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Best Teen Checking Accounts of 2024

Review Updated
David Chang, ChFC®, CLU®
Robin Hartill, CFP
By: David Chang, ChFC®, CLU® and Robin Hartill, CFP

Our Banking Experts

Nathan Alderman
Check IconFact Checked Nathan Alderman
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield

Studies show that teens are unprepared to manage their personal finances. Teen checking accounts can help them not only learn more about personal finance, but also establish financial independence.

The best checking accounts for young adults make it easy for them to access their money, while offering a wide range of benefits for teens, low fees, and FDIC insurance.

We've researched the banking industry to find our best picks of teen checking accounts based on the methodology below. Some of these banks are not teen-specific, but offer account features that will benefit teens.

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Ratings Methodology
Rates as of Feb 28, 2024
Award Icon 2024 Award Winner
Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.75 out of 5 stars.
4.75/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.75 out of 5 stars.
4.75/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
up to 4.60% Rate info Circle with letter I in it. You can earn the maximum APY by having Direct Deposit (no minimum amount required) or by making $5,000 or more in Qualifying Deposits every 30 days. See SoFi Checking and Savings rate sheet at: https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
Min. To Earn APY
$0
  • Competitive APY on both Savings and Checking
  • No account fees
  • Welcome bonus up to $300 (direct deposit required)
  • Early access to direct deposits
  • Tools to help you track savings goals
  • Unlimited transfers and withdrawals
  • ATM access
  • FDIC insured (up to $2M with opt-in to SoFi Insured Deposit Program)
  • Combo account only; no stand-alone savings or checking
  • Maximum Savings APY requires direct deposit
  • Overdraft protection requires monthly direct deposit minimum
  • No branch access; online only

For those who plan to set up direct deposit with their new account, we think SoFi Checking and Savings is hard to beat. Not only does this savings account offer a strong APY, but the linked checking account earns above-average, too — which is a rare perk. Plus, there’s the opportunity for an up to $300 bonus and a long list of extra account features. Frankly, it’s the kind of combo that could make it worthwhile to switch banking relationships.

You can earn the maximum APY either by making direct deposits into checking or savings, or by depositing $5,000 or more every 30 days. Learn more.

Ally Spending Account

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
Up to 0.25%
Min. To Earn APY
$1
  • Strong online and mobile tools
  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Monthly ATM fee reimbursements
  • Competitive APY
  • Early direct deposit
  • Higher APY available at other financial institutions
  • No physical locations
  • No cash deposits

The Ally Spending Account is an appealing option for those who are comfortable managing their money online. Its monthly ATM fee reimbursements give you the freedom to access your cash wherever you need to. That, plus its APY, means you should only make money with this account.

Award Icon 2024 Award Winner

Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
0.10%
Min. To Earn APY
$0
  • No monthly fees or balance requirements
  • Strong mobile app
  • Parent monitoring features
  • Debit card for teens
  • No out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements
  • Can only open an account online
  • Total card purchases and withdrawals are limited to $500 per day
  • No checks

Capital One is a nationwide bank that boasts a top-rated mobile app. Kids as young as 8 can have an account. The account offers a free debit card that can be used at over 70,000 fee-free Capital One, MoneyPass, and Allpoint ATM locations. Both parents and teens have their own mobile app logins as well.

Parents and guardians have access to parental controls to monitor a teen's spending, and they can set up text alerts and email notifications for card transactions and account activity. For those looking for face-to-face interaction, Capital One has physical locations in many states, as well as Capital One Cafes, where students can bank, get a cup of coffee, and get advice from a certified money coach.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking

Rating image, 3.50 out of 5 stars.
3.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 3.50 out of 5 stars.
3.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
0%
Min. To Earn APY
N/A
  • The monthly fee is waived for eligible students
  • Easy access to financial centers and ATMs

  • Does not earn interest
  • Monthly service charge
  • Charges a higher than average fee on out-of-network ATM transactions

Bank of America has roughly 3,900 branches and 15,000 fee-free ATM locations across the U.S. The Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking account doesn't charge a monthly maintenance fee for students under 25 who are enrolled in school or an educational or vocational program. The $4.95 monthly maintenance fee is also waived for accountholders younger than 18. Teens 16 and older can open an account and have sole ownership of it.

