The Current Top 4 Bank Accounts For Kids
- All Ages
By Hayley Dean, ellaslist
Do you need to open a bank account for your little one but not sure where to start? We’ve got you sorted. We’ve scanned all the websites of the big banks and not-so-big banks to bring you what we believe to be the best bank accounts on the market for little ones. (Current at time of publications Feb 2018)
Endeavour Mutual Bank: Kick Start Saver
This is probably our pick of the crop. With a whopping 5.00% per annum (p.a). interest on balances up to $5,000 p.a. (and 2.00% on balances from $5,001 to $10,000), no minimum deposit amount per month and no account keeping fees, what’s not to like? This bank account is available for children from 0-17 years of age.
The Kick Start Saver is great for teaching your child about the fundamentals of money. It can help your child establish good habits for saving and spending. Their customer service is second to none too. When kids join, they receive numerous gift packs (my boys were each given a football, educational kit on understanding currency and savings, a backpack, pens/crayons etc). They also, very importantly, still have a coin counting machine which means your little ones can take their piggy banks in to be deposited. A wonderful opportuity to inject the saving bugs into your kids.
I also appreciated that as their parent, I did not have t set up a fee paying account before opening one for my children. I did, however, have to become a member which did not cost anything and has no ongoing fees or charges.
Rumor has it that this amazing 5% interest rate offer will end soon (date TBA) but they have indicated they will honour it for any existing accounts so be sure to jump on it while you can.
BCU: Scoot’s Super Saver
The Scoot Super Saver offers a total variable interest rate of up to 3.50% p.a. This rate comprises a standard variable rate of 0.75% p.a. and a bonus interest rate of 2.75% p.a. Bonus interest is earned when you deposit $20 or more and withdraw no more than $5 per in that same month. This bank account is available for children up to 13 years of age.
Bankwest: Kids’ Bonus Saver
The Bankwest Kid's Bonus Saver account makes it easier to save, with a generous 4.75% p.a. interest rate. To qualify for this rate, you need to deposit between $25 and $250 per month, make no withdrawals, and have linked the account to a Bankwest Children’s Savings Account, where funds over $1 will be swept after 12 months. This bank account is available for children up to 15 years of age.
Westpac: Bump Savings Account
The Westpac Bump Savings account offers a total variable interest rate of up to 2.30%. This rate comprises a standard variable rate of 0.80% p.a. and a bonus interest rate of 1.50% p.a. Bonus interest is earned if you make a deposit to the account (there is no minimum deposit amount) and the account balance is higher at the end of the month compared to what it was at the beginning of the month. This bank account is available for children up to 18 years of age.
Whilst we were on the Westpac website looking at the Bump Savings account, we stumbled across a special offer. To celebrate Westpac’s 200th anniversary, every Australian child born in 2017 is eligible for $200, which they can withdraw when they are 16 years of age. To receive this special offer, the child must be born in the 2017 calendar year, have a permanent Australian residential address and have the Bump savings account opened by 31 May 2018.
Piggy banks and other important things to consider.
Recently we discovered (the hard way) that many of the Big Banks such as St George and ANZ no longer have coin machines. I find this incredibly disappointing. I have strong childhood memories of taking my piggy bank into the branch and I loved seeing the numbers on my passbook grow! For me, this is a horrible missed opportunity for kids. ANZ request that you count and bag the money yourself before coming to their branches. Some parents with older children still may find value in this exercise.
St George no longer have Happy Dragon Accounts, instead they offer an incentive saver which is more about future plans. Bye bye friendly green dragon (remember the old ads with Julie Andrews – or am I showing my age?!)
Be sure you understand what the banks are doing with your kid’s information. Whilst CBA have probably the most famous of all kid’s accounts, the Dollarmite, they currently do not offer the most attractive rates and, according to The Barefoot Investor, they will automatically offer your child their first credit card at 17. This is not something I want for my kids personally. Whilst your school may have an affiliation (class banking) with the bank, again, please understand the motivations behind it are not to encourage your child to have good banking habits, they are to encourage your child to form an attachment with CBA. You may be ok with that, and that’s fine. It’s just great to understand the situation in its entirety.
Be mindful that many banks will require the parents/gardians to also hold an account with them. These accounts often attract fees and charges, so its best to understand what that will cost you and what the restrictions (if any) will be.
And finally, remember, it's ok to change as many times as you like. Gone are the days of personal relationships with your local bank manager. Banks constantly change their rates so don’t be frightened to follow the best rates and change account/banks as you see fit. At the end of the day, it’s about creating the best wealth for your children, and we all know that the banks will not be loyal to us!
Taxation of interest earned on kids’ bank accounts
Please note that there are special rules in place for the taxation of interest earned on kids bank accounts. Please refer to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for further details.
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