The Importance of Selecting the Best Bank for Students

If you are a college or high school student or the parent of one, you may wonder the importance of choosing a good bank.

A bank can play a critical, long-term role in a young person’s life. By choosing the best bank for students, whether that’s the best bank for college students or the best bank for high school students, you’re creating the potential for a healthy financial future.

When students become customers of a good bank, they’re going to have access to valuable tools and resources that will help them build the right financial habits to last a lifetime.

Top 12 Best Banks for Students Review-min

In terms of choosing from banks offering student loans, this is incredibly important as well. Where a student decides to take a private loan from is going to impact how much they pay in fees, penalties, and interest rates.

It can also dictate where they’re able to attend school, and how they’re able to pay the loan back after graduation.

It’s with all of these important considerations in mind that this ranking of the best banks for students was created.

Don't Miss: High Yield Bank Accounts

Each of the names on this ranking offers accounts geared specifically to the needs of students, each works to keep fees low, and many of the selections on this ranking of good banks for students also offer a range of financial education tools and resources.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Banks for Students

This list is sorted alphabetically (click any of the above names to go directly to the detailed review for that bank)

Related (Please Review):

Top 12 Best Banks for Students
(List is sorted alphabetically)



Bank of America

Bank of America Student Banking


BB&T Student Banking

BBVA Compass Bank

BBVA Compass Student Banking

Chase Bank

Chase Student Banking

Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Student Banking


KeyBank Student Banking

PNC Bank

PNC Student Banking

Regions Bank

Regions Student Banking

SunTrust Bank

SunTrust Student Banking

TCF Bank

TCF Bank Student Banking

US Bank

US Bank Student Banking

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Student Banking

Methodology for Selecting the Best Banks for Students

When deciding on the best banks for students, there were a couple of different areas we looked at. The first was at accounts designed specifically for high school or college students. If a bank offered checking or savings accounts for students, we reviewed the features of those accounts and decided whether it would be used for this ranking. The next area of criteria was a bit different.

We considered the banks that give student loans, and depending on factors like the terms and availability of these loans, we decided whether or not to include those banks on this ranking.

After reviewing these factors, we then narrowed down our list to include only the very best banks for students, whether that’s regarding accounts or banks with student loans. Some of the financial institutions on this list excel in both areas.

Click here for a detailed explanation of our methodology:  AdvisoryHQ’s Methodology for Selecting Top Online Banks for Business.

Detailed Review—Top Ranking Best Banks for Students

After carefully considering the best banks for students, we created the following list of the top 12. As you continue reading, you’ll find detailed reviews for each of our picks, as well as specifics of some of the factors we used in our decision-making process.

Bank of America Review

Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Bank of America is a full-service financial institution offering products and services that are widely varied, including deposit accounts, lending, investment, and advisory. Bank of America also serves the needs of individual consumer clients, as well as small businesses and corporate clients. 

Bank of America operates with principles based on the concept of helping customers make better financial choices and have better financial lives, and they also strive to create connections that strengthen the communities they serve.  

Key Factors That Enabled This to Rank as a Top U.S. Bank for Student Accounts

Listed below are some of the primary reasons Bank of America was selected as offering some of the best bank accounts for students.

Bank of America Core Checking

Bank of America Core Checking is an account designed specifically for students under the age of 23, who are enrolled in a high school, college, university, or vocational program. If they meet these standards, account holders are eligible to have the monthly maintenance fee waived for this account.

Features of Core Checking include the following:

  • This account is convenient and accessible for busy students and can be accessed using online, mobile, and text banking available from Bank of America. There are also thousands of ATMs and branches across the country.
  • Overdraft protection is available.
  • Debit cards for this student checking account are linked to chip-enabled debit cards for maximum security. 

Students who use Core Checking can sign up for customized alerts that let them know if there’s been a change in their account, which can range from a low balance to a bill that’s due for payment.

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Bank of America has a signature program offering called BankAmeriDeals, in which customers can choose from a variety of cash back deals directly from their mobile or online banking platform.

When they pay for their purchases using a Bank of America debit or credit card, the cash back that’s earned through these purchases is automatically credited to the eligible account by the end of the next month.

Bank of America Core Checking account holders are eligible for participation in BankAmeriDeals.

Creating a Budget

Bank of America works to provide students with resources and educational guides that will help them learn more about managing their finances as a way to strengthen their future.

