Updated April 3, 2024

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.

How Top 3 Student Checking Accounts Compare

Chase College Checking

With more than 4,700 branches and over 15,000 ATMs, Chase is a great choice if you're looking for a nationwide bank. Plus, they have mobile and online banking.

The Chase College Checking account has no monthly fees while in school up to the graduation date provided at account opening (five years maximum) for students 17-24 years old.

Why we like Chase College Checking:
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]

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.

After the expected graduation date, the monthly maintenance fee is $12 and can be waived with ONE of the following actions each statement period:

  1. Have electronic deposits made into this account totaling $500 or more, such as payments from payroll providers or government benefit providers, by using (i) the ACH network, (ii) the Real Time Payment or FedNow network, or (iii) third party services that facilitate payment to your debit card using the Visa® or Mastercard® network
  2. Keep an average ending day balance of $1,500 or more in your checking account.


  • No monthly fees if the student reaches certain requirements
  • Free Chase College Checking account when linked for overdraft protection
  • A lot of branches and ATMs


  • No APY
  • No ATM fee rebates

Discover® Cashback Debit Checking

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

Discover® Cashback Debit offers an account that practically has no fees. They have no monthly fees, no overdraft fee, and no stop-payment fees. You aren't even charged if you need to replace your debit card.

They also offer great cashback deals, which put money back into your wallet every time you use your debit card. Textbooks, clothes, and dinners with friends can all earn you up to $30/month in cash back.

Why we like Discover® Cashback Debit:
Discover offers free access at over 60,000 ATMs nationwide, so you still have convenient access to your money wherever you are.

You can manage your account for free online or on the mobile app, including online bill pay, mobile check deposits, 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.


  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Cashback rewards
  • No overdraft fees


  • No physical branches

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®

Bank of America is another huge national bank with thousands of ATMs and financial centers. 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 Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® waives the monthly fee for those under 25.[2]

Why we like Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking®:
The 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.

Bank of America also offers a 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.

This helps you form good saving habits by keeping you aware when you're about to overspend. Over time, you'll understand your spending habits and adjust it to make sure you don't spend more than you have.

Students and young adults under 25 may also be eligible for fee waivers on Bank of America Advantage Savings account. 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.


  • Built-in Spending & Budgeting Tool
  • Waives monthly fees for under 25
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®


  • No paper checks
  • Opening deposit requirement

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.

Why we like Capital One 360 MONEY:
The Capital One 360 MONEY helps teenagers learn money management. This is a great choice for those who want to start saving and nurturing good habits early on.

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.

There is no account opening fee and no service fee.[3] When the teen turns 18, he/she can roll over this account into a 360 Checking account.


  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No service fees
  • Free debit card in the teen's name
  • Earn a little bit of interest

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.

Why we like Chime Free Mobile Checking:
Chime is great for students since there's no credit or ChexSystems check to open an account.

It's also ideal for those that want to save because they have 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.

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.


  • No monthly fees
  • Free Visa debit card
  • A lot of fee-free ATMs
  • Automatic savings feature


  • No physical branches
  • Mobile check deposits only available after signing up for direct deposits

US Bank Smartly 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 4,200 ATMs, it offers convenient access.

The US Bank Smartly Checking account has $0 monthly fee and special benefits for students up to 24.[5]

Why we like U.S. Bank Student Checking:
US Bank waives a lot of fees for students. You get the first 4 out-of-network ATM fees free, and no overdraft fees if you overdraw by $50 or less.

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 additional benefits, such as on-campus branches and customer advisory centers.

You can even get a campus card that combines your student ID with your US Bank debit card!

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


  • Four "no fee" non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions per cycle
  • No monthly fees for students
  • Free U.S. Bank Visa debit card


  • Doesn't earn interest
  • Minimum opening deposit amount

Axos Essentials Checking

Axos Essentials Checking is great for those that are looking for an account that's practically fee-free. This account isn't specifically just for college students but it offers great perks that are definitely student-friendly.

This straightforward account is great if you want to be able to hold your money in an account without all the extra fees and hassles.

Why we like Axos Essentials Checking:
Who likes fees, right? We like this account because it has no monthly fees and no overdraft fees. We especially like their unlimited domestic ATM fee rebates.

They also make banking easy through their mobile app. Lost your card? Just deactivate it using your mobile app. Not so good at remembering when your bills are due? No problem! You can "set it and forget it" by setting up auto-pay.


  • No monthly fees
  • Great mobile security features
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee rebates
  • Get paid up to 2 days early


  • Doesn't earn interest

PNC Virtual Wallet Student Account

PNC Virtual Wallet is great for those seeking a hybrid account that incorporates both a savings account and a checking account.

And for up to 6 years (for as long as you are a student), you don't need to pay monthly fees,

Why we like PNC Virtual Wallet Student Account:
We like this because this convenient account offers a comprehensive package. You get a Spend account for your everyday banking, a Reserve account for short term savings, and Growth account for long-term goals.

Not only that, but you get certain fee-free benefits for as long as you're a student. You get no fees for your first overdraft, one incoming wire per month, and up to $5 in ATM fee reimbursements per month.

There are also savvy built-in tools to help you create budget and set savings goals. It even has a Low Cash Mode that alerts you when your balance is low, so you can take action to avoid overdrafts.


  • No monthly fees
  • Checking + savings account
  • Built-in budgeting tools


  • No check-writing privileges
  • Not available in all states

Ally Bank Interest Checking

Want to earn a little interest while saving? This interest checking account that Ally offers has almost no fees. So it's good for those that want to maximize growing their money.

