Banking •

December 28, 2021

7 Best Bank Accounts For Teenagers

Learn about the best bank accounts for teenagers, the benefits of teen banking, and what to look for when opening an account.

bank accounts for teenagers

When it comes to bank accounts for teenagers, there are a lot of options to choose from.

As a parent, you want what's best for your kid. And as a teen, you want something flexible and straightforward without a bunch of money-sucking fees.

But let's face it—whether you're 13 or 30, reading all the fine print and financial mumbo-jumbo is a painful task… So that's why we've done it for you!

In this article, we'll review the best bank accounts for teenagers. We'll also cover the benefits of teen bank accounts and what to look for when choosing one.

Let's dive in!

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What is a teen bank account?

A teen bank account is one designed specifically for teens between the ages of 13–17.

These accounts typically have certain advantages that ease teens into banking, like:

  • Lower or no fees 

  • No minimum balances

  • Overdraft protection

  • Educational content that teaches teens about money

Generally, banks won't open accounts for minors. So, if you're a teen, you'll need a cosigner. And if you're a parent, you'll likely be the cosigner on the account.

What happens to a teen bank account when you turn 18?

When you turn 18, you're a legal adult. And if you have a teen bank account, it's converted to an adult one! Your account number should stay the same, but you'll likely lose some of the perks that came with your teen account.

Can I use a teen bank account in college?

If you're heading off to college, you'll want to look into a student bank account. These accounts offer similar advantages as teen accounts but don't require an adult cosigner. 

Plus, student accounts often come with special features exclusively for college students.

Why are teen bank accounts useful?

Teen bank accounts are practical.

For starters, they give teens financial independence as well as firsthand experience with managing money.

And at the same time, bank accounts also introduce teens to basic financial concepts like budgeting, interest, and credit.

That said, money management and financial literacy aren't the only skills teens sharpen by having a bank account. They also learn the "baby steps" of banking—simple skills every teen should master, like:

  • Using a debit card

  • Checking account balances

  • Transferring money

  • Using an ATM

benefits of teen bank accounts

Sure, these skills are trivial compared to "big guns" like fiscal responsibility and financial literacy. But, they're still important, practical abilities teens should learn.

What are the best bank accounts for teenagers?

Up next, we'll review the 7 best bank accounts for teenagers. 

Some of these teen account options come from brick-and-mortar banks, and others are available through online-only banks.

So whether you prefer the complete, face-to-face banking experience, or you're more of a "do it from the comfort of my own phone" type of person, we've got options for you.

1. Mos

Hey, that’s us! Now, maybe you’ve heard of Mos, maybe you haven’t. But here’s the low down on:

We’re basically one-part bank and one-part college financial mentor.

Not only can we help you get free money to pay for college, but we can also save you money with our fee-free debit card and checking account.

Right now, Mos is for college students, but we're opening our services to the under-18 crowd very soon, so stay tuned.

We’ve partnered with Blue Ridge Bank, an FDIC-insured community bank (we’ll talk more about what this means in a later section). And as a result, we're able to offer you awesome banking services, like:

  • Mobile and online banking

  • Access to 50,000+ fee-free ATMs

  • Fast, easy money transfer options

  • No minimum balance

  • No overdraft fees

and...

  • 1:1 college financial coaching

  • A platform for browsing and applying for scholarships and grants

  • Help filling out your FAFSA

And lots more!

If you’re looking for a fee-free bank that helps you save money for college and manage your finances, check Mos out today.

Mos bank account features

But let’s sweeten the pot. With Mos, you also get other dazzling advantages like:

  • 1:1 college financial coaching

  • A platform for browsing and applying for scholarships and grants

  • Help filling out your FAFSA 

And lots more!

If the potent fusion of youth banking and college financial mentorship is exactly what you’re looking for, check Mos out today.

2. Chase High School Checking

Chase is one of the biggest banks in the US, with 4,700 branches across the country. So, if in-person banking is your jam, consider the Chase High School Checking account.

