Skip to content
Did you know your browser is out of date?
To get the best experience when using our website we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers.

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:

  • Tick icon

    No overdraft facility

    Your child can only spend what they have in their account

  • Tick icon

    Daily withdrawal limit

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

  • Tick icon

    Money management

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

  • Tick icon

    Text and email alerts

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

  • Tick icon

    Earn interest

    Some children’s accounts offer attractive interest rates

  • Tick icon

    Open an account with £1

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

  • Tick icon

    No monthly fees

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

  • Tick icon

    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:

debt icon

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

loans icon

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

Bank icon

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 

Prepaid icon

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)

Tick icon

Tick icon

 

Child proof of identity (passport, birth certificate)

 

Tick icon

Tick icon

Parent/guardian proof of address (recent utility bill)  

Tick icon

 

Child proof of address (letter from school or college)

 

 

Tick icon

 

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.

question page illustration

Browse our providers

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

online search illustration

Filter and sort

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

compare options scales illustration

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.

If you’re wondering whether a credit card is the right option for you, it might not always be a straightforward decision. They can offer some benefits depending on how you use them, but like any kind of borrowing they also present a risk if you can’t pay back what you owe.

We’ve set out the basic advantages and disadvantages to using credit cards, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you should apply for one.

Advantages of using a credit card

As long as you use them properly, credit cards can have a number of advantages over debit cards and cash payments. These include:

  • Improving your credit score: If you have a poor or limited credit rating, credit builder credit cards can offer a way to improve your financial situation and create better borrowing habits. As they’re aimed at people with a poor credit rating, they can often charge higher rates of interest – but as long as you make your repayments in full each month you won’t have to pay any interest. Consistently paying off your balance means you’ll be able to slowly build up your credit rating as you show that you’re able to borrow money responsibly over a long period
  • Buying now to pay later: It can also be a more convenient option to use a credit card, as it can let you buy a product or service but not pay for it until payday rolls around
  • Spreading purchases out: If you need make a large purchase, such as a home appliance, a credit card offers the advantage of spreading the cost over several monthly payments
  • Having purchase protection: If you buy something on your credit card and something goes wrong – for example if the selling company goes bust or if the purchase is faulty or goes missing – you can claim the cost back from your credit card provider. This is because any purchases you make between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card are protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. You’ll also be able to claim for a refund if your credit card is used fraudulently, as long as you weren’t negligent with it – read more with our guide to credit card security
  • Interest free spending: If you need to make a purchase but you’ve not saved up enough yet, some credit cards offer a 0% interest period that effectively lets you borrow for free – providing you make your monthly payments. Even if you pay the minimum amount required per month, you’ll still be borrowing interest free until this period ends. At this point it would be best to completely pay off your debt, otherwise you could be placed back on the provider’s standard interest rate – which can be quite high. You might also be placed back on the standard rate if you miss a payment or exceed your credit limit
  • Getting cashback, benefits and rewards: If you know you’ll be using the credit card for regular spending, you could take advantage of one with varying rewards and incentives. For example, if you’re a keen shopper you might find a cashback or store credit card to be ideal, while if you’re often flying from country to country you might prefer an airline credit card
  • Cutting down your debt: If you have outstanding debts you might consider a balance transfer credit card – you’ll be able to transfer existing debts on to one credit account, usually with lowered or no interest. This means you reduce the amount of money you pay on interest, letting you pay off the debt quicker.

Disadvantages of using a credit card

When you use a credit card you should be mindful of the following risks:

  • The possibility of debt: The main risk of taking out a credit card is that you could put yourself in rising debt if you aren’t able to pay back what you borrow. Credit card providers can charge high rates of interest because you have a poor or limited credit history (as you’ll present a higher risk), or because the card offers certain extra features. Sometimes the interest rate can be over 20%, which builds up quickly if you don’t pay the balance off
  • Your credit score: Letting your credit card debt build up, or missing payments, can influence your credit rating. The lower your credit rating the harder it will be to apply for credit in the future
  • Fees and charges: Credit cards can also come with fees and charges if you don’t meet your repayments or you exceed your credit limit
  • Limited usage: You might be restricted in how and where you can use your credit card. For example, many will charge you for withdrawing cash or using the card abroad unless stated otherwise in the credit agreement

How can I use my credit card effectively?

To make sure you’re getting the best from your credit card, consider the following:

  • Get a card to match your needs: You should consider what you’ll be using your credit card for before applying. There won’t be much point in paying extra for an airmiles credit card if you don’t fly a lot, and if you’re in a lot of debt it’s worth considering balance transfer cards more than store or supermarket cards. Our guide to finding the best credit card for you can help
  • Don’t miss a payment: Missing payments can result in charges and loss of certain benefits, which makes it important to keep up with your balance – even if it means paying the minimum monthly amount
  • Pay more than the minimum: It’s usually better to pay off as much as you possibly can, ideally the full amount. This can help you keep control of your balance and avoid going into debt
  • Set up a direct debit: If you think you might not remember to make your payment each month, you could try setting up a direct debit for the minimum monthly amount to ensure you can at least meet that payment
  • Set up text alerts: You can also set up free text alerts that will remind you when a payment is due or when you are approaching your credit limit
  • Take advantage of rewards: Credit card rewards can be a great bonus of your credit agreement, but as they can sometimes cost extra you should take advantage when you can, otherwise you’re paying for a service you don’t use
  • Time your applications: Applying for a credit card can leave a mark on your credit report, and too many of these are generally an indicator of poor finances. Timing your applications and using MoneySuperMarket’s credit card eligibility checker can help you make an application with the best chance of being accepted

Choosing a credit card

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards, should help you decide what kind of credit card you would like.

Example questions to ask yourself include: Do I want to…

  • Help spread the cost of my spending?
  • Build my credit score?
  • Pay down my existing debt?
  • Get cashback and rewards?
  • Spend fee-free when travelling abroad?

Answering these questions first will help when you look at the different features a credit card offers.

Credit cards tend to be labelled as purchase cards, balance transfer cards, rewards and cashback cards and credit builder cards – and some cards offer a combination of features to attract you. You can find out more about choosing the right card.

Compare credit cards with MoneySuperMarket

Finding the right credit card is easier when you compare your options on MoneySuperMarket. All you need to do is tell us a little about yourself and your finances, including details about your employment, income, and what you’ll use the new card for.

You’ll be given a list of credit cards that match your needs, and you’ll even get to see which cards you’re most likely to be accepted for if you apply with our credit card eligibility checker. This way you can minimise the risk of applying for a card and help keep your credit rating healthier.

Once you’ve found the card you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your application. If your provider accepts your application, they’ll tell you what your credit limit and interest rate will be set at. As soon as it comes through the post you just need to activate it – then it will be ready to use.

MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker not a lender. You must be 18 or over and a UK resident.

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.

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor
  • Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service
  • Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm

So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

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.