Which is the Best Checking Account for Students? Chase or TD Bank or Capital One Student Checking Account?
When it comes time to leave home and begin the arduous four (or more) years of college education, one of the biggest challenges many young people face is learning how to manage their money.
Without mom and dad offering free room and board, many college students quickly find out that taking responsibility for their personal financial well-being isn’t as easy as it looks.
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While calling home to ask for occasional support from the parents isn’t a terrible option, finding the best checking account for students may very well be the best way to learn financial responsibility and effectively manage your money.
Almost all banks and credit unions offer some sort of student checking account. These best student bank accounts may promise all sorts of perks and benefits, but in reality, are they any different than a regular bank account?
In this brief article, AdvisoryHQ will explain why you should consider student checking accounts above regular bank accounts while you are in college.
We’ll look at some of the basic differences between the best checking account for students and regular checking accounts before explaining the limitations on who can apply for these best checking accounts for students. We’ll also explain how to open a student bank account.
Lastly, we will review three of the best checking accounts for students: The Chase Student Checking and ther Chase student accounts, the TD Bank Student Account and TD Student Checking, and Capital One Student Checking.
Why Should You Consider Student Checking Accounts?
Make no mistake about it, the banking industry is highly competitive; thousands of banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are trying desperately to win over your business.
Banks know that while college-aged students may not represent the most financially lucrative of their clients, they will one day enter the work force and most likely constitute a high-end client for them. For that reason, most banks offer student checking accounts to try and strengthen their future client base.
The best checking accounts for students usually offer a number of perks that regular accounts simply don’t offer. Taking the time to search for the best checking accounts for students may not only save you money over the course of your college education, but it also financially prepares you for the “real world.”
The best student bank account offers an opportunity to further your financial education and develop responsibility in your money management practices. At the same time, banks are generally more lenient and forgiving toward their college-aged clients, allowing you to avoid many of the fees and charges that come with regular banking.
Differences Between a Checking Account for Students and a Regular Checking Account
Student checking accounts differ from regular checking accounts in three main areas: the fees charged, the amount of free access to ATMs, and perks directed toward students.
Almost all regular checking accounts charge some sort of monthly fees, especially accounts offered by the big name banks.
While credit unions and small, hometown banks may still offer free checking accounts, if you are planning on leaving your hometown for college, you’ll probably want a student checking account offered by a bigger bank with branches both in your hometown and where your college is located.
The best checking account for students is either fee-free or offers a simple way to waive the monthly fee tacked onto your student checking account.
For example, some banks may charge a regular monthly fee on a checking account for students but allow that fee to be cancelled as long as you have a direct deposit set up on the account or use your debit card a certain number of times each month. No-fee student checking accounts can help you save hundreds of dollars over the four years that you’re in college.
Furthermore, college students have a lot on their plates. While trying to manage six classes, a full-time job, and who knows how many other extracurricular activities, it’s easy enough to forget to eat or fill up your car with gas before it’s urgent. The best student bank account will allow you easy access to your money.
When the empty light comes on in your car or your stomach starts to remind you that you skipped breakfast again, the best checking accounts for students should also come with a large ATM network that will allow you to pull out some needed cash without the hassle of driving across town to the brick and mortar branch of your bank. A checking account for students should be tied to a large ATM network that will allow you access to your cash without charging you heavy ATM transaction fees.
Lastly, the best checking accounts for students should also offer you certain perks just for being in college. Since students may inadvertently overdraw from their student checking account, a quality perk offered by the best student bank accounts is free overdraft protection. The TD Bank student checking account that we’ll review below, to name just one example, will waive any fee associated with overdraft protection.
Another perk you should be on the lookout for in a checking account for students is quality mobile apps that make it easier to take your banking with you wherever you go.
Since most college-aged students stay tied to their smartphones, these mobile apps can help you facilitate automatic bill pay, balance requirements, and other elements of banking even during an important final exam. Furthermore, the best checking accounts for students should also offer person-to-person payment apps so that you can easily receive those extra monetary gifts from grandparents and extended family.
