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Updated: January 03, 2024

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Child saving money with child's bank account

The best bank accounts for kids in Canada in 2024

FAMILY STOCK / Shutterstock

Fact Checked: Scott Birke

🗓️

Updated: January 03, 2024

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware this post may contain links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for products or services you sign up for through partner links.

Opening a bank account for your child is an essential step towards teaching them financial responsibility. The right bank account provides a safe place for them to store money while allowing them to learn critical concepts like earning interest, budgeting, and saving. But with so many options, how do you choose the best kids bank account? This guide examines the top bank accounts for kids in Canada for 2024.

Best kids bank account by category: Summary

Best for
Account name
Best for earning rewards on spending
Best for accessing student discounts
Best for high-interest savings
Best overall kids bank account
Best for budget-conscious students
Best for early financial literacy
Best for basic no-fee banking
Best for earning sign-up rewards
Best kids app for interactive financial literacy

Why get your child a bank account

Teaching financial literacy and money management to children is as valuable as teaching them their ABCs and 123s. A great first step is to get your child a bank account. Not only will they have safe storage to stash their cash, but your children will also begin to understand financial products. The foundational banking product is a chequing account, which introduces your kids to deposits, withdrawals, interest, and more. These will be essential concepts as they grow older. You should also open a bank account for your child to:

  • Encourage saving: Regular small deposits into a savings account promote good savings habits.
  • Begin compounding: “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world,“ Einstein once said. Earning interest at a young age can equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars after a few decades.
  • Foster financial literacy: Having a personal bank account exposes children to essential money management concepts like earning interest, budgeting, saving, and mindful spending. 

How to open a children's bank account

Depending on your child’s age, you’ll need visit a branch or you can open an account online. Your child must fall within the bank's specified age range and be a Canadian resident. 

When opening the account, you'll need to provide documentation (see below). After completing the paperwork, you’ll likely need to make an initial deposit to keep the account in good standing.

Documents required to open a kid's bank account

The required documents change with your child's age and the institution. If your child is under 12, only a guardian's ID is required. Between the ages of 12 and 15, you can generally use either a child's ID or your own. For those over 16, you'll only need the child's ID. Expect to need the following documents:

  • Government-issued ID of the parent and child
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Child's birth certificate

What's the minimum age to open a bank account in Canada?

Canada has no specific minimum age requirement for opening a bank account for children. Generally, any resident who can provide the necessary documentation is eligible to open an account.

However, children under 12 or 13 may need to visit a branch with a parent or guardian. From 13 to 18, banks may let children independently open a bank account. After 18, they will have no issues opening their own bank account if they are a Canadian resident.

What to look for in a children's bank account

When considering opening an account, comparing offers from different financial institutions is advisable. Here are some essential factors to consider when evaluating your options for a bank account for your child.

Interest rates

While interest earnings will start small, opening an account early and making regular deposits instills good savings habits. As your child gets older, this habit will continue to benefit them as they start investing in stocks.

Fees

While most kid's bank accounts don't charge monthly fees, always review the information carefully. Some options charge transaction fees for exceeding a monthly usage limit. This means your child will incur fees if they frequently make purchases.

Furthermore, all options have a cut-off age at which they transfer to an adult account, generally with monthly fees. While the cut-off age varies by bank and criteria, their adult account may be less appealing. 

When your child hits the cut-off age, usually around 18-22, it's an excellent time for them to re-evaluate the best banks in Canada to see if a different financial institution offers a more desirable account.

Additional features

Some bank accounts differentiate themselves with additional features. This can include educational resources, parental oversight, and savings partnerships. Notably, CIBC has a partnership with SPC, offering student discounts.

Other platforms like Mydoh include an interactive approach to reinforce money lessons about earning, budgeting, and saving. 

Best bank accounts for children in Canada

  • Methodology: How we choose the best kids bank account list

    +

    When selecting the best bank accounts for kids, we evaluated fees, interest rates, accessibility, customer service, mobile banking capabilities, security measures, account options, and additional features. We compared fees and interest rates to find accounts with low or no fees and competitive interest rates. We prioritized banks and credit unions with extensive branch and ATM networks, robust online and mobile banking tools, strong customer service reputations, sophisticated security protocols, and various account types for children and teens.

    For more information, read the Money.ca review methodology.

Best kids bank account to earn rewards

Scotiabank Getting There Savings Account

Quick Facts

Interest rate: Up to 0.10%
Eligibility age: Under 19
Monthly fee: None

The Scotiabank Getting There Savings Program stands out for its generous usage limits, and rewards program. Your child benefits from unlimited debit and e-Transfer transactions. While the interest rate is comparatively low, it’s one of the only accounts to provide debit transaction rewards. 