The account has a relatively low minimum opening deposit of $25. Though it doesn't charge overdraft fees, it also doesn't offer overdraft protection; your transaction will be declined if you have insufficient funds, though you can link up to five eligible backup accounts to help you avoid declined transactions and overdrawing the account.

Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
0%
Min. To Earn APY
N/A
  • Large network of physical branches and ATMs
  • Highly-rated mobile app
  • Wells Fargo Campus Card for participating colleges
  • Low APY
  • High overdraft and international payments fees
  • High requirements to qualify for waived fees

The Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking Account is open to teens as young as 13. Teens ages 17 and older can open an account without an adult co-owner. The account has a $25 minimum opening deposit, as well as a $5 monthly fee that can be waived if the accountholder is between the ages of 13 and 24 or has a Wells Fargo Campus ATM Card or Campus Debit Card that's linked to the account. Wells Fargo has about 4,600 branches and over 11,000 fee-free ATM locations nationwide, and The Wells Fargo Campus Card Program offers banking services at about two-dozen schools.

Axos Bank First Checking for Teens

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.25 out of 5 stars.
4.25/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.25 out of 5 stars.
4.25/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
0.10%
Min. To Earn APY
N/A
  • Earns interest
  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Parent monitoring features
  • Will reimburse up to $12 of ATM fees per month
  • No branch locations
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • Daily limits of $100 for cash withdrawals and $500 for point-of-sale transactions

Axos Bank First Checking for Teens is a joint account for parents and teens ages 13 to 17 (or 18 in Alabama). The account requires a minimum opening deposit of $50, which is somewhat higher than many of the best teen checking accounts. However, one big perk is that it charges zero monthly maintenance or overdraft fees and will even reimburse up to $12 worth of ATM fees each month.

The account offers several features to help parents monitor their teens’ spending, including the ability to sync accounts into a single dashboard and lock and unlock the teen’s debit card. Because it’s an online bank, Axos doesn’t have brick-and-mortar locations. But for teens who are used to doing practically everything on their mobile phones, a lack of physical branches may not be a big concern.

Chase Bank High School Checking℠

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 3.50 out of 5 stars.
3.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 3.50 out of 5 stars.
3.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
0.00%
Min. To Earn APY
N/A
  • No monthly service fee
  • No overdraft fees
  • Automatically converts to Chase Total Checking® account when the student turns 19
  • Parent must have a linked Chase account
  • Doesn’t earn interest
  • $3 out-of-network ATM fee

Teens ages 13 to 17 can open the Chase Bank High School Checking℠ account, but only if their parent or guardian has a linked Chase checking account. Once the teen turns 19, the account will automatically convert to a Chase Total Checking® account, though there may be better options, such as the Chase College Checking℠ for those pursuing higher education. Though the account won’t earn interest, it also comes with zero monthly maintenance or overdraft fees.

Copper Teen Account

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
0%
Min. To Earn APY
N/A
  • No overdraft fees or minimum requirements
  • Financial education for parents and students
  • Automated allowance and budgeting tools
  • Over 55,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Low APY
  • Must transfer funds digitally to avoid fees
  • No physical branches
  • Monthly subscription fee

Copper is an app that was founded to "create the first financially successful generation by giving them the tools and resources to take control of their financial futures." With the Copper debit card and app, teens can easily set goals and learn to save. Parents can track spending in real time and send money in seconds. While there are no minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees, Copper charges a monthly subscription fee. Plans start at $4.95 per month.

What is a teen bank account?

A teen checking account is a bank account specifically designed for teenagers, typically between the ages of 13 and 17. Wells Fargo lets people as young as 8 open an account. For teens under 18, most financial institutions require a parent, guardian, or custodian to be a co-owner. Depending on the bank, after the teen hits the age of 18 to 26, most banks will convert the account to a regular checking account.

Teens can deposit cash, pay their bills, and earn interest with a teen checking account. They can write checks, use a debit card, and withdraw money from an ATM. This firsthand educational experience can help teens better understand how to manage money. Most banks now allow teens to access their funds online or through a mobile app. Teens and their co-owner can choose to open a teen checking account at an online-only bank or a brick-and-mortar bank.

What's the difference between a teen checking account and a regular checking account?

