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I am looking for a bank to create sub account checking accounts, preferably with a check cards, for my children. I would like to be able to easily transfer money into these accounts for allowance and payment for chores, etc.

Also, icing on the cake would be a simplified iPad or iPod application that would allow my children to check their balance and see their transactions. There is a great app called PiggyBot that I used to use to track allowance, but it isn't synced to anything. It would be perfect if this was tied to a real bank account!

Any suggestions?

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    Have you checked with your bank? Most of the banks in my area have child-specific bank accounts, including kid-friendly versions of the tools you would use to manage your account, financial education materials, and incentive programs to encourage the kids to save. – swilliams Aug 11 '15 at 16:16
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    It may be useful if you post your region, StackExchange is a global site. For example here (UK) pretty much all banks offer children's accounts for free with pretty much all the features you're looking for. – James Snell Aug 12 '15 at 10:21
  • my parents had a savings account for me, that wa purely college fund. When my dad was going to the bank he would ask if I wanted to make a deposit, and I would proudly run up to collect me ~20 dollars of saved allowance money to add to my college fund. I couldn't make a withdrawal until I was 18, but just having it allowed me to learn about savings and feel like I was helping my college fund. Our Christmas (and occasionally other holiday) gifts usually also included a few hundred placed in our college fund. It helped encourage savings even when I couldn't touch the money after adding it. – dsollen Aug 13 '15 at 15:34
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The main things to take into consideration:

  • Some banks offer actual savings accounts in the child's name, while some require them to be custodial accounts (where the parent must sign off on withdrawals). Those may be called UTMA, UGMA, Custodial, or ITF accounts. Each have benefits and drawbacks depending on how you want your child to be able to interact with their bank.
  • Online versus in person. Some prefer online banks (which tend to give better interest rates, and allow more flexibility with choosing features right for you) while some prefer a physical bank to give your child the feeling of banking. This may depend in part on your physical location - if you're far from a "good" bank option, go with online.
  • Watch out for fees, particularly monthly maintenance fees. Find a bank that doesn't charge them for children. Interest may not be a big deal at this point, but fees are.

If you're looking for an online bank, most of the big online banks have child savings account options, though they vary significantly in what features they offer. Ally has a UTMA account, for example, while Capital One has both a kids' savings account and a Teen Money account which comes with a debit card. Find one that has the features you need.

Most of the online banks have very good online app access (though, again, double-check!), and many of the larger in-person banks also have good apps that let you see your transactions. Chase, Capital One, Discover all have fairly good apps for that purpose.

  • I've had a number of bank and credit union accounts in the last couple years, and all of them have apps that let you monitor accounts, make check deposits, and transfer to sub accounts (if any). They all provide debit cards, as well. I think it'll be fairly easy to find a place that doesn't charge a lot of fees, although it might be easier if it's just a normal free account (not marketed for kids) with the kid as a secondary account holder. – user11394 Aug 14 '15 at 5:17

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