Why we like Ally Bank Interest Checking:
With an account that not only earns interest but is also practically fee-free, you can grow your money much faster.

Plus they make access to your money easier with thousands of ATMs nationwide. And on the off chance you can't find one of their fee-free ATMs, you can use any ATM and Ally will reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle.


  • Interest earning
  • no monthly/overdraft fees
  • ATM fee rebates

Truist Student Checking Account

Truist One Checking is an interesting account that gives you more benefits the more you "level up." You're able to level up the more money you put into the account. You can get all the way to level premier.

Basically, each level just gives some additional perks and benefits like extra free checks credit card bonuses, and extra no-fee ATM withdrawals.

If you're a student under the age of 25, the monthly fee is waived. And they have no overdraft fees.

Why we like Truist Student Checking Account:
The rewards system that they offer makes sure that as you put in more money, you're able to get more benefits. This is a great motivator to save more!

Plus, the benefits they offer at just Level 1 are already great. You get a set of free 10-pack personal checks, a debit card, and a Truist One Savings account with no monthly fee.

They also have a $100 Negative Balance Buffer for eligible users. You can accidentally overdraw your account by $100 and be protected.


  • ATM fee rebates
  • No monthly fees or minimum balance
  • Rewards system
  • No overdraft fees


  • Doesn't earn interest

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 multiple checking account options:

  • Cash Rewards Checking: You get 1.00% 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.

  • High Interest Checking: If you'd rather grow your balance, this account earns up to 1.10% APY when you make at least 10 qualifying debit card transactions of $10 or more per statement cycle APY. The minimum to open is $100.

    Note that you need to make at least 10 eligible debit card purchases of at least $10 every month. If you don't, you'll only earn 0.01% interest.

Why we like Quontic Checking Account:
All checking accounts have no monthly service fee and no minimum daily balance requirements. There are also no overdraft fees.[6] More than being fee-less, they also offer great rewards with their different accounts.

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.


  • Quontic Pay Ring - unique technology
  • No balance requirements
  • No monthly/overdraft fees


  • Minimum opening deposit of $100

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 more ethical financial products.

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

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.

Why we like Aspiration Spend & Save:
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.

This account also earns APY so you can grow your money faster. Not just that, but you also get cash back when you shop with a Conscience Coalition business.


  • Banking for a cause
  • Cashback benefits
  • High APY if certain requirements are met


  • Minimum opening deposit ($10)

What is a student checking account?

Student checking accounts are accounts that are typically aimed at those aged 16-25. They usually have no monthly fees for eligible students while they're at school. They may also have fewer other fees, like overdraft fees.

Upon graduation, usually, your bank will turn your college account into a normal one. This means that any fees that were initially waived for students are no longer waived. Your bank will also now apply any minimum balances required for the account.

Should you open a student bank account? Yes! Typically, the fees will be lower and you won't be required to maintain a certain balance to not get charged a fee. Plus you can get added benefits like a free card or a free set of checks.

How to Choose A Student Checking Account

Not sure what to look out for when choosing the account for you? We get it. There really are a lot of features to consider.

Here are some important things to look out for so you can make the most out of your account:

No Fees:
Generally, students prefer accounts that have lower fees. They don't want to worry about any other extra fees like monthly service fees, minimum balances, or overdraft fees, especially if they're on a tight budget.

Easy access to money is important. Being able to withdraw money whenever necessary is important to consider. Having a lot of branches and ATMs is a must for easy money access.

Mobile App:
A high-rated mobile app is also important. Being able to see their money and their expenses real-time can help them keep track of their budget.

Who doesn't like freebies and rewards, right? Some accounts have cashback rewards that will give you some money back for purchases.

It's also a plus to not have to spend for their debit card. The banks on this list offer a free debit card or even free checks.

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.

How we came up with this list

To find the best checking accounts for students, we looked into the necessary fees and made sure to include those with no fees or only very minimal fees.

We also made sure to include accounts that have no minimum balance requirements so that you don't have to worry about any unnecessary fees while you're busy with school work.

There are also interest-earning accounts for those that want to grow their savings.

Who doesn't like bonuses right? So we also made sure to check out any bonuses or any extra freebies an account offers like a free debit card or a free set of checks.


What is a free student checking account?
A free student checking account is primarily aimed for the use of students aged 16-25. Typically, there are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements while students are at school.

Are free checking accounts free?
Free checking accounts are not always completely free. These accounts are free of any monthly maintenance fees or a minimum balance. But it doesn't always mean you wont be charged overdraft fees, ATM withdrawal fees, stop payment fees, etc.

Always check the terms of a "free" checking account. Their website usually lists down which fees are waived.

Are Chase checking accounts free for students?
Yes. Chase has an account designed specifically for students aged 16-25. For as long as you are a student, there is no need to pay any monthly maintenance fees or maintain a minimum balance.

Can international students get a checking account?
Yes, international students can open a checking account. Though there are certain documents required by the bank so that you can open one. They'll usually ask for:

  • Your passport
  • Student visa
  • Proof of enrollment or student ID card
  • Local US residential address

You can check out this guide for more details.

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.

Plus, 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


  1. ^ Chase. Overdraft Protection, Retrieved 9/7/2022
  2. ^ Bank of America. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking Clarity Statement, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  3. ^ Capital One. MONEY Disclosure, Retrieved 9/7/2022
  4. ^ Chime. Fee-Free Overdraft with SpotMe, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  5. ^ U.S. Bank. Checking Account for Students, Retrieved 7/7/2023
  6. ^ Quontic Bank. Schedule of Fees, Retrieved 9/7/2022

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