Best Checking Accounts For Students

Student checking accounts are an excellent way for young adults to transition from living at home to being on their own. These types of bank accounts can help build smart money habits that lead to financial independence. 

However, depending on the financial institution, student checking accounts may come with monthly maintenance fees. The amount varies, but some places charge as much as $15 every month unless the account holder fulfills specific criteria. 

But, there are many banks and credit unions that don’t have these fees. Some waive them for eligible students attending high school, college, a trade school, or other qualifying education programs.

CNBC Select studied checking accounts from various financial institutions (both online and physical) that come with no maintenance fees for students. They ranked the best checking accounts for students based on these factors:

 

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Minimal opening deposit amount ($0 to $50)
  • Available around the country
  • Physical branch locations and online availability
  • Extensive ATM network
  • Insured by the FDIC or NCUA

 

According to CNBC, whether you’re a high school student still living at home or preparing to leave the roost in the upcoming months, these are some of the best checking accounts for students.

Best For University Students

Chase College Checking

  • Monthly maintenance fee: $6, though Chase will waive it for college students between 17 and 24 
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: $5,000 average beginning day balance (students between 17 and 24 exempt)
  • APY: None
  • Free ATM network: 16,000 Chase ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes

 

If you are a university student between the ages of 17 and 24, you can apply for the Chase College Checking Account. All you need to do is bring your student ID or other documentation proving that you are enrolled in school. 

With this account, you don’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees eating at your money. After once you turn 25 or graduate, you’ll have to pay $6 per month, but Chase will waive this fee if you complete at least one direct deposit every month or have an average daily balance of $5,000 or more.

Right now, new account customers can qualify for a $100 bonus when they open a new Chase College Checking account. All you need to do is make ten eligible transactions in the first 60 days after opening your account. This bonus ends on January 14, 2021.

Best Checking Account For Teens

Capital One MONEY Checking Account

  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0 for ages 8 to 18
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: None
  • APY: 0.10%
  • Free ATM network: Over 39,000 Capital One and Allpoint ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes

 

CNBC ranked the Capital One MONEY Checking Account as the best checking account for teens because there are no minimum deposit requirements, and you can earn 0.10% APY on your money. Students 18 and younger can open a joint account with a legal guardian, who can then opt to receive text notifications and email alerts to monitor their child’s spending. 

 

When you turn 18, you can upgrade to a new checking account from Capital One, including the Capital One 360 Checking Account, which consistently tops the best bank account lists thanks to its no-fee policy.

Best Rewards Checking Account

Discover Cashback Debit Account

  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Rewards: 1% cashback on the first $3,000 you spend with your debit card each month
  • APY: 0.10%
  • Free ATM network: Over 60,000 Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None
  • Mobile check deposit: Yes

 

The Discover Cashback Debit Account is a strong contender for the best checking accounts for students. That’s because it offers 1% back on the first $3,000 you spend using your debit card each month. Few banks provide this type of program just for checking accounts, so it’s an excellent way for college students to stretch their dollars further each month. 

You can exchange your cashback rewards as a cash deposit into your Discover bank account, or if you have a Discover credit card associated with the account, you can transfer it to your card.

 

Source
  • White, Alexandria. “Best Student Checking Accounts of November 2020.” CNBC, CNBC, 28 Oct. 2020, www.cnbc.com/select/best-student-checking-accounts/.
Ian Schindler