Picking up Nickels

Thursday, May 17, 2012

ING Direct Money Checking Account for Teens

After watching the young Frugalsons accumulate a nice wad of cash from birthday gifts and the like and because I think it is critical for my kids to learn about handling their money responsibly, I opened ING Direct Money "Teen Checking" accounts for each of them a few weeks ago. This is basically a checking account (minus the physical checks) for minors that is structured as a joint account with an adult.

The ING Direct Money account boasts the following features:

  • Mastercard debit card for the teen with free ATM access to the Allpoint ATM Network
  • No fees or minimum balances
  • 0.25% APY interest on balances
  • Eligible for $25 referral bonus
  • Teen account access via computer or smartphone app
  • CheckMate remote deposit service
  • Adult only ACH access
  • Real-time text/email alerts
  • Available for minors starting at age eight

The online application process was pretty straight-forward and I had the new account open and visible from my existing ten year old ING Direct login as well as the kids new logins I created within a few minutes. As always, please note that this account is eligible for a $25 account opening bonus as long as the minor is a new ING Direct customer, so it is worth getting yourself a referral link to help the young saver get an easy twenty five bucks to get started.

While the initial part of the process doesn't take long, be prepared to wait an additional week for the USPS to deliver the debit card and an additional week after that for the ATM/debit pin number to arrive.

Now that we've had the accounts open for a few weeks, I have to say that I like the parental monitoring and control that ING Direct provides. While the kid can independently make debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals, I like the automated emails that I get when my kids have made a debit card purchase that detail the dollar amount and location of the purchase. To quote Ronald Reagan, "trust but verify". :)

Finally, according to ING Direct the $25 bonus is added to the Money account after 35 days as long as one signature or PIN-based transaction is made within 30 days (not sure if this is after opening the account or activating the ATM card).

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