The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account is one of the best bank accounts for kids. It pays interest on all balances, it’s open to kids as young as 8, and it’s flexible enough to accommodate kids and teens at all stages of their financial education journeys.
But MONEY Teen Checking isn’t perfect. The biggest drawback is the lack of rewards on debit card purchases, which many teen-friendly personal finance apps and debit cards offer.
But there’s a lot more good than bad here. If you’re looking to set up a new checking account for your youngster while keeping tabs on what they’re doing with their money, MONEY Teen Checking should be high on your list.
What Is the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account?
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account is an interest-bearing checking account for kids as young as 8. It has no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees.
MONEY Teen Checking is a joint bank account, so a parent or guardian shares ownership privileges with the kid. While it doesn’t have super-granular parental controls, it’s easy for adults to monitor account activity and remove money from the account.
MONEY Teen Checking comes with a Mastercard debit card. It belongs to a big fee-free ATM network. And it seamlessly links to external accounts, including non-Capital One accounts, for easy allowance payments.
What Sets the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account Apart?
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account stands out for three key reasons:
- Open to kids as young as 8. Most teen checking accounts are open to kids 13 years and older. For a long time, MONEY Teen Checking was the same way, but that recently changed. That’s a positive development for parents who believe their kids are ready for more financial freedom.
- No recurring fees or minimums. This account has no recurring account fees or minimum balance requirements. Stay within the expansive ATM network and avoid overdraws, and you shouldn’t have to worry about fees.
- Pays interest on all balances with no qualifying activities. This account earns a decent yield on all balances, at least by checking account standards: 0.10% APY. Unlike many interest checking accounts, there are no hoops to jump through to earn that yield.
Key Features of the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account’s most important features give teens plenty of freedom while allowing parents to monitor them from a distance, only getting involved when the teen needs guidance.
Account Minimums & Fees
MONEY Teen Checking has no minimum opening deposit or balance requirement. It also has no monthly maintenance fee or other ongoing fees. There are some less common fees associated with this account, but it’s easy enough to avoid them if you opt for electronic statements and avoid overdrafts.
Mastercard Debit Card
This account comes with a Mastercard debit card. Use it wherever Mastercard is accepted and add it to your mobile wallet for contactless payments, which are faster and more secure than traditional swipe or dip payments.
ATM Access & Fees
Between Capital One- and Allpoint-branded ATMs, MONEY Teen Checking has about 70,000 fee-free ATMs in its network. You won’t pay a cent to withdraw cash from these machines. If you use a machine outside the network, that machine’s network controls the fees.
Parental Monitoring & Account Management
MONEY Teen Checking’s parental controls are not super-strict, but parents can monitor kids’ account activity through the app and withdraw funds at any time. Parents can also set up real-time alerts to be notified of and review kids’ transactions. If you want total control over your kids’ financial behaviors, this probably isn’t the account for you, but it’s fine for more laid-back parents.
Savings Goals & Transfers
Kids and parents can set savings goals and track progress toward them. Parents can make one-time transfers for meeting savings goals or progress milestones by transferring funds from a linked external account, even a bank other than Capital One.
This account supports employer direct deposit payments. That’s a nice benefit for older teens with jobs, and doesn’t require the parent co-owner’s permission to set up.
Account Yield (Interest on Balances)
All balances in the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account yield 0.10% APY. There are no qualifying activities to earn this yield, which is a nice advantage over accounts that require you to jump through hoops.
The Capital One mobile app can handle just about anything the web portal can. That includes:
- Mobile check deposit
- Inbound and outbound funds transfers (recurring or one-time)
- Direct deposit and bill payments
- Adding your debit card to a mobile wallet
- Setting up savings goals and rewards
Account Remains Open After Age 18
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account remains open after the younger account holder turns 18. The adult owner remains on the account as well. That can continue indefinitely, but the younger owner can open a grown-up Capital One account and transfer their funds there.
It’s not unusual for people to want total autonomy once they’re legally adults. But there’s something to be said for keeping your parents on your account as full account holders while you’re away at college too.
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account comes with $250,000 in deposit insurance through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (aka FDIC). That should be plenty for most teens (and their parents).
Pros & Cons of the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account
It may be tempting to think all teen accounts are the same, but that’s not the case. Understand the benefits and drawbacks of the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account before setting it up.
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account has a lot of perks. These are the most notable.
- No monthly maintenance fees. This account has no monthly maintenance or other recurring fees. It costs nothing to open and maintain.
- No minimum deposit or balance requirements. There’s no minimum deposit or balance requirement, either. You can open your MONEY Teen Checking Account with spare change if you’re so inclined.
- Open to kids as young as 8 years old. Kids as young as 8 are eligible for this account. That’s a significant advantage over the typical teen checking account, which cuts off eligibility at age 13.
- Interest on all balances. MONEY Teen Checking yields 0.10% APY on all balances. That isn’t anywhere near the best high-yield savings accounts, but it’s better than most kids checking accounts, which yield nothing at all.
- Big fee-free ATM network. Capital One has about 70,000 fee-free ATMs around the United States. Look for the Allpoint logo on a machine near you. Use the Capital One app to find nearby ATMs if you don’t know offhand where they are.
- Mobile-friendly banking features. MONEY Teen Checking is a paperless, mobile-first account. Anything you can do with the web banking portal, you can do with the Capital One mobile app. That includes transferring money, checking account activity, setting alerts, and depositing paper checks.
These are the biggest downsides of the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account. Consider them carefully before you apply.
- No rewards on spending. MONEY Teen Checking has no debit card rewards program. Some other popular kid-friendly accounts and financial apps do earn rewards on eligible spending.
- No paper checks. This barely qualifies as a disadvantage these days, but f you consider them a nice fallback, know that paper checks are unavailable for this account.
- No automatic account upgrade after age 18. You can keep your MONEY Teen Checking Account after you turn 18, but Capital One doesn’t automatically upgrade it to an adult account, and the adult owner remains on it indefinitely. If you want to make a change, the teen must open a new Capital One 360 account, which adds some friction to the process. But that’s not a disadvantage for every family.
How the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account Stacks Up
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account is one of the better teen-friendly joint checking accounts on the market. But it has some competition. See how it compares to a similar alternative, the Alliant Credit Union Teen Checking Account.
|Capital One MONEY
|Alliant Credit Union Teen
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account is one of the few kid-friendly checking accounts that pays interest on all balances. It’s also somewhat unusual in that it’s open to kids 8 and up, as opposed to 13 and up for your typical kids’ checking account.
But it’s not perfect in every way. Debit card purchases don’t earn rewards, and there’s no automatic upgrade process when the younger account holder turns 18, setting up a post-adulthood limbo. But on balance, there’s not a lot to dislike about MONEY Teen Checking.