Children’s savings accounts in the UAE

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  • It is not unusual for families to start thinking about their children’s finances early on.
  • Banks in the UAE are encouraging a culture of saving in hopes to instill an important value from a very young age.
  • It is important to prepare your children to be responsible and empowered adults around money.
  • We’ve listed the best children’s savings account in the UAE and why we love them.

Unforeseen circumstances? Need emergency cash? Your best weapon to prepare for what you never see coming could be the way you handle your finances. And as adults, we all know this.

But what if we start teaching our minors such good financial habits? It’s never too early to learn about saving and spending prudently, and banks in the UAE are catering to the newly adopted awareness among its residents.

baby saving money

Considering the soaring demand for children’s savings accounts, numerous banks in the UAE – whether local or international – are launching and promoting child savings accounts that appeal to young parents: Money boxes, special cartoon characters that teach the ABCs of saving, complimentary pre-paid cards, colorful welcome packs and activity books.
In a nutshell, all that it takes to make the idea of saving fun and comfortable, enjoyable and desirable for both parents and offspring, as opposed to the serious face of adult banking.

Now while pursuing a child’s savings account, there are benefits as well as the drawbacks to be aware of:

Pros:

  • The child’s money would be separate and not comingled with their parents’.
  • Long-term planning and saving ensure future financial stability.
  • Banks tend to provide better benefits and attractive perks for children’s accounts.
  • It helps the child learn the process of interacting at a bank early on.
  • You have somewhere to store your baby/child’s monetary gifts.
  • It makes it easier to keep track of what is yours and what is for your child, instead of having to figure out what you “owe” them.
  • It gives the child a boost of confidence and a taste of ownership as they grow up, and it’s a great teaching tool about managing money and the power of compound interest.
  • It instills some good financial principals.

Cons:

  • The tax rules, aka tax deductions. Since most banks require an adult/child guardian to be operating on the account and maintaining control over it, this may somewhat affect the parents’ financial position.
  • Maximum age to open a child’s savings account could vary depending on the bank you choose to deal with, and interest rates could also therefore vary. Every bank has its own eligibility criteria which need to be checked individually.
  • Saving with no goal. Having a purpose for the savings can be more effective in the long run.
  • At the early stages of the child’s life, there could seem to be no big difference as to whether you’re putting the money in your own savings account or in one that you’ve invested in for your child.
  • As per the UAE laws, your child cannot do any transactions on the account until he/she reaches the age of 18. However, if you wish to allow your child a debit card, some banks can provide them for children after the age of 15.
  • The account deactivates once the child reaches the age of 18, and needs to be converted to a regular savings account.

In the UAE, banks offer a vast variety of children’s savings accounts. And this might seem confusing. But having a clear perspective of your financial needs and goals can help you select one that best suits your needs.

The best three accounts

We’ve rounded up three of the best savings accounts for kids, however, below is the complete list of banks in the UAE that offer children’s savings accounts:

  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) – Child Saver account
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) – Banoon Children’s savings account
  • HSBC – HSBC Premier Children’s savings account
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) – First Step Savings account
  • Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) – Shaatir savings account
  • Commercial Bank International (CBI) – CBI Saver account
  • National Bank of Oman (NBO) – Al Amaal Child savings account
  • Sharjah Islamic Bank – Sharjah Islamic Bank Hassalati account
  • Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) – CBD Mustaqbali Saving Scheme
  • First Gulf Bank (FGB) – FGB Child First savings account
  • Emirates Islamic – Emirates Islamic Child savings account
  • Union National Bank – Al Ahbab account

Aqeed’s picks:

NBAD’s first step savings account

Why we love it:

  • This account offers a 0.10% higher interest rate than any of its other regular savings accounts.
  • It is available for children below 14 years of age and doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement
  • It comes with a free NBAD MasterCard Platinum debit card and complimentary lounge access at several airports in the Middle East

For more information: https://www.nbad.com/en-ae/personal-banking/accounts/existing-customers-accounts/first-step-savings-account.html

DIB Shaatir savings account

Why we love it:

  • Higher expected profits
  • No maintenance fees
  • Shaatir children’s website
  • Shaatir ATM Card for child (displays balance inquiry only)
  • 24-hour Al Islami Phone Banking and Online Banking

For more information: http://www.dib.ae/personal-banking/accounts/shaatir-savings-account/overview

Emirates Islamic child savings account

Why we love it:

  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Comes with a welcome gift for children under eight years of age
  • Parents can also apply for a free debit or prepaid card and avail an optional Life Takaful cover of up to AED 120,000 with the child as beneficiary.

For more information: https://www.emiratesislamic.ae/eng/personal-banking/accounts/savings-account/child-savings-account/

Saving for your children’s future will indeed help fulfill their dreams. And good financial habits cultivated at a young age go a long way in shaping children’s adulthood. So, getting them off to a great start with their savings is always a great idea! And how you do it doesn’t matter as much. But a children’s savings account is a great starting point.

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