 Account highlights include:

  • Available for ages 13–17 (with a cosigner)

  • No minimum balance

  • Free ATM withdrawals at over 16,000 ATMs

  • Mobile and online banking 

  • Parental controls

  • Fee-free money transfers (requires enrollment in Zelle®)

  • “Autosave" (an automated savings tool)

The Chase High School Checking account requires an adult cosigner with a valid Chase checking account.

And once you turn 19, your High School Checking account seamlessly converts to a Chase Total Checking account.

3. Wells Fargo Clear Access

The Wells Fargo Clear Access account is a solid choice for teens (or parents) looking for a bank account with a complete set of money management tools.

Highlighted features include:

  • Available for ages 13 and up (teens 16 and under require an adult cosigner)

  • No monthly service fee

  • No overdraft or NSF fees (for teens)

  • $25 minimum deposit

  • Access to over 12,000 ATMs

  • Mobile and online banking

  • Fee-free money transfer (requires enrollment in Zelle®)

  • Budgeting and spending tools

Teens 17 and older can be the primary account owners on a Clear Access account. In other words, they don't require a cosigner.

So if you want more autonomy with your money, Clear Access might be the teen bank account for you.

While the account boasts no overdraft or NSF fees, the fine print states that other fees may apply.

4. Copper Banking App

The Copper Banking App is a free mobile banking app designed specifically for teens. 

Copper helps teens manage their money with in-app tools and also helps build financial skills through quizzes and educational content.

Some highlights of the Copper Banking App include:

  • Available to everyone (if you're under 18, you'll need an adult to help activate your account)

  • No monthly service fees

  • No minimum balance

  • No overdraft fees

  • No minimum deposit

  • No ATM fees (but you may be charged a fee by out-of-network ATM operators)

  • Access to over 50,000 ATMs (Allpoint or Moneypass ATMs)

  • Parental tools

  • Automatic savings tools

  • Mobile and online banking

Technically, Copper Banking is a fintech company. But through their partnership with Evolve Bank and Trust, they provide FDIC-insured banking services.

Overall, Copper is a fantastic option if you want a fee-free teen bank account with tons of supplemental material to teach you about personal finance.

5. Current 

Current is a banking app that helps users manage their money with in-app features.

While not specifically made for teens, teens can have a Current account by linking to a parent's account.

Highlighted features from Current's teen accounts include:

  • Available for ages 13 and up (teens under 18 must link to a parent's account)

  • No minimum balance

  • $36 annual fee for each teen account

  • Budgeting and savings tools

  • Parental controls

  • Fee-free withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs

  • Instant money transfers (to linked accounts)

Similar to Copper, Current is a fintech company whose FDIC-insured banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank. 

Current is an excellent option for a teen bank account if your parents are always sending you money—instant transfers are handy when you need money quickly!

6. Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking

The Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking account is available for teens aged 13–17. To be eligible, a parent must have an account with Alliant Credit Union. 

Unlike most teen bank accounts, the Teen Checking account from Alliant Credit Union earns 0.25% annual interest. Not bad!

Highlighted features include:

  • No minimum balance

  • No monthly service fee

  • No minimum opening deposit

  • Parental controls

  • Interest earned (0.25% annually when you have at least one direct deposit every month and opt-in to receive eStatements)

  • $20 in ATM rebates (for out-of-network ATM use)

  • Access to 80,000+ fee-free ATMs 

  • Mobile and online banking

The combo of zero fees plus the ATM rebate and the ability to earn interest make the Teen Checking account an attractive banking option.

And like all other banks on this list, Alliant Credit Union is also FDIC-insured.

7. USAA Youth Spending Account

The USAA Youth Spending Account is geared toward teens from military families. If you have a parent in the military and they bank with USAA, you're eligible for a Youth Spending Account.

Account features include:

  • No minimum age (but you need to be at least 13 to use the mobile app)

  • No minimum balance

  • No monthly service fee

  • Parental controls

  • Access to 60,000+ fee-free ATMs

  • Mobile and online banking

Youth Spending Accounts earn annual interest on all balances. The interest, however, isn't anything stellar at 0.01%.