One way students can take advantage of the options available through Bank of America is by using their budget creation template.

Students can set financial goals they hope to accomplish both in the short- and long-term, learn the specifics about their net income, and then create a plan based on fixed and variable expenses.

Student account holders with Bank of America can then track their spending and personalize their budget over time.

College Planning

While Bank of America is no longer one of the banks offering student loans, they do provide ample resources and information on planning for college. Bank of America is one of the best banks for high school students because they offer “Before College” planning resources through Merrill Edge, which let students and their families plan for how much will be needed to pay for college, how they can achieve their savings goals, and more.

For students currently in college, there are also resources that highlight how students can learn financial responsibility and how they can start planning to pay off their student loans after graduation.

BB&T Review

BB&T is one of the largest banks and financial service providers in the U.S., with assets around $212 billion and headquarters in Winston-Salem, NC. BB&T maintains more than 2,100 branches in 15 states around the country as well as in Washington, D.C. In addition to being one of the country’s good banks for students, BB&T also offers a full slate of consumer and commercial banking services.

BB&T offers student accounts as well as resources and information regarding student loans and planning for college, although the bank doesn’t directly serve as one of the banks offering student loans on this ranking.

Key Factors That Led Us to Rank This as One of the Providers of the Best Bank Accounts for Students

Below are key reasons BB&T was selected for this ranking of the best banks with student checking accounts and other student-related financial services.

Student Checking

The signature Student Checking account from BB&T is designed to be one of the best bank accounts for students, whether they’re in high school or college. This student account is tailored to the needs of students who are 23 years old or younger, seeking an account that’s convenient, flexible, and worry-free.

Features of BB&T Student Checking include no minimum balance requirements and no-fee online statements; plus, online and mobile banking are available.

When students open a BB&T checking account, they also receive a BB&T debit card, and they have access to a limited number of non-BB&T ATM transactions with no fee per statement cycle.

Overdraft Protection

When students have an account with BB&T, they can utilize any of several different overdraft protection options. Available options that can be linked to student checking accounts include the following:

  • BB&T eSavings
  • Constant credit
  • Preferred line of credit
  • Investor’s deposit account
  • Regular savings
  • Money rate savings

Student Budget

Along with being one of the best banks for high school students and college students, BB&T also features signature tools and educational resources. One of their tools is called “Student Budget,” and it’s designed to help students analyze their budget and see their expenses versus their income while they’re attending a college, university, or other full-time school.

Users of this unique and valuable calculator can manually add their expenses and income during an eight-month school year from September through April.

Some of the customizable expenses include school, food and groceries, living, entertainment and travel, and loan payments.

Once income is added, a customized report is created to give students an accurate view of their financial picture.

Young Savers

For high school students under the age of 18, BB&T offers Young Savers. This program is designed to teach young people about the value of saving and budgeting from an early age, and it is a savings account that features interest compounded daily.

It’s a convenient account that makes it easy to access funds, and there are limited requirements to open or maintain Young Savers. Young people can access their account information by online banking or mobile banking, and they can also receive account alerts by email and text message.

BBVA Compass Review

Based in the Sunbelt region of the U.S., BBVA Compass is one of the country’s top banking franchises, and it’s among the top 25 largest commercial banks based on deposits. There are 688 BBVA Compass branches located in states around the country, including Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

BBVA services are divided into three major units: commercial banking, retail banking, and wealth management. BBVA Compass is one of the best banks with student accounts, and in particular, this includes checking.

Key Factors That Enabled This to Rank as a Top U.S. Bank for Student Accounts

Listed below are some of the primary factors that led to the ranking of BBVA Compass as one of the best banks for college students and high school students.

Free Checking

The BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking account is designed to be a simple, convenient, and streamlined way to manage money. Account holders have flexibility because they can access their money at a branch, online, and using their mobile devices.

Features and benefits of this account include:

  • No fees on BBVA Compass ATMs
  • Free online banking
  • Free mobile banking
  • Free customizable alerts
  • Free online and paper statements
  • Free Visa debit card
  • No monthly service charge
  • Free account alerts

Compass ClearSpend Prepaid Cards

As well as being one of the best banks with student accounts, BBVA Compass also features ClearSpend prepaid cards. These cards are a great way for students and their parents to manage finances, and they avoid the risk of overdraft fees.

