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Children’s bank accounts

Switch to an account that best suits your child’s needs

  • Compare accounts with great offers
  • Get started in minutes
  • Helps teach good money habits

What do children’s bank accounts offer?

Children’s bank accounts in the UK generally run from the age of 11 to 17 and differ slightly from regular current accounts. Some of the key features include:

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    No overdraft facility

    Your child can only spend what they have in their account

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    Daily withdrawal limit

    You can set a hard limit on how much cash they can withdraw 

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    Money management

    Online, mobile and phone banking to check balances and transfer money

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    Text and email alerts

    A handy way to let your child know if money in their account is running low

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    Earn interest

    Some children’s accounts offer attractive interest rates

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    Open an account with £1

    Often you can open an account with just £1 - so it’s easy to get started

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    No monthly fees

    Most kids accounts have no fee but some charge if you want a debit card

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    No automatic debit card

    You’ll usually need to give your child permission for a debit card 

How to choose the best children’s current account

There’s no such thing as a single best children’s bank account as the ‘best’ will depend on your individual needs and what your child wants from the account. But there are several features to consider when making your decision:

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    Look for high interest rates

    Search for accounts with higher interest rates to help your child’s money work harder. Some accounts have tiered interest and may cap the total interest they’ll pay

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    Seek out bonuses and perks

    Some accounts will feature attractive perks, such as discounted driving lessons for when your child turns 17 and cashback or rewards

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    Is the account easy to open?

    While for some accounts you may have to go into branch to sign up, if you’re already an existing customer you might be able to do it online 

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    Cash card or debit card?

    Will your child have a debit card, which can be used in shops, online and at cash machines? You may prefer them to have a simple cash card 

  • Does it offer parental control?

    You can set maximum limits for how much your child can spend each week, where they can use their debit card and if it can be used online, for example

What details will I need to open a children’s account?

 

Children can open their own current account once they turn 16. But if they’re younger they’ll need a parent, grandparent or guardian to do this for them.

 

If you’re an existing customer of the bank where you want to open the new account for your child, you may only need proof of your identification, but terms and conditions will vary.

 

  For some existing bank customers

Child is 15 or under

Child is 16

Parent/guardian proof of identity (passport, driving licence)

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Child proof of identity (passport, birth certificate)

 

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Parent/guardian proof of address (recent utility bill)  

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Child proof of address (letter from school or college)

 

 

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How to apply for children’s current accounts with MoneySuperMarket

We take the hard work out of finding an account to suit your child’s needs.

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    Browse our providers

    Search the market to find the best children’s current accounts, including any incentives

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    Filter and sort

    Use our filters to narrow your options based on the type of account you’re looking for

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    Click through to provider

    When you find the deal you want, click to the provider to complete your application

 

It’s unlikely your child’s current account will be taxed. 

Both children and adults have a personal savings allowance which changes each tax year. That means everyone can earn up to this amount before it gets taxed. 

This is boosted further as children are also eligible for the £5,000 starting rate for savings and the £1,000 personal savings allowance, so they can earn £18,570 this financial year before paying tax. This takes most children’s savings out of the tax bracket.

If you are giving your children money to put in their own account, be aware that if the money earns more than £100 in interest a year, the whole lot will be taxed at your tax rate. 

The £100 limit doesn’t apply to money:

If a child is liable to pay tax, any tax due on interest earned will need to be paid to the appropriate tax authority. For more information, see the GOV.UK website

 

Banks want to attract new customers so most familiar high street banks in the UK offer children’s current accounts often with incentives to entice you to sign-up. They are not your only option though. Newer so-called challenger banks -including the new digital banks - are also starting to offer children’s current accounts, so there should be plenty of choice. 

Your child’s bank account will usually automatically upgrade to a standard adult current account when they turn 18. If your child has a savings account, their bank may offer them a children’s current account once they reach the age of 11.

If you’re looking for an alternative to a children’s bank account that doesn’t involve them carrying around a lot of cash, then a prepaid card is another option.

You can load your child’s prepaid card for free, and they’ll then be able to use the card to withdraw cash and make purchases.

Some prepaid cards also offer real-time spending notifications to help your child manage their money. Prepaid cards do not usually come with a current account, so your child won’t have a sort code or account number, but they can still make payments online.

The Current Account Switch Service pledges to make switching current accounts simple, reliable and stress-free. It’s a guarantee you’ll be switched to your new bank account – in this case children’s bank account – without any mistakes. You simply open the new account and pick your switch date. 

A week before your new bank will start setting up your new account and any payments that go to your old account will be redirected. When switch day arrives, the balance will move to your new account and your old one will close.

A current account is a bank or building society account that lets you manage your day-to-day spending.

You can have your salary paid into it, set up direct debits and standing orders, and negotiate an overdraft. Some accounts also pay interest on balances and offer cashback on spending.

