Natwest Adapt Account Review | Best Bank Accounts for Teens

Thu 29 Mar 2018 // #Banking

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Quick Read

(Only got a minute? This is what you need to know)

  • Natwest’s Adapt bank account is a great all-rounder and one of our favourite accounts for teens.
  • Your money will be protected up to a maximum £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • Comes with a full Visa Debit card, mobile banking app and 24/7 help.
  • 1% interest on balances in your account.
  • Online account opening. 16 year olds can open the account themselves, but if you’re under 16 you’ll need your parent or guardian to open the account on your behalf.
  • No fees and charges.
  • Natwest are also one of our favourite student bank accounts too… which might be important to you if you are planning on going to Uni and want an easy banking transition.

Natwest Adapt Account Review | Best Bank Accounts for Teens

(Reading time: 7.8 minutes)

Natwest’s Adapt bank account for teens is a great all-rounder. They offer 1% interest on any balance in the account, a full debit card and easy online account opening. Natwest are also one of our favourite student bank accounts too… which might be important to you if you are planning on going to Uni and want an easy banking transition.


Natwest Adapt Account Overview:

NatWest is a large UK bank having formed in 1968, which has been part of Royal Bank of Scotland since 2000. The bank has a large network throughout the UK with 960 branches, 3,400 cash machines and 7.5million personal customers. Money held in NatWest accounts are covered up to £85,000 per person by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Check out our blog on how your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). NatWest offer an array of personal banking products and solutions. Their NatWest Adapt Account is their offering designed for 11-18 year olds.


What is a bank account for teens?

A bank account for teenagers works just like any other account. The key exception is that you will not be offered credit in any form (like an overdraft or credit card). You can open a savings accounts, a current account or a combination of the two. You’ll also get a cash card or a debit card and will likely get access to online banking.

Some of the key things that you should probably consider when picking a teen bank account is what kind of card you want (cash or debit card), how much you will earn on savings or balances and how old you are. It’s important to remember that if you’re under 16, you will need your parent or guardian’s permission to open the account and so you will need their input into your decision. Also, if you are approaching 18, you may want to think about the kind of bank account you will need once you outgrow the NatWest Adapt Account.


Check Out Natwest Adapt Account


Do you get a cash card or a debit card with NatWest Adapt Account?

Most bank accounts for teens will offer debit cards as standard with the account, but some allow you to choose between a cash card and a debit card.

Cash cards are linked to your bank account and simply let you withdraw cash from an ATM. A debit card does this too, but also allows you to pay for items in shops and online and can also be linked to cool new stuff like Apple Pay. Debit cards are great, and give you the most flexibility, but if you are under 16 you will probably need your parent's permission to get one.

The NatWest Adapt Account offers a Visa Debit Card, but do not have the option of a cash card. If you would prefer to have a cash card then you may want to look at Nationwide Flex One Account, Barclays BarclayPlus Account, Santander 123 Mini, TSB Under 19s or Lloyds Under 19s. If you are interested you can check out our guide to banking for teens.


How much interest will I earn with Natwest Adapt Account?

Do you think you’ll want to use your bank account to save money as well? If so, you should consider an account with as high an interest rate on savings as possible. Even if you don’t expect a huge amount of savings, you should check out what you’ll be paid on your bank balances - it’s good to get into the habit of paying attention to interest rates and it’s a good way to ensure you’re being sensible with your cash.

Interest rates are often quoted in AER, which stands for Annual Equivalent Rate. AER is designed to make comparing interest rates easier. The calculation assumes that you keep earning interest over a year and takes into account factors such as compound interest. The bottom line is, when you want to compare interest rates, look for the AER number to ensure you are comparing apples to apples.

There are a few different ways you can earn interest on these accounts. Some accounts will simply apply interest to the balances in your main accounts, some will offer a separate savings account which will be different from your main current account, and some will offer a combination of the two.

NatWest Adapt Account takes a nice simple approach to this - they charge a simple, flat rate to any amount you have in your bank account at any time. They will pay you a 1% AER. No need to open an extra savings account (although of course you can if you choose). You can check out our guide to cash savings if of interest.

Bank accounts for teens with the highest interest on balances in your account include TSB Under 19s (2.5% on balances up to £2,500), Santander 123 Mini (1% for balances over £100, 2% over £200 and 3% over £300 and up to £2,000), Halifax (1.51%) and Lloyds Under 19s (1.5% up to £2,500). Banks with separate savings accounts include HSBC MyMoney Bank Account, which offers 2.75% interest on balances up to £3,000.


How do I open a NatWest Adapt Account?

The Natwest Adapt Account is designed for UK residents who are 11 to 18 year olds. If you are 16 years old or older you can apply for the account online by yourself. If you are under 16 you will need your parent or guardian to do it on your behalf. To open an account, there is a fairly simple online form where you will need to fill out some personal details and contact information.


I’m under 16. Why do I need parental permission for my NatWest Adapt Account?

If you are under 16, it is normal for banks to require a parent or guardian’s signature for you to open a bank or receive a debit card. Even if a bank didn’t require formal permission from your parents, you would probably run into a few issues, such as having to prove your address (with a letter from the school, or similar) and having mail arriving at your home address. Once you get to 16 years old, you are pretty much free to do as you please. Although you will have to wait until you turn 18 to access things like credit cards and overdrafts.

It’s important to remember that where your parents bank really should have no impact on where you bank. What’s right for them will not necessarily be right for you. If the reason your parents bank with a particular bank is due to location, then perhaps there are some benefits there. For example, if it’s the only bank in the village and you want to go old school and pay in a cheque (if you even know what one is!), then perhaps you want the convenience of banking there… But, let’s face it, you have the ability now to do your banking almost entirely online or on the phone and you can withdraw your cash for free at most ATMs out there, so proximity is becoming fairly irrelevant at this stage.

If you are under 16, there’s not a lot you can do if your parents insist you bank with a particular bank. If you really disagree with them, perhaps you can send them a link to our page and explain why you have picked the bank you have picked. If a logical and rational argument fails, i’m afraid you’ll just have to wait until you’re 16 years old.


Check Out Natwest Adapt Account


What happens to my NatWest Adapt Account when I turn 18?

The NatWest Adapt Account is for 11 to 18 year olds only and so once you get to 18 you should start thinking about your next steps. NatWest will convert your account for you to one of their other accounts. One of the benefits of NatWest is that if you are planning to go to University then you can ask to convert your account to their Student Account. The NatWest student account is one of our favourites. You can read more in our guide to Student Banking.

If you are not planning on going to University, then you may want an everyday personal bank account. You can read more in our our guide to Personal Banking.


What will the NatWest Adapt Account cost me?

The NatWest Adapt account is free and there are no fees and charges on the account. That’s one of the perks of banking for teens.


Anything else?

Mobile banking app and 24/7 help.