10 Best Banks for College Students According to the Experts!

When a student reaches a college life, he or she must have a checking account. It is mandatory to have it as a college student.

It is a smart choice when a student opens a checking account. It is also good to have an online bank as it doesn’t require to have a high balance.

Having a low balance or no minimum balance can work for a student if they have an online account.

The unfortunately online bank doesn’t provide ATM service, and some of the banks give you ATM fees refund.

But before you want to have your checking account, here’s what you need to look for in a student checking account.


What Is A Student Account?

Student Account

A student account is like having a bank account for their higher education. But there is a limitation on the amount of money you can store.

Like in some banks like mine they give you a limitation of having 500k and no more.

Students can use it as a normal bank account where they can pay money in or out.

Also, they might be offered some bonus features in the shape of interest-free overdraft.

For having a student you need to have a confirmation letter but some banks don’t ask you for that.

Anyway, those banks who do require the confirmation letter from the university or.

If you are doing A-levels than they will look through your results, and if they meet their conditions you can open an account.

After which you will be allowed to gain quick access to your account and take advantage of their benefits before your term begins

Things You Need To Look In A Student Checking Account:

The great thing about some online banks is that they offer student maintenance-free banking options.

Still, you need to look for other key features of the checking accounts. The first thing you need to look at is for ATM fee waivers

Basically what it does is that your educational institute or system charges you a low fee than usual, which is highly efficient for some students.

Another thing you want to look for is the period, how long will the benefit from it. Having overdraft forgiveness can also play a vital role.

I will explain it a bit later. A cash bonus can give a head start for students.

Giving students a certain amount of money when they open their new account can help them in educational fees a lot.

Lastly, whether it is available for international students or not.

Because several students come from aboard to get their education and they want to settle like others and want the same rights as others.

The point is they also do need an online banking and checking account.  

What Is An Overdraft?


Earlier I mentioned a word overdraft, so some of you may not know the term. Well, I am here to clarify it. An overdraft is a credit extension.

What it means that you will be able to withdraw your credit from your account even if your account bank account reaches zero or if it does not have an insufficient balance for withdrawing.

In simple words, the customer is allowed to borrow money from their respective bank.

Although there is a fee for overdrafting, many banks have their overdraft fee.

Also Read: List of Expenses – Basic Monthly Budget Worksheets Everyone Should Have!

Best Banks For Students

We have discussed overdraft, what is a student account, and what do they need to look before the open one.

After all of this, we know need to find the best bank that a student can benefit from it.

Below are the top ten banks that a college student can use for the educational system.

1- Ally Bank

Ally Bank

If you are looking for a bank for interest checking and saving accounts than Ally Bank is a good option for you.

This bank doesn’t charge you for having a saving account. The best think about this bank is that it is the online bank only.

Meaning that there is no physical branch and this is a good option for young students as they can easily access their bank account through their phone.

Paying bills and doing check deposits, no problem you only need a mobile phone and Ally bank account.

Now on some occasions, they do need to have physical money if you know what I mean.

They can’t buy anything online like to do some groceries from your local you need to have cash on you.

So Ally bank also offers you and ATM service, 43,000 locations to be exact. You will have your bank in your pocket and stays with you where ever you go.

2- Axis Bank

Axis Bank

This bank is another great option for a newcomer. Just like ally bank, axis bank is also an online checking account.

The ally bank and the axis bank both don’t charge you monthly for your online checking. The axis also gives you a refund on your ATM fees.

There is also a bonus feature, where you are offered a high-interest rate. The interest rate that you will get will be based on your balance.

Meaning the higher the balance, the higher the interest rate.

3- Bank Of America

Bank Of America

Bank of America doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees for a safe balance account if you are under the age of 24 and you are enrolled in school.

The best think about the Bank of America is that they don’t charge overdraft fees. If you have an insufficient balance in your account your transaction will be declined.

In this bank there are no paper works, you can do your payments online.

You can use a debit to purchase items or simply with the Zelle you can send or receive money. Furthermore, a student can switch to Advantage Plus Banking Account.

Switching to Advantage Plus Banking will allow us to use a Bank Of America features know as “ keep the change”. 

What it does that they will collect your purchase amounts which you did use a debit card and after that they make the difference and deposits in the savings account.