If you're in a military family and get shuffled around a lot, having access to 60,000 ATMs nationwide and a top-notch mobile app are big advantages to consider when shopping for a bank account.

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What to look for in a teen bank account

All teen bank accounts come with slightly different, though equally snazzy, features. So, how do you narrow down your options?

Don't sweat it. We've done the dirty work for you on this one.

Let’s look at the 7 features that matter most when choosing a teen bank account.

important teen bank account features

1. No monthly fees

Many banks charge fees, like:

  • Monthly maintenance fees

  • ATM fees

  • Overdraft fees

  • Wire transfer fees

Thankfully, most teen bank accounts waive some of these fees, and others waive all of them.

Still, be fussy about fees, and look for an account with as few as possible.

2. No minimum balance

Some banks require a minimum deposit before you can even open an account. And others demand a minimum balance be kept in the account at all times.

Some banks require both.

You're a teen, and you likely aren’t bringing in much money by yourself, so keeping a minimum balance in your account might be difficult.

Fortunately, most teen bank accounts don't require large deposits to open an account, and many banks waive minimum balance requirements altogether for teens.

3. ATM access

Out-of-network ATMs charge a usage fee, and these fees add up fast.

And the worst part? Not only does the ATM operator charge you a fee, but usually, your bank does too.

Now, the best way to avoid this double-whammy ATM fee is to choose a bank with an extensive ATM network, giving you access to more in-network, fee-free machines.

4. Parental controls

Parental controls might turn off some teens. But, when learning how to handle money, having a watchful eye over your finances can help steer you in the right direction.

5. Budgeting tools

Budgeting is an invaluable life skill. But, according to Schwab's Modern Wealth Survey, only 33% of Americans have some form of a written financial plan.

That said, choose a bank account with easy-to-use budgeting and spending insight tools.

These tools can help you build smarter spending and saving habits, helping you curb debt throughout adulthood and reach your savings goals!

6. Online and mobile banking

As a teen, technology is weaved into your everyday life. And your bank account shouldn't be any different.

When choosing a bank account, look for online and mobile banking features like:

  • Budgeting and spending summary tools

  • Mobile check deposits

  • Fast, easy money transfer options

  • Digital bill payments

  • A top-notch banking app

7. FDIC insurance

No matter what bank account you choose, make sure it's covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

FDIC insurance guarantees you'll get your money back (up to $250,000) in the event your bank goes out of business. 

Keep in mind that FDIC insurance only covers bank failure. It doesn't protect against identity theft or any other unlawful withdrawals from your account.

How to open a teen bank account

Generally, opening a teen account is pretty straightforward. Here's a brief overview of the process, including the documents you'll need on hand.

opening a teen bank account

Have an adult cosigner

Teen bank accounts require an adult cosigner. 

Also, as we talked about before, some banks may require your adult cosigner to have their own account with the bank. 

Supply personal and contact information

When signing up for your account, you and your adult cosigner must provide personal and contact information, including:

  • Names

  • Addresses

  • Dates of birth

  • Social Security numbers

  • Government-issued identification 

Supply your minimum deposit (if necessary)

If your account requires a minimum deposit, you'll need to present this during the signup process. However, some banks give you 30 days to make this initial deposit, so be sure to check beforehand.

Account approval and review: in-person and online

If you're signing up for your account in person, a representative will review your application. And if you're approved, they'll review important information about your bank account, like fees, limits, and minimums.

If you're applying for an account online, approval usually takes a few minutes. And if you're approved, you'll have the option to download your important account information, or the bank will send it in the mail.

After your account is approved

After your account is approved, either online or in person, you'll receive a debit card and all documentation related to your account. Some banks provide your debit card and documentation on the spot, but others take a few days to send you a personalized card with your name on it.

And that's a wrap on bank accounts for teenagers

Honestly, pinpointing the perfect bank account for teens can be a bit overwhelming. 

Fortunately, most teen bank accounts deliver similar benefits, so it's unlikely you'll choose a terrible option.

Still, pay attention to teen-friendly features (like no fees!) as well as your near-future needs.

For example, if you're heading off to college and looking for an all-in-one student bank account, check out Mos.

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