10 Best Bank Accounts For Children In Canada: 0 To 17 Years Old (2022)

According to Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader Jane Rooney, Canadian youth are among the most knowledgable in the world when it comes to financial literacy. 

Perhaps this is the reason that most financial institutions in Canada offer youth-specific bank accounts with unique perks, features, and lower-than-usual fees. 

As a parent, it’s imperative to take advantage of the various teaching moments regarding money while your kids are young. 

Helping them open a bank account and teaching them the ins and outs of banking can be a really crucial step in achieving this financial literacy. 

In today’s post, I’m going to go over the best bank accounts for children in Canada from the ages of 0 to 17. 

Let’s get started!

Best Overall
Scotiabank Getting There Savings Program for Youth
Scotiabank Getting There Savings Program for Youth
  • Available for youth 18 and younger
  • Free and unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Ability to earn and redeem reward points through the Scene+ program
  • Escalating interest on your entire balance
  • No monthly fee with unlimited
Best for Rewards
CIBC Advantage for Youth
CIBC Advantage for Youth
  • Available for youth 18 and younger
  • Unlimited and free transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Earn interest on your entire balance
  • Free SPC membership for student discounts
  • No monthly fee with unlimited
Digital Account
Simplii Financial Student Account
Simplii Financial Student Account
  • Free and unlimited monthly transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Refer-a-friend program $50 bonus
  • Fully digital access with free usage of CIBC ATMs
  • Cashback credit card with lowered interest in the first six months
  • No monthly fee with unlimited

Features You Should Consider Before Choosing A Children’s Account 

Before choosing the right bank account for your child or simply helping them make their decision, take some time to figure out what the purpose of the account will be. 

The two most important things that should guide this decision are the age of your child and the role that you, as a parent or guardian, want to play in your child’s financial journey as they get started. 

Ask yourself questions such as whether or not they are old enough to have full reign of their bank account or whether the account should be joint with you.

Also, consider whether the account will be used for day-to-day transactions by your child or just for saving purposes. 

This should be able to guide the type of account that is appropriate (for example, a chequing account or a savings account) and the ownership of the account (sole ownership by your child, depending on their age, or joint.) 

When you have settled on these concepts, I recommend you consider some of these account features when making your decision about the specific account you will be opening: 

  • Monthly account fees 
  • Transaction limits and fees
  • Interest rates 
  • Availability of student perks and discounts 
  • The specific age requirement and limit for the account 
  • Proximity and availability of branches and/or ATMs to your place of residence/education 

The above features are what I took into consideration when compiling the list of the best children’s accounts in Canada. 

The Best of the Best: Top 10 Children’s Accounts in Canada 

Best Bank Accounts For Children In Canada

Here are the best youth accounts in Canada, in order. Based on your child’s needs and financial habits, I’m sure that something on this list will be able to serve their needs well. 

1. Best Overall: Scotiabank Getting There Savings Program for Youth 

Scotiabank logo

Account Highlights: 

  • Available for youth 18 and younger 
  • No monthly fee with unlimited and free transactions 
  • Unlimited, free Interac e-Transfers
  • Scene+ program: earn and redeem reward points 
  • Earn an escalating interest on your entire balance 

Scotiabank’s Getting There Savings Program for Youth takes the number one spot as the best youth account in Canada. 

The account offers really great features, such as free transactions and Interac e-Transfers, interest earned on your entire balance and reward points at absolutely no monthly costs. 

The Scene+ reward program that is a part of this youth account works like this: 

  • Get one point for every $5 spent on “everyday” purchases
  • Get one point for every $1 spent at Cineplex (the Canadian movie theatre and entertainment centre chain) 
  • Redeem your accrued points for banking, travel, shopping, dining, entertainment, and more

Scotiabank also has good account options for when your child turns 18, whether they continue with their schooling and opt for a student account or not. 

You can learn more about this children’s account here

2. Best for Rewards/Student Discounts: CIBC Advantage for Youth

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Account Highlights: 

  • Available for youth 18 and younger 
  • No monthly fee with unlimited and free transactions 
  • Unlimited, free Interac e-Transfers
  • Earn interest on your entire balance 
  • Free SPC membership for student discounts at a variety of stores across the country 

Free and unlimited transactions coupled with special student discounts at hundreds of stores across Canada is a really good banking setup for youth. 

This CIBC account is available for anyone under the age of 18 and has an SPC discount membership tied to it. It also offers a decent interest rate on the entire account balance despite the fact that it’s a chequing account. 

In my opinion, CIBC does demographic-specific products really well, specifically for youth, immigrants, and seniors. This youth account is no exception, and I would highly recommend it. 

When it’s not through a CIBC account, an SPC membership has an annual cost, so you’re saving money right upfront. There are also no monthly costs or any Interac e-Transfer costs, regardless of how many you send each month. 

You can learn more about this CIBC Advantage for Youth account here

3. Best Digital Youth Account: Simplii Financial Student Account 

simplii financial logo

Account Highlights: 

  • No monthly fees with no minimum balance (including for adults) 
  • Free and unlimited monthly transactions 
  • Free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Refer-a-friend program that offers a $50 bonus
  • Fully digital access with free usage of CIBC ATMs
  • A good youth cashback credit card with lowered interest in the first six months (available only for youth of age) 

It’s no surprise that this Simplii youth account is excellent, specifically because this digital bank is owned by CIBC. 

