If your high schooler is ready for a checking account of their own — so long as it has training wheels — then Chase High School Checking needs to be in the running.
Though it doesn’t earn interest on balances or rewards on debit card purchases, it claims a spot on our list of the best bank accounts for kids thanks to useful educational features, a Visa debit card that works virtually everywhere Visa is accepted, and direct deposit flexibility for teens who work.
Size up Chase High School Checking and see whether it makes sense for your family.
What Is Chase High School Checking?
Chase High School Checking is a checking account designed for teens between the ages of 13 and 17. It’s structured as a joint ownership account and requires an adult co-owner, such as a parent or guardian. The younger owner and adult owner have equal account privileges.
Chase High School Checking comes with a Visa debit card, savings goals and automation with a linked Chase savings account, and educational tools (including an age-appropriate finance-themed graphic novel). It supports employer direct deposit but lacks some basic banking features, including overdraft protection.
But Chase High School Checking is a temporary stop on the journey to financial freedom. It automatically converts to an adult Chase checking account when the younger account holder turns 19.
What Sets Chase High School Checking Apart?
Chase High School Checking stands out for a few key reasons. Not all are good.
- Robust educational features. Chase High School Checking has more comprehensive education resources than the typical teen checking account. That’s especially nice for teens whose high schools lack basic financial literacy coursework.
- Good balance of parental oversight and teen freedom. Chase High School Checking’s parental controls are more like parental monitoring tools. As co-owners, parents can still pull funds from an account if the younger user consistently overspends or otherwise abuses trust, but there aren’t any hard spending limits or merchant restrictions that might feel overbearing.
- Account opening and linked account restrictions. Chase High School Checking has two inconvenient restrictions worth noting upfront. One, you must open at a Chase branch, which is a potential deal-breaker if you don’t live near one. Two, the adult account holder must have an existing Chase account, which requires additional time and effort to set up and may come with monthly maintenance fees.
Key Features of Chase High School Checking
Overall, this is a solid teen checking account. But before you apply for a Chase High School Checking account, get familiar with its core features and potential limitations.
Account Minimums & Fees
Chase High School Checking has no minimum deposit or balance requirement. There’s also no monthly maintenance fee.
Visa Debit Card
This account comes with a Visa debit card that’s accepted by millions of merchants worldwide. You can add it to popular mobile wallets, including Google Pay and Apple Pay, for contactless payments.
ATM Access & Fees
Chase has about 16,000 in-network ATMs with no withdrawal fees. Third-party ATM withdrawal fees may apply outside this network, so use Chase’s ATM finder (in the mobile app or on Chase’s website) to reduce your risk.
Parental Monitoring & Account Management
The adult account holder has full access to their jointly owned Chase High School Checking account through Chase’s web portal and mobile app. You can keep tabs on your kid’s spending in real time and add or withdraw funds as needed.
You can also set up real-time account alerts for purchase and cash withdrawal transactions.
Savings Goals & Automation
Link a Chase savings account to your Chase High School Checking account to enable automated recurring savings transfers. There’s no monthly fee on the savings account if one account holder is under 18 — normally, it’s $5 per month.
Chase Savings has three different types of savings:
- Safety Net, essentially an emergency fund
- General savings, a big chunk of money with no assigned purpose
- Custom goals, single-purpose savings buckets for things like a down payment on a car, school supplies, or college tuition
You can set up to eight custom goals. There’s no way for parents to reward younger account holders for meeting goals, but as a joint account holder, the parent can always manually transfer funds to the checking or linked savings account.
Existing Chase Account Requirement
The parent co-owner must have an eligible existing Chase checking account to open a Chase High School Checking account. Most adult Chase checking accounts are eligible, with the notable exception of Chase Secure Banking.
Account Upgrade at Age 19
This account automatically converts to a Chase Total Checking account when the younger account holder turns 19. You don’t have to take action, though if the teen wants a different account, they must close the new one and reapply.
This account comes with up to $250,000 in deposit insurance through the FDIC.
Advantages of Chase High School Checking
Chase High School Checking has a lot of selling points, especially for parents who want to give teens as much freedom as possible while still checking in on them as needed.
- No monthly maintenance fee. Chase High School Checking has no monthly maintenance fee. This is unusual in Chase World, where most checking accounts come with monthly fees. And if you open a linked savings account and auto-save at least $25 per month, you won’t pay a monthly fee on the savings account, either, until you turn 18.
- Seamless, automated savings tools. Chase High School Checking has a user-friendly savings automation tool that makes it easy for kids (and parents) to set aside funds without thinking about it. You can customize savings goals as well and save for multiple goals simultaneously.
- Useful educational features. Chase has lots of useful educational tools for kids and parents, including a graphic novel that breaks down basic finance concepts and makes learning about money management fun (really).
- Easy parental monitoring. The Chase mobile app gives adult account holders complete visibility into your kid’s account activity. For more insight, set up automatic alerts that tell you in real time where and how much your kid is spending.
- Automatically upgrades to Chase Total Checking at age 19. This account automatically upgrades to Chase Total Checking when the younger account holder turns 19. At that point, they can remove the adult account holder or close the account altogether (many 19-year-olds opt for a Chase College Checking account instead).
The Chase High School Checking account isn’t perfect. It includes some cons that may be downright deal-breakers for some people. Consider these potential downsides before opening one for your teen.
- Must open at a Chase branch. Unlike most Chase checking accounts, you can’t open a Chase High School Checking account online. You must open in a branch, and both applicants (the adult and teen) must be present.
- Parent must have an existing Chase account. The adult account holder needs an eligible Chase checking account before applying for a Chase High School Checking account. That adds some time and friction to the process, especially for new-to-Chase customers.
- No rewards on debit card purchases. This account earns no rewards on debit card purchases. Some kid-friendly debit cards do.
- No interest on balances. This account earns no interest on balances. Some kid-friendly checking accounts and debit cards do, and if that’s important to you, Chase High School Checking probably isn’t right for you.
- No overdraft protection. Some parents may consider the lack of overdraft protection an advantage, but it’s problematic in a real emergency.
How Chase High School Checking Stacks Up
Chase High School Checking is a solid choice for teens and their parents, but it’s not the only maintenance-fee-free checking joint checking account designed for youngsters. See how it compares to a popular alternative: the Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account.
|Chase High School Checking||Capital One MONEY|
|Account Yield||None||0.10% APY|
|Linked Account||Must be with Chase||Any bank|
Chase High School Checking bridges the gap between Chase First Banking, which is designed for younger kids 6 to 17, and Chase College Checking, for young people aged 17 to 23.
It’s definitely not an adult checking account. But with close parental monitoring capabilities rather than strict controls, and direct deposit compatibility, Chase High School Checking is definitely appropriate for working teens who freely spend their own money.
For many parents, that’s a happy medium. And if your teen isn’t quite ready for that level of financial autonomy, there’s always Chase First Banking.