Interactive Investor

The best cash savings accounts for children

19th September 2018 07:00

Edmund Greaves from interactive investor

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You can open savings accounts for your kids as soon as they’re born. Here are our picks of the best deals for young savers

Parents who are starting to build up savings for their kids and want easy access to the money, or don’t feel investing is right for them, should consider the best cash options available.

Savings rates on kids’ accounts are by and large better than those offered to adults – although some accounts come with caveats and rules that you should be aware of before you dive in to them.

Here are the Moneywise best buys for kids’ cash savings.

  • When a pension is (not quite) child’s play

Best for lump sum deposits

Our top pick for a lump sum is the Santander 123 Mini current account. It pays 3% on balances between £300 and £2,000. The account is available to all kids from new born to age 17, although parents or guardians have full control of the account until the child turns 11. The account can be opened online, in branch or by post. Unlike the adult equivalent, the account does not charge a monthly fee.

If you’d like to get them started at an earlier age, a good option may be the HSBC MySavings account.

This account pays 3% on balances up to £3,000 and 0.5% on everything above this. Kids can have an account from the age of seven up to 17. When your child turns 11, HSBC offers them a current account too; you must open this account in-branch, and the initial deposit is just £10, with no maximum.

  • The best funds to boost your children’s savings

Best for monthly saving

If you’d like to make monthly deposits, the best account is the Halifax Kids’ Regular Saver. You can save from £10 to £100 a month for a year, and the account pays 4.5% on balances up to £1,200. It can be opened online or in-branch. However, one drawback is that it’s only available to children aged 15 or under.

Alternatively, the Saffron Building Society Children’s Regular Saver can be opened in branch or by post and pays 4% interest. You can pay in from £5 to £100 a month for a year, up to a maximum balance of £1,200.

Again, however, this account is only available to children aged 15 or under.

As both these accounts only last for a year, make plans to seek alternatives after 12 months to ensure a decent rate of interest is still paid on your child’s money.

Best Cash Junior Isas

If you’d like to save tax-efficiently for your kids, a Cash Junior Isa (Jisa) is worth considering. While adults have an annual £20,000 Isa allowance, children are allowed to save £4,260 tax-efficiently in a Jisa in the 2018/19 tax year. Parents and relatives can contribute to a Jisa on top of their own Isa allowance.

The current best buy for Cash Jisas is the Coventry Building Society Junior Cash Isa. This account pays a handsome 3.6% interest on balances from £1 up to a maximum of £31,468. This means you can contribute the maximum tax-free amount for just under seven years (assuming the Jisa allowance doesn’t change in the future).

Withdrawals are permitted after the child’s 18th birthday. Once your child reaches this milestone the cash will remain tax free for life. This account can be opened online, by post, in-branch or by phone.

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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