Best Student Bank Accounts in 2022

Explore the best student bank accounts to find the most convenient features that help you manage your money throughout college.

portrait of Dana Sitar portrait of Lauren Ward
by Dana Sitar, Lauren Ward

Updated July 29, 2022

Edited by Cameren Boatner
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Best Student Bank Accounts in 2022
Image Credit: Oscar Wong / Moment / Getty Images


Students typically have different financial needs during their college years than they'll have later in life. For example, students may rely on low or no income, frequently transfer money among friends and family, and visit ATMs often.

To accommodate these needs and help introduce students to personal money management, many banks offer accounts that cater specifically to students.

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What Makes a Good Student Bank Account?

To accommodate your unique financial needs as a student, look for accounts that include:

  • Low or no opening deposit requirement
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No balance requirements
  • No direct deposit requirements
  • Online and mobile banking options
  • A nationwide or international account and ATM/branch access, if needed
  • No ATM fees
  • A large and widespread ATM network
  • An ability to continue or convert the account after you leave school

While not every perk or feature is necessary for a student bank account, some things are good to have and can help you make a final decision. For instance, you may like to have a physical branch close to both your college campus and your home. And if you can't live without your phone, look for banks that connect to a digital wallet.

10 Best Student Bank Accounts

Explore the best student bank accounts to help you manage your money efficiently and affordably. Check with these banks directly before opening an account; fees and benefits may change frequently.

1. Chase College Checking Account

Designed for 17- to 24-year-olds, the Chase College Checking account comes with no monthly fee. Plus, the Chase Mobile app offers convenient features, such as instant locking if you lose your card, an auto-saving option to meet saving goals, budget planning, and credit score monitoring.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0 up to five years
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $34
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

2. Discover Cashback Debit Account

With the Discover Cashback Debit account, you'll earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in purchases each month. Plus, the account comes with digital wallet access and Zelle for person-to-person payments. If you have a job with direct deposit, you can also get paid up to two days earlier.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $0 with overdraft protection
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

3. PNC Virtual Wallet Student Account

PNC's Virtual Wallet Student account is designed to keep you organized while at school. It comes with a primary checking account, a short-term savings account, and a long-term savings account. The account comes with helpful budgeting tools like "Low Cash Mode," which lets you know when you're about to overdraft so you can avoid expensive fees.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $36
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

4. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking Account

This fee-free bank account is a great choice for enrolled students who are younger than 25 years old. The Advantage Banking account gets you access to the Bank of America app, which includes perks like Zelle, BankAmeriDeals, mobile check deposit, and debit card lock/unlock.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

5. U.S. Bank Student Checking Account

Students ages 18 and up can apply for an individual account, and younger teens can apply with an adult. With the U.S. Bank mobile app, you can deposit checks remotely, use Zelle to send and receive money, and pay your bills directly within the app.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $0 with linked account
  • Minimum Deposit: $25

6. Truist Student Checking Account

The Truist Student Checking account is for students who are 23 years old or younger. You can access over 3,000 fee-free Truist ATMs and manage your account with text alerts. With the Truist app, you can deposit checks, transfer funds, and add your debit card to your smartphone's digital wallet.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $36
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

7. Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

While not specifically a student account, an Ally Bank Interest Checking account doesn't have any monthly fees or minimum deposits, making it an accessible choice for college students. Your account balance also earns interest. You can manage your money with Ally's app by depositing checks remotely, using online bill pay, and accessing a variety of savings tools.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

8. Chime Checking Account

Another account that isn't specifically made for students, Chime Checking offers a lot of value. When you sign up for direct deposits, you'll get paid up to two days early. Plus, there are no fees on overdrafts of up to $200.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $0 (up to $200)
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

9. Capital One MONEY Teen Checking Account

This kid-centric checking account also gives parents visibility and control through two separate app logins. While it's called the Teen Checking Account, kids eight and over are eligible. Parents can also link to external accounts if they don't currently bank with Capital One.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

10. Axos Essentials Checking Account

This final no-fee checking account is easy to get started. Plus, any direct deposits are paid up to two days early. Other helpful digital banking features include automatic bill pay, biometric authentication, and real-time account alerts.

  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Overdraft: $0
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

Pros and Cons of Student Bank Accounts

Student bank accounts at traditional banks tend to meet students' needs for a fee-free account by stripping away banking perks like interest, bill pay options, and checkbooks. Also, they often include financial education features and safeguards like no overdrafts.

These accounts are a good way for younger students to start managing their own money. A potential drawback is that these accounts typically convert into non-student accounts with fees and financial requirements once you're no longer a student.

Students can often get these same perks with general, fee-free online and mobile banking services. These services aren't marketed specifically to students, but their features may meet students' needs. They can also grow with you after you leave school, without tacking on additional fees or requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Bank Accounts

Which bank account is best for students?

There are many student checking accounts that come with features to help you successfully manage your money and develop better saving and spending habits. Compare multiple options to find the best fit for you.

In addition to looking at fees, you should also look at eligibility requirements. Some student checking accounts have age restrictions, while others limit the number of years you can be in school while maintaining your eligibility.

Should I choose an online bank account?

Online checking accounts for students are convenient because you can manage your money online or through your smartphone. That being said, most major and regional banks have smartphone apps that offer comparable services. Take a look at the fees involved with both online and traditional banks. Also think about whether you'd prefer the option to have in-person service at a local branch.

Do I need a student bank account?

Opening a student bank account can help you manage your money. Plus, many accounts give you access to a debit card, which you can use to shop in person and online without having to use cash.

Managing your own bank account also helps you build a banking history and gives you the skills you need to avoid overdrafts and pay bills on time. While student bank accounts may have great perks tailored to your needs, you can also open a general account. Just make sure you understand the fee structure and other requirements.

How do I open a student bank account?

Most banks provide an easy online application. However, in some cases, you may need to visit a branch location. Also, expect to be asked for a photo ID and, potentially, proof of your status as a student.

Once you're approved, you can make a deposit into your new checking account. You can also create your online banking account and app login to access all of your account's digital features. Once you receive your debit card in the mail, you'll be able to activate it and start making purchases.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute professional financial advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers of this website should contact a professional advisor before making decisions about financial issues.


BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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