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What Is The Best Bank For College Students

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Td Student Chequing Account

What is the Best Bank for College Students? | Best Bank for Young People?

About TD Bank: TD Bank is one of Canadas largest banks. It was founded in Toronto, Ontario, and is very prominent in the certain parts of the United States.

  • Fees: None
  • Monthly transactions: 25 per month
  • Interac e-Transfers: Unlimited

Why We Love It: TD Banks Student Chequing Account is another chequing account offered by one of Canadas most prominent banks. The account offers no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements and comes with unlimited Interac e-transfers, and 25 free point-of-sale transactions per month.

Why Choose A Student Bank Account Over A Regular Account

Brick-and-mortar banks typically waive monthly fees for students under a certain age however, not all banks do this for regular accounts. With a student account, you can be sure your fees will be waived. Plus, some student accounts include perks that might not be available for regular accounts, like no minimum opening deposits or waived ATM fees.

For online banks, there usually isn’t much benefit to opening a student account over a regular account and many don’t even offer student accounts. Most online banks already don’t charge monthly fees and don’t require minimum balances , so you’re already getting the perks of a college account.

Opening A Bank Account For Your Student

To open a student bank account, most banks allow users to sign up online. If you prefer an in-person experience, make sure the bank you want to open an account with has a local branch near you.

To open a student bank account, students will typically need to provide a photo ID such as a passport or drivers license and their Social Security number. For some student accounts, you may also need to present your school ID as proof of your enrollment as a student. For applicants under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian will need to register as a co-owner.

While some banks dont require a deposit, others have a minimum deposit amount to open the account. This may require connecting to another online bank account and transferring the funds into the student account. For in-person banking, this may be done by presenting cash or a check.

Once the account is opened, students can create an online username and password for access via the web or a mobile app. Students are encouraged to download the banks mobile app, as features like mobile deposit may only be available via the app. Debit cards will typically be mailed to the student, which will need to be activated once received.

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The Best Student Bank Accounts In Canada For 2020

The majority of Canadas financial market is dominated by six big banks, all of which offer accounts with special benefits for students.

Below, youll be able to find the best bank account with options catered for a students financial needs. In most cases, you can open a bank account online from the comfort of your own home.

Capital One 360 Money Market Account

4 Best Banks for College Students

Ill start with the option our daughter will be using this fall as she goes off to college. Described as a teen checking account, the Capital One Money Market account is ideal for college students. Both of our children have used the Money account since Capital One 360 bought out ING Direct, and it has been an excellent tool to teach them financial responsibility.

Here are the Pros and Cons of the Money account for college students:


  • Allows parents and their children to manage the account together
  • Easy to transfer money to and from the account online
  • Free MasterCard® Debit Card for all purchases & text alerts when transactions are made.


  • Cannot deposit checks at a Capital One Bank or ATM.

The one negative listed above requires some explanation. Capital One bought out ING Direct to form Capital One 360. Capital One and Capital One 360, however, are technically two separate banks. I think the time will come when checks can be deposited at Capital One branches, but I know from personal experience that its not possible at the moment. The good news is that you can deposit checks with your smartphone, which is what we do. You can also set up direct deposit.

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Other Products & Services:

Chase, JPMorgan, JPMorgan Chase, the JPMorgan Chase logo and the Octagon Symbol are trademarks of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved.

J.P. Morgan Wealth Management is a business of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which offers investment products and services through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC , a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, member FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. , a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. Certain custody and other services are provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. . JPMS, CIA and JPMCB are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Products not available in all states.

“Chase Private Client” is the brand name for a banking and investment product and service offering, requiring a Chase Private Client Checking account.

Bank deposit accounts, such as checking and savings, may be subject to approval. Deposit products and related services are offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

Bank Of America: Best For Savings

Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the U.S., with 4,600 branches and over 16,000 ATM locations. BoAs physical locations serve 37 states, plus Washington, D.C. The national bank also offers a comprehensive online banking platform and top-rated mobile app.

Products and Features For Students

Bank of Americas Advantage SafeBalance Banking is a checking account specifically for students. If youre under 24 and enrolled in high school or college, you wont have to worry about a monthly maintenance fee.

Youll also be protected against spending too much, with no overdraft fees if your account goes into the negative. The account is checkless , but you can make payments with a debit card, digital wallet, or through the mobile app.

