Best: Capital One 360
Why it won: Free, no-minimum accounts for both parents and children as well as robust digital tools make Capital One a desirable choice for families.
Standout accounts: Money Teen Checking, for ages 8 to 17, is free and includes parental controls. The free 360 Performance Savings account yields 0.4%.
Where it is: The accounts described here are internet-based, but Capital One offers in-person service at nearly 350 branches in eight eastern and southern states and Washington, D.C.
Capital One’s online Money Teen Checking account is free of minimum deposit or balance requirements and monthly fees, yields 0.1%, and comes with parental controls for you to keep tabs. Parents can send automatic or one-time transfers into the account, remove money from it, see transactions, and receive notifications of account activity through e-mail, text messages or Capital One’s mobile app. Kids can make up to $500 in cash withdrawals and purchases per day with the debit card (you can lower the cap if you wish), and card transactions are barred at certain establishments—such as liquor stores, bars and online prescription drugstores. If your child tries to make a debit card purchase that would overdraw the account, it will generally be rejected. Check-writing is not included. Kids can also check the account balance, set savings goals, deposit checks and receive activity alerts. With the free Kids Savings Account (0.3% yield), children can make deposits, check account balances and set savings goals, but transferring money requires parental help.
For parents, the 360 Checking account yields 0.1%, offers overdraft transfers and the first box of checks free, and, like the teen checking account, provides no-fee access to 70,000 ATMs. Direct-deposited funds are accessible up to two days early. (You can also link a checking account from another institution to your kid’s Capital One account. )
Runner-up: Axos Bank
Why it won: Axos offers a special checking account for teens and an array of solid accounts for parents.
Standout account: First Checking, for ages 13 to 17.
The no-fee, no-minimum First Checking account ($50 opening deposit) gets teens off to a sound start with banking, offering a 0.1% rate, up to $12 monthly in ATM fee refunds, and no overdraft or insufficient-funds fees. Daily transaction limits are $100 for cash withdrawals and $500 for debit-card purchases. Debit card transactions at certain places, including bars, liquor stores and gambling establishments, are blocked. The account does not include check-writing. When you apply for a First Checking account, the free First Savings account is offered as an option, too; it yields 0.25%, provides an ATM card ($100 daily withdrawal limit) and reimburses $12 in ATM fees monthly. An adult must co-own the teen checking and savings accounts, and parents have a number of attractive checking accounts to choose from, too—for more, see Best Internet Banks.