Features of these prepaid cards include:

  • No credit check is required
  • $0 reload fees
  • $0 purchase transaction fees
  • There are $0 monthly or annual fees to use a BBVA prepaid card
  • No overdraft fees
  • Students can receive real-time transaction alerts
  • Built-in budget tracker can be downloaded and used by students to more successfully manage finances and avoid overspending

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Mobile Banking

BBVA Compass was selected as one of the country’s good banks for students because of not only their free checking account options and prepaid cards, but also their mobile banking app.

For students who are on-the-go, the BBVA Compass Mobile app provides them with the ability to manage their finances wherever they are. Money magazine voted it the Best Mobile Banking App in 2015.

Users of the app can make payments and transfers, pay their bills, make deposits using just their mobile device, and also set up alerts so they will know if there is a low balance or unusual activity happening with their account.

ClearChoice Savings

For students who want a simpler way to save more money, BBVA Compass offers ClearChoice Savings, which is a convenient savings account that can be used for short- and long-term goals.

ClearChoice includes benefits such as earned interest on the entire balance, easy access to money, and the minimum opening deposit is only $25.

The quarterly service charge is waived when an account holder has an automatic, recurring monthly transfer of $25 or more from a BBVA Compass checking account to a ClearChoice Savings account, or when there is a minimum daily collected balance of $500 or more in the savings account.

Chase Bank Review

Chase Bank features a wide variety of consumer, business, and corporate banking services that include checking accounts, credit cards, home equity lines of credits, savings and CD options, mortgages, and auto loans. This leading U.S. financial institution also has a dedicated Student Center, which is why Chase was selected as one of the best banks for college students and high school students.

While Chase isn’t one of the banks for student loans, they do also have valuable resources that can help with saving and paying loans.

Key Factors That Allowed This to Rank as One of the Best Banks with Student Checking Accounts

Below are reasons Chase was included on this list of good banks for students.

High School Student Checking

A Chase Student Checking account is divided into two categories: Chase High School Checking and Chase College Checking.

Chase High School Checking is for those students who are 13-17 years old at the time the account is opened, and there must be a parent or guardian present during opening who serves as a co-owner. To have this account, the parent or guardian must also maintain a linked personal Chase checking account.

There is no monthly service fee until the student is age 19; if the parent or guardian terminates their Chase personal checking account before the student is 19, there is a $6 service fee. This can be waived if there is a Direct Deposit made to the account, or if there is a $5,000 monthly average daily balance in the account.

When the student account holder turns 19, they become a Chase Total Checking account holder automatically.

Chase College Checking

The availability of this account is one of the big reasons Chase was selected as one of the leading banks for college students. Chase College Checking is specifically for students who are in college and who are aged 17-24. To open this account, proof of student status is required.

College students who open this account have access to 15,500 ATMs as well as 5,300 nationwide branches. There is no monthly service fee on this account for up to five years while the holder is in college. After that, the low monthly service charge can be waived if there is a Direct Deposit made to the account or if there is a $5,000 monthly average daily balance maintained.

Account Alerts

Part of student banking with Chase is the option to create customized account alerts, which are a simple and convenient way for students to manage their finances and stay ahead of any potential issues.

These alerts can update student account holders on deposits, withdrawals, and balance levels.

For example, a student account holder can opt to have an alert sent when their transactions or ATM withdrawals exceed limits. Daily Limits can also be set up to monitor balances, large transactions, and account activity.

Chase Mobile App

The Chase Mobile App lets students bank from anywhere. Some features and benefits of Chase Mobile Banking include:

  • Secure access with advanced encryption technology
  • The design of the app is intuitive and user-friendly
  • Users can do anything from checking account activity to depositing checks and paying bills from both a smartphone and a tablet
  • Deposit checks using your device’s camera
  • Transfer money between Chase accounts and also external accounts
  • Use Chase QuickPay to make fast payments to individuals
  • See past statements
  • See account transaction history
  • Find a branch or ATM
  • View deposit and payment confirmation information

Fifth Third Bank Review

Fifth Third Bank has been in business since 1858, meaning this bank brings to the table more than 150 years of financial experience. Fifth Third offers hundreds of convenient locations in 15 regions and many states throughout the U.S., ranging from Florida to Michigan.