Compared to regular checking accounts, teen accounts often have lower fees and additional benefits. Since young adults are less likely to have full-time jobs and have minimal assets, teen checking accounts have fewer fees and are more affordable.

Many banks also offer educational materials for teens to learn the basics of money management. As long as the account owner is a teen or, in some cases, a student, banks waive monthly maintenance fees, have lower minimum requirements, and offer free ATM withdrawals. Many banks also offer savings accounts for teens.

LEARN MORE: Checking vs. Savings: Which is Right for You?

Why should teens open a checking account?

A checking account can be an excellent financial tool for paying everyday expenses. There are several good reasons for teens to open one:

  • Manage their income: If you have a job as a teenager, having your own checking account gives you a place to deposit your money.
  • Pay for purchases: Despite the name, not all checking accounts actually come with paper checks anymore. But they all have linked debit cards that allow the account owner to pay for everyday purchases without needing to carry cash.
  • Budgeting: A checking account can help teens visualize how much is flowing in and out of their accounts and where their money is going.

What can teens do with a checking account?

Just to clarify, here are some of the tasks teens can complete with their own checking account:

  • Deposit cash and checks
  • Receive and send money transfers from other people
  • Pay bills
  • Earn interest (sometimes)
  • Write checks (sometimes)
  • Pay for things with a debit card
  • Use ATMs to withdraw cash

What should I look for in a bank account for my high schooler?

A teen checking account may be the first taste of money management your child gets. A teen may use this account on a daily basis so you want it to be accessible and easy to use. Here are other factors to take into consideration to find the best checking account for your teen.

Low fees

Teens are likely to be on a tight budget. With the average checking account fee of $10 to $15 at brick-and-mortar banks, a teen's hard-earned money may not go very far if the account fees are high. The best checking account for teens charges $0 or otherwise very low fees. This should be one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a teen checking account. Like a regular checking account, you should look into overdraft protection, returned item fees, and paper statement fees.

Minimum requirements

Some banks require minimum deposits to qualify for a free account. Teens who don't meet the minimum deposit or balance requirements often have to pay monthly service fees. You should find a bank that has no minimum requirement or a very low one.

Parental or guardian controls

Since banks require a parent or guardian to be a co-owner, it is important that the bank offer features that enable the level of control you want. The best checking account for teens offers ways for parents or guardians to monitor how their teen is managing their money.

Digital banking experience

More financial institutions are investing more in their digital banking systems. This is the only way to access a young adult checking account and check the account balance if they use an online-only bank. You should look for a bank that offers robust, easy-to-use digital tools, and has a highly rated mobile app. You can check the reviews in your mobile device's app store.

Good customer service

Since online-only banks do not have any branches, if a teen or a co-owner has any issues, they can only contact the bank through online chat, email, or phone support. It is important to find a bank that offers easily accessible service. If you still prefer face-to-face customer service, you may want a bank with physical branches.

Nationwide availability (physical locations or mobile access)

Online banks tend to have lower fees, but physical banks let you speak with a banking professional. Having the ability to easily access your teen's checking account is very important. Look for a bank with convenient digital access or a bank or credit union location near you.

ATM network or generous ATM-fee reimbursement program

If you are using an online-only bank, look for a large number of ATMs that you can withdraw cash from without a fee. Some banks have a limited number of fee-free ATMs and charge a fee when you withdraw cash from an out-of-network ATM. Some banks may not have a large network of ATMs, but offer generous ATM fee reimbursements.

Other considerations for teen bank accounts

The best checking account for teens also offers extra benefits specifically designed for them. These benefits include higher APY, cash back rewards, and educational resources geared specifically toward teens. Some banks offer one-on-one college and financial coaching services, or a platform for borrowing. Some banks also offer resources for applying for college scholarships and grants, as well as help filling out the FAFSA.

Many banks offer budgeting and spending tools. They automatically categorize transactions to provide spending insights and help teens reach their financial goals. You should work with your teen to find the best checking account that will fit their needs. The purpose of a teen account is to help them learn how to manage their money, so they should have a say in what bank they prefer to use.

