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Guide To The Best Banks For College Students

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Written by Kimberly Linhares

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August 25, 2021

Finding one of the best banks for students is a bit easier than it was years ago. Whether you’re a high school student, a college student, or anything in between, there is no shortage of banks to choose from. While most older teens and young adults are focused on their academic education, it’s important they get educated on personal finance as well. One of the first steps toward financial independence is opening a bank account. To help you or the student in your life get started,here’s some research on the best banks for students. The banks on this list include those with student-friendly features like no fees, online and mobile banking options, ample ATM access, and more. Here are the best banks for college students.

Best Banks for College Students

Best Banks For Students 

  1. Chase

Chase stands out as one of the best banks for college students overall, especially for college students aged 17 to 24. For starters, as long as you’re in college (for up to five years), you won’t have any monthly service fees to worry about with the Chase College Checking Account. Additionally, Chase often runs promotions that may make the account even more enticing. For example, in May 2021, Chase offered new customers a $100 bonus for opening a Chase College Checking Account. And if you have a student in high school, you can be a co-owner on their Chase High School Checking account, too. Students aged 13 to 17 can take advantage of this account, which comes with no monthly fees.

Customers also have the best of both worlds as far as physical ATM access and branches, and online/mobile account features. Chase has a large bank footprint with access to 16,000 ATMs and almost 4,900 branches across the nation. Busy college students will appreciate the robust mobile banking app. Which lets them make deposits, send and receive money, and manage their account.

If you’re happy with the best banks for college students, you may be interested in other Chase accounts and services, including the Chase Savings account (which also waives the monthly service fee for students). There’s also the Chase Freedom Student Card, which comes with a sign-up bonus and cash back on purchases.

Advantages

  • Specific accounts for both high school and college students
  • No account fees while in college, up to 5 years
  • Ample branches and solid mobile banking
  • Opportunity for long-term banking relationship

  1. Bank of America

Being one of the best banks for college students, students under the age of 24 pay no monthly maintenance fees for Bank of America’s Advantage SafeBalance account while they’re enrolled in school. This is a great starter account for students because there are no overdraft fees to worry about. Transactions will simply be declined if you don’t have enough money in your account. There are no paper checks, but you can make online payments, use a debit card for purchases, or send and receive funds with Zelle. Should you decide you want checks, you can make a seamless switch over to an Advantage Plus Banking account.

It’s also a great idea to add on an Advantage Savings account. This allows students to activate the Bank of America “keep the change” feature, which lets them round up their debit card purchase amounts and deposit the difference into the savings automatically. Again, students under age 24 will not have to pay any monthly fees for the savings account.

What also makes Bank of America a solid choice all around is its large physical footprint (about 4,300 branches and 16,800 ATMs), as well as its intuitive mobile app, with lots of great features for managing and monitoring accounts.

Advantages

  • No overdraft fees to worry about
  • Keep the change feature
  • Solid mobile banking app

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  1. Capital One

Another one of the best banks for college students isCapital One. Teens looking to get a jumpstart on banking, Capital One’s MONEY account is geared toward students under 18 years of age. This is actually a joint checking account with a parent, but it’s a good practice run for students who want to open a future account of their own. Note: Students can keep their accounts when they turn 18, but also have the option of moving to a different account type.

Teen account holders get a debit card in their name, and can access and manage the account via the mobile app. Parents have access, too, whether it’s to set up automatic allowance deposits or one-time transfers, or receive text alerts and notifications about transactions through the app. Teens will also earn an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.10% on their account balance, which is much higher than what many traditional banks offer. Capital One also has a large ATM network, with 70,000+ fee-free Capital One and partner ATM locations. You can open a MONEY account either online or in person at a Capital One branch or Cafe.

Advantages

  • Ability to earn interest on account balance
  • Free debit card in the student’s name
  • Text alerts for parents
  • Accounts can be maintained after the account holder turns 18

Also Read: 7 Common Student Money Problems And How To Overcome Them

FAQ

How Do You Open a Bank Account as a Student?

In order to open any bank account, you will typically need some form of photo ID (such as a driver’s license or passport) and your social security number. Many banks let you open accounts online, but you can also do so by visiting a branch.

Another requirement may be having a minimum starting deposit to open the account, which can be done with cash or with money transferred from another banking institution. For student-specific accounts, you may also have to show proof that you are indeed a student. 

For younger student/teen accounts, a parent or guardian will usually have to set up and be a co-owner on the account. Sometimes, this can be done online, but for certain banks or account types, you may both have to go in person to the branch.

PS: If there’s anything more you’d like us to know about. Add it to the comments section!

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘Guide To The Best Banks For College Students’ If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that might be of interest to you:

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