While Fifth Third did stop offering private student loans, they do have a comprehensive online information center that helps students and their parents learn more about paying for college, making them one of the best banks for college students, as well as students who are still in high school.

Key Factors That Enabled Us to Rank This as One of the Best Banks for Students

If you’re wondering which bank is best for students, below are some of the key reasons Fifth Third was included in this review and ranking.

College Savings Calculator

Fifth Third doesn’t just offer banking products; they offer an extensive library of valuable financial calculators. One of those is the College Savings Calculator, which helps students and their parents understand how much college is going to cost them, and how they will need to save to reach their goals.

Some of the information that’s part of this calculator includes the annual college cost in current dollars, the number of years until a student goes to college, how many years will be spent in college, and a percentage adjustment that reflects the annual rise in college costs.

Essential Student Checking

The Essential Student Checking account from Fifth Third Bank is for students who are at least 16 years old and have a valid student ID. If these conditions are met, there is no monthly service charge for this account.

No minimum balance is required, there is no monthly fee, and students receive five free non-Fifth Third ATM transactions each month. This account can be used in conjunction with a Fifth Third debit card, online banking, and online bill pay.

It also offers access to more than 2,500 Fifth Third ATMs.  

529 Savings Accounts and CDs

For parents and students who are interested in saving for college, Fifth Third offers 529 savings and CD options. They are designed to let money grow over time, and they offer tax advantages as well. When customers open a 529 Savings Account or CD with Fifth Third, there are no fees and the minimum deposit is only $25.

There is a guaranteed rate of return with FDIC backing, and account holders pay no taxes as the account grows. When withdrawals are made for qualified higher education expenses, they’re exempt from federal income tax, as well as state income taxes in some locations.

Terms range from three months to 12 years, interest rates are competitive, and you can automatically transfer a 529 CD to a 529 Savings Account at maturity.

Fifth Third Debit Card

Having an account with a Fifth Third debit card is an excellent option for most students because it’s as simple as carrying cash but safer and more secure. Options for students include the Gold Debit Card, which is ideal for everyday purchases and is protected with MasterCard Zero Liability and Price Protection.

With the World Debit MasterCard, cardholders earn Real Life Rewards points for every purchase. This debit card can be combined with points on a Fifth Third Rewards Credit Card.

Another card option available for students from Fifth Third is the Access 360 Reloadable Prepaid Debit Card, which can be used with mobile banking to view transaction history and load cash.

KeyBank Review

KeyBank is one of the largest financial services companies in the country, with a history that dates back 190 years. Currently, KeyBank serves 12 states and maintains a network of nearly 1,000 branches and 1,300 ATMs. The company is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and has assets of nearly $94 billion.

In addition to banking and financial services for individuals and businesses, KeyBank also features student-specific account options, as well as guidance on topics relevant to students, such as obtaining student loans.

Key Factors That Led to The Inclusion of This as One of the Top Banks for College Students and High School Students

Below are essential reasons KeyBank was included on this list as one of the best banks for student accounts.

Key Student Checking Account

The Key Student Checking account is uniquely structured and designed to serve the needs of students. This account also keeps the needs of parents in mind, and it boasts incredibly simple and streamlined online access so multiple people can view transactions and account information.

This is designed for students who are 16 and older, and there is no monthly maintenance service charge when there are deposits of at least $200 or five account transactions are initiated. ATM cash withdrawals and surcharges are reimbursed when they occur at other banks, up to $6 per month.

This account is also eligible for the KeyBank Relationship Rewards program.

KeyBank Relationship Rewards

KeyBank Relationship Rewards is a program that lets banking customers earn points when they do everyday activities, which include online Bill Pay and making purchases with their KeyBank credit and debit cards.

With debit card transactions made through the Key Student Checking Account, participants earn one rewards point for every $6 spent in qualifying signature debit net purchases and PIN/POS net purchases. There is no monthly maximum.

When a student account holder enrolls in online bill pay, they earn 100 rewards points per Bill Pay transaction and bonus points for the first three months.

Key Saver Savings

An excellent savings account option for students from KeyBank is Key Saver Savings. This account is incredibly straightforward and convenient, and it makes it easy for students to reach their financial goals, whatever they may be.

The starting deposit to open this account is only $50, and there is no monthly maintenance service charge when the daily balance is $300 or more.