This account earns Scene+ points, an attractive perk for older children. Overall, the Getting There Savings Account is an excellent option as a kid’s chequing account. However, the lower interest rate and purchase rewards don’t incentivize saving. 

Best kids bank account to get student discounts

CIBC Smart Start

Quick Facts

Interest rate: None
Eligibility age: Under 25
Monthly fee: None

CIBC's Smart Start account is another great option as a kids' chequing account. The account offers unlimited debit and e-Transfer transactions, making it a flexible option for young users. Your child will also enjoy the no-fee offer until age 25, when it becomes an adult account.

While there are no spending rewards, CIBC’s SPC partnership paves way to student discounts. Another unique feature is opening an Investor’s Edge account for free stock and ETF trading. Overall, this chequing account is best for discounts, and older students interested in stock trading. 

Best kids high-interest savings account

Tangerine Children's Savings Account

Quick Facts

Interest rate: 0.90%
Eligibility age: Under 17
Monthly fee: None

Tangerine's Children's Savings Account stands out for a strong interest rate among kid’s accounts. This account is designed as a savings account, given it lacks a debit card. There are no spending rewards or discount partnerships. It’s just a plain and simple high-interest savings account for kids. 

Since Tangerine is an online-only bank, you won’t need to visit a branch to open an account. However, you must open an account before opening one for your kid. Overall, this is an excellent option for teaching your kids about setting money aside into a savings account. 

Best kids bank account, overall

HSBC Youth Savings Account

Quick Facts

Interest rate: 1.85%
Eligibility age: Under 19 (30 with Premier account)
Monthly fee: None

The HSBC Youth Savings Account stands out for a market-leading interest rate, age limit, and generous additional features. Your child receives free unlimited debit and e-Transfer transactions until 19. However, HSBC extends these benefits until 30 if the parent is an HSBC Premier customer. 

HSBC uniquely offers ATM surcharge rebates, making this a great account for withdrawing cash. Overall, this is a standout account, but uncertainties remain if it will continue to exist after the RBC acquisition

Best bank account for budget-conscious students

TD Student Chequing Account

Quick Facts

Interest rate: 0.01%
Eligibility age: Under 24 (extendable with post-secondary enrollment)
Monthly fee: None

The TD Student Chequing Account offers a solid grace period to keep banking costs low for students as they enter university. The account allows full-time students to avoid monthly fees until age 24 or longer with proof of continuing education. 

However, the TD Student Chequing Account interest rate is low at 0.01%. It allows unlimited transactions to enable worry-free banking for young adults focused more on their studies than earnings. TD also provides their budgeting and spending analysis tool MySpend with the account to encourage good financial habits.

Best kids bank account for financial literacy

RBC Leo's Young Savers Account

Quick Facts

Interest rate: 0.01%
Eligibility age: Under 13
Monthly fee: None

RBC Leo's Young Savers Account is for children under 13. The account offers unlimited debit and e-Transfer transactions. However, the minimal interest rate means it may not be the best choice for longer-term savings goals. 

Overall, the RBC Leo’s Young Savers Account primarily appeals to parents looking to open a no-fee account for their young children. The ability to link the account to MyDoh for chore tracking and goal setting makes it useful for teaching financial literacy

Best no-fee kids bank account

BMO Plus Chequing Account

Quick Facts

Interest rate: None
Eligibility age: Under 19 (or student)
Monthly fee: None

The BMO Plus Chequing Account waives the $11.95 monthly fee for students or those under 19. The account allows 25 free monthly debit transactions before fees apply, enabling moderate usage with some constraints. An initial sign-up bonus sweetens the deal further.

Ultimately, the BMO Plus Chequing Account offers price-conscious youth and students a way to bank fee-free for their adolescent years. 

Best kids bank account sign-up bonus

National Bank Youth Account

Quick Facts

Interest rate: 0.01%
Eligibility age: 14 to 24
Monthly fee: None

National Bank offers a no-fee chequing account for youth ages 14-24. It includes unlimited free transactions like Interac e-Transfers, online banking, mobile check deposits, and access to nearly 3,000 ATMs.

A $300 sign-up bonus is currently offered for setting up direct deposit along with online statements. After 25, recipients must switch to another National Bank account.

Best kids bank account for interactive financial literacy

MyDoh

Quick Facts

Interest rate: None
Eligibility age: 6 to 18
Monthly fee: $2.99 per month

RBC created MyDoh to modernize teaching financial literacy. It’s a money management app that lets you manage family chores. Your children can review assigned tasks and receive allowance deposits upon their completion. The account also includes a card that lets your children make purchases with parental oversight. 

