Eighty-nine percent of parents report that their kids learn about finances from them, according to Junior Achievement’s 2015 Teens and Personal Finance Survey. Yet the survey also revealed that more than one-third of parents don’t discuss money with their children. Not having a basic understanding of personal finances can be a major problem for teenagers when they move out on their own and suddenly face major financial decisions like budgeting, taking out — and repaying — a loan, or managing a checking account.
Financial institutions are proactively helping parents by offering student checking accounts, which require an adult co-signer. Account features vary from bank to bank, but most of them waive fees for young account holders so they can enjoy more of their money while learning about banking.
Here are the eight best banks for students, with rundowns of some of their features as well as tips about transitioning to regular accounts once they’ve passed the maximum age limit.
|Bank||Checking Account||Mobile Banking||Online Banking||Monthly Fee||Minimum to Open||Debit Card||How to Apply|
|Union Bank||Teen Access Checking||Yes||Yes||$0||$100||Yes; includes option of preset daily limits on ATM or debit card||Apply now|
|USAA||Youth Spending||Yes||Yes||$0||$25||Yes||Apply now|
|Alliant Credit Union||Free Teen Checking||Yes||Yes||$0||$0||Yes; parental ability to access limits for purchases||Apply now|
|Logix Federal Credut Union||Teen Checking||Yes||Yes||$0||$25||Yes; daily limit of $125 in combined debit purchases and ATM withdrawals||Apply now|
|Wescom Credit Union||GenEdge Checking Account||Yes||Yes||$0||$1||Yes; ATM card with $250 daily withdrawal limit||Apply now|
|1st Source Bank||e-student Checking Account||Yes||Yes||$0||15||Yes; no reloadable options||Apply now|
|Chase Bank||Chase High School Checking||Yes||Yes||$0||$25||Yes; no reloadable options||Apply now|
|Bank of America||Core Checking||Yes||Yes||$0||$25||Yes; includes option of preset daily limits on ATM or debit card||Apply now|
Union Bank’s Teen Access Checking introduces teens to the world of banking while letting parents oversee some aspects, like daily spending limits. Managing funds is easy with the mobile and online banking features.
For teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17, the Teen Access Checking account offers many of the same features as other checking accounts, like online and mobile banking, but without the same monthly service fee. To open the account, an adult must be a joint account owner.
With hundreds of branches across seven states, Union Bank is a solid choice for long-term banking needs. Whether your child stays in your hometown after high school or moves across the country for college, he can access his account via mobile banking, an ATM or a local bank branch. Additionally, Union Bank offers a College Checking Account option with no monthly fees, so your teen can seamlessly graduate from one account to another.
Union Bank’s teen-oriented bank account includes the following money management tools and features:
- Online banking
- Mobile banking
- Online bill pay
- Text banking
- Reduced overdraft fees
- ATM or debit card with a choice of pre-set daily limits
USAA’s Youth Spending account makes it easy for parents to guide high school students through the world of checking accounts and still maintain some parental controls. You get to choose which accounts your child can access and whether or not she can make deposits, so this account removes a lot of the risks for first-time account holders.
The Youth Spending student checking account offers teens the opportunity to open a bank account that does not charge the standard fees. There’s no monthly service fee — regardless of the account balance — and parents can set limits on the account, including spending limits. Although an adult must be a joint account owner, teenagers can use mobile banking on their own.
From the Youth Spending account, teens can easily move their money into a transitional USAA College Account with no monthly service fee and no monthly minimum balance requirement. Private college student loans are also available through this bank, which can be convenient for college-bound people who need assistance to pay for tuition, books or housing.
Account holders will receive a USAA debit card, which is accepted at millions of locations around the globe, as well as access to more than 60,000 free, USAA-preferred ATMs nationwide. Depositing checks is easy, too, as teens can use Deposit@Mobile, USAA’s mobile check deposit app, to add funds to their account — no matter where in the world they are.
Parents can opt to receive text alerts when their teenager’s spending limits have been met, and can transfer funds into the teen’s account on a recurring basis.
The Free Teen Checking account from Alliant Credit Union makes it easy to earn interest simply by signing up for e-statements. This is an great way to educate teens on interest-bearing checking accounts as they learn how to manage their funds.
Designed to introduce teenagers from 13 to 17 years of age to the responsibilities of managing money, the Free Teen Checking account has some nice features, including an interest-bearing checking option. Alliant offers a high-rate checking account for teens who opt to receive e-statements and have at least one monthly electronic deposit. Right now the annual percentage rate for this account is 0.648 percent.
This interest-bearing Free Teen Checking account can be an effective way to introduce teenagers to the money-generating options of personal finance and checking. Alliant makes it easy for adolescents to transition their money into a high-rate checking account for adults after they’ve outgrown the youth-targeted account.
The Free Teen Checking account includes many of the same features as other Alliant Free Checking accounts, including online banking, mobile banking, ATM rebates — up to $20 per month for out-of-network ATMs — high-rate checking and overdraft protection for just $3 per day that it’s used.
