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We opened online savings accounts for my kids at Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct) when they were pretty young.
So when my son was ready for his first checking account a few years back, we decided to give the Capital One 360 MONEY checking account for teens a try.
The MONEY checking account is like a regular checking account, but with training wheels. It’s designed for a teen and his or her parent(s) to manage together. What that means is:
Teens have full run of the account, including their own sign-on name and password. They can do everything except transfer money (they’ll be able to do that once they reach 18).
Parents also have control of the account, with a separate sign-on name and password. I see Grant’s account when I sign onto my own account. Not only can I keep tabs on things if I need to, it’s easy for me to transfer money into and out of his account from my own accounts.
It comes with a MasterCard debit card for the teen to use. There are 38,000 free ATMs to use. My son found one at a convenience store near our house so that’s where he goes when he needs cash. Either that or he gets cash back when he makes a purchase.
There are no fees and the account does earn interest. Although as we know interest rates are generally pretty horrible right now. (At least if you’re trying to earn money; if you’re borrowing money, they’re great.)
You can deposit checks with a cell phone or a computer, and we do that all the time. You can also deposit checks at an ATM. I have to say that since mobile check deposit became common I don’t have to visit my bank anymore. I deposit all our checks using my mobile phone, for both our online accounts and our bricks and mortar bank accounts.
Teens can set up direct deposit with this account. That’s really great since it often coincides with them getting their first jobs. My son’s lifeguarding paychecks went right into his account.
There are no foreign transaction fees with this account. We know that firsthand because Grant just got back from a senior trip to Italy with his school. He used his MONEY debit card while he was there. The online transactions looked like this:
Please note the debit card purchase at McDonald’s Roma ☺. Grant did call the number on the back of his debit card before he left to tell them he would be traveling abroad and to give them the dates. That’s something anyone should do before leaving the country.
There is no charge for a replacement debit card if the card gets lost unless you need overnight delivery. Not that your teen or mine would ever lose a debit card, but somebody else’s might.
A couple of things this account does not come with: checks and bill pay. Not many teens will have a need for bill pay. And while it seems like they might need checks, my teens never used checks. In fact, my daughter didn’t really need checks until her senior year in college when she needed them to pay the rent.
Side note: as much as I’ve tried and tried, I have never been able to get my kids to sit for a lesson in keeping a check register and balancing it. This generation tends to live and die by online banking and mobile banking apps. Maybe you’ve had more luck with your kids?
Grant did have a complaint with the way the MONEY debit card looked. He felt it didn’t look enough like a regular debit card; that it looked too young for him. He was an older teen when we opened the account (16, I think) so that makes sense. The card has since been redesigned and he’s happy with it.
If your teen doesn’t want to change banks when they outgrow the MONEY account, they can switch to a regular checking account with Capital One 360. When Grant goes to college this fall, he will probably be opening a checking account at the bank on his college campus, but he’ll keep his savings account with Capital One 360.
So, there are some details as well as our experience with the MONEY checking account for teens. You can get more information or open an account online at the Capital One 360 MONEY site.
And let me know if you have any questions. We’ve been Capital One 360 (or ING Direct) customers for a number of years now, and MONEY for teens customers for a couple of years, so I’ll do my best to answer them.