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10 Best Student Savings Accounts

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When you’re first learning how to manage your own money, following in the footsteps of your parents or older friends isn’t always the best way to go. The best savings account for a parent doesn’t necessarily translate into the best savings account for students. As a student, you need an account suitable for the spending and saving habits of someone in high school or college.

To get started, you can explore options for opening a student savings account at online banks, a credit union, or a local bank. Once you open an account, you’ll be able to use it as a tool to help you manage your money wisely.  

How to Choose the Best Student Savings Account

Typically, a good savings account for students helps young people earn competitive interest rates on balances that are safe in fee-free, FDIC-insured bank accounts. When it comes to student banking, accessibility matters. College students might not have cars to get to the nearest bank branch. Mobile banking and online banks often make the best choices for these students, especially when their home branch is in a different state.

As the current generation of new adults relies on mobile devices to tackle money management, more and more banks offer apps and tools to help students make and stay on a budget, pay bills on time and get overdraft fees waived.

Top Savings Accounts for Students

Paying attention to interest rates, fees and any perks available with different student bank accounts will help you choose the right savings account for your needs. Here are 10 of the best student savings account options:

Savings Account Interest Rate (APY) Min. Opening Desposit Monthly Fee Student Tools and Perks How to Apply
Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings 1.65% $0 $0 High APY
No fees or minimums
Mobile and online banking available
Learn More
Ally Bank Online    Savings  1.50% $0 $0 Offers online plus mobile convenience  Among the industry’s highest interest rates with no fees or minimums Learn More
Capital One  360 Savings 1.00% $0 $0 Offers zero fees and comparatively high interest rates Learn More
Navy Federal Credit Union Basic Savings 0.25% $5 $0 Offers student loan services with comparatively low variable and fixed rates Learn More
Astoria Bank Student Saver 0.05% $1 $0 Cheap to open and maintain, while still earning interest Learn More
UMe Federal Credit Union Student Savings 0.10% $5 $0 Earn interest and build up savings Learn More
Student loans offered via partnership with Sallie Mae
U.S. Bank  Goal Savings 0.01% $0 $0 Must transfer $25 from checking account every cycle, which helps keep savings goals on track Learn More
HSBC Direct Everyday Savings 0.01% $0 $0 Offers zero fees and no opening deposit Learn More
Flagstar Direct SimplySavings 0.10% $1 $3 Can avoid fees by linking a checking account Learn More
First Republic Bank Passbook Savings 0.05% $500 $0 Offers no service fee or minimum balance requirement Learn More
Student loan refinancing with low, fixed rates
All rates are accurate as of Oct. 15, 2017, except for Ally,
Capital One, NFCU and Synchrony, which are accurate as of today.


Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings

Interest rate: 1.65% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $0
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

A High-Yield Savings account with Synchrony Bank is the best option for students looking for the industry’s highest interest rates. Additionally, this account has no minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirement, so it’s great for students on a tight budget.

For convenience, students can manage their accounts and make easy withdrawals online, by phone or through an ATM. Mobile check deposits and wire transfers from other banks are also available.

Ally Banking Online Savings Account

Interest rate: 1.50% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $0
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

Online banks like Ally eliminate the hassle of driving to a bank or calling just to make a deposit, transfer money or inquire about a balance. You can choose to open a savings account online with Ally and earn some of the highest interest rates on your savings deposits. Interest is compounded daily with this account, so saving diligently on a weekly or monthly basis can really pay off.

You can also save a few dollars with zero monthly maintenance fees.

Related: 15 Things the Best High-Interest Savings Accounts Have in Common

Capital One 360 Savings

Interest rate: 1.00% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $0
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

The Capital One 360 Savings account is designed to help you reach your savings goals with several tools and online services. You can make use of the My Savings Goals feature to track your progress and open multiple accounts with customizable names to save for specific goals. For students saving for a car, a vacation or next semester’s expenses, this feature might be especially helpful.

