Kid-friendly Finances

Opening a first savings account at OnPoint Community Credit Union

I remember opening a savings account when I was a kid—I particularly remember my blue passbook and feeling proud and grown-up. So I was excited when my 8-year-old daughter Maggie grew interested in a savings account.

It was about time since Maggie had been hiding ever-moving caches of cash around the house. After a few scares over lost money, I talked to her about OnPoint Savers, a special savings account for kids.

Maggie was more willing to open a savings account than I anticipated. And when I told her about the bonus from OnPoint—that they would deposit $55 in her account when she opened it (as a special benefit for kid investors*), her eyes lit up and her face broke into a huge smile. 

But then she looked at me sharply and said, “Why?” 

“That’s a good question,” I said, “It’s good to ask questions like that.” (I was also chuckling because the apple does not fall far from the tree.) I explained that saving money was such an important habit that OnPoint wanted to help kids get started. I also told her a little about the 5.00% APY (Annual Percentage Yield)*, but I found myself struggling to spell out how it worked.

We went to the NW 27th & Vaughn Branch and met with two member service representatives, and it took about fifteen minutes to open the account. They answered all Maggie’s questions, they were personable and friendly, and they were enthusiastic about her new account. They even tackled the trickier question about how the interest is paid out, and what exactly 5.00% APY means. Plus Maggie even got to sign the electronic signature pad a few times. 

One question came up about the $5 minimum balance—Maggie was a little alarmed that she always had to have $5 in the account and could not take it out. It seemed like she was losing that $5. Our service representative Megan said that it meant that Maggie was a member of—and a part owner in—the credit union. I was struck by that aspect of a credit union, and I think I was impressed more by it than Maggie was.

When the time came, I was worried that Maggie would be sad about actually parting with her money (she came into the credit union grasping the bills in her hands), but she was fine to hand it over and receive a receipt in exchange.

A few tips and things to know:

  • You’ll need your child’s social security number, as well as your own identification and a credit card. A parent is also listed on the account.
  • Because you sit down and meet with a member service representative, it will take about fifteen minutes. If it’s busy, you may need to wait. Some good times to go are weekdays in the afternoon, after lunch (an often busy time) and before the end-of-day rush. If you go on Saturday, earlier is better. Check your local branch’s hours before you head out.
  • We had the option of adding an ATM card, and the question stumped us for a minute. I knew Maggie would love to have an ATM card, but I could already imagine us not being able to find it. We opted to add the card later. A debit card can also be added as part of the checking account that kids can open when they turn 13.
  • You can set up online banking, so there aren’t passbooks anymore. But Maggie did get a bag of goodies, including a water bottle, a piggy bank, and a booklet about finances that she started reading before we left the building.

Opening a savings account is a great way to teach kids about finances, and a memorable rite of passage. OnPoint makes it special with friendly and helpful staff, fun goodies, and great financial incentives, like the automatic deposit bonus and strong interest rate. It was great to have fun doing something good. And hopefully, that makes building the important habit of saving that much easier. 

*OnPoint Savers Account rate of 5.00% APY is subject to change. Stated APY is for balances up to $500; balances of $500.01 and higher earn posted Regular Savings Account rate. Account must be established for members age 17 or younger by parent or guardian with a minimum $25 deposit. Parent or legal guardian must be on the membership and present to open the OnPoint Savers Account. When primary member attains the age of 18, accounts will be converted to Regular Savings Account, earning that account’s published rate at that time. Fiduciary memberships, including UTTMA and Minor Settlement Accounts are not eligible for OnPoint Savers. One OnPoint Savers Account per member/TIN. One $55 bonus per tax ID for new members only. Cannot be combined with Refer a Friend bonus or other promotional offers.

The full account balance APY is calculated by combining the 5.00% APY earnings on the first $500 with the standard APY on the remaining balance above $500.

Federally insured by NCUA.

Michelle Carew
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