Your kid’s piggy bank won’t hold forever. When they’re ready for a real bank account, consider the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account.
The Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account earns a spot on our list of the best savings accounts for kids thanks to its low fees and excellent yield on all balances. As an added perk, it’s one of the few joint ownership kids savings accounts open to kids under 13, so it’s an ideal first bank account for budding savers.
But that doesn’t mean its right for everyone.
What Is the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account?
The Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account is a savings account for children under 13. It’s a joint account, meaning the child co-owns it with a parent or guardian.
Though kids stop being eligible to open an Alliant Credit Union Savings Account once they turn 13, they can keep an account they opened while they were eligible as long as they wish. In the meantime, they earn an excellent yield on all balances (currently 3.10% APY) and pay no monthly maintenance fees after opting into e-statements.
The adult co-owner must be an Alliant Credit Union member. The easiest way to earn membership is to join Foster Care 2 Success, a nonprofit organization for vulnerable youth. Alliant Credit Union covers the one-time $5 fee to join Foster Care 2 Success, so there’s no out-of-pocket donation required.
What Sets the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account Apart?
Before we dive into the details of the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account, let’s cover aspects that really stand out about it.
- Open to kids under 13. You can open an Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account for a child aged 0 to 12. Some competing kids’ savings accounts ask you to wait until your kid’s 13th birthday.
- Excellent yield on all balances. This account yields 3.10% APY on all balances. That’s much better than savings accounts like the Capital One 360 Kids Savings Account, which has a comparatively paltry yield of 0.30% APY.
- Subaccounts (supplemental accounts) for specific savings goals. This feature helps your kid set aside cash for specific savings goals and makes it easier to keep them straight. It reduces temptation to raid purpose-built savings for short-term gratification too.
Credit unions aren’t exactly the same as banks, but the accounts you open usually have the same great features — maybe even better ones. That’s certainly the case with the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account.
Age Requirements, Ownership, & Account Opening Process
The Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account is a joint savings account open to kids 12 and under with no minimum age. The adult co-owner must be a parent or legal guardian over 18 years old.
Unlike many kid-friendly savings accounts, kids 13 and older aren’t eligible to open a new Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account. However, an account opened before age 13 can remain open as long as the child wishes. The account never converts to an adult savings account, so it’s not appropriate for long-term use.
You can open an Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account online. After joining Alliant Credit Union (if you haven’t already), simply download the enrollment form, fill it out in your browser, and submit it by secure email, fax, or snail mail.
Account Yield (Interest)
This account yields 3.10% APY on all balances. This rate is subject to change with prevailing interest rates or for any reason at Alliant Credit Union’s discretion.
Account Fees & Minimums
This account has no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fee when you opt into e-statements. Otherwise, there’s a $5 monthly maintenance fee. And Alliant covers the customary $5 opening deposit as a courtesy to young savers.
Supplemental Savings Accounts (Subaccounts)
You can open multiple savings subaccounts within your Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account. Alliant calls these “supplemental savings accounts,” and they’re useful for single-purpose or clearly defined savings goals, such as school supplies, a new bike, or even a new car (in due time).
You can connect this account to an existing Alliant Credit Union checking account for fast internal transfers or link it to any external U.S. bank or credit union account — or both. Inbound and outbound transfers cost nothing to process, but the adult co-owner must approve all transactions.
Mobile Banking Tools
This account has a useful mobile app that can do pretty much everything the web portal can. Use it to execute transfers between accounts, deposit paper checks, and set and track savings goals.
Parental Monitoring & Controls
The Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account has strict parental controls. The adult co-owner must approve all account activity, including all inbound and outbound transfers, so there’s little risk of misuse by the child co-owner.
This account comes with up to $250,000 in deposit insurance backed by the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA. That’s the credit union industry’s answer to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and its insurance is just as strong.
Advantages of the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account
The Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account is pretty much a parent’s dream savings account for their younger savers. All its features help you teach your little one to save money responsibly.
- No minimum age requirement. Your kid can open this account while they’re still in diapers — you’ll have to be there, of course.
- Strict parental controls. The adult co-owner must approve all account activity, including all inbound and outbound transfers. That leaves very little room for misuse — intentional or otherwise — by the younger account holder. But it may make this account a bit cumbersome for older kids you trust.
- Excellent yield on all balances. This account’s 3.10% APY interest rate ranks among the best of any kid-friendly savings account. There’s no better way to show your kid the power of compound interest.
- Option to open multiple subaccounts for savings goals. You can segment this account into more manageable subaccounts earmarked for specific purposes or savings goals: emergency fund, new bike fund, new car fund, or anything else. That’s much more convenient — and much less tempting — than one big account.
- Loose membership requirements. Basically anyone can join Alliant Credit Union. That wasn’t always the case; Alliant’s original members were United Airlines employees and residents of a handful of Chicago suburbs. To this day, many credit unions have similarly restrictive membership requirements.
- No monthly maintenance fee with e-statements. This account has no monthly maintenance fee when you opt into e-statements, which Alliant delivers straight to your inbox each month. It’s hard to imagine an easier way to avoid a $5 monthly charge.
Alliant truly is one of the best savings account for little kids. But nothing is perfect. These are the biggest drawbacks of the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account.
- Kids 13 and up can’t open a new account. Though it has no minimum age to open, this account does have a maximum age for new child co-owners: 13. The good news is you can keep a previously opened account active as long as you’d like.
- No upgrade to an adult account. This is very much a kids’ savings account. Unlike some kid-friendly bank and credit union accounts, Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings doesn’t transform into an adult account when the child co-owner turns 18. You need another savings account for the rest of your life.
How the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account Stacks Up
Before applying for the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account, make sure it’s the best choice for your child. See how it compares to the Capital One 360 Kids Savings Account, another popular savings account for kids.
|Alliant Kids Savings||360 Kids Savings|
|Account Yield||3.10% APY||0.30% APY|
|Minimum Balance||$5 to open, covered by Alliant||$0|
|Parental Controls||Must approve all activity||Must approve all transfers|
If this is your first time hearing about Alliant Credit Union, you’re right to be skeptical of our claims that its kid-friendly savings account is one of the best on the market. Why should you trust in a random credit union to safeguard your kid’s nest egg when you can rely on a trillion-dollar bank that’s legitimately too big to fail, like Chase or Wells Fargo?
Because the Alliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account is better than those institutions’ kid-friendly savings accounts, that’s why. Its yield is excellent. There’s no minimum age to open. And the parental controls are second to none.
And your kid won’t have this account forever. With a maximum account-opening age of 12, it’s designed for kids to grow out of. What happens next is your call.