If you are a parent reading this blog, you already know that teaching your children about financial literacy is one of the best ways to help set them up for financial success later in life. Helping them to set up a kids bank account early can help you achieve this goal.
Helping your child to open a bank account will teach them about how account processes work, how to budget, how to use online banking to make transactions and more. These things will become an important part of their lives, and they will build important financial habits.
In our review of the top kid’s bank accounts on offer, we’ll let you know all about their interest rates, fees, and perks. As you’ll see, many of these options offer online banking options, making it easy to manage your kids savings account. If you want to check out other great online banks, many of which offer kid’s bank accounts, check out our full article on the Best Online Banks in Canada.
Best Kids Bank Account in Canada 2022 Comparison
Opening a kids bank account in Canada is a quick and easy process, much like opening an account for yourself. Also like most accounts for adults, the accounts in our review have no annual fee and at least some free transactions, including e-transfers.
For more detailed information about each account, scroll past the chart to our mini-review section.
0.05% - 0.10%
What to Look for in a Bank Account for Children
The best bank accounts for kids have several features in common:
- No annual fee
- No minimum balance
- Earns some interest
- Gives account holders at least SOME free transactions, preferably unlimited
That’s really it. They should give your kids the maximum value for no money.
A cynic would point out that the banks want kids’ business in the hope that as they grow, they’ll stick with that bank. Giving kids a no-fee account with (ideally) unlimited transactions is a low-cost way for a bank to cultivate a new generation of customers.
It doesn’t really matter why they offer the accounts, though. What matters for you is the fact that they do! Let’s see what the best children’s bank accounts have to offer.
Best Kids Bank Account in Canada: Tangerine Children’s Savings Account
Our pick for Best children Bank Account in Canada is the Children’s Savings Account from Tangerine. It gives kids unlimited transactions, including e-transfers.
The standout feature of the Tangerine Children’s Savings Account is its fantastic 1.10% interest rate, which is by far the highest on our list. This is on par with some of the best rates available for adult savings accounts. That’s saying something.
It’s also very cost effective with $0 in monthly fees, and no minimum balance. Plus, Tangerine is committed to being completely transparent with their fees and charges, so there won’t be any surprises.
Tangerine is an online bank (you can learn more in our Tangerine Bank Review), so you can open your child’s account entirely online. You’ll need a SIN plus a piece of ID for your child. A birth certificate or certificate of Canadian citizenship is accepted for children under 11.
Because this is a savings account, Tangerine doesn’t give kids a debit card. This is a good opportunity to teach them about the difference between a chequing and a savings account and remind them about that big item they want to save for.
And, honestly, with Paypal and e-transfers becoming increasingly common, there’s a decent chance that you’re prepping them for a world that doesn’t use debit cards at all.
Another great thing Tangerine offers on their site is useful content to help you teach your child financial literacy, which is definitely helpful in maximizing the experience for you and your child.
Canada’s Best Kids Bank Account for Rewards: Scotiabank Getting There Savings Account
The Getting There Savings Account is Scotiabank’s account for children under 18. It features unlimited debit transactions, so if you’d rather have your kids learning how to use a debit card, it’s a good one to consider.
There are $0 in monthly fees and free unlimited debit card transactions, as well as a fairly low charge of $1.50 for using non-Scotiabank ATMs.
Scotiabank’s interest rate is comparatively terrible, and it’s tiered, which is confusing for adults, let alone kids. Deposits over $500 earn 0.1% interest, while all smaller deposits earn 0.05% interest. This is not the account to choose if you want to teach your kids the details of compound interest.
In order to open a Scotiabank Getting There Savings Account, you’ll have to head to the branch with your child if they’re under 16. Teens aged 16-18 can open their own account (remind them to take ID). You can learn more about banking with Scotiabank in our Scotiabank Review.
Apart from unlimited debit transactions, Scotiabank’s main feature is the choice of rewards for kids over 14. Your teenager can choose between SCENE rewards and Scotia rewards. For an overview of the SCENE program, which earns cardholders free movies and dining, check out our Scotiabank SCENE Visa review.
Admittedly, even if the interest rate isn’t great, the rewards are. It’s definitely to your child’s advantage if they start to learn how to maximize rewards benefits earlier in life. With SCENE, your child will earn 1 point for every $5 spent, and 1 point for every $1 spent at Cineplex. There are multiple ways to redeem points, which your child will likely love.
Canada’s Best Children’s Bank Account with a Welcome Bonus: CIBC Advantage for Youth Account
The CIBC Advantage for Youth account offers unlimited no-fee banking. It’s basically a savings account with all the features of a chequing account, so it offers unlimited debit transactions as well as e-transfers.
Young customers will receive a debit card, which they can use at any CIBC atm for free, and pay $2 for any non-CIBC ATM within Canada. Using Interac E-transfers, they will be able to easily connect to mobile payment apps for easy purchasing.
CIBC’s kid’s bank account offers a welcome bonus of $25. All you need to do to qualify is open the account and provide a valid email address, and the money will be deposited within 2 months.