BoA also offers two student credit card options: Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards. These cards allow you to earn points on qualifying purchases and build up your credit score but only if you stay on top of your payments.

Why We Picked It

As far as being one of the best banks, BoA is a strong option. With coverage across most of the country, youre bound to have access to a branch or ATM, even if you attend school out-of-state.

BoAs mobile app, which ranks at 4.8 stars in the App Store, and 4.7 stars in the Google Play Store, is one of the top-rated financial apps. When you need help, youll also have access to a large customer service network.

Learn More:

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No : Pnc Bank Virtual Wallet Student

PNC Bank Virtual Wallet Student
Minimum opening balance $0 if opened online otherwise, $25
Minimum balance requirement $0 for 6 years from account opening
Monthly fee $0 for 6 years from account opening
APY Up to if you meet certain requirements
ATM access No fees at PNC Bank ATMs $3 fee at domestic non-PNC Bank ATMs $5 fee at international non-PNC Bank ATMs up to $5 in other institutions ATM fees reimbursed per statement period

One of the only student-oriented accounts on the list, PNC Virtual Wallet Student gives students access to three accounts. Youll receive a checking account that doesnt earn interest, an additional interest-bearing checking account and a savings account that can earn you up to APY .

Virtual Wallet Student has a complex schedule of fees that can be hard to decipher, but its worth considering if you live or go to school in an area served by PNC ATMs. From six years of the account opening, students wont pay standard account fees, and youll only be charged for overdrafts by check or automatic bill payments, not ATM withdrawals or a single debit card transaction. PNC Bank will also refund your first overdraft fee.

Schwab Bank Investor Checking

Best Bank Accounts for College Students

The Schwab Bank Investor Checking Account is perfect for students who might study abroad.

One thing to note is that you must have a Schwab brokerage account to open the account.

The good news is that the brokerage account does not charge a monthly fee or have a minimum deposit. That makes it easy to open the account, and you can use the brokerage to start investing if you ever have the money to spare.

The real benefit of the account is that you can receive unlimited ATM fee refunds. This includes ATMs in the United States and abroad. Youll never pay an ATM fee again if you choose the Charles Schwab Investor Checking account.

Of course, ATM fee waivers are less impressive if theres a monthly fee for the account. Thankfully, there isnt, regardless of the balance that you have in the account.

Read a full editorial Schwab Bank Investor Checking Review.

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Know The Repayment Conditions

Sure, you probably won’t have to repay your overdraft until after you graduate, but the sudden demand for £3,000 could be quite a shock!

So, don’t treat it as free money and instead plan ahead, which starts with understanding the conditions.

Once you leave uni, most student bank accounts automatically become a graduate bank account, which deals with repaying your overdraft over a certain period.

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Us Bank: Best For Low Fees

If you live or attend school in the West or Midwest, U.S. Bank could be the perfect fit. As the fifth-largest bank in the U.S., with 3,000 locations in 26 states, its easy to find a branch or ATM near you.

Products and Features For Students

The U.S. Bank Student Checking account works for high school and college students and comes with all of the essentials. A Visa debit card, access to online and mobile banking, and your first box of paper checks are included for free.

U.S. Bank doesnt offer a specific savings account or credit card for students, but it does have options in each area that still fit students needs. For example, students can easily link a Standard Savings account with a Student Checking account. There are also several credit card options with no annual fee and low-interest rates.

Why We Picked It

When it comes to student bank accounts, avoiding fees is a must. Between overdraft fees and account maintenance fees, if you tend to carry a low bank account balance, you can easily lose $50 or more each month if youre not careful.

U.S. Bank does a great job in this area. Student Checking has no monthly fee and offers fee-free overdraft protection with a linked account. You can also get reimbursed for up to 4 fees for using non-U.S. Bank ATMs per month.

This can be especially helpful if you attend school in a state where U.S. Bank doesnt have a physical presence.

Learn More:

How Do I Open A Student Account

10 Best Banks for College Students

Most banks allow you to open an account online. Youll just need basic info, like a social security number. However, there are a couple of caveats:

  • Some student bank accounts require joint ownership with a parent, meaning youll need to work with them to open it.
  • If you have selected a bank with physical locations, I highly suggest opening in person so you can ask questions as you go.
  • International students who want to bank in the US generally must open an account in person.

Timothy Moore covers bank accounts for The Penny Hoarder from his home base in Cincinnati. He covers a variety of other topics, including insurance, taxes, retirement and budgeting, and has worked in the field since 2012. Former contributor Jake Bateman also contributed to this report.