Just a reminder you will not be charged monthly if you are under the age of 24.

4- Capital One

Capital One

If you are a high school student then capital one is a great choice for you. A student can open a Money account if he or she is under the age of 18.

The student will open a joint account with their parents and can gain experience with it. So further on in the future, they can open their separate account.

Point to note is that once a student reaches the age of 18, the student will automatically have to switch to a different account.

An account holder gets their debit card with there name on it. If they are too tired or due to some reason they can to their account through their mobile phone.

Parents can too access their account to set up the allowance, to receive text messages and notifications from the bank via their app.

Another cool thing for teenagers is that they earn an APY(annual percentage yield) on their account of 0.20%.

The APY of Capital Bank is much higher as compared to other banks.

If you want to open a Money account on capital one bank you can either do it through an app or visit one of the Capital One branches In person.

Capital one also has one of the largest free ATM networks.

5- Chase Bank

Chase Bank

Chase bank hands down are one the best bank for college students as well as for high school students. Especially students who are at the age between 17 and 24.

As far as for the college students who are there for five years have a great advantage as the bank doesn’t charge you a monthly service fee.

If you have a Chase College Checking Account. The good thing about Chase bank is that they offer you a bonus reward like in May of 2020,

They offer $100 for the customers to open a Chase College Checking Account.

If you happened to be a student in a high school than you to can be a part of his account as a co-owner.

Students who are at the age of 13-17 can take advantage of the chase college checking account. It comes with no monthly fees.

Customers get physical access to their accounts as well as virtually. They can to their ATM service and visit their respective branch.

Apart from that account holders can do online transactions via mobile application and can also send, receive, and even make deposits through their mobile phone.

If a person is satisfied with the checking account then they may wanna try chase account and service,

Also, the chase saving account which is also meant for students where again won’t be waived monthly service fees.

6- Discover Bank

Discover Bank

 Somehow Discover Cashback Debit account is considered as one of the best banks for students, but surprisingly this account is not meant for students.

The reason for it is that discover cashback debit account offers a very great earn reward on debit card purchases.

This offer is beneficial for elders as well as for college students who are at the age of 18 as they most of the time pay for their expenses through discover cards.

They get a cashback of $1 on $3000 each month. Which turns out to be the higher rate as compared to other student checking accounts.

Also Read: Budgeting for Beginners: How to Start Budgeting for the First Time?

Another cool feature for students is that there are no monthly fees. They have a total of 60,000 ATMs across the nation.

With the help of their app, you can locate their ATM service easily. Like other banks, you can deposit checks and pay your bills.

For students discover bank offers to Discover it chrome for students and Discover it Students Cashback cards.

A savings account is also offered by discover bank, which helps you in earning a high-interest rate of 1.01% APY.

7- PNC Banks

PNC Banks

Like all the previous banks, this bank is also a virtual wallet for young students. The great thing about this app is that it gives you a refund for your overdraft.

You need to be careful about the overdraft or returned items because it will be $36 per item. Hence you need to make this a one time mistake.

On the other hand, if you open Spend account the minimum balance required is $25, but if you open it online then there is no balance required at all.

8- TD Bank

TD Bank

The Td bank also comes on top when we talk about checking accounts. The TD student checking is a great choice for students at age 17-23.

It is best known for its customer service and opening at weekends. In the J.D Power’s 2019 U.S.

National Banking Satisfaction Study the TD bank stays as the high ranked among others.

Fun fact the branch of these banks is located on the East Coast.

Like all the other banks, the TD bank also offers a virtual wallet system for students who don’t like to visit a bank in person.

So they can use a mobile app. With the help of online banking, a student can pay their bills,  load their debit card,  send and receive funds and transaction.

Moreover, you can use Zelle with TD bank for payments.

9- USAA Classic Checking

USAA Classic Checking

When it comes to online checking USAA is considered one of the best banks amongst all. But you must qualify for it in order to have a USAA account.

The reason for this is that the USAA allows a certain number of members to DOD employees, their families, and service members.

Once USAA used to check their student checking account, today they still use USAA checking brand but with some special pages just for college students.

If you somehow manage to qualify the USAA, then their checking account which is USAA classic checking.

