5 questions for a good start to your financial life!
Your own account at last! Banks’ offerings regarding youth accounts are particularly broad and varied. This is what you need to look out for:
What should a youth account be able to do?
A youth account should fulfil every function that you expect from an account: paying in money, withdrawing it, making transfers and saving it – ideally both online as well as through a bank’s branch network. Favourable conditions include free account management, a free debit card, as various options for withdrawing money from an automatic teller machine (ATM), as well as in the best case also paying interest on credit balances. Overdrafts for youth accounts and loans to youths are not generally provided and are only possible in exceptional cases.
A youth account – from what age?
Most banks offer a youth age from the age of 13. Some banks may even offer a youth account from the age of 9, although in such cases a child’s parents must agree to the opening of an account. At the age of 14 teenagers may open their account themselves and may freely dispose of their pocket money paid in or their first wages. Banks are required to observe particular due diligence obligations in business relationships with people in this age group! Issuing a debit card prior to someone’s 18th birthday requires explicit parental approval. Where youths already have a regular income, then they may already apply for a debit card on their own. Furthermore, they are limited to withdrawing EUR 400 per week from an automatic teller machine (ATM).
Is a youth account free of charge?
Youth accounts are frequently advertised as being a “free account” in adverts. Beware – you often have to pay charges and fees for some services! Where an overdraft on a youth account is approved in exceptional circumstances, either with parental approval or for apprentices, then very high overdraft interest rated often apply. Inform yourself in any case about what charges there are, as well as how high they are. It is important to compare the different youth accounts offered by different banks.
How can I compare different youth accounts?
An account is an account, right? No. The Arbeiterkammer’s Bankenrechner provides a good market overview about the various offers and their conditions. The Arbeiterkammer’s Bankenrechner
is the legally approved official Austrian account comparison site. Currently it covers around 50 large and regional banks.
What must I be aware of with youth accounts?
It is important for you to know, when the youth account is converted into a normal current account. From this point on, the normal, higher account fees must be paid. Young adults may suddenly be confronted with unexpected costs. Many youth accounts contain membership of a club with advantages like discounts when shopping, reduced concert tickets etc.Caution: even if something is cheap, it still has to be paid for!
InterestYou receive savings interest, also known as interest on credit balances. You have to pay overdraft interest, also known as debit interest.
Bankenrechner (bank account comparison)on the Arbeiterkammer’s portal (in German only).
Legal Capacity: from what age may contracts be concluded and large amounts be spent?
- Up to the age of 7: small children may only make small purchases, e.g. a bar of chocolate.
- Aged 7 – 14: only beneficial transactions can be concluded from which no obligations arise, e.g. accepting a gift.
- Aged 14 – 18: you can spend your own money freely – whether it is income or money that you have been given. Where a sale and purchase agreement is concluded that endangers their livelihood, then the agreement is invalid.
- From the age of 18: full legal capacity.