Simplii’s youth account is better than all other digital options in Canada for a few different reasons: it combines fully digital services with the chance to use the vast network of CIBC ATMs, gives youth the independence to have their own account without being joint with their parents (such as in the case of Tangerine) and has good features such as the refer-a-friend program and special credit card options. 

Find out more about this Simplii digital youth account here

4. Best Credit Union Youth Account: Vancity Chequing Plus Account (BC only)  

Account Highlights: 

  • No monthly fee with no minimum balance 
  • Unlimited debit transactions per month 
  • 90 cent Interac e-Transfers 
  • Free chequebook of 50 cheques 
  • Available for 25 and under 

Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions. In Canada, credit unions operate on a provincial scale. 

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, and its youth account is up to par with the various innovative financial products it offers its members. I would highly recommend it if your child is a BC resident. 

Walking your child through the account opening process at a credit union can also be a really good opportunity to teach them about cooperative principles as well as explain how company shares and investments work. 

This free account is also available to them until they are 25 years of age, which is excellent. You can learn more about this youth account here

I have covered Vancity, as well as many other credit unions in Canada, in this post. If you are interested in other credit unions or don’t live in BC, I would highly recommend checking it out. 

5. Best for Extended Benefits (Until 23): TD Student Chequing Account

TD Logo

Account Highlights: 

  • Available until 23 years of age 
  • No monthly fee 
  • 25 free debit transactions per month 
  • Free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Earn bonus “Stars” at Starbucks 
  • Free paper and digital statements 
  • Free overdraft protection 

All big banks in Canada offer their youth perks to teenagers only, but TD is an exception. 

With special Starbucks point perks, fee-free Interac e-Transfers and a $0 monthly fee, this account is a good option for youth. 

You can learn more about this account here

6. Best Youth Joint Account With Parent: Tangerine Children’s Savings Account

Tangerine logo

Account Highlights: 

  • A high-interest rate paid on the entire balance 
  • No monthly fee with no minimum balance 
  • Free and unlimited transactions
  • Fully digital access
  • Works as a joint account with parent (who must first be a Tangerine customer) 
  • Youth get their own digital login 

This Tangerine account offers the best interest rate in Canada for a youth account. 

You can learn more about this digital youth account here

7. Best for Youth Mobile Banking: RBC Advantage Banking for Students

RBC logo

Account Highlights: 

  • No monthly fee 
  • Unlimited and free transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Youth mobile banking app with special features to increase youth financial literacy 
  • Credit card annual fee rebate of eligible credit cards (for those of age) 
  • Free to use any ATM in Canada (including non-RBC ATMs) 
  • Available for kids over 13 years of age and full-time students 

RBC’s student and youth-specific banking app are really innovative. 

With special explanations and instructions to educate them about banking, along with simplified procedures to send money, no other bank in Canada offers such a feature. 

It’s also good that RBC does not charge the holders of this account for using non-RBC ATMs.

If your kid ever needs money in a pinch, they won’t have to go searching for an RBC ATM to withdraw cash or complete any other ATM transaction. 

You can learn more about this account here

8. Honourable Mention: Meridian Youth savings account (Ontario only) 

Meridian: Best Overall

Account Highlights: 

  • Available for youth 17 and below
  • No monthly fee 
  • Free and unlimited debit transactions
  • $1.50 fee per Interac e-transfer
  • Earn interest on your entire balance 
  • Access to over 43,000 ding-free ATMs 

Meridian is another credit union in Canada. I would definitely recommend them if you are on the hunt for a credit union youth account as an Ontarian. 

Find out more about this Meridian youth account here, and check out this detailed post on the best Ontario credit unions here

9. Honourable Mention: Laurentian Youth Account (Quebec Only) 

Laurentian Youth Account

Account Highlights: 

  • No monthly fee
  • Available for youth 18 and under
  • Free and unlimited transactions 
  • Free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Free paper and digital bank statements

Laurentian is a Quebec-based bank. 

Check out the details of their youth account here

10. Honourable Mention: BMO Bank Account For Kids & Teens

BMO

Account Highlights: 

  • Available for students and youth 13 to 18 years of age 
  • As a youth, you get a BMO Plus Plan free (usually $11 per month), a discounted Performance Plan for $6 per month (normally $16.95), or the BMO Premium Plan for $19.05 per month (normally $30)
  • The free Plus Plan offers 25 free debit transactions per month and free Interac e-Transfers.

BMO is one of the big banks in Canada. 

They are also known for their innovative student credit cards, so I highly recommend keeping them in mind for when your child becomes of the appropriate age to apply for a credit card. 

Learn more about BMO youth offers here

Conclusion 

Best Bank Accounts For Children In Canada

Talking about money can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but it’s a conversation that we must have with our kids in order to equip them with the right financial skills. 

As such, I would highly recommend helping your kids open a bank account at an early age.

This will also be a good opportunity to teach them about how a bank works, good money sense, financial safety, and the various products that will be available to them when they are older. 

I have covered age-specific youth accounts before on Wealth Awesome. 

Check out this post for the Eight Best Canadian Bank Accounts For Kids Under 12 and this post for older kids between 13 to 17 years of age.

Photo of author
Selin is a seasoned personal finance and sustainable banking expert with several years of experience working in Canadian credit unions, both in the branch networks as well as the head office. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, she's also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers youth community and is either working with kids or travelling when she is away from her computer.

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