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The Best Savings And Investing Accounts For Students

An excellent chequing account is essential, whether youre a student or not but using the right saving and investing account with your chequing account can help you stretch your dollar much further. In many cases, it can even earn you money.

Below are two great financial products that can give your new chequing account the extra oomph it needs to ensure your financial independence keeps growing, well beyond your days on campus.

Minimum balance: $0

Insurance: CDIC eligible

Why We Love EQ Banks Savings Account: The EQ Bank Hybrid Savings Plus Account works precisely like any chequing account on this list. There is one exception: the account does not include a debit card or cheques.

Nonetheless, EQ Banks high-interest savings account can help you earn some interest on your savings.

EQ Bank is a digital bank that offers high-interest savings account at a rate of 2.30% on deposits. It also allows you to make unlimited e-transfers and bill payments, as well as direct deposit and mobile cheque deposits. The best part? Its entirely free to use and requires no minimum balance.

That said, you can use this high-interest savings account with any of the free accounts listed above.

Best Bank For Cash Back: Discover

Though not a student account, many students take advantage of the Discover Cashback Debit account, an online checking account that earns you 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month instead of an annual percentage yield.

There are no fees for this account. No monthly service fee, no insufficient funds fees, no account closure fees, no replacement debit card fees and free access to 60,000+ ATMs.

Even though the Discover Cashback Debit account is not a student-specific account, the Discover it Student Cash Back credit cardis. Though its not a checking or savings account, this card is the No. 1 credit card for students who are responsible enough to handle a credit card.

Discover it Student Cash Back Card: Key Features

  • Earn 5% on select debit card purchases all year on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter
  • 5% at grocery stores and convenience stores January through March
  • 5% at gas stations and wholesale clubs plus select streaming services April through June
  • 5% at restaurants and PayPal July through September
  • 5% on online retailers like Amazon October through December
  • Check out the 2021 calendar and look for 2022 extensions.
  • Earn double the cash back during the first year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other debit card purchases year-round
  • Earn $20 statement credit each school year that you maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher for five years
  • Pros

    • Cash back: Plain and simple, this is some of the best cash back available
    • Annual fee: None


    Fine Print

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    How Does It Stack Up To Online Checking Accounts

    Many large banks offer student checking accounts with no monthly fee, and typically under the same terms as Chase Student Checking.

    The main factor to consider beyond the zero monthly fee arrangement is access to funds.

    Since virtually all checking accounts now come with debit cards, the major factor is the number of ATMs available. Chase is particularly strong here, with one of the largest ATM networks in the country.

    Other features include mobile deposits, bill pay, and an instant transfer method, like Zelle. Chase Student Checking has all these features.

    You might also consider online checking accounts from online banks.

    They normally have no monthly fee, but it pays interest on your balance, and there is no minimum balance requirement.

    Furthermore, they might waive and refund ATM fees, which allows you to use any ATM for free.

    No : Capital One 360 Checking

    Best Banks For College Students in 2020
    Capital One 360 Checking
    ATM access Access to 39,000 Capital One and fee-free Allpoint ATMs

    Capital One 360 Checking combines the established name of a national bank with many of the features of our favorite online-only banks. Besides its lack of account fees, it offers a higher APY on all balance tiers than other major retail banks, according to research from ValuePenguin, which, like Student Loan Hero, is owned by LendingTree. Plus, you can bank in person at a Capital One location if theres one in your hometown or college town.

    Its overdraft policies really make it stand out, though. Capital One 360 makes it easy to choose an overdraft option that will limit charges. We recommend that students go with Auto-Decline, which will reject transactions that would overdraw your account. You can also have Capital One fund overdrawn transactions from a linked 360 savings account for free.

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    Which Is Best For You

    Now that weve laid out the basic banking options for college students, its up to you to decide which is best for you. If youre like many students, your best bet is probably a combination.

    For instance, if you want to develop good spending habits but also need to save money, consider a checking account and a prepaid card. Deposit your checks into the checking account, and then transfer a small, set amount of cash to your prepaid card to spend.

    As long as you dont otherwise touch your checking account, you wont overspend, and youll have some money stashed away for larger school expenses.

    One thing to note: if youll have any money at all to save, open a savings account. Set aside money to pay down student loans, to buy your first home, or just for an emergency. Youll be glad you did.

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