7 Best Bank Accounts For Your Child or Baby (0-18 yrs old)


The South African banks I mentioned in this article are catered to ages from 0 to 18. So if you’re looking for a bank account for your baby, preteen or even teenager, then you’ve just landed on the right article!

Before diving into my top 7 list, it’s important to know what you should look for when choosing your baby’s very first bank account.

Factors to consider when selecting a bank account for your child:

Below I’ve laid out three essential factors that you need to consider (it’s the factors I used to write my list) when looking for your child’s very first bank account.

Bank account interest rate per year?

I’m guessing the sole purpose of opening your child a bank account is to get them to grow their savings with the help of interest and regular deposits over time. That said, how much interest you can get from the savings should be of most importance to you.

Avoid getting distracted by freebies! You should be looking for an account with the highest interest rate instead. Usually, banks offer useless freebies to cover the fact that they’re offering a poor interest rate. Remember, the better the interest rate, the more your child savings will grow over time. This is in line with your initial goal, so stay focused.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Interest rates change all the time, so by the time you read this article it could be different from what I wrote.

Bank account monthly maintenance fee?

You want a bank account for your child with a ZERO monthly maintenance fee so that it doesn’t cannibalize the interest your child earns on their savings.

How much you’ll need to deposit so that the interest covers the monthly account fee?

This is important. You need to be able to deposit enough savings into your child bank account so that the interest earned is more than the monthly maintenance fee, otherwise, your child’s savings will slowly shrink with time.

In this article, I ONLY chose banks with a zero account maintenance fee, so this shouldn’t be a problem. HOWEVER, usually, these accounts have a certain number of free transaction limits, and once you go over your allotted transactions, they’ll charge you a maintenance fee. To avoid getting caught out, make sure you read the T&C’s of the account you’re going to open.

I left a link to each account’s application page that includes all T&C’s to make it as easy as possible for you.

Documents you need to open a bank account for your child under 18 with any bank:

  • Copy of parents South African I.D.
  • Childs birth certificate or South African I.D.
  • Proof of residence along with a signed declaration stating that the child lives with you. Here’s a declaration template you can use.

Now that you know what you should look for in a bank account, and what documents you’ll need to open it, let’s dive right in to my top 7 list.

01. FNB MyFirstSavings (WINNER)

This bank account won because it has all the features I mentioned at the beginning of this article. It offers the highest interest rate compared to ANY youth bank account in South Africa (based on my research), AND there’s no monthly maintenance account fee. Because of this, none of your child’s savings will get cannibalized by those sneaky hidden costs.

This is truly the best bank account for children who want to learn the real power of earning interest on their money over time. That said, it’s not an excellent ‘every day’ account, so if your child wants to buy stuff and is not too worried about earning interest, then look at some of the other options I laid out.

To withdraw 25% of the savings you need to give 24 hours notice if you want it to be free, and to get 100% of savings you need to give the bank 5 days notice. This can be beneficial because it stops senseless spending which will help your child think through each purchase decision.

Age: 0 to 16 years old

Annual interest rate: 3%

Minimum opening deposit: R100

Monthly account fee: R0

Parent account needed? No

Other benefits:

The biggest worthwhile benefit here is your child will get access to the eBucks rewards program as well as an online banking profile.

Click here to learn more or to apply for the FNB MyFirstSavings account.

02. FNBy Savings account

FNBy is a great account for you child if you want to teach them how to save money as well as the value of interest.

Age: 0 to 18 years old

Annual interest rate: 3%

Minimum opening deposit: R100

Monthly account fee: R0

Parent account needed? No

Other benefits:

Access to all online banking features. This is a great benefit so that your child can learn how to bank online when they are old enough.

Click here to learn more or to apply for the FNBy Savings account.

03. Nedbank 4Me

Age: 0 to 18 years old

Annual interest rate: 2.00% on any positive balance.

Open account fee: R0

Monthly account fee: R0

Parent account needed? The parent doesn’t need to bank with Nedbank to open this account.

Other benefits:

  • Debit card included
  • Four free ATM cash withdrawals per month
  • Unlimited card swipes and scan-to-pay
  • Access to Nedbank’s money app and online banking features

Click here to learn more or to apply for Nedbank 4Me account.

04. Nedbank Unlocked.Me Account

Age: 16 to 25 years old

Annual interest rate: Nedbank Unlocked.Me account offers 0% interest, howevver when you open this account you’ll get a free ‘MyPocket’ account that offers 3% interest rate on balances below R10,000 and 2% interest on balances above R10,000.

Open account fee: R0

Monthly account fee: R0

Parent account needed? The parent doesn’t need to bank with Nedbank to open this account.

Other benefits:

  • Debit card included
  • Free card swipes
  • Access to online banking and money app features
  • Access to credit card

Click here to learn more or to apply for Nedbank 4Me account.

05. Standard Bank (Sum)1

Perfect for kids that want to pay for their own stuff, but not that great if your child would like to earn interest on their savings.

Age: 0 to 16 years old

Annual interest rate: 0% on the Standard Bank Sum1 account, however you can link it to a savings account such as the PureSave account that offers 1.35% interest per annum. Keep in mind that this account will need an opening deposit of R50.

Open account fee: R0

Monthly account fee: R0

Parent account needed? The parent doesn’t need to bank with Standard Bank to open this account.

Other benefits:

  • Free debit card
  • Free airtime and data
  • Two free ATM transactions per month
  • Free swipes forever

Click here to learn more or to apply for Standard Bank Sum1 account.

06. ABSA MegaU

This account doesn’t cost anything to open, however, they also don’t offer interest which would be a huge minus for me.

So if you’re trying to teach your child the value of interest, then look for another option.

Age: 0 to 19 years old

Annual interest rate: 0%

Minimal opening deposit: R0

Monthly account fee: R0

Parent account needed? No

Other benefits:

  • Debit card
  • 100MB free data every month.
  • R20 food vouchers that can be used at Wimpy, Debonairs, Steers and Burger King.

*Benefits can only be claimed if there’s at-least R300 in the account at all times, or if you transact with the account at-least four times in a given month.

Click here to learn more or to apply for the MegaU account.

07. Investec Youth Account

Nothing special here. First, a major drawback is you need to bank with Investec as a parent before you can open this account. The other major drawback is they offer ZERO interest on your child’s savings.

Age: 0 to 25 years old

Annual interest rate: 0%

Open account fee: R0

Monthly account fee: R0

Parent account needed? Yes, you’ll need to bank with Investec before you can open a Youth Account for your child.

Other benefits:

  • Access to a debit card
  • Online banking access as well as complimentary airport lounge access to the SAA lounge.
  • Unlimited swipes

Click here to learn more or to apply for the Investec Youth Account.

Your Turn

There was a ton of other information I could have included in here, such as transaction fees, online banking fees etc. However I held back because I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too much information while you’re still prospecting.

I chose to talk about criteria that I think matters to you the most right now, so that you can get a better idea of what account caters to you best. Then once you have an idea, you can looking deeper into all that other stuff by yourself.

Was I right in thinking that? If not then please let me know what else you would like to include in here so that I can better help future readers.

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