in London, her strategic contributions contributed to a 2% increase in EBITDA over a year, demonstrating her ability to drive financial performance and organizational success.

Imogen’s writing style combines expertise with accessibility, making complex financial topics easily understandable and actionable. With a focus on the long game, she encourages readers to approach financial matters with enthusiasm and determination.

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