The mobile deposit feature lets you make deposits from anywhere, and a mobile app helps you transfer money and check balances with ease. Capital One also offers student credit cards.

Navy Federal Basic Savings

Interest rate: 0.25% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $0
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

You’ll get this savings account automatically when you become a member of Navy Federal Credit Union. The account boasts competitive rates and no monthly service charges.

Students can take advantage of several member benefits that make it easy to manage money on the go. You can get same-day access to your money with direct deposit, and bank from virtually anywhere using mobile banking features. All members can make use of mobile and scan deposits, online bill pay and online transfers.

Related: More Than Half of Americans Have Less Than $1,000 in Savings in 2017

Astoria Bank Student Saver

Interest rate: 0.05% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $1
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

Open a student account with Astoria Bank to keep your savings habits in check. The Student Saver account offers just the basics, and you can open this account with just $1, which is perfect if you aren’t ready to make a sizeable deposit.

Interest is compounded daily, and there’s no minimum balance requirement. For students just getting into the savings game who want a no-frills account, this might be one of the best student banking account options.

UMe Federal Credit Union Student Savings

Interest rate: 0.10% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $5
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

Students under the age of 18 who live, work, or go to school in Burbank, Calif., can open a Student Savings account at UMe Federal Credit Union. No membership fee is involved, and you can open the account with just $5. You’ll earn interest on all balances of $25 or more, and there’s no monthly fee to worry about.

All members have access to 30,000 surcharge-free ATM machines so making a withdrawal directly from savings is easy. Plus, UMe will give you a free ATM card.

Related: Questions to Ask Before Opening a Savings Account

U.S. Bank Goal Savings

Interest rate: 0.01% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $0
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

Students who struggle to set savings goals can get a better handle on goal-setting with a U.S. Bank Goal Savings Account. Although there’s no minimum deposit requirement or maintenance fee for this student savings account, you do need to commit to a $25 minimum automatic transfer from your checking account every statement cycle. You can also set up additional automatic deposits to your savings account on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis to work toward your savings goals with little effort.

HSBC Direct Everyday Savings

Interest rate: 0.01% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $0
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

Students looking for a basic account with the convenience of mobile banking services can open an HSBC Everyday Savings Account. With no minimum opening deposit or monthly fee, this account is easy to open and maintain. To keep savings on track, you can customize automatic transfers from an HSBC checking account to build up your account balance with minimal effort. 

Mobile banking services allow you to access your accounts securely through your smartphone or tablet with convenient features including online bill pay and mobile deposit.

Flagstar Direct SimplySavings

Interest rate: 0.10% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $1
Monthly fee: $3
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $300
Online and mobile banking: Yes

Flagstar Bank caters to student banking needs with the interest-bearing SimplySavings account that earns interest with every deposit you make. With a low-cost opening deposit of $1, and the option to have the $3 monthly service fee waived, making this account a great choice for students on a budget. Account holders, depending on the balances they maintain, also get preferred rates on CDs, personal loans, home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

First Republic Bank Passbook Savings

Interest rate: 0.05% APY
Minimum opening deposit: $500
Monthly fee: $0
Minimum balance to avoid fee: $0
Online and mobile banking: Yes

Students who want a more personalized banking experience can open a Passbook Savings account in person at First Republic Bank. The bank offers competitive variable interest rates and daily compounding of interest with this fee-free account.

You can also take advantage of free online banking services, which allow you to securely access your account, transfer funds and pay bills. Deposits and withdrawals must be made with Passbook by visiting a First Republic Preferred Banking Office.

Up Next: Best Credit Cards for Students

Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates.com identified the best student savings accounts based on interest rates, monthly fees, minimum opening deposits, minimum balances needed to avoid fees, mobile and online banking offerings, and student tools and perks. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers’ discretion. Some offers might no longer be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how you access the web page. All rates are accurate as of Oct. 15, 2017, except for Ally, Capital One, NFCU and Synchrony bank, which is accurate as of today.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article.