I want my 11-year-old son to learn how to use a bank account and especially, the concept of savings. He still needs to be able to withdraw his money when he wants to. He already has an Isa, but cannot withdraw the funds until he is 16. What are the options and best accounts on the market at the moment?
It’s really great to hear that you are encouraging your son to understand money and how important saving is. Getting into the savings habit early is an excellent idea and can instigate a habit for life.
If he needs access to his money, he’ll need an easy-access account. One popular type of account to encourage saving is a regular saver account, but these tend to have a fixed term, during which time you can’t access the cash.
The exception is Saffron Building Society’s Children’s Regular Saver. It pays 4% and allows unlimited withdrawals. Your son could save between £5 and £100 a month. But the drawback with this account is you can only operate it in branch or by post.
Santander’s 123 Mini Current Account is a great easy-access children’s account for those aged between 11 and 18. It pays interest on balances between £100 and £2,000, although the rate is tiered. The interest is as follows:
£100 - £199 = 1% AER
£200 - £299 = 2% AER
£300 - £2,000 = 3% AER
Because the account pays a tiered rate of interest – increasing as the balance does – this will, hopefully, encourage your son to save more in order to earn the higher rate.
But once he has saved £2,000, he’ll need to look for another account for the excess – as any balance above £2,000 will earn no interest, which will dilute the overall rate.
In addition to the interest, the account offers 24/7 access to money via online, mobile and telephone banking, plus branch access. And children can choose a cash card or a Visa debit card. It ticks all the boxes.