Updated September 2, 2022

Best Student Checking Accounts

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A student checking account allows you to manage your money with fewer fees and requirements. Find the best student checking accounts offered by the top banks.

A student checking account is one of the first important money decisions in your life.

Not only does it make managing money easier, you also learn financial responsibility and start to build a banking relationship. It's important to choose the right bank for you.

Banks know that students don't have regular income. They offer accounts specifically for their needs. This usually means no monthly service charge, no balance requirements, and fewer fees.

Chase College Checking

With more than 4,700 branches and over 16,000 ATMs, Chase is a great choice if you're looking for a nationwide bank.

The Chase College Checking account has no monthly fees for college students age 17-24 from time of account opening until expected graduation date. You can qualify for up to 5 years.

You also get a free Chase Savings Account for no monthly fee when you link this account for Overdraft Protection. There is no fee for an overdraft protection transfer.[1]

  • $0 to open
  • Free Visa debit card
  • Online bill pay and mobile check deposits
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®
  • Free text banking
  • Account alerts for low balance, large transactions, etc.

After the expected graduation date, the monthly maintenance fee is $6 and can be waived with ONE of the following actions:[2]
  1. Make a direct deposit every monthly statement period.
  2. Maintain an average ending day balance of $5,000 or more.
Or you can convert the College Checking account into a Chase Total Checking account, where you can waive the monthly fee with at least $500 in direct deposits per month.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing Chase is that you can start building a relationship with Chase early. Chase is known for their extremely popular cash-back and travel reward credit cards, but approval may be a bit more stringent.

With a college bank account, by the time you graduate and are ready for a better credit card, you'll already have a few years of history with Chase. This may give you some extra points when determining approval.

Chime Free Mobile Checking

If you don't need to visit a physical branch, then consider opening an online-only account.

Chime is an app geared specifically towards young adults. There are no monthly fees or balance requirements.

It has an automatic savings program to help grow your savings. You can choose to round up change and/or auto-save a percentage of your paycheck.

Other features include:

  • $0 to open[3]
  • Free Chime Visa debit card
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs at convenient locations like Walgreens, 7-Eleven, CVS, and more
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Daily balance push notifications
  • Mobile check deposits

Chime also has a great SpotMe feature. You can overdraw your account up to $200 and Chime will cover it with no overdraft fees. You're eligible to enroll once you have at least $200 in total monthly direct deposits.[4]

Most student checking accounts are for students age 18 or older. If your child is under 18, take a look at the best first checking accounts for kids.

Quontic Checking Account

Looking for something completely unique? With innovative checking accounts and even a wearable payment ring, Quontic Bank may appeal to the modern student.

It offers three checking account options:

  • Cash Rewards Checking: You get 1.5% cashback on all eligible debit card purchases. This lets you get rewarded for your textbook purchases, supplies, eating out, and other daily expenses. The minimum to open is $100.

  • Bitcoin Rewards Checking: Get started on building your crypto portfolio! Quontic offers the first ever Bitcoin-back account. You get 1.5% Bitcoin on all eligible debit card purchases. Crypto has the potential to grow, so it could be worth more in the future. The minimum to open is $500.

  • High Interest Checking: If you'd rather grow your balance, this account earns Up to 1.10% APY. You'd have to make at least 10 eligible debit card purchases of $10 or more each month. The minimum to open is $100.

All checking accounts have no monthly service fee and no minimum daily balance requirements. There are also no overdraft fees.[5]

Tech savvy students will really like the Quontic Pay Ring - the nation's first wearable banking technology. It lets you pay by just knocking your hand against the payment machine. No more pulling out your wallet or phone. And all your Pay Ring purchases get rewards too.

Quontic has a huge ATM network of 90,000+ ATMs. You get free access at any Allpoint, Moneypass, Citibank, and SUM program ATMs.



Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking

Bank of America is another huge national bank with approximately 4,000 locations and 16,000 ATMs. It's also a good option if you're going to school away from your hometown.

While Bank of America doesn't have accounts specifically for students, the Advantage SafeBalance Banking waives the monthly fee for eligible students under 25.[6]

The Advantage SafeBalance Banking is a basic checkless banking account. It prevents you from overdrawing your account by declining transactions that you don't have the funds for.

  • $25 to open
  • Free Visa debit card
  • Online bill pay and mobile check deposits
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®
  • Custom alerts via email or text

Bank of America also offers a free built-in Spending & Budgeting Tool to help you take control of your money. You can set a budget for each category and track your spending.

Students can also get a Bank of America Advantage Savings account for no monthly fee. It has a "Keep the Change" program that automatically saves the change from your debit card purchases. This allows you to build savings without thinking.