Account holders can create regular deposits or transfers from other Key accounts to grow their balance effortlessly, and this account can be managed and accessed using online banking. It can also be linked to a KeyBank student checking account to provide overdraft protection.

Mobile Apps

KeyBank offers mobile apps that deliver speedy and no-fee access to accounts, which is a perk for busy students. They can use not only their smartphone but also their tablet to do the following:

  • Locate a nearby KeyBank branch or ATM
  • Transfer funds between internal KeyBank accounts (This can be helpful for parents who want to transfer funds into their students’ accounts)
  • Students and their parents can use the mobile apps to deposit checks using their mobile device, which is great if a student is attending college out-of-state or just wants a convenient option to add money to their account
  • Account holders can view their balances and search their 90-day transaction history
  • Students who have access to the KeyBank mobile app can manage and make payments to Bill Pay payees and also see their scheduled payments

PNC Bank Review

A very diverse financial institution, PNC Bank offers services that range from customer-centric deposit accounts to options for small businesses, large corporations, and government bodies. PNC has a presence across 19 states as well as in the District of Columbia, and there are more than 2,600 branches, as well as 9,000 ATMs around the country.

PNC also offers both accounts for students, and it’s one of the banks that give student loans included in this ranking and review.

Key Factors Leading Us to Rank This as One of the Best Banks That Offer Student Loans and the Best Banks with Student Accounts

Listed below are some of the primary reasons PNC was included in this ranking of the best banks for students.

Virtual Wallet Student

Virtual Wallet Student offers account access and tools specifically aimed at the needs of students. This account includes the following features and benefits:

  • PNC is one of the best banks for student accounts because the Virtual Wallet Student service charge can be waived with proof of active student status. This lasts for six years.
  • Students can access their accounts at 8,000 PNC Bank ATMs.
  • It includes a PNC Bank Visa Debit Card.
  • This account includes free online and mobile banking.
  • There are international services which include international wire transfers and language interpretation.
  • Parents can receive the same account alerts as their student when balances are low.

Education Loan Center

As mentioned, PNC offers not only student accounts but is also one of the listed banks that offer student loans.

The PNC Solution Loan is a private loan designed to eliminate the gap between federal aid and the full cost of a student’s tuition.

Options include:

  • The undergraduate private loan is for students enrolled at least half the time in a degree or certificate program.
  • Graduate and professional students can take advantage of a private education loan as they work toward their advanced degree.
  • There is a PNC private loan designed specifically for students who are studying in a PNC-approved health-related field of study and are enrolled at least half-time.
  • If a student is part of a health professionals residency, there is a private education loan option to help them cover interview, relocation, and living expenses.
  • Students studying for the bar who are enrolled at least half-time in an ABA-accredited law school can take advantage of private loan opportunities from PNC.

PNC Achievement Sessions

PNC is not only one of the best banks that offer student loans as well as a leading provider of student accounts; they also have a broad range of financial education resources to help young people learn more about managing their finances and planning for the future, which are maintained under Achievement Sessions.

Recent Achievement Sessions topics including “The College Years: Making a Budget Work for You,” “Congrats Grads! Now What? 5 Tips for Financial Independence After College,” and “How to Save Money While in College.”


Popmoney is a simple money transfer service available for free to PNC student account holders. It’s one of the easiest ways to send and receive money from friends and family members, and it’s accessible through PNC online banking.

Popmoney is a good way for parents to send their children money when they’re paying expenses at college, and it’s simple to manage. It can also be used by students to pay back friends for meals or other expenses they may cover for them, and it can be used to reimburse roommates for living expenses.

Regions Review

Serving customers throughout the Southern and Midwestern regions of the U.S., Regions Bank operates about 1,600 banking offices throughout the country, and customers have access to 2,000 ATMs. The mission of Regions is to create superior economic value for shareholders through the creation of products and services that enhance the lives of customers, employees, and communities.

As well as being one of the best U.S. banks for student accounts, Regions is also one of our top picks of banks offering student loans.

Key Factors That Enabled This to Rank as One of the Best Banks for Students

Cited below are some of the reasons Regions was selected as one of the country’s good banks for students and also one of the top banks that give student loans.

Student Loans

Regions is a lender of Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans, which are for borrowers who are attending degree-granting institutions.

