Updated June 5, 2023 5:22 AM PT

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.

1. 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]

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 $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.

Why we like Chase College Checking:
This account is very student friendly because it has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements while you're a student. You also get a free debit card with the account.

Your money is also easily accessible since they have thousands of branches and ATMs. Plus, they have mobile and online banking.


  • 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

2. 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.

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.

  • $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

Why we like Discover Cashback Debit:
Discover offers an account that practically has no fees. They have no monthly fees, stop-payment fees, or overdraft fees. You aren't even charges if you need to replace your debit card.

They also offer great cashback deals which can help ease the burden of needing to spend for something pricey.


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


  • No physical branches

3. 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 eligible students under 25.[3]

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.

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.

Students 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.

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.[4]

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

Why we like Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking:
This account is great because it forms 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 your balance.

They even have a built-in Spending and Budgeting Tool for the purpose of helping you learn to budget properly.


  • No balance requirements
  • Built-in Spending & Budgeting Tool
  • Waives monthly fees for eligible students
  • Has Visa debit card


  • Minimum opening deposit of $25

4. 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.

There is no account opening fee and no service fee.[5] When the teen turns 18, he/she can roll over this account into a 360 Checking account.

  • $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

Why we like Capital One 360 Money (for Teens):
This a great choice for those who want to start saving early. This account is totally free to open and parents are able to monitor their teen. This is great for nurturing good saving habit early on.


  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Free debit card
  • No service fees

5. 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.

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.[6]

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.

Why we like Chime Free Mobile Checking:
Chime has no monthly fees or any balance requirements. It's also ideal for those that want to save because they have an automatic savings program to grow your money.

They even offer a free debit card do you can easily withdraw at any of their thousands of ATMs.


  • No monthly fees
  • No balance requirements
  • Free Visa debit card
  • A lot of fee-free ATMs


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

6. 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.[7]

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.

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

  • $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®

Why we like U.S. Bank Student Checking:
We like this because they have no monthly fee, and they even waive the fee for 4 out-of-network ATM fees.

They also offer customizable checks! The first order is even free.


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


  • Minimum opening deposit amount
  • Doesn't earn interest

7. 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.

They even make banking easy through their mobile app. Lost your card? No problem! You can deactivate it using your mobile app. Not so good at remembering when your bills are due? No problem! You can auto-pay your bills by activating the feature on your app.

Why we like Axos Essentials Checking:
Who likes fees, right? We like this account because it takes away the hassle of having to worry about any fees. We especially like the feature of unlimited ATM fee rebates.


  • Great mobile security features
  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates
  • No monthly fees or maintaining balance


  • Doesn't earn interest

8. PNC Virtual Wallet Student Account

PNC Virtual Wallet is great for those seeking a hybrid account that incorporates both a savings account 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, certain overdraft fees, eligible wire transfers.

PNC offers the convenience of being able to manage your account online or through the mobile app.

  • No monthly fees
  • One automatic courtesy refund of any Overdraft Item fees
  • One free domestic or international wire transfer per statement period
  • PNC Visa debit card
  • Reimbursement of the fee for the first two domestic or international non-PNC Bank ATM transactions made
  • $5 reimbursement of non-PNC ATM surcharge fee per statement period

Why we like PNC Virtual Wallet Student Account:
We like this because this convenient account offers both a savings account a checking account rolled into one. Not only that, but you get certain fee-free benefits for as long as you're a student.


  • No monthly fees
  • Debit card
  • Hybrid account


  • Doesn't earn interest
  • No check-writing privileges

9. 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.

Ally even offers up to $10 ATM fee rebates per statement cycle. But you have fee-free access to over 43,000+ ATMs nationwide.

Without a minimum opening requirement or a required balance to earn APY, you can start saving right away!

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 because of their thousands of ATMs nationwide. And on the off chance you can't find one of their fee-free ATMs, you can withdraw at any ATM and Ally will reimburse you for it.


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

10. 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 extra perks and benefits like extra free checks credit card bonuses, 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. This account also comes with a debit card and 10-pack free personal checks.

  • Debit card
  • Set of free personal checks
  • No monthly fees (if eligible)
  • No overdraft fees
  • ATM fee rebates
  • Tiered benefit system
  • $100 negative balance buffer
  • no minimum maintaining balance

Why we like Truist Student Checking Account:
The rewards system that they offer makes sure that as you put 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 one is already great. You get a set of free checks, almost no fees (if you're eligible), and a debit card to give you easier access to your money.


  • ATM fee rebates
  • no monthly/overdraft fees
  • Rewards system
  • no maintaining balance


  • doesn't earn interest

11. 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 1.00% 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.

  • 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.[8]

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.

Why we like Quontic Checking Account:
Quontic is one of the more unique saving platforms. Their innovative features are one of the reasons they made it on this list.

More than being fee-less, they also offer great rewards with their different accounts.


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


  • Minimum opening deposit of $100

12. 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.

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:
This account promotes banking for a cause. Not only do you get great benefits, you're also helping the environment while you save.

This account also earns APY so you can grow your money faster. Not just that but you also get cashback benefits which will help with saving.. even if you are actually spending.


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


  • Minimum opening deposit

What is a student checking account?

Student checking accounts are accounts that are typically aimed at those aged 16-25. Usually these accounts offer check-writing privileges as well as a debit card.

The main difference between a student checking account and a normal checking account is the fees involved.

More often than not, student checking accounts offer fewer fees (like no monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees, etc.).

Upon graduation, usually your bank will turn your college account into a normal one. This means that any fees that were initially waived because you were a student 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 students choose a checking 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, maintaining balances, or overdraft fees especially if they're on a tight budget.

Easy access to money is important. Being able to tack expenditures real-time or 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 a freebies and rewards, right? Students want to earn even when they spend. Cashback rewards are great for this purpose.

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 personalized checks (for the first set only).

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 maintaining balance 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? 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?
This kind of account is one that charges no monthly maintenance fees and has no minimum balance requirements. It's primarily aimed for the use of students aged 16-25.

Is 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.

Are free checking accounts free?
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. The website usually lists down which fees are waived.

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

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. ^ Chase. Additional Banking Services and Fees for Personal Accounts, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  3. ^ Bank of America. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking Clarity Statement, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  4. ^ Bank of America. Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking Clarity Statement, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  5. ^ Capital One. MONEY Disclosure, Retrieved 9/7/2022
  6. ^ Chime. Fee-Free Overdraft with SpotMe, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  7. ^ U.S. Bank. Simple Snapshot: U.S. Bank Student Checking, Retrieved 9/1/2022
  8. ^ Quontic Bank. Schedule of Fees, Retrieved 9/7/2022

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*With Chase Overdraft Assist℠, we won't charge an 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 you bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of 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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