Best bank accounts for kids

by Antonella Dési
Introducing children to the value of money is crucial, and one effective method is by setting up their own bank account.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Introducing children to the value of money is crucial, and one effective method is by setting up their own bank account. We break down the options provided by major banks to help you make an informed decision. By Antonella Dési.

Opening a bank account for your child is a pivotal step in their financial education and future financial security. Financial literacy instils valuable lessons about saving, budgeting, and responsible spending from an early age.

A bank account provides a safe place for children to deposit money received as gifts or allowances, teaching them the importance of managing their finances. Plus, having their own account can cultivate a sense of independence and responsibility. It also sets a foundation for understanding financial concepts, such as interest and fees, preparing them for future financial decisions.

Read: Opening a bank account for a child—all you need to know

Bank accounts are lessons for life 

Having a bank account can teach a child several important lessons, including:

  • Saving habits: A bank account encourages regular saving, teaching the child the value of saving money for future needs or goals.
  • Financial responsibility: Managing a bank account involves tracking transactions and balancing the account, fostering financial responsibility.
  • Understanding interest: Some accounts earn interest, allowing children to see how their money can grow over time.
  • Budgeting skills: By setting savings goals and managing withdrawals, children learn basic budgeting skills.
  • Delayed gratification: Saving for a desired item teaches children the concept of delayed gratification.
  • Security: A bank account provides a secure place for money, teaching the importance of keeping money safe.

A comparison of banks 

Children’s bank accounts are tailored to address particular requirements. Young customers often enjoy complimentary day-to-day banking and incorporated benefits, safeguarding their savings from monthly charges that could diminish funds from allowances and gifts.

Although many children’s accounts waiver monthly maintenance fees and offer certain transactions at no cost, the incentives can vary greatly among banks. These accounts are usually linked directly to parents’ accounts so that you can monitor and transfer money easily to your kids’ accounts.

Below is a comparison of the various offerings for children by South Africa’s major financial institutions:

ABSA

Account: MegaU

Age: 0-19

Opening fee: R20

Benefits:

  • No monthly account fee
  • Free unlimited ABSA ATM cash withdrawals
  • Free unlimited debit card swipes
  • Free unlimited till-point cash withdrawals
  • Free unlimited SMS notifications
  • Zero declined transaction fees
  • Cash deposits – first R500 free
  • Free lost-card replacement
  • 100MB free data per month
  • One R20 meal voucher from Nando’s, Steers, Wimpy, or Burger King
  • Digital fraud warranty

Capitec

Account: Personal Transactional Account

Age: Any age

Opening fee: R30

Benefits:

  • There is a R7,50 monthly account fee
  • Free limitless swipes at till points
  • Free online and scanning payments
  • Free in-app balance inquiries and notifications
  • Charges apply to debit orders, cash deposits and withdrawals
  • Charges apply for electricity, data, airtime, and SMS bundle purchases

FNB

Account: FNBy

Age: 0-17

Opening fee: Free

Benefits:

  • No monthly account fee
  • Personalised FNBy bank card
  • Free linked FNB savings account
  • Up to 40% discount on selected flights, and family discount via eBucks Travel (terms and conditions apply)
  • Free FNB in-branch and ATM cash deposits of up to R500 a month
  • Easy payments: Scan to Pay (FNB app), Tap to Pay (FNBy card), or Geo Payment to split bills
  • Up to 1GB FNB Connect data, 35 voice minutes, and 35 SMSs back on data, airtime, or SMS bundles bought from an FNBy account
  • Free card swipes
  • Free EFTs and payments

 Investec

Account: Investec Youth Account

Age: 0-24

Opening fee: Free

Benefits:

  • No monthly account fee
  • Receive an internationally accepted Visa card, embossed with your child’s name
  • Free unlimited card transactions
  • Free cash withdrawals at selected retailer till points
  • Free unlimited access to Bidvest Premier and SAA-owned lounges in South Africa
  • Basic travel insurance when buying international travel tickets with Visa card
  • Additional PrimerSaver savings account, with no minimum balance required, and no monthly fee
  • As the primary account holder, the parent has full access to view and transact on the Investec Youth Account

Check out: Financially savvy kids- a guide for parents

Nedbank

Account: Nedbank4Me

Age: 0-15

Opening fee: Free

Benefits:

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Free SMS notifications
  • Free card swipes
  • Free inter-account transfers, debit and stop orders
  • Free balance inquiries on digital channels
  • Free access to online Penny Power financial education content
  • Four free cash withdrawals at any Nedbank ATM
  • Free access to MyPocket savings account
  • 50% off Nu Metro movie tickets, and a medium cooldrink-and-popcorn combo, if you pay with your Nedbank card
  • Contactless payment options – tap to pay, or scan a QR code

Having a bank account can teach a child several important lessons

Standard Bank

Account: (sum)1

Age: 0-15

Opening fee: Free

Benefits:

  • No monthly account fee
  • Free limitless swipes at till points
  • Ten free electronic debit transactions a month
  • Free cash withdrawals of up to R1 000 at any Standard Bank ATM
  • Free cash deposits of up to R1 500 at any Standard Bank ATM
  • Free in-app balance inquiries
  • Access to Junior Perks discounts from H&M, Nando’s, Burger King, Ster-Kinekor, Krispy Kreme, Uber, and more.

Tyme Bank

Account: Everyday Account

Age: Any age

Opening fee: Free

Benefits:

  • No monthly fee
  • Free debit card purchases
  • Free online purchases
  • Free bill payments
  • Free cash withdrawals at TymeCode at Pick n Pay and Boxer till points
  • One free cash withdrawal at a Pick n Pay till point
  • Free SendMoney to Tyme Bank account holders
  • Free in-app balance inquiry and beneficiary notifications
  • Free EFT account payments, and immediate EFT payments under R3 000

Also read: Claiming UIF benefits- your comprehensive guide

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