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Who Can Apply for the Best Checking Account for Students?
The easy (and obvious) answer to this question should be college students. However, many banks will put age limits on who can apply for student checking accounts. TD Student Checking offered by TD Bank, for example, only offers the perks associated with their TD Student Checking Account to students who are under the age of 24. Consider it an extra motivation to graduate quickly.
Other banks may limit how many years you can use your student checking account. For those lifelong students who take a decade (or two) to graduate, you may not be able to benefit from the perks offered by the best checking accounts for students during the entirety of your college career.
How to Open a Student Bank Account
Learning how to open a student bank account isn’t the most difficult thing you’ll find during your college education. Most banks have clear requirements to be able to apply for the best checking accounts for students.
Besides providing a basic identification card, such as a driver’s license and Social Security number, most banks that offer student checking accounts will also ask for valid proof of college enrollment.
Your college ID card should be enough to get you access to the best student bank account. For banks that have age limitations on their checking account for students, you’ll also need to prove that you’re within their accepted age limits.
When you sign up for a best checking account for students, you’ll also want to remember to ask what will happen to your account once you’re no longer enrolled as a student. Some banks may simply roll your student checking account into a basic checking account with low fees.
However, some banks may automatically sign you up for a premium account that comes with more prohibitive fees and other charges. If you’re like most college students, you’ll probably leave college with lots of debt — and the extra burden of increased bank fees probably isn’t what you’re looking for.
The Best Student Bank Account
When you begin your search for the best checking account for students, don’t be fooled into simply choosing the bank that is on campus or sponsored by your university. According to Nerd Wallet, “in many cases, your school has a business relationship with the bank, which is providing services in exchange for access to potential student customers.
And although it’s possible the deal you can get on campus is great, more likely it’s no better — or is indeed worse — than what you could get elsewhere.”
Below we’ll review three of the top student checking accounts out there: Chase Student Checking, TD Bank Student Checking and Capital One Student Checking.
- Chase Student Checking and Other Chase Student Accounts
The Chase student accounts are quality checking account for students that offer a number of important features for high schoolers and college-aged people.
Chase offers a Chase student checking account both for high school and college students. In both cases, there is a $6 dollar monthly maintenance fee that can easily be waived if you set up a direct deposit with the account.
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Chase student accounts also offer free account alerts, a number of useful mobile banking features, and free online bill pay.
- TD Bank Student Account and TD Bank Student Checking
A TD Bank Student Account is one of the best checking accounts for students available. TD student checking offers no minimum daily balance or monthly maintenance fee. You can even sign up for a fee-free savings account if you have a TD student checking account.
Furthermore, the TD Bank Student Account offers a number of overdraft services, thousands of ATMs both in the United States and Canada, and free bill pay through their quality mobile banking apps.
If you’re happy with your TD Bank Student Checking Account, you can even benefit from certain rate discounts on loans offered by the bank. TD Bank will give college-aged students with a TD Bank Student Account a 0.25% rate discount on your first home loan.
Most locations are open 7 days a week and also offer live customer service on their website 24 hours a day and seven days a week, making it one of the most accessible student checking accounts available.
- Capital One Student Checking
Capital One Student Checking also offers quality perks and benefits for the college student. The Capital One No Fee 360 Checking Account is an online checking account with no monthly maintenance fees.
With over 40,000 ATMs nationwide, the Capital One Student Checking also gives you access to your money virtually anywhere. If you also want to start building up your credit, Capital One offers a Journey Student Credit Card with no annual fee, 1% cash back rewards, and no foreign transaction fees, which come in handy for students studying abroad.
How the Best Student Checking Accounts Can Help You Financially Support Your Education
Finding the best checking accounts for students is a simple way to make your money management easier during the hectic years of your college education. The perks, benefits, and bonuses that come with student checking accounts allow you to avoid unnecessary fees and thus dedicate more of your financial resources toward your education.
Whether you choose Chase Student Accounts, a TD Bank Student Account, or Capital One Student Checking, finding the best student bank account will help you during your college career.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.