There are competitive interest rates, and Regions doesn’t charge an origination fee on student loans.

There are undergraduate and graduate pricing options, and it’s possible to borrow up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance. Regions also offers a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction for students enrolled in scheduled monthly payments through automatic debit.

There is no prepayment penalty, and the online application is easy and includes an eSign option. You can explore the Regions website for easy information and guides on how to get a student loan from a bank.

Regions LifeGreen Checking for Students

LifeGreen Checking for Students is the signature account option for students offered by Regions. This account includes a Regions Visa CheckCard with Cashback rewards, options for online banking and bill pay, and mobile banking including Regions Mobile Deposit.

There is a 50% discount on the first order of Regions custom student or personal checks, and account holders can receive online statements that include images of the checks they’ve written.

This account also includes overdraft protection when the LifeGreen account is linked to a Regions savings, money market, credit line or Regions credit card account.

Account holders can also sign up to receive alerts with balance reminders.

There is no monthly fee for this account, and it’s for students up to the age of 25.

Regions Cashback Rewards

Student checking account holders at Regions are eligible for participation in the Cashback Rewards program, which is an easy way to earn benefits on everyday purchases. When participants are using their Regions card — whether it’s to buy groceries, get gas, go out to dinner or anything else — they get automatic offers in their online or mobile banking account based on their individual spending.

To take advantage of the automatic rewards, all participants have to do is click and shop.


If student account holders also want to open a savings account with Regions, there are several options; plus, these accounts can then be linked to their checking to prevent against overdraft fees and declined transactions.

Savings options include LifeGreen Savings, which carries no monthly fee or balance requirements, and includes the option to earn an annual savings bonus. To open this account, the applicant must have a Regions checking account and a $50 deposit when opened online or a $5 opening deposit in a branch when automatic recurring monthly payments are transferred from a Regions checking account.

Also available is Regions Savings, which is a low-fee savings options, and for students 18 or younger, there is the Savings for Minors option.

SunTrust Review

With headquarters in Atlanta, SunTrust is a leading national bank with assets of more than $190 billion. This bank offers clients a variety of services including deposit accounts, credit accounts, lending, investments, and more. Clients include individuals as well as small and larger businesses. The company has about 1,400 retail branches throughout the U.S.

Specifically, in terms of personal banking, SunTrust offers checking accounts and credit cards. SunTrust is also one of our picks for good banks for college students because they offer student loans.

Key Factors That Led Us to Rank This as One of the Top Banks for Student Loans and Accounts

Highlighted below are key reasons SunTrust was selected as one of the best banks for student accounts and also as a top bank that gives student loans.  

Essentials Checking for Students

The Essentials Checking for Students account is designed to make banking simple and affordable for students. Features of this account include the following:

  • There are no monthly fees for five years.
  • Users can take advantage of no-fee mobile banking with mobile deposit and bill pay.
  • You can use money transfer options to make payments and pay people.
  • Account holders receive 25 free checks or 50% off their first checking order.
  • Students can take advantage of Account Balance Alerts so that they know what the standing of their account is.

Overdraft Services

As students and young people begin to learn about finances, it’s not uncommon for unexpected situations to arise, which is why SunTrust offers their account holders overdraft services.

Overdraft services make sure money is available when a student needs it, through a few different options.

One option is Overdraft Coverage, which lets account holders make debit card transactions and withdrawals even with insufficient funds p— though it’s not guaranteed that every transaction will be covered.

Overdraft Protection links a deposit account to another SunTrust deposit, credit, or line of credit account and automatically transfers funds to cover any overdrafts.

Overdraft Assurance acts as a line of credit for personal checking accounts.

Education Loans

If you’re wondering what the best bank for students is, many people opt for SunTrust because of their education loans. SunTrust offers not only financing options but a variety of tools and resources for students and their families as they’re deciding how to pay for college.

SunTrust’s private student loans are offered to both undergraduate and graduate students to cover the full cost of education when federal loans and grants aren’t enough.

SunTrust MasterCard Debit Card

The Essentials account offered to students comes with a SunTrust MasterCard Debit Card, which includes a range of benefits. One of these is MasterCard Zero Liability protection, which provides a student with complete protection from unauthorized purchases.

