Benchmark is committed to building a community of financially secure consumers by starting them young!
The YES Club for kids 5 - 12
Our YES Club is designed for kids as young as 5 years old. The club and corresponding account place an emphasis on saving and strive to teach young children the importance of making wise financial decisions. To help them develop good financial habits, each child is given a piggy bank, a transaction register, a booklet about saving, and a membership card at account opening. They are encouraged to make regular deposits to their account by getting the chance to be a Saver of the Month* and/or a Saver of the Year. An online learning center with games and ongoing activities like Summer Fun Days and story/coloring contests also keep them engaged.
*Each branch selects a Saver of the Month.
$mart$tart for Teens 13 - 17
Once a child turns 13, he or she is invited to take part in the $mart$tart program which was developed as a way to help the child take the next step toward building a solid financial foundation. In addition to promoting a savings habit, $mart$tart introduces the teen to money management concepts. The main feature of this program is a special checking account and accompanying debit card with a design that has teen appeal. The account has parental controls attached to it so that a parent or guardian can monitor and set limits on its usage. The limits can be changed as the child matures. A special teen activity center offers online games and tools that teach financial concepts.
The $mart$tart program also offers older teens the opportunity to compete for a scholarship. Called the $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarship, it is awarded to high school seniors demonstrating a high level of community involvement.
The Bridge for young adults 18 - 25
At 18, life usually changes significantly for a teen. He or she goes off to college, enrolls in a school to learn a trade, or enters the working world full time. The Bridge is an account with special features and opportunities designed to help with these types of transitions. The Bridge checking account focuses on the use of electronic and mobile services and offers refunds on ATM fees. It also offers account holders the opportunity to apply for a Benchmark credit card so that they can build a credit history.
Benchmark also offers a number of resources for parents and young adults.
For the educator, we offer a wealth of resources for teachers.