Banking terms all teens should learn

It is a great idea to establish a banking relationship while you're a teenager, so that when you're an adult with a job and steady income, you're already somewhat financially savvy. With that in mind, here is some banking terminology that you should learn as a teenager when you open your first bank account:

  • Debit card: A debit card is a payment card that is linked to a bank account and allows you to spend money electronically from your account at merchants, or withdraw money from your account through an ATM.
  • PIN: Short for personal identification number, a PIN is a code that is usually four to six digits in length that allows you to use your debit card, make ATM withdrawals, and access your bank account.
  • Overdraft/Insufficient funds: An overdraft is when the amount of a processed transaction is greater than the available balance of your account, therefore resulting in a negative balance. Insufficient funds means that a transaction is rejected because you didn't have enough money in the account to cover it. Bank accounts typically use one method or the other to handle transactions for which you don't have enough money.
  • APY: If a bank account pays interest, the rate is typically expressed as an annual percentage yield, or APY. This tells you how much interest you would earn, as a percentage of your balance, after one year.
  • ACH: ACH stands for Automated Clearing House (ACH), and is a system of electronic payment authorization. In an ACH transaction, a merchant or lender is authorized to electronically withdraw money from your account.
  • FDIC insurance: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, insures all checking and savings account balances at member banks in the United States. In the event of a bank failure, FDIC insurance protects as much as $250,000 per person, per bank.

Methodology

Checking accounts are rated on a scale of one to five stars, primarily focusing on annual percentage yield (APY) and fees. Our highest-rated banking products generally include competitive APYs without complex qualification tiers, low to no fees, and ease of use. See our full Ratings Methodology here.

Banks we monitor

Here are the financial institutions we've evaluated in our research:

Alliant, Ally, All America Bank, American First Credit Union, American Express® National Bank, Arvest Bank, Aspiration, Axos Bank, B2 Bank, Bank of America, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Barclays, Bask Bank, Betterment, Bluevine, BMO, Bread Financial, Capital One, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIT, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Citizens Savings Bank, Columbia Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Copper, Cross River Bank, Customers Bank, Discover® Bank, E*TRADEEdward Jones, EverBank, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First Foundation Bank, First Internet Bank of Indiana, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Flushing Bank, Freedom Bank, Generations Bank, GN Bank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Greenlight, Harborstone Credit Union, HSBC, Huntington Bank, Ivella, Kabbage by American Express, KeyBank, Laurel Road, LendingClub, Liberty Bank, Liberty Federal Credit Union, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Mercury, Municipal Credit Union, Mutual of Omaha, NASA Federal Credit Union, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, New York Community Bank, Northpointe Bank, Novo, OceanFirst Bank, Old National Bank, ONE Finance, OneUnited Bank, Oxygen, Pacific Western Bank, PNC Bank, Ponce Bank, Popular Direct, Presidential Bank, Prime Alliance Bank, Quontic, Radius, Raisin, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Relay, Republic Bank of Chicago, Revolut, Salem Five Bank, Sallie Mae, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Simple, SoFi, Synchrony Bank, Tab Bank, TD Bank, Third Federal, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB, Upgrade, USAA, Valley Bank, Vanguard, Varo Bank, Vio Bank, Wealthfront, Wells Fargo, Western Alliance Bank, and Zeta.

FAQs

  • The short answer is "it depends." Different banks have different procedures, but most banks require an adult co-owner if the primary account owner is a minor. However, some allow for sole ownership as early as age 16. Some banks allow teen accounts to be opened online, while others require teens and their co-owners to come into a branch.

  • Each bank has different requirements to open a teen checking account. Most have a minimum and maximum age requirement and they require you as a parent or guardian to be a co-owner. Minors are unable to open a bank account by themselves.

    LEARN MORE: How to Open a Checking Account Online

  • Teen checking accounts come with debit cards. Banks have age restrictions for when a teen becomes eligible for a debit card. A teen can typically get a debit card at 13 years old when a parent or guardian opens a teen checking joint account on their behalf.

  • Most banks offer a feature where parents or guardians can monitor and manage their teen's checking account. Parents are able to get real-time notifications on each transaction, set spending limits, and set up a customizable dashboard. These controls allow parents to stay on top of their child's spending and take advantage of teachable money moments.

  • It depends on your preferences and needs. For example, if you'll regularly need to deposit cash into the account, a branch-based account probably makes more sense. But if you want to maximize APY and minimize fees, an online bank could be the better way to go.

Our Banking Experts