Being a student doesn’t mean you have to go without the conveniences of a checking account because you believe fees will eat up all of your money. Banks are well aware that students often don’t have a lot of income or savings. They create checking accounts tailor-made for small balances and features students want. Banks are playing the long-game when it comes to students. While small student checking accounts aren’t money-makers, banks are betting that you’ll stay with them after graduation, when your income is much higher. In fact, research by Third Way found that college graduates will earn approximately $900,000 more than high school graduates.Students will find a lot of benefits to using a student-oriented checking account. These include no fees, easy access to ATMs, debit card, in some cases free checks, and a mobile app. Let’s look at a few top banks that are great for student checking accounts.Featured Bank: . These accounts are free and come with a debit card, and mobile access. Sign up here.
Radius Bank offers the . This is an amazing account for college students because not only does it have a low minimum to open, but it also pays interest AND it has a solid mobile-first banking app.It currently pays 0.10% APY on balances between $2,500 and $99,999, and 0.15% APY on balances over $100,000. You must maintain a $2,500 minimum average balance in the account OR $2,500 in direct deposits per month to earn interest.They also offer 1% back on debit card purchases, which is similar to other top accounts on this page!They are very mobile friendly, with unlimited ATM reimbursements, and mobile check deposits. Read our full Radius Bank review here.Why I Like It: Interest-bearing checking with cash back debit.Open a .
BBVA Free Checking is a lesser known bank nationwide, but they do offer nationwide free checking! However, where BBVA really shines is in its access to ATMs. Furthermore, there is no real requirements to maintain free checking at BBVA. They do charge for paper statements (and it’s opt-out), but once you opt-out, you don’t have to worry about making enough direct deposits or having a minimum balance. This isn’t directly a college student checking account, but it’s simply a great checking account option.Why I Like It: Easy online banking without worrying about minimums.Learn more about BBVA Free Checking here.
was one of the original free mobile banking apps that revolutionized mobile banking. They started with a mobile-first mindset, and also wanted to keep fees as low as possible.Chime really started it’s focus on college students when it launched – being mobile first across the board.As such, they have a top notching free checking account if you’re okay with a mobile only platform. Chime has no physical locations, and all of their banking is done online – in the app. Why I Like It: Free mobile banking.Learn more about . Check out our Chime Bank Review here.
HSBC is a national bank that has a solid student checking account product.They are very mobile friendly, and have a large network of ATMs. The great thing about their Student Checking product is that no minimum balance is required, and all fees are waived for up to 6 years. Why I Like It: Nationwide, with easy ways to avoid monthly fees.
is one of the most well-known internet only banks around, and they have a great free checking account that matches their brand. This isn’t directly a student checking account, but it continues to show that you don’t need a student branded account to have a great product.They are known for solid customer service and great banking products. They have no monthly fee free checking, and a great mobile app that allows mobile check deposit.Why I Like It: Well known free checking brand.Learn more about .
is another online banking giant that has been around for a long time. This is another long time free checking account that has a lot of popularity.Capital One 360 Checking has several innovative features that you don’t see at other banks. First, they have no foreign transaction fees if you use your ATM card overseas. Second, they have an overdraft option where you can basically opt for a personal loan instead. Why I Like It: Solid online bank with innovative features.Learn more about .
US Bank Student Checking offers the features you are probably getting familiar with by now.The minimum deposit to open an account is $25. You’ll receive a Visa debit card to use for shopping and ATMs. If there is no U.S. Bank ATMs near you, the first four non-U.S. Bank ATMs are free per statement cycle.You’ll also receive your first set of checks for free. A mobile app is included as well. There is a $2 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived by signing up for paperless statements.Why I Like It: Free checking, nationwide availability.Learn more about .
is a great choice for free checking if you qualify to have a USAA Account. USAA limits membership to servicemembers and DOD employees and their families, so that could be a bar to entry for some.USAA used to brand their checking as a student checking account, but now it’s just it’s same USAA Classic Checking with some special pages for college students.If you do qualify for USAA, then their USAA Classic Checking is a great product, with no fee checking, free checks, online BillPay, and ATM free reimbursements.Why I Like It: Free checking, free checks, great mobile app for those that qualify for USAA.Learn more about .
Discover offers a great checking account for students called the Cashback Debit Checking Account. This checking account allows you to earn up to 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases every month. Plus, there are no fees or minimum balance requirements!They are very mobile friendly, have access to over 60,000 free ATMs, and even have no-fee check ordering.Why I Like It: Cashback debit on a free checking account.
The Chase College Checking℠ account is one of the best checking accounts designed for students. Students between the ages of 17-24 don’t have to worry about maintenance fees. You can have the fee waived for up to fives years as a student. This account comes with a debit card, and you’ll have mobile access.And right now, you can get $100 as a new Chase checking customer when you open a Chase College Checkingaccount and complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of account opening! That’s awesome!Chase College Checking℠ has no monthly service fee for up to five years if you’re a student between 17 and 24.Read our full Chase Bank review here.Why I Like It: A great account opening bonus for a student checking account, with one of the largest, most well known banks in the United States.
Students are typically new to the banking system. They might not have much income. They also might not have a job yet (for direct deposit), or have other accounts at the bank.As such, they have unique requirements that we wanted to share, so that you can see how we based our criteria for the best student checking accounts.In order to be one of the best student checking accounts, we put the following criteria in place:
These are the best free college student checking accounts right now.You might also want to look at these key resources:And remember, these accounts are usually only free while you’re in college. At that point in time, some of these accounts will convert into other products, which may or may not charge fees. Plan accordingly!