 

There are lots of types of current account to suit all sorts of personal situations. These include:

  • Standard: For managing ordinary income and expenditure, usually with a debit card, a cheque book and an overdraft
  • Basic: No-frills accounts which come with fewer features, designed for people with bad or no credit history
  • Packaged: These come with various bonuses, including things like interest-free overdraft, insurance add-ons and discounts for other banking products. They usually have monthly fees and eligibility requirements
  • Student/graduate: Current accounts designed to cover the particular financial pressures faced by students and recent graduates, normally including larger interest-free overdrafts
  • Joint: Accounts designed for two or more people, to cover household expenses or couples’ expenditure
  • Children’s: These have few features and are designed to introduce children to banking and saving

 

Some current accounts come with extra benefits for the account holder, like a cash bonus for signing up, better interest rates or even breakdown cover. The accounts might only be available to certain customers, like those with high credit ratings.

Some current accounts include fees if you use them in a certain way – some banks might charge you for resending a printed account statement or for accessing your account abroad. You may even be charged a fee for going into your overdraft without telling your bank beforehand.

The traditional idea of banking is being changed by digital or challenger banks, who provide most of their services through the internet or a mobile app rather than in branch or over the phone. Many are designed to be more open and transparent with customers and less focused on banking products.

It’s more attractive than ever to compare current accounts: healthy competition means there are a number of incentives available for those willing to switch. But if you don’t compare current accounts, you could be missing out on a great deal – and some free cash!

Switching current accounts is simple because most of the legwork is done for you and, at the end of it, you can benefit from an account that’s much better for your pocket and lifestyle.

If you’re looking for the best current account, you’ll benefit from a wide range of products to choose from. Many of the best current accounts offer:

  • High interest rates
  • Cashback and rewards on spending
  • Competitive overdraft rates

The best current account is different for each person, as it depends on your spending habits and level of savings.

Switching current accounts has never been simpler, and many providers offer lucrative incentives for moving your account to them.

The Current Account Switch Guarantee makes switching current accounts very easy indeed, and your bank will do most of the legwork for you, including transferring money, direct debits and standing orders, and informing your employer.

When you switch your current account to a new bank or building society, you could get £100 or more in cashback as a reward for switching. Just make sure that you’re applying for an account that suits your needs, not just the one with the highest cashback.

If you tend to stay in credit and never go overdrawn, you could get rewarded regularly by your bank or building society. By switching to a rewards current account, you could get a monthly reward payment and earn cashback on your spending. Some providers will also offer a cash incentive for switching your current account to them.

Many rewards accounts have requirements such as paying in a minimum amount eachmonth, or having a minimum number of direct debits, so make sure you can meet the criteria to get the rewards.

 

If you’re fed up with getting poor customer service from your bank, switch your current account to a provider that’s known for looking after its customers.

As well as making your life easier, some of these accounts offer extra benefits such as competitive overdrafts or cashback for switching.

It’s a good idea to check your account statements regularly, because this could stop you going into your overdraft without knowing. It can also be a good way to double check whether there are any transactions you don’t recognise.

Look for a provider with good customer service, because you never know when you’ll need to call them up or go into a branch to fix an issue.

Remember to be careful with your PIN and account details; you should keep this information safe and protected. Remember, your bank will never ask you to reveal details like your PIN, either on the phone, in person or through an email.

Your bank will almost certainly have an app that lets you manage your account online, and some may even be based on their app. This is excellent for quick and easy money management.

Each bank has different ways of transferring money. Some require you to use a card reader when transferring any sum of money, while others only use it for transactions over a set amount.

Other banks do not use card readers at all, so if money transfers are something you might be doing a lot of, it’s worth checking the policy details to see how easy it is to make payments on the go.

If your current account comes with benefits such as air miles, you might want to check whether you really need them. For example, if you’re not a frequent flyer, is an air miles bonus worth the extra cost?

Can't find what you're looking for? Try looking at our news, views and in-depth current account guides

Current account guides - Current account news

Switching current accounts is easy with MoneySuperMarket, and it could mean you get to take advantage of better interest rates and cashback rewards, vouchers and other incentives.

The process of switching will take a maximum of seven working days with the Current Account Switch Service – all your direct debits should be switched over automatically, and everything should be taken care of by your new account provider.

You can compare current accounts with MoneySuperMarket, and when you're ready to make the swtich, all you need to do is give your chosen new bank a few details such as your name, address and date of birth. You will also have to supply some documentation to confirm your identity and address.

You’ll be able to look at a number of important factors, like the interest rates they’ll pay, the overdraft rates they’ll charge, any rewards they provide, and any costs involved in holding an account.

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We currently provide access to six partner companies, covering 30% of the market, though you may have other questions. For instance, do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.