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Today: we opened the kids' bank accounts

I was searching our archive to see what we had previously discussed regarding kids & bank accounts.  I was surprised to find nothing except our conversation on smaller banks, from the parent perspective.  And, while we've talked about kids earning money, we've never really talked about where to put it.

Today, prompted by a solication for free money from a big-bad bank, I walked into my local branch of a national operation, my bag weighted down with the contents of two large piggy-banks that have been collecting cash since we lovingly painted them almost 8 years ago at Mimosa Studios.

I was overwhelmed and underwhelmed by the options, all at the same time.  This particular bank's account options for minors had major limitations from my perspective: no ATM card, savings-only option (no checking), and limited online banking capability.  The advantage, however, was that there was no fee for the account.

I am all for walking into the branch, filling out a deposit slip, and waiting in line for a teller, but I can't tell you the last time I did it.  The reality is that my banking behavior is limited to infrequent visits to the ATM, mostly taking cash back on rare occasion at the supermarket, lots of debit transacting, and lots more online transacting for almost everything.  I really needed to have the option of the online/ATM banking.

In the end, I ended up getting a new checking account, in my name, with two associated kid's accounts.  In each of their respective accounts, I deposited their piggy-bank contents.

I would love to hear what kinds of bank accounts you have opened for the kids.  What are key features?  Drawbacks?  Did you go to a smaller, local bank?  A larger chain?


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I think that Rivermark Credit Union has a no fee kids account system, called Dollar Dog. The kids earn points or coins for depositing money, which are redeemable for little trinkets or candy (just what they need!).

We used Unitus for savings (though could have used one of our online options). I believe most banks won't let kids write checks or use ATM until of a certain age.

The credit union gives a somewhat better interest rate (though not as good as our online options), and a brick-and-mortar experience for the kids. They are still in early elementary, so this works well for us now. Plus, I think we only needed $5 in each account.

My kids have accounts at OnPoint (used the be Portland Teachers) Credit Union. My name is on the account as well, so I have authority to access it. It is just a savings account, so no debit card, but that's not really an issue since the kids are still young. When they're teens, we'll open checking accounts and get debit cards. So . . . there's no fees, I think you can set up online access (I don't have it set up for their accounts since I don't need it), and it's convenient for us.

More info: looks like w/ Unitus, it's a savings acct only until age 13. For 13-? may qualify for checking/ATM w/ parent approval.

We did a smaller local bank.. Bank of Oswego. The kids have a regular savings account. They can access it without me, if they walk there but there's no debit card. This is mostly where extra allowance and birthday money is saved up until they want something special.

We use our Family Bank. I have a bank pass for each kid that we keep in a box. They can make deposits and withdrawals as needed. Works just like a real bank account, but I find it a little easier. :)

My kids are still little, so don't need the checking aspect, but we have smaller accounts linked to ours at our credit union. We can make deposits from ours to their electronically, so that's nice. But yeah, no other atm, checking, etc. I think for kids, it's nice to go in to make deposits - it makes it a bit more "Real" or tangible than just pushing a button on the computer.

In general I like credit unions better than big banks. Less fees, more service.

We bank at Umpqua, each of my kids has a minors savings account linked to my checking account. They don't have checks or ATM cards, but I can transfer money online between my account and theirs. So I can use an ATM to deposit or get out money or use my debit card to buy something they want and then when we get home I just go online and move the money around. Plus they have a branch 5 blocks from us, so we can walk or ride bikes if they want to make an "in person" deposit or withdrawal. Oh another plus is the branch on NE Weidler (by Grand Central Banking) has an automatic coin counter, perfect for piggy bank deposits, you don't have to roll your coins or wait for the teller to hand count them all out.

We opened one with our Bank, just s savings. No one will touch that money for our son until he turns 19 for college. We just opened one for our 16 year old at Chase with what they call 'High school Checking'. Free if you have a personal account. To help her understand balancing your checkbook 'idea'.

A local bank has banking day once a week at my kids' school, which has been great. They can deposit even a few pennies. It's very simple, nothing online, but I think it's perfect for them because they are so young.

Albina has worked well for us. Friendly, no fees for small children's savings, and linked to my own checking acct. They greet my kids by name and treat containers of all sizes full of coins (carried in by my son oh-so-solemnly) very seriously :)

Oops, I meant, accounts for small children, not small accounts for children (although, that's true, too).

I happen to work for Rivermark Community Credit Union and they have a wonderful youth savings program called Dollar Dog. Free coin machines in every branch, prizes when they make deposits to reward good financial habits, piggy bank decorating activities in the community and even Dollar Dog parties in their branches. Just $5 to open an account and there's never a fee. Parents are linked to the account and you can even set up an automatic transfer between your accounts. My advise is to get them started young and encourage good financial habits. If you have questions you can email me kbickel@rivermarkcu.org.

humm Rivermark sounds like a place we need to check out. We have a checking account for us, and a savings for my son at Key. They have a branch in my building. We opened an account for the free GPS.... Anyway recently we went into a branch of Key bank in Van WA with my son's piggy bank. He has a savings account there and they basically told us we had to roll the money in order to deposit it. WTF???? Um last time I checked they were a bank and tells are there to count money?? I understand if we had a bank full but it was less than 20 bucks, and not enough of one type of coin to roll. I was PISSED. They told me that they didn't have a coin counter and we had to take it to a branch that did. I am telling you, I am seriously considering closing the account over this. We ended up going to fredmeyer and plugging the $$ in the U-Scann check stands to spend it on a toy which it what the plan was going to be in the first place I just wanted him to put a little in his savings account and get more understanding of the banking process.

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