Today’s best savings accounts are paying record rates, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s historic fight against inflation. But perhaps the biggest earnings winners of all are kids, with a handful of institutions offering astronomical rates of 7% to 10% APY on child and teen accounts.
How Youth Accounts Work
Youth bank accounts are separate products that some—but not all—banks and credit unions offer. They always have special rules and their own rate, and they require a parent or guardian to be a joint account holder.
Of the institutions that offer a youth account, not all of them offer a premium rate. But some standouts exist, such as the ones we’re featuring here. These accounts don’t just pay high rates—they pay much more than what you can earn with even the very best high-yield savings accounts for adults.
One thing you’ll notice is that almost every youth account that pays a stellar rate also has a cap on the balance that can earn that return. Most common are limits of $500 or $1,000. That means, for instance, that your child’s first $1,000 will qualify for the top APY, but then any amount above $1,000 will earn a standard rate, which is usually extremely low.
You’ll also notice that some banks offer just a single youth savings account, while others go further by offering a savings account for young children, and then more advanced accounts—such as a checking account with a debit card—as the child reaches a certain age threshold.
A bank savings account for your child is a good idea for relatively modest balances. For larger deposits that you hope to grow over a long period of time, you’ll be better served by a custodial investment account. These accounts—often called UTMAs or UGMAs—are designed for long-term investment on a minor’s behalf. Just beware that deposits made to a custodial are considered gifts to your child that cannot be taken back. In contrast, a youth savings account is held jointly by you and your child.
These Top-Paying Youth Accounts Are Available Nationwide
Two credit unions offering a top-tier youth savings account rate are available to individuals living anywhere in the U.S. Accounts can be opened online, and eligibility to join the credit union is offered nationwide.
Spectra Credit Union – 10.38% APY: Spectra’s Brilliant Kids Savings account is available to kids through age 17 and pays 10.38% APY on balances up to $1,000. Anyone in the U.S. can join Spectra Credit Union by agreeing to a free one-year membership in the nonprofit American Consumer Council.
Spectrum Federal Credit Union / Chevron Federal Credit Union – 7.00% APY: These two credit unions are separately branded, but are the same institution. You can join either one (but not both) by agreeing to an $8 one-year membership in the nonprofit Financial Fitness Association. Their MySavings Youth Account pays 7.00% APY on balances up to $1,000 and is available to individuals who are 21 or younger. Those who are at least 13 may also request an ATM card.
More High-Yield Options for Kids in These Lucky Places
Neighbors Credit Union – 10.00% APY: Through its SMART youth program, Neighbors offers different banking privileges at different ages. Anyone from birth through age 22 can earn 10.00% APY on a SMART savings account, and those age 13 and older can open a checking account with a debit card. Membership in Neighbors Credit Union is open to those who live or work (or have a relative who lives or works) in several Missouri and Illinois counties of the St. Louis area.
American Riviera Bank – 10.00% APY: American Riviera’s Kids Savings Account pays 10.00% APY on balances up to $500. Opening an account for a minor must be done in person at one of their California branches in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, or Paso Robles.
Gesa Credit Union – 7.00% APY: Gesa Credit Union offers a series of youth accounts, starting with its Explorer Youth Savings for kids ages 0-13. It pays 7.00% APY on the first $500. It also offers up to $25 in matching deposits during the first year the account is open. Upon turning 14, teens graduate to the SmartPlus Savings account, which also pays 7.00% APY on the first $500 of the balance. But they also become eligible for a Student Checking Account with debit card, which pays 7.00% APY on an additional $500 balance. Anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in the state of Washington, or lives in select counties of Idaho and Oregon, is eligible to join Gesa. Having a close relative who’s eligible may also qualify you.
WECU – 7.00% APY: WECU, a credit union headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, offers a series of youth accounts beginning with the First Step Savings account that’s available to youth ages 0-19. Once they turn six, they’re eligible to open a First Step Checking account. WECU pays 7.00% APY on up to a $750 combined balance. Anyone who lives, works, or worships in the state of Washington is eligible to join WECU.
The Best Savings Accounts for Mom and Dad
As an adult, you may not be able to earn 7% or 10% on your own savings account, but you can still earn a historically high rate with one today’s best high-yield savings accounts. The top nationwide rate is currently 5.35% APY, offered by BrioDirect. But our daily ranking of the best high-yield savings account rates offers more than a dozen options paying 5.15% or better.
Want paper check-writing privileges from your savings account? Then consider a money market account. Our daily ranking of the best money market rates is topped right now by UFB Direct, offering 5.25%. But you can find several other options paying 5.00% APY or more.
Have money you can sock away for months, a year, or even more? Consider putting some of your savings in a CD while rates are at historic highs. The rate you lock in will be yours to keep until the CD term ends, no matter what the Federal Reserve does with future rates. Current offers in our daily ranking of the best nationwide CDs pay as much as 6.00% APY.
Rate Collection Methodology Disclosure
Every business day, Investopedia tracks the rates of almost 100 banks and credit unions that offer savings accounts to customers nationwide, using that data to determine daily rankings of the top-paying accounts. To qualify for our lists, the institution must be federally insured (FDIC for banks, NCUA for credit unions), and the savings account’s minimum initial deposit must not exceed $25,000.
For our list of the best CD rates, banks must be available in at least 40 states. And while some credit unions require you to donate to a specific charity or association to become a member if you don’t meet other eligibility criteria (e.g., you don’t live in a certain area or work in a certain kind of job), we exclude credit unions whose donation requirement is $40 or more. For more about how we choose the best high-yield savings accounts, read our full methodology.