Top 10 Best Checking Accounts for College Students

Banks Editorial Team · August 7, 2019

Top 10 Best Checking Accounts for College Students

Finding the right account among best checking accounts out there for college students can be challenging. There are numerous factors which must be considered including what fees are charged, whether the account offers easy access and whether the account has a well-developed mobile application. The following 10 accounts, listed in no order, are some of the best checking accounts for college kids.



Chase College CheckingSM

Chase bank, a division of Morgan Stanley is a well-respected bank offering a college student checking account. There are numerous benefits to this account including no minimum balance requirements, low opening balance requirement, and features both online and mobile access. Students who deposit $5,000 a more monthly through direct deposit can also use this account without any associated fees.

Bank of America Advantage Banking

Another big-name bank offering college student checking accounts is Bank of America. College students up to the age of 24 can get this non-interest account with no fees, you can link your savings account and use their Keep the Change® feature where payments made using your ATM card will automatically round up to the nearest dollar and put the excess in your savings account. Overdrafts can be paid from a linked savings account as well.

US Bank Student Checking

Another one of the best checking accounts for college students is offered by US Bank. They not only offer overdraft protection through a linked savings account, but you may also set up additional accounts to use as overdraft protection. The college student accounts do not pay interest but, they have other important features including no monthly fees for students, numerous free ATMs and full access to your account via your smartphone or online access when you’re at your computer.

Ally Bank: Interest Checking Account

For those who would like to earn interest on their checking accounts, one of the best checking accounts offered is through Ally Bank. These accounts pay 0.10% APY on account balances of less than $15,000, accounts may be opened online, and they have mobile and online access. One downside to the Ally Bank accounts is because they exist only online, it is not possible to deposit a check at a branch. They do accept mobile deposits, offer plenty of access to ATMs including reimbursing for some ATM fees, and their overdraft fees are lower than many other banks.

Capital One 360 Checking

Another option that would appeal to those who are looking for a no minimum balance requirement while still being able to get interest on their balances is Capital One. These accounts pay 0.20% APY for a daily minimum balance of less than $50,000 and offer several different options to deal with overdrafts. Free ATMs are available as well as a robust mobile application for depositing checks and full web access to your checking and savings accounts. There are steep fees for overdrafts associated with these accounts so make sure you review the overdraft options.

USAA: College Checking

College students who have a family member who is in the military and qualify for these accounts will find they are one of the best checking accounts for students. If you qualify, you can open an account with only $25, you will earn a modest interest rate on your deposits, and you can bank from your smartphone. In addition, USAA offers limited reimbursement on ATM fees when you cannot locate one of their ATMs and there is no monthly service charge. When you combine the features they offer, anyone who qualifies should consider opening one of their accounts.

BBVA Compass: Simple Checking

Just as the name suggests, this is a no-frills account. One of the many considerations when opening a checking account for a college student is what monthly fees they could incur. BBVA offers no-fee checking, remote check deposit, and has no minimum balance requirements. They also pay a modest rate of interest on checking account balances. BBVA does not offer any type of overdraft protection, nor do they charge any fees should you write a check that causes your account to go negative, instead they simply decline the transaction.

Regions Bank LifeGreen Checking for Students

These accounts do not have a minimum balance requirement though they do require a student to deposit $50 to open the account. One of the best features of this bank is the use of the various services earns the account holder points which can be redeemed for gift cards, cash, or travel to name a few. The fees associated with an overdraft are high and they do not offer reimbursement for other ATM fees. However, this is still lone of the best checking accounts for those who are good at managing their money, particularly for those who are interested in the rewards portion of the accounts.

KeyBank: Key Student Checking

While KeyBank does have a modest monthly fee, it is still one of the best checking accounts for college students. Additionally, the monthly fee is waived should the account be used at least five times through the month, or by depositing $200 per month into the account. A student need only be 16 years old to gain access to these accounts and there is no minimum balance though the account must be opened with at least $50. In addition to a wide network of ATMs, there are several brick-and-mortar locations and they offer full online access and a well-developed mobile application.

PNC Virtual Wallet® Student

Opening an online checking account with PNC is simple since it does not require a minimum deposit. Students who use this account can get a “free” overdraft during the first 12 months of opening the account, parental alerts can be set up, and students have access to online as well as mobile banking. In some instances, a student may want to set up associated accounts which may also be interest-bearing. PNC also offers an entire educational section which is geared towards financial literacy.

Anytime you are searching for the best checking accounts you should be aware of all of the fees, any account restrictions, and what, if any minimum balance requirements exist. Finding the right bank is easier than ever.



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