Student also has the option of opening the Advantage Plus checking account with multiple ways to waive the monthly fee. This account requires $100 to open. The main difference is that this account allows you to overdraft with optional overdraft protection. However, there is an overdraft transfer fee, which is why we don't recommend this option.[7]

U.S. Bank Student Checking

For those living and studying in the West and Midwest states, U.S. Bank is another solid option. With more than 2,000 branches and 5,300 ATMs, it offers convenient access.

The U.S. Bank Student Checking account is a basic account offering full online and mobile banking features. There is no monthly maintenance fee for students.[8]

  • $25 to open
  • Free U.S. Bank Visa debit card
  • Online bill pay and mobile check deposits
  • Four "no fee" non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions per cycle
  • First order of personal checks free of charge
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®

Note that a $2 paper statement fee does apply if you don't opt in to eStatements.

U.S. Bank also partners with many colleges in its service areas. If your school participates in one of the campus banking programs, you can get some additional benefits, such as on-campus branches and customer advisory centers.

Aspiration Spend & Save

Young adults are driving the action to fight climate change. Besides using reusable bags and eating more plant-based meals, you can even get involved by choosing an ethical bank.

Aspiration has a strong mission to fight climate change and make the world a better place.

You plant a tree every time you use your debit card by rounding up your purchases. And your deposits never go towards oil and coal projects that harm the planet.

  • $10 to open
  • Get up to 5% cashback when you shop with socially-conscious retailers (see list of brands)
  • Eco-friendly debit Mastercard made from recycled plastic
  • Get paid up to 2 days early
  • Free access to 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs
  • The first $10,000 in savings get 3.00% APY when you spend $1,000 per month on your debit card.

The standard Aspiration account has no monthly fee. You pay what you think is fair, even if it's $0 per month. Aspiration donates 10% of whatever people give to support charities.

Discover Cashback Debit Checking

Students with some credit may want to consider a regular checking account (not necessarily one specifically for students).

Online checking accounts usually don't have monthly service fees. They often offer more benefits than traditional banks. Discover Bank's Cashback Debit checking account offers cash-back rewards while being as close to "fee-free" checking as you can get, making it a great option for college students.

Discover offers free access at over 60,000 ATMs nationwide, so you still have convenient access to your money wherever you are.

  • $0 to open
  • 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in Discover debit card purchases each month. See website for details
  • Free standard checks
  • $0 for overdrafts or insufficient funds
  • $0 for stop payments
  • $0 for incoming wires
  • $0 for replacement debit card

You can manage your account for free online or on the mobile app, including online bill pay, mobile check deposits, money transfers with Zelle®, and freezing your debit card on the spot.

Discover Bank is online-only, but it provides 24/7 customer service, making it easy to get the answers you need any time of day or night.

Capital One 360 Money (for Teens)

You don't even have to wait until college to open your first checking account. Capital One 360, a popular online bank, offers a checking account specifically for high school students.

The Capital One 360 MONEY helps teenagers learn money management. The teen and a parent will be joint account holders. Teens can make their own money decisions, while parents can monitor what they're up to.

  • $0 to open
  • Free debit card in the teen's name
  • Earn a little bit of interest
  • Mobile check deposits
  • Transfer money
  • Receive direct deposits
  • Get text alerts and emails

There is no account opening fee and no service fee.[9] When the teen turns 18, he/she can roll over this account into a 360 Checking account.

How to Open a Student Checking Account

To open a student checking account, you usually need:

  • To be 18 years of age
  • To be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Proof of enrollment or acceptance
  • Government issued ID
  • Social Security number

For students under 18, most banks will allow you to open a joint account with an adult.

Bottom Line

A student checking account is a great way to start building a financial foundation. You can start managing your own day-to-day finances, such as making purchases, receiving paychecks, and paying bills. The risk of getting into debt is low since you can only use funds you actually have in your account.

We've provided a list of our favorite student checking accounts. Compare the options carefully to make the best choice for you.

Additional Resources

References

  1. ^ Chase. Overdraft Protection, Retrieved 9/7/2022
  2. ^ Chase. Additional Banking Services and Fees for Personal Accounts, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  3. ^ Chime. No Monthly Fees, Retrieved 9/7/2022
  4. ^ Chime. Fee-Free Overdraft with SpotMe, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  5. ^ Quontic Bank. Schedule of Fees, Retrieved 9/7/2022
  6. ^ Bank of America. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking Clarity Statement, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  7. ^ Bank of America. Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking Clarity Statement, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  8. ^ U.S. Bank. Simple Snapshot: U.S. Bank Student Checking, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  9. ^ Capital One. MONEY Disclosure, Retrieved 9/7/2022

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Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $200 Bonus

Expires 10/19/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ - no overdraft fee if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*

*With Chase Overdraft Assist℠, we won't charge an Insufficient Funds Fee if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day OR if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and you bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end the next business day (you have until 11 PM ET (8 PM PT) to make a deposit or transfer). Chase Overdraft Assist does not require enrollment and comes with eligible Chase checking accounts.

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