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12 best student savings accounts for May 2021

Grow your nest egg while focusing on your studies with a savings account for students.

The best student savings account comes with low fees and a strong interest rate to help you grow your money while you focus on school. We compared over 110 accounts to find the best savings accounts for students. This meant 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.

What’s changed in 2021?
We added Ally Online Savings to our best list for college students because it has a 0.5% APY and unique savings tools to help you manage your money. We added American Express High Yield Savings as a best option for high school students because it can be opened online jointly with a guardian and features a strong APY, no fees and 24/7 customer service.

Best savings accounts for college students

Dive into the pros, cons and features of each of the best savings accounts for college students:

Best overall

Synchrony High Yield Savings

0.4%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
While this account isn't exclusive to students, it's a good way to start saving no matter how much you have. Synchrony operates entirely online and offers benefits like:
  • No deposit requirements. You don't need to deposit any money to open the account and won't need to maintain a minimum balance.
  • No monthly fee. There's no monthly fee required to keep this account open.
  • High APY. Earn 0.4% APY on your balance, no matter how much is in your account.
  • Limited in-person support. This bank has one location in Bridgewater, New Jersey, so you'll have to be comfortable banking online if you live outside this area.
  • Withdrawal limits. You can't withdraw more than $1,000 a day from ATMs and $500 from point-of-sale retailers.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $0

Earn a high APY while not worrying about monthly fees or minimums.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings

0.5%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
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 0.5% 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.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $1
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit

Easy access to your money with almost no fees.

Barclays Online Savings

0.4%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
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 0.4% 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.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $5

Earn one of the highest APYs available today.

MySavings Account

0.5%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
This online savings account offers one of the highest APYs in the country with no monthly fees or minimums.
  • Competitive APY. MySavings Direct offers a 0.5% APY to help you make the most of your savings.
  • No fees. There are no monthly service charges, hidden costs, penalties or other fees.
  • No minimums. You can open this account with as little as $0 and won't need to maintain a minimum balance.
  • No check deposits. The only way to access your money is through an electronic transfer.
  • Limited support. My Savings Direct is an online-only bank, so you're limited to phone and email support.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit

A hassle-free, convenient way to save

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

0.5%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
The Ally Online Savings account gives you a hassle-free, convenient way to save. Plus, you'll get access to four automatic savings tools to help you reach your goals.
  • High interest rate. You'll earn a generous 0.5% APY on every penny you save in your Ally Savings account.
  • Four savings tools. Split your money into different savings buckets or — if you have an Ally Checking account — set up automatic deposits, sweep 'spare change' from debit card purchases into savings and let Ally transfer unused funds into savings for you.
  • No hidden fees. This account has no monthly fees and a $0 opening deposit to get started.
  • No ATM access. As with most savings accounts, this one doesn't come with an ATM card for cash withdrawals.
  • Excessive withdrawal fee. You'll typically pay $10 each time you make more than six transactions a month. However, this fee may be waived during the COVID pandemic.
  • No cash deposits. You can't deposit cash, which is a common feature with online savings accounts.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $10

Packed with features that help you reach your savings.

PNC Virtual Wallet Student

PNC Virtual Wallet Student logo
0.01%
APY
None
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
PNC’s Virtual Wallet Student account gives you access to tools like spending and budgeting resources, plus:
  • Fee refunds. PNC will refund your first overdraft charge monthly, two non-PNC ATM fees and more.
  • Low initial deposit. Open this account with as little as $25 in person or $0 online.
  • No monthly fee. You won’t pay a monthly fee for six years with proof of active student status.
  • Unclear rates. PNC doesn’t list the interest rates for the PNC Virtual Wallet Student account on its website. But given that their other savings accounts range from 0.05% to 0.01%, it may be low.
  • Early closure fee. You’ll pay $25 if you close your account within 180 days of opening.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $1
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit

Best savings accounts for high school students

Compare the pros, cons and features of each of the best savings accoutns for high school students:

No monthly fee or minimum balance requirements

American Express® High Yield Savings

American Express® High Yield Savings logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Apply now
at American Express's secure site
0.4%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
American Express Online Savings is available to anyone, but high school students can take advantage of its perks when they open it jointly with a parent or guardian.
  • Competitive APY. Save for college and any other financial goals with a 0.4% interest rate on your total balance.
  • No fees. Your savings grows unhindered with no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements.
  • 24/7 support. Reach American Express customer service by phone or email any time, day or night.
  • No ATM access. As with most online savings accounts, this one doesn't come with an ATM card for easy cash withdrawals.
  • No cash deposits. American Express Online Savings doesn't come with branch or ATM access, so you can't deposit cash.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $1
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $0

Get the safety and security of banking with one of the Big Four.