Other features include:

  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Extended warranty
  • Price protection
  • Purchase assurance
  • MasterCard SecureCode

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TCF Bank Review

TCF Bank is a national bank based in Minnesota, and it had more than $20 billion in assets as of March 2016. There are branches of TCF located in states throughout the country, including Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona, Indiana, and more. Personal banking solutions from TCF Bank include checking and savings, loans and credit, and prepaid and cash services.

TCF defines its mission as providing consistently superior performance that helps customers achieve their goals.

Key Factors Considered When Ranking This as One of the Best Banks with Student Accounts

If you’re wondering what is the best bank for students, below are some reasons TCF was included in this ranking.

TCF Free Student Checking

The TCF Free Student Checking account is designed to provide convenience, flexibility, and no-fee banking. This is ideal for both high school and college students, and the primary benefit is that this account has no monthly maintenance fees, and there is no minimum balance requirement.

Only $25 is required to open the account, and it includes discounted checks and a TCF debit card, as well as free withdrawals at TCF ATMs.

TCF Power Savings

When TCF checking account holders also open a savings account with the bank, they’ll receive benefits. The TCF Power Savings account is an excellent option for students, and it includes a competitive interest rate.

With a minimum daily balance of $100, account holders pay no monthly maintenance fee, and the amount required to open the account is only $25.

Other savings options that can be bundled with a student checking account from TCF include Growth Savings and Preferred Savings.

Prepaid and Cash Services

If a student needs to have access to cash and card capabilities but doesn’t want to open a student checking account, TCF offers another option: ZEO. ZEO is a suite of products designed to simplify money management, and product options include check cashing, prepaid cards, and money transfers.

With the ZEO Prepaid Visa Debit Card, users can shop online, in stores, and at any merchant where Visa is accepted. Purchases can be made using Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, and cardholders can withdraw cash at TCF branches, ATMs, and merchants where cash back is offered during purchases.

Users can pay bills with their ZEO card, and money can be loaded at any TCF branch, through direct deposit, or at a Visa ReadyLink location.

Financial Education

Along with the account options, TCF was included in this ranking of the best banks for high school students because of their Financial Scholars Program for Teens. This offers a teacher-led curriculum where participants experience six to eight hours of classroom instruction as well as online learning modules.

This curriculum teaches everything from the fundamentals of money management to more complex financial concepts, and it includes compelling components such as gamification and social networking.

TCF also offers other financial literacy programs, including the Financial Learning Center, where participants learn to manage their money more effectively and make stronger financial decisions.

U.S. Bank Review

As part of U.S. Bancorp, U.S. Bank is based in Minneapolis and has more than $420 billion in assets. U.S. Bancorp is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the U.S., with more than 3,100 nationwide banking offices in 25 states.

Services offered by U.S. Bank include online and mobile banking, checking and savings, credit and prepaid cards, mortgage and refinancing options, loans and lines of credit, and investing and wealth management. U.S. Bank also maintains a dedicated online Student Banking Center.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Banks with Student Accounts

U.S. Bank is not one of the banks for student loans on this list, but they were included in our ranking because they are one of the leading banks with student accounts and student-centric financial resources. The specific reasons are listed below.

U.S. Bank Student Checking Account

The U.S. Bank Student Checking Account is a safe and convenient place for a student to maintain their money, and this account even allows for their financial aid checks from outside lenders to be directly deposited into their account.

This Student Checking account includes the following features and benefits:

  • No monthly maintenance fee if you sign up for online statements
  • There are no minimum balance requirements
  • Free U.S. Bank ATM transactions
  • Four free non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions per statement cycle
  • The first box of checks is free
  • Account holders can manage their money with U.S. Bank online and mobile banking

To open this account, it’s possible to apply online; if you’re under 18, the bank does require that you have a parent co-owner.

Campus Card Program

The Campus Card Program is a unique offering from U.S. Bank in which students add a bank partner to their college or university ID card. If a student attends a participating educational institution, they can link their U.S. Bank and student ID card into one integrated platform, which offers simplicity as well as added benefits.

There are two options, which are the Basic Campus Card and the Maxx Card. With the Basic Campus Card, participants receive a student ID and bank card that allows for ATM withdrawals and PIN-based debit purchases.

With the Maxx card, account holders receive a student ID combined with a Visa Check Card, allowing them to make in-person and online purchases.

