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12 best student checking accounts

Build financial responsibility with one of the best student bank accounts for college and high school students.

The best student checking account helps students learn how to manage money. But the type of account depends on your situation and whether you’re a high school or college student. We researched over 165 accounts to find the best student checking accounts for both high school and college students. 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.

What’s changed in 2021?

The HSBC Advance Checking was originally on our list of best accounts for college students, but we removed it because it required a $10,000 minimum daily balance to avoid the monthly maintenance fee. We replaced it with the Discover CashBack Debit Checking account.

The Umpqua Embark Checking account was also on our list, but it’s only available to customers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada. We replaced it with the Capital One 360 Checking account, which has similar account features and services customers nationwide.

We replaced Simple with Chime because Simple announced it’s shutting down. We added Copper Banking and Axos First Checking to our list as best accounts for high school students because they’re designed for teens and come with tools to help them learn how to spend wisely. We added OnJuno as a good option for college students because it’s free and earns a high APY-like bonus rate and cashback on qualifying debit card purchases. We also added the PNC Virtual Wallet for Students account as an account that is good for those heading to college.

Best student checking accounts

AccountBest forMonthly feeAPYLearn more
Axos Bank First Checking
  • High school students
  • ATM rebates
None0.1%Go to site
Copper
  • High school students
  • Financial education resources
None0%Go to site
Chime Spending account
  • College students
  • Free overdraft protection when you have $500 in monthly direct deposits
NoneNot applicableGo to site
OnJuno
  • College students
  • Cashback on debit card purchases
None1.2% bonus rate for balances below $5,000 or $50,000, depending on your planGo to site
Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking
  • High school students
  • High interest rate if you meet the requirements
None0.25% if you opt-in for electronic statements and have at least one monthly electronic depositRead review
Capital One Money
  • High school students
  • National ATM network
None0.1%Read review
Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking
  • High school students
  • Budgeters and careful spenders
NoneNot applicableRead review
USAA Youth Spending
  • High school students
  • Military families
None0.01% on balances $1,000+Read review
PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking
  • High school students heading to college
  • Bundling a checking and savings account
None0.01%Read review
US Bank Student Checking
  • College students
  • Customizable checks
NoneNot availableRead review
Discover Cashback Debit Checking
  • College students
  • Minimal fees
NoneNot availableRead review
Capital One 360 Checking
  • College students
  • Overseas travel
None0.1%Read review

Best high school student checking accounts

These high school student checking accounts are ideal for teens who are just starting to manage their own money.

A digital checking account for teens with a focus on financial education.

Copper

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on Copper's secure website
Copper Banking is a free digital bank account for teens. It has built-in savings tools to help them reach their financial goals, along with educational resources and quizzes designed by Certified Financial Planners.

Teens age 13 to 17 enjoy a 0.1% APY and no monthly fees.

Axos Bank First Checking

Finder rating 3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on Axos Bank's secure website
There's a lot to like about Axos Bank First Checking. It has no fees, a 0.1% APY and up to $12 in non-network ATM rebates each month.

Designed for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.

Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking

Finder rating 4.1 / 5 ★★★★★

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, this free student checking account comes with two debit cards: one for the parent and one for the teen.

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

Capital One Money

Finder rating 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

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.

A free account that doesn’t charge NSF fees

Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking

Finder rating 3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking is free for students age 13 to 24, and it’s one of the few accounts that doesn’t charge nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees. You and your kid can also have peace of mind knowing that the bank provides 24/7 fraud monitoring and will reimburse any fraudulent purchases. Plus you can contact customer service at any time. But this account doesn’t accrue interest or include any parental controls, and you’ll need to open it at a branch if your kid is still a minor.

Ideal for military members and their families.

USAA Youth Spending

Finder rating 3.4 / 5 ★★★★★

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.

Best college student checking accounts

These checking accounts have unique features that benefit college students specifically — like budgeting tools, cash back and free overdraft protection.

Comes with free overdraft protection and an optional savings account that earns 0.5% APY.

Chime Spending account

Finder rating 4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on Chime's secure website
Chime has a lot to offer college students — no hidden fees, free overdraft protection and an optional savings account that earns 0.5% APY.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

Earn 5% cashback and a 1.20% APY-like bonus on your account balance.

OnJuno

Finder rating 4.8 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on OnJuno's secure website
There's a lot to love about OnJuno. It has no fees, a competitive 1.2% bonus rate and up to $12 in non-network ATM rebates each month.

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

US Bank Student Checking

Finder rating 3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

This free student checking account comes with a suite of online and mobile banking tools and customizable checks with design choices from a number of universities and colleges.

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

Discover Cashback Debit

Finder rating 4.8 / 5 ★★★★★

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.

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

Capital One 360 Checking

Finder rating 4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

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. Plus, you can receive direct deposits up to two days early.

For students heading to college

PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking

PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking is best for college students because it includes a checking account, a short-term planning account and a long-term savings account, all for free for up to six years — in which case the account converts to a PNC Virtual Wallet account. It also includes ATM reimbursements, budgeting and PNC’s My Finance Academy, an educational hub that includes articles, podcasts, videos and other financial literacy tools.

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:
  • ATM access. Since checking accounts are designed to provide access to your money, make sure the bank you choose has an ATM network that’s convenient for you.
  • Eligibility. Meet any eligibility requirements to avoid getting denied or paying extra fees.
  • Bonus. Look for bonuses or rewards programs that can help you grow your account balance.
  • Availability. Make the account you want is available in your area and find out what happens to the account once you graduate.
  • Features. Compare things like mobile banking, bill pay and budgeting tools so the account meets your banking needs.
  • Fees. Even small fees can eat away at your balance, so try to find an account with low or no fees.

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 even more student bank accounts

See how other student accounts stack up by comparing monthly fees, rates and ATMs.

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Chase First Banking℠
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Chase First Banking℠
N/A
$0
16,000 ATMs nationwide
$2.50
A debit card for teens and kids with a set of digital tools to help them learn good money habits in the Chase Mobile app. Requires parent to have or open a Chase checking account.
Copper
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Copper
0.00%
$0
$0
Copper is a digital checking account that teaches your teen healthy money habits through interactive quizzes and an intuitive mobile app.
Current teen banking
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Current teen banking
N/A
$0
Over 55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Current connects your money to friends, family, brands, and experiences that matter.
Axos Bank First Checking
Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank First Checking
0.10%
$50
Made for teens ages 13 to 17, this account earns 0.1% APY and has no monthly fees.
Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking
Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5: ★★★★★
Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking
0.25%
$0
80,000 ATMs for free
$0
No minimum or maximum balance and no monthly service fee.
Capital One Money
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Capital One Money
0.10%
$0
39,000+ Capital One and Allpoint ATMs nationwide
A teen checking account with zero fees.
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