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Bank Accounts for Children

Find out what banks offer to your children in the way of special bank accounts for kids - and compare the best accounts with Savvy

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, updated on July 31st, 2023       

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Compare and find the best bank accounts

Finding the best bank account can save you hundreds on fees and connect you with the very latest in smart banking technology.  Compare bank accounts from a wide variety of providers with Savvy to find the very best offers available on the market right now.

site-logos Up Everyday Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Osko,
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Mastercard $0 0%
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Use invite code SAVVY10 for $10 upon successful sign-up. (Refer to offer T&Cs on Up website)

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site-logos ING Orange Everyday
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Visa $0 0%
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Rebates on ATM fees anywhere in Oz. No ING international transaction fees. Zero monthly fees.

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site-logos NAB Classic Banking Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Visa $0 0.01%
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No monthly account fees ever, with no conditions. Free use at over 7,000 ATMs around Australia. No overdrawn fees if you happen to go over your account balance. Open an account in less than 7 minutes.

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site-logos St.George Complete Freedom Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Visa $0 0%
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Get $40 with a new Complete Freedom everyday bank account.

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site-logos Westpac Choice
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $5
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Mastercard $0 $0
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Westpac Choice for easy day-to-day banking

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More about bank accounts for children

Pocket money for children was once a simple proposition consisting of a few coins and a piggy bank but, like all other aspects of personal banking, children’s bank accounts have now gone digital and online.  Find out more about kids’ bank accounts, how they’re different, what safeguards are in place and where to find the best deals with Savvy.  Compare accounts right here to find one just right for your child’s growing needs.

What is special about bank accounts for children?

All banks and other financial institutions are keen to encourage children to open bank accounts with them, as they’re potential new customers for life.  For this reason, kids’ bank accounts are often very competitive and may offer a bonus interest rate if certain conditions are met to encourage new accounts to be opened and to reward good saving habits.

In addition, many have invested heavily in developing fun, educational and sophisticated programs and websites designed to appeal specifically to kids. Bank accounts for youth can be colourful, fun and have graphics to teach children how to save and watch their savings grow.

What safeguards are in place to protect children's bank accounts?

Most bank accounts for kids are quite user-friendly and include parental controls which parents can use to protect their kids’ money.  These controls can include options to ensure the adult account signatory has to approve any withdrawal from the account, a safeguard to ensure the account can’t be overdrawn, setting regular spend or withdrawal limits and the ability for parents to immediately lock the account if a child loses their bank debit card.

Some bank accounts for children allow progressively more control for the child as age milestones are reached.  For example, most banks and institutions issue debit cards to young people once they reach the minimum age of 12, so children are able to use their debit card to shop and buy online. Children under the age of 18 are not permitted to have access to credit facilities, so linked credit cards are not a feature of children’s accounts. When opening bank accounts for children, make sure you’re aware what the small print says and check at what age controls are able to be lifted by the junior account holder.

Types of bank account

Why compare bank accounts with Savvy?

Top tips for features to look for in your child's bank account

No fees

Many banks don’t charge account keeping fees on children’s accounts, so make sure the account you choose is no-fee. However, watch out for fees charged to make ATM withdrawals, overdrawn fees and card replacement fees in case your child loses their debit account card. Compare kids’ bank accounts with Savvy to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your child’s banking.

Bonus interest offered

Bonus interest offers can include incentives to deposit a certain amount per month, make no withdrawals or limit the number of withdrawals made from ATMs per month. It’s worth comparing bonus interest deals as they can substantially increase the interest paid on the balance in your child’s account.

ATM access

Make sure the account you choose for your child allows them to have a debit card with free ATM access so they’re able to withdraw cash whenever they need money. Check the availability of nearby ATMs so your child will be able to reach one when cash is required. Make sure there’s no additional fees for using the ATM, and check which other bank’s ATMs nearby can also be for free.

Access to educational apps

Many bank accounts for children in Australia have websites or mobile phone apps which aim to teach children financial literacy through having fun and playing games. These apps have often been developed in collaboration with education specialists so they can be a valuable source of learning about money management for your young student.

More questions about banks accounts for children

Are children's bank accounts cheaper than their adult equivalent?

Yes – they tend to be fee-free and offer higher interest rates than some adult bank accounts.  Banks encourage children to open accounts because prevailing research shows a large proportion of adults remain with the same bank they were introduced to as a child. However, be aware that some of the best bank accounts for children do have a limit on the bonus interest rate offered. For example, if the account reaches $5,000, the interest rate can revert to a lower rate in some cases.

Should I still give my children pocket money in cash?

There is no right answer to this question, as it depends on the age of the child and how much pocket money they receive.  Very young children may enjoy the experience of being handed shiny coins and putting them into a piggy bank.  As a child grows older, it may be fun for them to physically take their piggybank savings to a bank to deposit into their savings account, which they can then monitor and watch grow through an online or mobile phone app.

At what age can my child open a bank account in their name?

At the age of 12 a child can legally open an Australian bank account in their sole name, although some of the big banks require a child to be aged 13 or even 14 before they open an account in their name only.  Parents are able to open a joint account with their child from birth to 11 years of age.  To open a bank account for a child in Australia, you’ll need the child’s birth certificate and one form of photo ID for yourself, such as a driver’s licence.  Some financial institutions offer bank accounts for teens that offer a great interest rate and which they can hold even when they’re a young adult, with some having age limits of 21 or even 25 in some cases.

If my child loses their bank debit card, how much will it cost to replace?

This will depend on which bank, building society or credit union you choose for your child’s first bank account.  Some financial institutions offer one free card replacement per year, whilst others charge for card replacements at around $10 per card.  Both VISA and Mastercard offer the option to change your debit card colour, although a fee of either $10 or $20 is charged for the privilege.

Does my child have to be with me to open a joint bank account in Australia?

No, you won’t have to take your children out of school when you’re opening bank accounts for them. Many financial institutions allow you to open a joint account with your child online, as long as you’re able to provide your child’s birth certificate and suitable photo ID for yourself.

Are the best bank accounts for children in Australia transaction accounts or savings accounts?

This depends on what your child needs a bank account for and how it will be used.  Many bank accounts for youth are ‘hybrid’ accounts which allow many of the functions of a transaction account (such as the ability to pay into and out of the account by EFT, ATM access and online banking) – but they award interest like a savings account.  Other banks offer distinctly separate transaction and savings accounts, with the ability to set up automatic transfers from the linked transaction account to a savings account when a set savings limit is reached.

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