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Financial literacy isn’t something that should wait until we are grown adults to be familiar with. Instead, teaching kids about how to be responsible with their money can help ensure that they grow up with a better handle on their finances and avoid finding themselves in debt. 

Many Canadians struggle with debt and often don’t have the financial education to know how to budget appropriately based on what they earn. That’s why teaching our children about how to properly manage money is important, and it all starts with a basic savings account.

Thankfully, there are several banks that offer savings accounts that are designed specifically with children and youths in mind. They’re meant to help encourage kids to save their money and learn how to grow their funds while ensuring they have enough money in the banks to cover whatever their future expenditures may be. 

Features Of Children & Youth Savings

Before opening a savings account for your child, there are a few features you should look at, including the following:

Monthly Fees

Many savings accounts waive any monthly fees for children who are under a certain age or who are currently attending a college or university program full time. No monthly fees can help account balances increase faster.

Minimum Balance Requirements 

Some bank accounts require a certain balance to be maintained in order to avoid having to pay monthly fees. Be sure to find out what these minimum balances are. Ideally, the account you choose for your child will not have any minimum balance requirements. 

Interest Rate

Part of the attraction of savings accounts is that they typically pay out an interest rate on balances. Regularly depositing funds not only allows the account to grow, but it allows interest to accrue on the balance. The higher the interest rate, the better.

Transactions Included

Savings accounts aren’t normally meant to have many transactions conducted every month. Instead, they’re meant for money to sit in the account while the interest rate allows the funds to grow. However, withdrawals and deposits are needed to manage the account. But rather than being charged for every transaction, it’s best to find an account that allows for an unlimited number of transactions — or at least a high number of free transactions — to avoid unnecessary fees. 

Best Children & Youth Savings Accounts In Canada

Monthly FeeTransaction LimitInterest
TD Youth Account$0UnlimitedCalculated on every dollar
BMO Plus Plan for kids and teens$0250.05% (in a separate savings account)
Tangerine Children’s Savings Account$0Unlimited0.80%
CIBC Advantage for Youth Account$0Unlimited0.05%
Scotiabank Getting There Savings Program for Youth$0Unlimited-0.05% interest on deposits up to $499.99-0.10% interest on deposits of $500+

TD Youth Savings Account

The TD Youth Savings Account is geared towards youths aged 18 years and under. It comes with an interest rate that adjusts according to the balance. As the balance increases, so does the interest rate. This type of tiered system promotes savings, which is exactly what the purpose of a savings account is. The more that is stashed away, the faster the money will grow. 

Balances of less than $5,000 are paid an interest rate of 0.05%, but balances greater than $5,000 come with a rate of 0.1%. This youth savings account also features an unlimited number of free transactions and does not charge a monthly fee. 

BMO Plus Plan For Kids And Teens

The BMO Plus Plan is a premium chequing account designed for youths. Instead of having to pay the $10.95 monthly fee, those under the age of 18 or who are in school can take advantage of the waived fee. Plus, there’s no minimum balance to maintain to have the fee waived. 

The account allows 25 free transactions per month, and the included savings account pays out a 0.05% interest rate on balances.

Youths can receive a $60 cash bonus when opening an account. Those between the ages of 13 and 18 will get a free Plus Plan Chequing Account or discounted Performance or Premium Plan Account, while those under the age of 13 can get a free Kids Account. 

Tangerine Children’s Savings Account

Tangerine is an excellent Canadian digital bank that offers a slew of banking products geared towards all types of clients, including kids. With the Tangerine Children’s Savings Account, there’s no monthly fee to have to pay, nor is there a required minimum to benefit from $0 monthly fees. 

Further, youths can save as much as 0.80% on balances and can take advantage of unlimited free transfers. This account is available to kids aged 16 years or younger whose parents already hold an existing Tangerine savings or chequing account.

CIBC Advantage For Youth Account

The CIBC Advantage for Youth Account is available for youths up to the age of 18 years and are enrolled in a full-time college, university, or CEGEP program. Once your child turns 19 years of age, the CIBC Advantage for Youth Account will automatically be converted to the CIBC Premium Growth Account.

There are no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and unlimited free transactions to be had — which include Interac e-Transfers. The CIBC Advantage for Youth Account also comes with a free SPC membership, which allows your child to shop at over 450 participating merchants for discounts. 

Scotiabank Getting There Savings Program For Youth

The Scotiabank Getting There Savings Program for Youth offers the distinct opportunity to earn SCENE Rewards or Scotia Rewards points with a linked debit card. Points can be redeemed for movie tickets and other merchandise. The account also boasts zero monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. 

Interest paid on balances in a Scotiabank Getting There Savings Program for Youth account operates in a tiered system, much like the TD Youth account. Deposits up to $499.99 will earn 0.05% in interest, and deposits of $500 or more will earn an interest rate of 0.10%. 

Benefits Of Children And Youth Savings Accounts

The best time in a person’s life to learn about how to manage money is when they’re young. The earlier a person learns about financial literacy, the better. And what better way to start than with a savings account!

There are plenty of perks that come with a children and youth savings account, including the following:

  • Save money. Every dollar that is deposited and left in a savings account will add to a child’s financial assets. 
  • Interest earned. With interest paid on deposited funds, the money can grow even faster. That’s something you won’t get simply by dropping coins into a piggy bank.
  • Financial education. Savings accounts provide the ideal financial product to help teach kids about money and how to develop healthy spending and saving habits. 

Saving, budgeting, and interest compounding are all things that everyone should be familiar with. And teaching kids when they’re still young is a great way to ensure that their financial habits are healthy right from the get-go. 

Learn more about how to start teaching your children about personal finance

How To Open A Children And Youth Savings Accounts

The process of opening a children and youth savings account is relatively straightforward and similar across the board. Generally speaking, opening this type of savings account will require the following steps:

Children and youth savings accounts are available only to those who are under the age of majority. You’ll need to verify the age requirements with the bank in question. 

Children under the age of 6 years will require their legal guardian to fully control and manage the bank account.

Final Thoughts

Parents should make an effort to teach their kids about finances and encourage them to start saving early, and a children and youth savings account is a great place to start. Be sure to compare the various accounts available from various financial institutions to choose the right account for your child.

Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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