Your kids can also establish saving goals from their earned income. Overall, MyDoh creates accountability around earning, budgeting, saving and mindful spending. It’s a refreshing take on teaching essential skills to the next generation. 

How to teach kids about money and set them up for financial success

The key to teaching kids about financial literacy is to involve kids early on so they grow up knowing how to handle money, wisely. Here are some tips for teaching kids about money and setting them up for financial success:

  • Lead by example - Let your child observe how you pay bills, budget monthly, and save towards goals. Actively talk through your process to emphasize important concepts.
  • Incentivize an income - Consider an allowance as your child completes tasks. Otherwise, encourage your teenager to get a summer job to earn some money.
  • Introduce investing - Consider giving older kids a small investment, like stock in a favourite brand. Show them how stocks, ETFs, and dividends work. Encourage them to invest at least 10% of their allowance. You can also experiment with a compound interest calculator to predict the future value of their investments.
  • Explain taxes - Although bland, it's worthwhile for your child to understand how income taxes work. This can lead to discussing tax treatment on capital gains, dividends, and rental property income. 
  • Discuss budgeting - After understanding how to allocate money between investing and taxes, it's helpful for your child to understand what to do with the remainder of their money. The 50-30-20 rule is a great place to start. 
  • Open a credit card - Many banks let you add your kid as an authorized credit card user. Depending on the bank’s reporting policy, it can help your child establish a credit score at a young age. 

Why financial literacy is important for youth

Thanks to the power of compound interest, investing small sums can result in amazing returns over decades. This also helps counteract inflation, which continuously threatens the purchasing power of money over time. Building these prudent money habits early on gives the gift of financial capability.

Furthermore, teaching financial literacy from a young age equips children with money management skills they will use for life. With finances playing a large role in our day-to-day lives, understanding concepts like budgeting, saving, and investing helps set kids up for financial success.

How to save for your child's future

Beyond basic saving accounts, consider the following options to optimize savings for your child's future.

RESPs

A registered education savings plan (RESP) allows tax-free growth of savings for your child's post-secondary education. Making regular RESP contributions builds up a nest egg that can be withdrawn tax-free when your child enrolls in college or university. Given the costs of higher education, opening an RESP provides a tax-advantaged way to save for this major future expense.

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

Your TFSA investments grow tax-free. This means you won't need to pay taxes on withdrawals, making it an excellent method to finance your child's future. The downside is contributions aren't tax deductible.

Set up a trust

A formal trust allows you to set money aside for your child while maintaining control over how and when it is used into adulthood. There can be tax benefits depending on the trust structure. 

Get life insurance

Life insurance protects your family financially if you can no longer provide for them. Having coverage ensures your children's needs will continue to be met if you pass away prematurely.

Best kids bank account FAQs

  • What is a kids' bank account?

    +

    A kids' bank account is a basic financial account to safely store money. It’s a great way to begin introducing them to foundational financial concepts.

  • How to find the best kids' bank account in Canada

    +

    Do your research. Look at bank websites and review articles from trusted websites like Money.ca to look at options and compare products to see what kids' bank account best suits your family and goals.

  • How old do you have to be to open a bank account?

    +

    There's no minimum age. Kids of any age can open accounts with parental oversight. Individual youth accounts are typically available starting between ages 12-14.

  • Why should you get a kids bank account?

    +

    Opening a kids' bank account encourages saving habits, introduces concepts like interest, and promotes financial responsibility through tracking balances and transactions.

  • What to look for in a kids bank account?

    +

    Look for no fees, decent interest rates, robust educational resources, parental controls, and unlimited transactions to enable regular use without penalties.

  • Are there money apps for teens?

    +

    Yes, apps like MyDoh are designed specifically to help teens earn, budget, save, and spend money wisely through hands-on incentives and parental oversight.

About our author

Daniel Schoester
Daniel Schoester, Freelance contributor

Daniel is an expert on travel, finance, and SEO. He received an Honours BBA (Finance) from Wilfrid Laurier University, then started his career with WOWA. Here, he learned various SEO tactics that were instrumental in quadrupling monthly traffic to one million views. Now the founder of Croton Content, Daniel helps financial companies scale through evergreen content. Aside from Money Wise, notable clients include Forbes Advisor, WealthRocket, and Hardbacon. Daniel loves to travel when not working. Although based out of Lisbon, Portugal, some of his most adventurous destinations include Rio, Cairo, and Istanbul.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Money.ca is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.