Best student checking accounts for July 2019 | finder.com

Best student checking accounts

These top-rated checking accounts can help students organize money and build responsible financial habits.

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There are a number of checking accounts specifically designed to help young people learn how to manage money. When you’re comparing accounts consider things like fees, interest and access to ATMs.

Our top pick: Chase College Checking

  • $100 signup bonus
  • No monthly service fees
  • Thousands of ATMs & branches

Our top pick: Chase College Checking

Get about four years of interest paid up front! New Chase customers can get a $100 signup bonus when they enroll in paperless statements and complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of account opening. Plus no monthly service fee as long as you’re between 17-24 years and a student for up to 5 years.

  • Send money to your friends
  • Banking at your fingertips
  • Backed by the security of Chase
Promoted

How we chose the best accounts

With so many checking accounts available for students, we narrowed down the options to a list of the top 10 by considering key factors like whether or not an account was designed for a student, whether or not there were fees that would complicate money management, and how easy it was to open an account. That meant digging into account details like target age, fees, deposit requirements, the number of free ATMs available, signup bonuses and student-friendly features.

Best checking accounts for high school students

Alliant Logo

Alliant Teen Checking

Designed for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.

the Alliant Teen Checking account is perfect for high school students starting to manage their own finances. Besides its 80,000 fee-free ATMs, up to $20 of monthly ATM fee rebates, this account offers:

  • No deposit requirements. There are no initial or ongoing deposit requirements, making it easy to get started.
  • Interest. Unlike most checking accounts, this account pays 0.65% APY when you opt-in to receive e-statements and have at least one electronic deposit per month.
  • No monthly fees. This account charges no monthly fees so you can hang on to more of your money.

Capital One MONEY

For high school students learning to manage their money, fees make it hard.

The Capital One MONEY account offers free access to over 39,000 ATMs and no monthly fees.

  • No fees. This account has no monthly fees and comes with a free debit card.
  • Earn interest. Unlike many other checking accounts, this account pays 0.25% APY.
  • Tools. Joint ownership and other financial tools help you track spending and plan ahead.

Wells Fargo Teen Checking

With a balance between freedom and parental controls.

The Wells Fargo Teen Checking account encourages responsible financial behavior. Plus, it comes with 24/7 online access that allows you to manage the account anytime, anywhere.

  • No monthly fees. It’s free to keep this account open.
  • Easy access. Wells Fargo has the most branches of any North American bank, so you can access your money or get help when you need it.
  • Tools. Learn responsible spending and budgeting with tools like My Spending Report and Budget Watch.

USAA Youth Spending

The USAA Youth Checking is perfect for military members and their families.

Perfect for military members and their families who want to help their kids manage money. It has tools that allow you to monitor the account and assist with money management and comes without a monthly service fee.

  • No monthly fee. There’s no monthly fee to eat into your balance.
  • Smart money management. Parental controls help you manage your child’s activities.
  • ATM access. Get free access to a network of over 60,000 ATMs. Plus, you’re charged no fees for the first 10 non-USAA ATM transactions, and are refunded up to $15 per month for non-USAA ATM fees.

Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking

Designed with students in mind.

This account is free for students younger than 24 and charges no overdraft fees. Plus, with online and mobile banking, you can manage your money anytime, no matter where you are.

  • No monthly fee. There’s no monthly fee to eat into your balance.
  • Encourages saving. Sign up for the Keep the Change savings program to round up your debit purchases and deposit the difference into your savings account.
  • Budgeting. Use the free spending and budgeting tool to develop responsible financial habits and take control of your money.

Best checking accounts for college students

US bank logo

US Bank Student Checking

This basic checking account is packed with features just for students.

And best of all, it can be opened in minutes. Plus, you can even customize your personal checks with design choices from a number of universities and colleges.

  • No monthly fees. There’s no monthly fee as long as you’re enrolled to receive e-statements.
  • ATM fee refunds. US Bank waives your first four out-of-network ATM fees every month.
  • Convenience. Online and mobile banking come with a suite of tools and apps that help you manage your money.

Simple

This app combines banking and budgeting, making it easy to manage your money and put extra towards your savings goals.

After automatically covering your monthly expenses, it tracks your spending and balance, empowering you to make smart spending decisions on the spot.

  • Money management. Enter your expenses and goals and Simple helps you budget, track and reach your goals.
  • Earn interest. Earn up to 2.02% APY on balances over $2,000 when you set up a savings goal.
  • No fees. Simple charges no monthly maintenance or overdraft fees and doesn’t require a minimum balance.

HSBC Advance Checking

Perfect for those who already have some money saved up.

The HSBC Advance Checking provides access to a number of tools that help manage money, build savings and control debt. Plus, it has ATMs available worldwide, allowing you to easily access your money if you travel.

  • ATM fee rebate. HSBC will refund up to four non-HSBC ATM fees per month.
  • No initial deposit. Though there’s no minimum requirements, watch out for the monthly fee if you don’t have at least $10,000.

Chase College Checking

Designed just for students.

This account offers a number of features that make money management easy so you can focus on your studies. Plus, you’ll get the safety and security of banking with one of the Big Four.

  • No monthly fee. For students younger than 24 enrolled in college.
  • Bonus offer. Get $100 just for signing up and making 10 qualifying transactions.
  • Easy access. Get access to over 16,000 ATMs and 5,000 branches across the country.

Umpqua Embark Checking Account

Packed with a number of features that make banking easier.

The Umpqua Embark Checking account is a great choice for students. And if you ever need help with your account, 24/7 customer service is there when you need it.

  • Free savings account. Get a free savings account when you sign up for this account.
  • No fees. There is no monthly fee to keep this account open.
  • ATM fee rebates. Get up to $10 in out-of-network ATM fee rebates when you maintain a balance of at least $2,500.

How to compare student checking accounts

Here are a few things to look for when you start comparing student checking accounts:

Compare to other checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
1.25% on balances of $0+ with $1,000+ in direct deposits, 10 $3+ debit card transactions and 5 additional account transactions per month
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches nationwide
$12/month
(can be waived)
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches.
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Free at more than 1,800 ATMs across the Midwest
$0
Earn a $150 bonus when you open an Asterisk-Free Checking account if you live in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania or West Virginia. Conditions apply.
Free at over 56,000 ATMs around the world
$0
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
2.00% on balances of $10,000+ or deposit $1+ each calendar month into any Aspiration cash management or investment account
Free to use anywhere worldwide
$0
A spend and save combo account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC. The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offering of Aspiration Financial, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Aspiration is not a chartered bank.

Compare up to 4 providers

Alternatives to student checking accounts

One of the most popular and convenient alternatives to student checking accounts are prepaid debit cards, sold at banks and retail stores. Use them anywhere credit and debit cards are accepted. While you won’t get features like mobile banking and budgeting tools, these cards make it easy to manage spending and avoid overdraft fees.

Bottom line

Student checking accounts can teach youth valuable financial habits to make managing money easier. When starting out, be aware how fees on standard checking accounts can eat away at your balance.

These are some of the best student checking accounts we’ve come across, but to see if there’s a better option for you.

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