Student Credit Cards

U.S. Bank student accounts also include credit options. The U.S. Bank College Visa Card is designed to meet the needs of college students as they learn to be smart with their money and build good credit.

Features of this credit card include:

  • Personalized mobile alerts so card holders will know when their payments are due and more
  • Zero fraud liability
  • Online account access
  • No annual fee
  • No interest charges on purchases if balances are paid in full every month

Savings for Students

U.S. Bank is a leader among banks with student accounts, and this includes not only checking but also savings.

The U.S. Bank Goal Savings Account is ideal for students because it requires only a $25 transfer from a U.S. Bank checking account per statement cycle, and there is no monthly maintenance fee.

Goal Savings is designed to help students with short-term financial goals, and with automatic transfers from a checking account, it’s effortless to save more. Students can even name the account to reflect their personalized savings goals. You can apply for this account online.

Wells Fargo Review

Headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo is one of the most recognizable names in banking, with services including personal, small business, and commercial options. Wells Fargo often ranks highly and wins industry awards for their innovation, corporate social responsibility, and their support of individuals as well as small businesses.

Wells Fargo is a good bank for college students as well as high school students, and various options range from checking accounts to credit cards and student loans.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Banks for Students

Below are some of the essential reasons Wells Fargo was selected as one of the best banks for college students as well as high school students.

Student Checking

Everyday Checking is an account that’s designed to be flexible and accessible for anyone, and those Wells Fargo customers who are 17-24 years old and are the primary owner of the account receive a $5 monthly service fee discount.

To avoid the entire monthly service fee each period, account holders can make ten debit card purchases or payments, or have a qualifying total direct deposit of $500 or more. Account holders can also maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance or have a linked Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card.

The minimum opening deposit for this account is only $50.

Money Transfers

When you’re looking for good banks for college students, ease of money transfers can be an important consideration, particularly if a student is attending school out of state. Parents and family members want to be able to transfer money easily into their students’ account, and Wells Fargo offers several options through which this can be done.

Account holders can make immediate funds transfers between Wells Fargo accounts online and via mobile device.

Using Wells Fargo SurePay service allows account holders to send money to anyone with an eligible deposit account online using an email address or mobile number.

It’s also possible to transfer money to outside financial institutions and set up automatic recurring transfers.

Private Student Loans

As well as offering access to valuable guides that show how to get a student loan from a bank and information about what banks offer student loans, Wells Fargo also lets customers apply for private loans offered directly through their institution.

This includes both undergraduate and graduate loans.

Also, Wells Fargo has options to consolidate student loans using Wells Fargo Private Consolidation loans. With this option, loan holders can combine multiple private student loans into one loan with a single payment or refinance an existing private loan.

This can make it easier to pay them off, and it may lower monthly payments. It’s also a good way to reduce loans with interest rate discounts from Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card

The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card is a unique way for college students to start building their credit while managing their expenses. This card features My Money Map, a tool that allows card holders to manage monthly expenses and create a customized budget. It also includes access to free online credit education courses.

As part of the cash back rewards program, cardholders earn 1% cash back on net purchases, and 3% cash rewards on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for the first six months.

Cash rewards with this card are redeemed in $25 increments, and you can opt to have them automatically deposited into your Wells Fargo savings account or apply them to a credit product. You can also receive a traditional check.

Additional features of this student credit card include Rapid Alerts, Zero Liability protection, chip technology, and Verified by Visa, which is a secure and easy way to shop online.

Conclusion—Top 12 Options for Banks with Students Accounts

If you’re asking which is the best bank for students, there are quite a few things to consider, and all of these considerations were included during our ranking process of the Top 12 Best Banks for Students.

The best U.S. banks for student accounts tend to have minimal or no fees, are accessible and convenient, and be accessible online and by mobile device.

If you’re considering how to get a student loan from a bank or the best banks offering student loans, factors to think about include interest rates, flexibility in terms, what types of loans are offered, and repayment options.

The above 12 banks are all excellent for students whether they just offer student accounts or they’re also one of the banks offering student loans. They’re backed by superior reputations, products, and services that are ideal for young people as they’re just starting to manage their own financial lives.

If you have questions, comments, or tips about this “Top 12 Best Banks for Students” article, send us an email. Also, follow us on social media to be the first to hear about major economic news stories.


AdvisoryHQ Team