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Best student checking accounts

Students can build financial responsibility with these top-rated accounts.

Updated

Fact checked

There are a number of checking accounts designed to help students learn how to manage money. But how do you choose the right one for your situation? We’ve created a list of the best checking accounts for high school and college students to help you decide.

We narrowed down our top picks by considering key factors like monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, money management tools, special account perks and ATM networks.

Most of the accounts on our list are specifically targeted toward students. But we included a few checking accounts open to all ages. We chose these accounts based on unique features that benefit college students specifically — like budgeting tools, cash back and free overdraft protection.

Best high school student checking accounts

Designed for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.

Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking

Up to 0.25%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
The Alliant Teen Checking account is perfect for high school students starting to manage their own finances. It has no monthly service fee or minimum deposit requirements. Plus, the account comes with two debit cards: one for the parent and one for the teen.
  • Interest. Unlike most checking accounts, this account pays 0.25% APY when you opt-in to receive e-statements and have at least one electronic deposit per month.
  • ATM fee reimbursements. Alliant has over 80,000 fee-free ATMs and reimburses up to $20 a month in non-network fees.
  • Flexible membership requirements. Anyone can join this credit union by making a $5 donation to Alliant's partner charity, Foster Care to Success.
  • Few branches. Alliant has two branch locations in Illinois, so you and your teen are limited to phone and email support if you live outside this area.
  • Non-sufficient fund fee. Although this fee is common with most banks, expect to pay $25 if your teen overdraws on their account.
APY 0.25%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Insufficient funds fee $25
ATM transaction fee $0
Paper statement fee $1
Foreign transaction fee 1%
Overdraft fee $25
Accout closure fee $10

A tech-savvy checking account for high school students learning to manage their money.

Capital One MONEY

0.1%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
The Capital One Money account has no monthly fees and comes with a debit card that offers free access to over 39,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • Earns interest. Unlike many other checking accounts, this account pays 0.1% APY.
  • No overdraft charges. Capital One automatically denies charges that would drop your teen's account balance below $0.
  • Savings tools. You and your teen can set savings goals, track spending habits and more. But only parents can schedule transfers and set up an Automatic Savings Plan.
  • No 24/7 support. Live chat is only available during business hours and phone support is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.
  • No checks or bill pay. This account doesn't come with checks and it doesn't support bill pay services, which may limit withdrawals.
APY 0.1%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? No
ATM transaction fee $0
Paper statement fee $5

A checking account with a balance between freedom and parental controls.

Wells Fargo Teen Checking

N/A
APY
None
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
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.
  • No monthly fees. It's free to maintain the account.
  • 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.
  • Opening deposit requirement. As with most Wells Fargo accounts, you'll need $25 to open this Teen Checking account.
  • Must open in person. You can't open this account online, so you'll have to visit a local branch.
  • Overdraft protection transfer fee. If you overdraw on your account and Wells Fargo transfers money from your savings account to cover the difference, you'll pay $12.50.
APY 0%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Insufficient funds fee $15
ATM transaction fee $0
Overdraft fee $12.50

Ideal for military members and their families.

USAA Youth Spending

Up to 0.01%
APY
None
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
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 with no monthly fees.
  • Optional debit card. Request an optional ATM or debit card and help your teen maintain easy access to their money.
  • Smart money management. Parental controls help you manage your child's activities.
  • ATM access. Your teen gets free access to a network of over 60,000 ATMs. As a parent, you can set withdrawal limits to keep their spending in check.
  • Earns interest. You'll earn 0.01% APY if you have a minimum daily balance of $1,000 or more.
  • Opening deposit requirements. You'll need $25 to open this account.
  • Limited eligibility. Membership is open to active, retired and honorably discharged US military members and their families.
APY 0.01%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? No
Insufficient funds fee $29
ATM transaction fee $2
Foreign transaction fee 1%
Overdraft fee $0

Designed to encourage students to budget and save.

Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking

N/A
APY
$4.95 monthly
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
This account is free for students younger than 24 and charges no overdraft fees. With online and mobile banking, you can manage your money anytime.
  • No monthly fee for students. Bank of America waives the $4.95 monthly fee for students up to age 24.
  • Round-up savings. 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.
  • $25 opening deposit. Bank of America requires a $25 deposit to open this account.
  • No checks. Unlike most checking accounts, this one doesn't come with checkwriting privileges.
APY 0%
Account fees $4.95 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Enroll in the Preferred Rewards program and qualify for the Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors tier
ATM transaction fee $0
Paper statement fee $5
Overdraft fee $0

Best college student checking accounts

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

U.S. Bank Student Checking

N/A
APY
None
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
This account comes with a suite of online and mobile banking tools and customizable 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.
  • Opening deposit requirement. You need to set aside at least $25 to open this account.
  • Non-network ATM fees. If you make more than four non-network ATM withdrawals a month, you'll pay $2.50 for each additional one.
  • Overdraft fees. If you opt into overdraft coverage, you'll pay a $25 fee each time you overdraw on your account and $36 if your account balance remains negative for more than a week.
APY 0%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Insufficient funds fee $36
ATM transaction fee $0
Paper statement fee $2
Overdraft fee $36

Simple combines banking and budgeting, making it easy to manage your money and put extra funds into your savings goals.

Simple

1%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
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 1% APY on your total account balance when you set up a savings goal.
  • No fees. You won't pay monthly maintenance or overdraft fees and you aren't required to open the account with a specific amount.
  • No physical branches. Simple is a digital bank, so you can't visit a local branch for in-person support.
  • No bill pay. Simple doesn't support electronic bill pay services.
  • No cash deposits. Like most only banks, Simple doesn't support cash deposits. You'll have to mobile deposit a money order or transfer money from an external bank or third-party payment service like Venmo.
APY 1%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Insufficient funds fee $0
ATM transaction fee $0
Wire transfer fee $0
Overdraft fee $0
Accout closure fee $0

For students who want to earn cash back on everyday purchases.

Discover Cashback Debit

N/A
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
This Discover checking account is available to all ages. But college students will appreciate its large network of over 60,000 ATMs and 1% cash back on debit card purchases.
  • Earn rewards. Get 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in eligible purchases each month.
  • Minimal fees. You won't pay any fees for monthly maintenance, incoming wire transfers or debit card replacements.
  • Cash back limitations. You don't earn cashback rewards for ATM transactions, money orders, peer-to-peer payments or when you get cash back at retailers.
  • Daily withdrawal limit. To prevent fraud, you can't withdraw more than $510 a day from ATMs.
  • No cash deposits. Like most online banks, Discover doesn't accept cash deposits or traveler's checks.
APY 0%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Insufficient funds fee $0
ATM transaction fee $0
Wire transfer fee $30
Overdraft fee $0
Accout closure fee $0

Best for those who want to keep the same checking account after they graduate.

Capital One 360 Checking

0.1%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
This checking account isn't specifically for college students, but it's one of the best overall checking accounts available today. It has no fees or minimum balance requirements, earns a reliable interest rate and has flexible overdraft options.
  • Earns interest. Earn 0.1% APY on your total account balance.
  • No fees. Capital One doesn't charge any fees for monthly maintenance, non-network ATMs or foreign transactions, which makes it a great option for overseas travel.
  • Flexible overdrafts. Avoid overdraft fees one of four ways: have purchases auto-declined, get a 24-hour grace period, transfer money for free from your savings account or take out an overdraft line of credit.
  • Miscellaneous fees. Although Capital One doesn't charge routine fees charged by other banks, there are $25 fees for overnight debit card replacements and stop payment requests.
  • Limited in-person support. This bank operates primarily online, so you won't find many branch locations.
  • Potential credit check. If you choose an overdraft line of credit as your form of overdraft protection, Capital One does a hard pull on your credit, which could impact your score.
APY 0.1%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? No
Insufficient funds fee $9
ATM transaction fee $0
Paper statement fee $5
Wire transfer fee $40
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Overdraft fee $35

How to choose the best student checking account for you

Here are a few factors to consider when picking the ideal account for your lifestyle and budget:

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 compare other checking accounts to see if there’s a better option for you.

Compare the best student bank accounts

Name Product Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Chase College Checking
$0
16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches nationwide
$2.50
New Chase customers can get a $100 signup bonus when they 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.
Capital One MONEY
$0
39,000+ Capital One and Allpoint ATMs nationwide
A teen checking account with zero fees.
Wells Fargo Teen Checking
$25
$2.50
Everyday checking made easy. Open with $25.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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