It is their best product where they don’t charge you for checking, give you a free check, allow you to do online billing and ATM refunds.

Also Read: How Many Allowances Should I Claim? Maximum Your Federal Tax Deductions With a 1 or 0

10- US Bank

US Bank

As the fifth-largest bank in the country. The US bank is more of physical banking but it still offers you a digital experience.

It is preferred as the best bank for students.

The Student Checking account also has a feature of online check deposits through the mobile app. You can send and receive payments through Zelle.

What Is Zelle?


For those people who are wondering what is Zelle?

Because I have mentioned in this article a couple of times, so I decided to give you a short description to make things clear for people.

Zelle is a gateway to transferring money through different banks across the United States. It hardly takes a minute to transfer the money.

All it needs is a mobile number or email address and then you can send and receive money with ease no matter where the bank is at.

What College Students Should Look For In A Bank?


When a college life is about to start you begin to focus on selecting your respective classes, trying to understand your roommates,

And trying to figure out the responsibilities that are heading to your way.

The biggest of all of them is banking.

If you are not thinking of having a checking account then you should do it right away.

What To Look For In A Bank?

Once you have planned to have a checking account you need to look for the benefits that bank offers that might be suitable for you.

Great Online Reviews

Online Reviews

You might be wondering that going to a branch and getting information in person might be a good option.

Well it is, I am not complaining about it but you can’t get the complete information from a single.

So rather than fetching information in person, you can simply do an online search.

You can search it from J.D Power’s and see the rankings of the banks or simply do a google search.

Digital Capabilities

Digital Capabilities

Nowadays everything is done online, so you might be considering online banking.

This might be no problem because most of the banks offer online banking.

You can experience both physical banking and banking at home.

Students won’t have that patient of going to branch and handle checks do transactions so they typically go for the easiest possible way, that is online banking.

This can be done through a mobile application. You can transfer, send, and receive money easily and the best the bank with being with you anywhere everywhere.   

FDIC Insured


To have your bank an FDIC proved is one of the major keys to look for.

You must have some sort of relationship with someone who is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

What FDIC does that it provides you with insurance, deposit insurance in a case where your bank fails.

With the FDIC you won’t be able to lose money

which you with your hard work invested them. This not for students but your professional life as well.

Things You Need To Look In A Checking Account:

Checking Account

No Balance Minimums:

Most of the bank requires a certain amount of money that you keep in checking account to avoid a fee.

If for some reason you are having trouble maintaining your account then you will be charged or worse they will close your account.

As for students they don’t earn much. Their income is not steady, so if you are planning to open an account with your savings than this might be a good option.

The best thing about some banks is that they don’t charge you if your account balance is zero. It is only in the case of students.

No Costly Fees:

As a student, you have a ton of advantages if you are opening a checking account.

Usually, they charge you with monthly fees for account maintenance, overdraft, transferring and even paper works.

As a student paying this much fees is not necessary, not only they can’t afford it but they shouldn’t pay it.

These are the things you need to look for one you are trying to open your checking account.

Also Read: Best Ways To Pay Off Student Loans


Here was the guide for the best bank that a college student can benefit.

You need to look out for some bank you charge you additional fees even for a student.

Also, you need to look at the bank which best suits you and which more sufficient according to your needs.

In my view, I consider opening an account in discover bank due to its offer. It is very sufficient and the best bank for a new student.

You can do online banking through your mobile app no matter where you are.

As a student, they don’t like to visit banks physically so this might be a good option for them.

Not only that you can get a high interest of $1 on every $3000 each month which is ideal for a student.

Again it’s up to you to decide which bank comes to your criteria and which bank is near your location and fulfil your requirements.

You need to get the complete information of the bank that you are about to an account at. The best way is to do online research rather than visiting a bank branch.

Second, you need to know whether or whether not the bank is FDIC approved because you need to have a bank that is FDIC approved.

In case something happens to the bank you don’t lose your money. Another thing is to look for no minimum balance.

Meaning that you need way less money as a student to keep your account open so that they might not get blocked.

Also avoid those banks that charge for their monthly maintenance service, ATM transaction, and other services.

Lastly, you want to consider a bank if you are a foreign student whether they offer international students a checking account or not.