Best Banks for Families with Kids

Parents and children alike benefit from low fees and minimums on these accounts. But some features can be limited.

teen worker in juice bar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Best: Capital One

www.capitalone.com (opens in new tab)

Why it won: A dedicated checking account for teens and a suite of strong accounts for parents make Capital One a great choice for the whole family.

Standout accounts: Parents and kids can manage the free MONEY Teen Checking account together. The no-fee 360 Performance Savings account recently yielded 0.7%.

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Where it is: Accounts are internet-based. But for in-person services, Capital One has more than 300 branches in several eastern and southern states and Washington, D.C.

Capital One’s MONEY Teen Checking account (0.1% yield) has no monthly fee or minimum-balance requirement and is available to children 8 years old and older with a parent or guardian as a joint holder. For those younger than 18, total debit card purchases and withdrawals are limited to $500 per day, and account holders can’t use the card at certain establishments, such as car-rental companies, bars and liquor stores. (Check-writing is not available.)

Adults have a nice set of account choices from Capital One, too. The free 360 Checking account yields 0.1% and offers access to your paycheck up to two days early. Last year, Capital One eliminated all p=[.

360 Performance Savings offers a high, 0.7% yield, and Kids Savings has a 0.3% rate. CDs require no minimum balance, and yields recently included 1.3% for a one-year term and 2.5% for five years.

Runner-up: Discover Bank

www.discover.com (opens in new tab)

Why it won: Discover keeps fees to a minimum—a valuable feature for young account owners.

Standout accounts: The Cashback Debit account offers cash back on debit card purchases. The Online Savings Account yields 0.7%.

The Cashback Debit checking account from Discover’s online bank is unavailable to those younger than 18, but it makes a lot of sense for college students or other young people getting a start with banking—and it’s a great account for adults of other ages, too. You earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases monthly, and standard checks, cashier’s checks and overdraft transfers are free; the only fee the account charges is $30 for outgoing wire transfers. Direct deposits are available up to two days early.

Discover’s free savings account yields 0.7%, and the money market account yields 0.6% on balances of less than $100,000 and 0.65% on the entire balance of $100,000 or more. CDs ($2,500 minimum deposit) recently offered 1.5% on a 12-month term and 2.75% on a five-year term. Parents can open custodial savings, money market and non-IRA CD accounts for their kids.

Lisa Gerstner
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lisa has spent more than15 years with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and heads up the magazine’s annual rankings of the best banks, best rewards credit cards, and financial-services firms with the best customer service. She reports on a variety of other topics, too, from retirement to health care to money concerns for millennials. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.