My 14-year-old son wants a debit card. He is a good saver and has a few thousand dollars in his bank account. But he currently saves with BankWest and they have an age restriction of 16 years for debit cards. I am thinking of changing his savings account over to Suncorp, as I think their interest for savings accounts is 2.6%. Any suggestions for institutions that will offer a debit card to a boy of 14 years?
Ah, the BankWest Kids Bonus Saver!
It’s like a slippery dip on a hot Summer’s day … with a dog turd waiting for you at the end.
It certainly looks good ‒ earn 4.75%***** … but then you get … asterisked.
* In addition to setting up a BankWest Kids Bonus Saver you also need to set up another Bankwest account, the Children’s Savings Account (which has a much lower interest rate).
** You only earn the bonus interest when you deposit $25 to $250 per month and make no withdrawals.
*** In any month that you don’t meet these conditions, the standard interest rate (currently 0.01% p.a.) applies.
**** After 12 months everything over $1 in the account will be swept into your linked Children’s Savings Account, “so you can start afresh”, says Bankwest. Yes, you can start afresh … with all your kid’s cash in the lower interest rate Children’s Savings account.
Okay, so the account you mention, Suncorp, pays 1.4%, and a bonus 1.2% ‒ if you deposit at least $20 each month and make no more than one withdrawal each month ‒ so a total of 2.6%. They also allow kids over the age of 11 to get a debit card.
It’s okay, I guess.
But I’d be tempted to go with the CUA Youth eSaver, which pays 4% p.a. with no pesky hoops to jump through, and link it to the CUA Everyday Youth Account, which will give him fee-free banking and a debit card for kids over 14.
(Note: I get paid nothing for mentioning CUA, though I do get a kick out of berating BankWest.).