The account also includes a free Student Price Card (SPC) membership. This discount program for students usually costs $10/year, which makes it a great perk. Students can enjoy discounts at over 450 stores and restaurants including:
- Pizza Hut
CIBC’s interest rate is 0.05%, which isn’t stellar, but the welcome bonus and SPC membership, plus unlimited transactions make it a solid choice.
Canada’s Best Kids Account with a Chequing and Savings Option: BMO Plus Plan Youth Chequing
The BMO Plus Plan Youth Chequing Account is more of a discount than a special account. BMO offers kids under 19 a free Plus Plan account, or they can get a Performance or Premium Plan account with a discount equivalent to the cost of the Plus Plan ($11.95).
Once they turn 19, the account fees are no longer waived – unless you open a student account. You can learn more about BMO’s student account offering, plus our picks for better alternatives, in our list of the Best Student Bank Accounts in Canada.
BMO’s Plus Plan gives account holders 25 free transactions/month, plus unlimited e-transfers. Their chequing account has no interest at all, but a free savings account is included, which gives them 0.1% interest. They will also have access to free BMO ATM withdrawals, but will pay $2 for non-BMO ATMs within Canada.
If you want your child to learn about managing more than one account – one for saving and one for spending, the BMO Plus Plan is worth considering.
Canada’s Best Chequing Account for Older Teens: TD Student Chequing Account
If your teen is getting older and doesn’t have a bank account yet, you could consider the TD Student Chequing Account. It’s available until your child turns 23, and longer if they have proof of full-time student status.
Like other accounts, there is no monthly fee. The account comes with a Visa debit card, which will make in person and online purchasing easy. Eligible card holders will be able to connect it to rewards like Starbucks Rewards and Aeroplan Points. It also offers free Interac E-transfers.
The TD Student Chequing Account doesn’t offer much in terms of interest (0.001%, which is so small that you almost wonder why they bothered), but it’s more than the 0% they offer on most chequing accounts. So that’s not nothing—just almost nothing.
One feature of TD’s student account is that they don’t charge a fee for overdraft. That can be helpful if your teen is still learning how to manage their spending.
Now until the end of October 2022, they offer a $75 Amazon gift card if you open the TD Student Chequing Account.
Canada’s Runner up for Kid’s Account with the Best Welcome Bonus: RBC Leo’s Young Savers Account
Royal Bank’s Leo’s Young Savers Account is targeted at younger kids. Children aged 0-12 will receive a $25 deposit into their account 2-8 weeks after opening it. Until October 31, 2022, you can also unlock an additional $25 on your own Mydoh wallet upon opening the Young Savers Account.
This account offers only 15 free transactions (additional transactions are $1.25 each), so it’s not an account for daily spending. E-transfers are still free and unlimited. There is no minimum account balance. There is a 0.01% interest rate, which is better than nothing. Also, there won’t be any fees for transfering from your own RBC account to your child’s.
If your child is over 13, they can open an RBC Advantage account for students instead. These accounts feature unlimited debit and e-transfers, plus up to $39 off the annual fee of an eligible credit card for students old enough to qualify.
Why Your Child Needs a Bank Account
We’ve already discussed how opening a bank account early gives children a chance to practice basic money skills. But there are several other reasons why a kid’s bank account is an excellent idea:
- Opening a bank account gives kids early exposure to banks and how they work.
- A bank account gives kids a place to store their allowance (and e-transfers make it easy on parents who may not always have cash lying around every week).
- A good kid’s bank account lets them earn interest on the money they’ve saved
- Today’s bank accounts help children (and especially teenagers) get used to electronic transactions like e-transfers and Paypal
- Online/mobile banking helps kids keep track of exactly how much money they have, instead of shaking their piggy bank and feeling how heavy it is. This helps them understand their spending power.
How to Open a Kid’s Bank Account
When you want to open a bank account for your kid, the exact procedure can vary. Unless you have an older teenager, you’ll need to initiate the process, and likely take them to your bank’s branch (unless you’re dealing with an online bank like Tangerine).
Keep in mind that if your child is 6 or younger, they won’t be able to open a bank account per se. It will be considered a trust account, which means that you as the guardian will have 100% control over the account.
You’ll want to make sure your child has an ID plus their SIN number with them. Check the bank’s website to confirm details and requirements before you head out!
Best Kids Bank Account in Canada: Our Verdict
While there are multiple options to select from when it comes to the best bank account in Canada for kids, to get the most bang for their buck, choose the Tangerine Children’s Savings Account.
The main reason to set up a bank account for your child is to help teach them the value of saving money, and how to manage their money wisely. With the high 1.10% interest rate Tangerine offers, they will see first hand the magic of compound interest.
The other great thing is, that although they won’t have access to a debit card (which has its benefits), they will still have the option to use their savings to make e-purchases when needed, and at no cost.
To learn more about what Tangerine has to offer us big kids, check out our full Tangerine Bank Review.
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