As a student, you have access to exclusive savings accounts designed to help your money grow while you focus on school. We chose the best savings accounts for high school and college students by digging into key factors like interest rates, age requirements, monthly fees, minimum opening deposit requirements and account perks.
Most of the accounts on our list are specifically for students. But we included a few standard accounts that offer unique features that would benefit most college students.
For 2020, we added information about the APY, compounding period, monthly fees and minimum deposits to our recommendations so you can easily compare accounts.
The Chase Savings account was originally on our list, but we removed it because it has a subpar 0.01% APY. We replaced it with the Golden 1 Youth Savings Account.
We removed the CIBC Agility Savings account from our best high school savings account list because it’s only available to those who are at least 18 years of age. We replaced it with the BECU Early Saver Youth Account.
The Capital One Kids Savings Account helps kids develop responsible financial habits. Aside from the optional parental controls and savings goals features, this account offers a handful of other benefits:
No monthly fees. You won't pay a monthly service fee to keep this account open.
No minimum balance. There's no minimum balance required to earn interest.
Solid APY. You'll earn 0.5% on your balance, more than what many larger institutions offer.
Online-only account. You'll need to open the account online. But you can pop into a Capital One branch to ask questions if you'd like.
Customer service isn't 24/7. Chat with a customer support representative during regular business hours or call 800-655-2265 daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.
Minimum to earn interest
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit
Earn a high APY on the first $1,000 in your account.
Teach your teen the value of a dollar with this Golden 1 Youth Savings Account. It has a low opening deposit and no monthly fees. But you must live or work in California to open this account for your teen.
Low opening deposit. You only need $1 to get started.
No monthly fees. You won’t pay any monthly fees to keep this account open.
Online application. Open this account online without visiting a local branch.
Mediocre APY. You earn 0.1% when you keep at least $100 in your account. While it’s higher than the national average, other banks offer higher rates.
Excessive transaction fee. Look out for a $3 fee if your teen makes more than six outgoing transactions a month, including three branch cash withdrawals or transfers. Although you should contact Golden 1 to see if this policy is temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus.
Strict membership requirements. You must live or work in California, a family member of a current Golden 1 member, or belong to a Select Employee Group to open this account.
Best introductory savings account for kids younger than 18.
This savings account from BECU Early Saver Youth Account (BECU) is ideal for students younger than 18 who live in Washington state or a few select counties in Oregon and Idaho. It earns a high 2.02% APY on your first $500 in savings. But the rate drops to 0.02% after that.
High introductory APY. Earn a whopping 2.02% APY on your first $500 in savings.
Free ATM card. Withdraw cash on the go using your complimentary ATM card.
No monthly fees. This account has no monthly fees or minimum deposit requirements.
Average APY after first $500. Once your teen saves their first $500, the APY drops to 0.02%. You’ll find better rates elsewhere.
Must open in person. You’ll need to visit a local BECU branch to open this account.
Strict membership requirements. Only Boeing employees or those who live or work in Washington State or a few select counties in Oregon and Idaho can open this account.
Minimum to earn interest
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit
Get the safety and security of banking with one of the Big Four.
This online savings account pays a high APY, making it a smart way to start saving while you're still in school. Plus, it offers a handful of features that help your money grow while you focus on your studies.
No fees. There's no monthly fee to keep this account open.
High APY. Earn 0.6% on your balance.
No minimums. There's no minimum deposit required or minimum to earn the high APY.
No ATM access. This online account doesn't come with an ATM card, so you're limited to electronic and wire transfers only.
No mobile app for Android. Marcus recently released an iOS app, but the Android app has yet to be released as of February 2020.
Limited monthly transactions. Marcus may close your account if you make more than six outgoing transactions a month. But Regulation D is currently suspended, so contact Marcus to see if it's temporarily waiving this policy.
This online savings account provides easy access to your money with almost no fees. Plus, it offers an assortment of perks like a savings assistant, savings goals and more:
High APY. Earn 0.5% APY on your balance.
No monthly fee. You won't pay a monthly fee to keep this account open.
No minimums. There's no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement.
Excessive transaction fee. Expect to pay $5 each time you make more than six outgoing transactions a month. This is the usual policy, but contact Barclays to see if this is still the case because Regulation D is currently suspended.
No cash deposits or withdrawals. This online account doesn't come with an ATM card and doesn't support cash deposits.
Hold on deposits. Barclays holds each incoming deposit for up to five days before it credits your account.
Compare features like mobile banking, savings tools and parental controls.
A higher interest rate helps your savings grow faster to reach your goals sooner.
Compare mobile banking, branch locations, ATMs and other ways to access your account.
Look out for age restrictions, initial deposit, minimum balance and other eligibility requirements.
Find out if any accounts offer bonuses or rewards that can help kickstart your savings.
Consider whether or not it’s available in your state and how long you’ll be allowed to use the account. Some student accounts are only available when you’re enrolled, while others can stay open for a certain number of years after you’re first enrolled.
Student savings account alternatives
Savings accounts are an essential part of any financial strategy, but they’re only one piece of the puzzle. Here are a few other accounts you could consider:
Digital savings apps. Use a budgeting app to trim expenses, stay on track financially, set savings goals and save for the future.
529 college savings plans. Plans like Collegebacker encourage you to save for future costs of education. They offer tax advantages and allow you or your family to put money away for things like tuition, fees, housing and more.
Prepaid tuition plan. Allows you to purchase credits for future tuition and fees at participating post-secondary institutions at current prices.
Roth IRAs. Make penalty-free withdrawals at any time to pay for college for you, your kids or your spouse. If you end up not needing the money for college, it’s still there for retirement.
Custodial accounts. Parents and older loved ones can use a UGMA or UTMA account to save for a child’s future. Once the child turns 18, the money is theirs to use for college or any other expenses.
There’s no shortage of quality savings accounts for students out there — but always compare features, rates and requirements before deciding.
While these are some of the best student savings accounts we’ve come across, you may want to compare other savings accounts to see if there’s a better option for you.
Compare other student savings accounts
Explore other top-rated student savings accounts in this table. Sort your options by APY, fees and minimum deposits. Have more than one top pick? Click the “Compare” box next to each account to view them side-by-side.
Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.
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