This guide will help you find the best rates for your children’s savings with our unique tables.
Best children’s easy-access savings accounts
If you want your child to be actively involved in managing their own money, an easy-access account is the obvious choice. As the name suggests, you or your child can add and withdraw money at any time.
But, what you can get in flexibility you often lose in interest – interest rates are variable and tend to be lower than that of regular savers and fixed-rate accounts.
Still, these accounts are ideal if your child wants to save their pocket money for a specific treat.
Top-rate account: HSBC My Savings
HSBC pays 2.75% on balances up to £3,000. However, this drops to 0.5% on the portion of the balance above £3,000.
The account can be opened in branch, though existing HSBC customers can apply via a video call through their app. A minimum initial deposit of £10 is required.
Once opened, the account can then be managed in branch, online, over the phone or via the mobile app, with no withdrawal limit or notice period.
Best children’s fixed-rate savings accounts
Fixed-rate savings accounts, also known as bonds, require you to tie your money up for a specific term, typically between one and five years.
Withdrawals are generally not permitted at all, and providers that do allow you to take money out will charge a penalty.
Usually, the reward for this inflexibility is a higher interest rate – but there are only a handful of fixed-rate accounts for children on the market, and these can be beaten by the best easy-access accounts or regular savers.
Equally, some adult fixed-rate accounts are open to savers of any age, so there may be better returns available.
Top-rate account: The Cambridge Building Society three-year children’s fixed-rate bond
Cambridge Building Society pays 1.5% AER on savings between £1,000-£20,000. The account can be managed in branch or via post, and funds can’t be added after the account has been opened.
No withdrawals or closures are permitted within the three-year term. At the end of three years, the savings and accrued interest will be transferred to an instant-access Maturity Account.
How do children’s savings accounts work?
Children’s savings accounts generally work in the same way as adult ones, however, you’ll need to check with individual providers to see how each account can be opened and managed.
Usually, a child’s parent or legal guardian will need to be with them to open the account, but the child may be able to manage the account themselves as they get older.
Is it better to save in a Junior Isa instead?
You may prefer to make the most of your child’s tax-free Junior Isa allowance every year (£9,000 in 2022-23, unchanged from 2021-22).
Isas are an excellent vehicle for keeping savings tax-free long-term. Junior Isa money is locked away until the child turns 18 – at which point it converts to an adult Isa and the child has full control over the money.
However, in most cases your child won’t pay tax on savings anyway, so it makes sense to check rates across the market.
Find out more in our guide to the best Junior cash Isas.
Do children pay tax on savings?
Theoretically yes, however, children are entitled to income tax allowances – including the new personal savings allowance – just like adults.
That means, for the 2022-23 tax year, children will only pay tax if they earn more than £18,570 a year – made up of the £12,570 personal allowance, the £5,000 starting rate for savings and the £1,000 personal savings allowance.
One word of warning is that money given by parents and guardians and saved in a non-Isa account is taxable if it generates interest over £100 per year (per parent). This won’t apply to gifts from other family members.
We explain tax children pay on their savings, and the parents’ ‘£100 rule’ in our children and income tax guide.
Are there bank accounts for children?
Current accounts aimed at children are another useful tool for developing money-management skills and can be opened from age 11.
Many also pay interest on any money saved in the account, and come with the option of giving the child a debit card or cash card.