Chase Savings

0.01%
APY
$5
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
The Chase Savings account is best for students looking to save. Perks include:
  • No monthly fee for kids. Students younger than 18 won't pay the $5 monthly service fee.
  • Low initial deposit. You can open this account with as little as $0.
  • 0.01% interest rate. You'll earn $1 a year for every $100 you keep in the account. This is much lower than the rates offered by other banks.
  • $5 excessive transaction fee. Expect a $5 fee each time you make more than six outgoing transactions a month. Although Chase may be waiving this fee due to the temporary suspension of Regulation D.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $5

Available to applicants younger than 18.

Capital One Kids Savings Account

0.3%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
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 0.3% 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.
Interest compounding Monthly
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $10

Earn a high APY on the first $1,000 in your account.

DCU Primary Savings Account

Up to 6.17%
APY
None
Fees
$5
Min. opening deposit
The DCU Primary Savings Account helps students get a head start on saving. Plus, credit unions offer a more personal banking experience, among other perks.
  • No monthly fees. You won't pay a monthly maintenance service fee.
  • High APY. Regardless of your account balance, you'll earn 6.17% APY on the first $1,000 in your account and 0.25% on your remaining balance.
  • Low initial deposit. You can open this account with as little as $5.
  • Must open in person. Account holders younger than 18 must open this account at a local branch.
  • Limited branches. DCU is primarily located in Massachusetts, so you'll need to live in this service area to open an account.
  • Members only. You must be related to a current DCU member, belong to an eligible organization or be employed or retired from one of DCU's employers to qualify for membership.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit

This account offers a low opening deposit and no monthly fee.

Golden 1 Youth Savings Account

0.05%
APY
None
Fees
$1
Min. opening deposit
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 0.05% when you keep at least $100 in your account. That's only slightly higher than the national average. Many other banks offer significantly 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.
Interest compounding Monthly

Best introductory savings account for kids younger than 18.

BECU Early Saver Youth Account

Up to 2.02%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
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.
Interest compounding Quarterly
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit
Fee per transaction over limit $20

How to choose the best student savings account for you

There are a few factors to consider as you shop around for the best savings account:
  • Account type. Some savings accounts are designed specifically for students while others are general savings accounts that can be opened jointly between a teen and their guardian.
  • Features. Compare features like mobile banking, savings tools and parental controls.
  • Rates. A higher interest rate helps your savings grow faster to reach your goals sooner.
  • Access. Compare mobile banking, branch locations, ATMs and other ways to access your account.
  • Requirements. Look out for age restrictions, initial deposit, minimum balance and other eligibility requirements.
  • Bonus. Find out if any accounts offer bonuses or rewards that can help kickstart your savings.
  • Availability. 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.

Do any top banks offer student savings accounts?

These major banks don’t offer student savings accounts, but they waive the fee on some of their general savings accounts for students under age 18.

  • Wells Fargo. The Way2Save Savings account earns a paltry 0.01% APY, but it comes with an ATM card and the $5 fee is waived for those under the age of 18, or 19 in Alabama.
  • TD Bank. The TD Simple Savings account has a 0.05% APY and no minimum opening deposit and the $5 is waived until you turn 18.
  • Bank of America. The BoA Advantage Savings account comes with automatic savings tools, but it only earns 0.01% APY — a rate lower than the national average — and has an $8 monthly fee that’s waived for enrolled students under age 24.
  • US Bank. With US Bank’s Standard Savings account, you’ll pay no fee if you’re under age 18. But the interest rate is only 0.01% — that’s one penny a year for every $100 you save.
  • Discover. Out of all the accounts in this list, Discover Online Savings is the best option. It earns a competitive 0.45% APY and has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

Student savings account alternatives

Savings accounts are an essential part of saving for college, 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.

    Bottom line

    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.

    Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
    Capital One Kids Savings Account
    Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
    Capital One Kids Savings Account
    0.30%
    $0
    $0
    Kids Savings Accounts are fee-free and don’t require a minimum balance.
    Alliant Kids Savings Account
    Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
    Alliant Kids Savings Account
    0.55%
    $1 per month
    (can be waived)
    $5
    This Kids Savings Account has no maintenance fees with e-statements and a high APY with a minimum daily balance of $100.
    MySavings Account
    Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
    MySavings Account
    0.50%
    $0
    $0
    An online high-interest savings account with no minimum balance or monthly fees.
    Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings
    Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
    Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings
    0.50%
    $0
    $0
    A high-interest savings account with no account fees.
    CIBC Agility Savings
    Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
    CIBC Agility Savings
    0.52%
    $0
    $1,000
    This savings account offers no maintenance fees and a competitive rate.
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