Logix Federal Credit Union offers the Logix Teen Checking account. Along with basic services like electronic transfers, the account also provides ATM surcharge rebates up to $6 a month.
For teenagers between 13 and 17, this is one of those student banking accounts that takes a straightforward approach to personal finance. With no monthly service fee, the Teen Checking account lets young account holders keep more of their money. Like most other banks, Logix requires an adult as a co-signer for this type of account.
Once your child turns 18, he will no longer be eligible for the Teen Checking option, but Logix has a next-step account — NextGen Checking — into which he can transfer his money. NextGen Checking is available to those between 18 and 24 years of age, and as with the Teen Checking account, NextGen will waive monthly fees when you sign up for e-statements.
Teens can manage their money with a variety of helpful banking features, like money transfers via online banking, debit card convenience — with the option to set daily limits — and free transaction alerts.
Wescom Credit Union’s GenEdge Checking account might be the best option for college-bound teens who want to save for tuition. With this account, customers can sign up for College Saver Certificates so they can begin earning dividends to use on those hefty university expenses.
The GenEdge Checking account is available for teens between 15 and 17 years of age with an adult co-signer. Each new customer will get a checking account with no monthly fees, one box of checks and a Wescom Visa check card with a $500 daily spending limit.
Account holders have the opportunity to manage their day-to-day funds as well as plan for the future by taking advantage of Wescom’s College Saver Certificates. Available to GenEdge Checking customers who are younger than 18, the College Saver Certificate allows teens to start earning dividends for the cost of college. The requirements are a $250 minimum deposit and a contract for a 36-month term, with the option to make additional deposits during the predetermined term.
Once your child turns 18, he can still enjoy the benefits of being a young account holder at Wescom. The bank will waive the $8 monthly checking account fee for members who are between the age of 18 and 22, as long as they have an active account with e-statements. Plus, customers have access to Wescom’s robust ATM network, including no-fee withdrawals and deposits at 30,000 additional ATMs in the CO-OP Network.
Account holders can enjoy free mobile banking through Wescom’s eBranch, which allows you to view account balances, track transactions and transfer money. Wescom account holders can also open a GenEdge savings account for just $1, and the standard $5 monthly service fee is waived for all Youth Account members.
The e-student Checking Account from 1st Source Bank might be a smart choice for kids who are interested in fintech — or financial technology — trends. This account supports a variety of progressive apps designed to make receiving and sending money simple. Apps like Popmoney, which allows you to pay people by text or email, and Apple Pay, a digital wallet — Samsung Pay and Android Pay coming soon — are just a couple services your teenage student will get with the e-student account.
For teens and young adults between 16 and 24 years of age, the e-student Checking Account offers money-saving features that are ideally suited for those just learning to manage their money. With no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance, young people can save more of the money they earn.
Teens can transition from the e-student Checking Account into a variety of options as they age out of this one. From interest-bearing checking accounts to more basic accounts, there are choices available to ensure each individual’s financial success.
Account holders have access to a wide variety of features, including electronic checks, a discount rate on your first car loan — subject to credit approval — and FinanceWorks, a free money-management tool that helps you keep track of your funds so you can budget and reach your financial goals.
Check Out These Insider Tips for How to Choose the Best Bank
Chase High School Checking makes banking easy with 24/7 support, plenty of branch locations and free ATMs. New account holders will have access to a simple checking starter kit that includes mobile and online banking as well as a debit card with chip technology.
Students between the ages of 13 and 17 can open a Chase High School Checking account with an adult co-signer who has a linked personal checking account. With no monthly fees, this account will allow teens to pocket more of their money — at least until they turn 19, when the account will transition into a Chase Total Checking account.
From this introductory account, young banking customers can graduate to a Chase College Checking account, which is available for those between 17 and 24 years of age. There’s no monthly fee for this option for up to five years while the account holder is enrolled in college. The 24/7 support is convenient for students whose schedules don’t match typical nine-to-five business hours.
The Chase High School Checking account includes helpful tools like online and mobile banking, a Chase debit card with chip technology and access to 15,500 ATMs and 5,300 branches.
Bank of America’s Core Checking account is student-friendly, offering a monthly fee waiver for students under the age of 23. The bank offers online, mobile and text banking, and access to thousands of free ATMs across the country.
The Core Checking account waives the monthly maintenance fee for students younger than 23 who are enrolled in school. a high school or college, university or vocational program. The account requires a deposit of just $25 to open, so students can take advantage of the benefits of having a bank account, even if they don’t have much money yet.
Core Checking is available to students after high school, as long as they are 22 or younger and enrolled in a college, university or vocational program. After an account holder turns 23, he has the option of keeping this account. The monthly fee can still be waived — with a direct deposit of at least $250 or an average daily balance of $1,500 or more.
Bank of America offers advice about choosing and using different types of bank accounts and features. The bank also provides tools and information about student and auto loans and building credit history. Other helpful tools include alerts for any account changes — including deposits and bill payments, and the ability to temporarily lock a debit card if you lose it and need time to find it.
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