Generation Z — those born roughly between 1995 and 2009 — grew up with the internet, so the best banks and credit unions for young adults typically feature great online access as well as low fees. It’s never too early to start being financially responsible, so if you have a child who’s in high school — or if you’re in college — consider opening an account at one of these student-friendly institutions.
Take a look at some of the best options for banks for young adults and learn about the youth-oriented services they provide. Whether you’re looking for the best student savings account, the best college checking account, or some other financial product designed with young adults in mind, you’ll find it here.
Here are the top 10 banks and credit unions for young adults:
- Capital One 360
- Wells Fargo
- TD Bank
- Bank of America
- Chase Bank
- Bay Federal Credit Union
- Discover Bank
- Santander Bank
- U.S. Bank
- Navy Federal Credit Union
Review the table for a quick overview of details on each of these best financial institutions for young adults:
|Best Banks and Credit Unions for Young Adults|
|Bank||Banking Products For People Under 21||Fees||Account Min. Requirements||Personal Finance Education/Tools||How to Apply|
|Capital One 360||Journey Student credit card|
Checking and savings accounts with no fees and high rates
|None||None||Financial education center||Learn More|
|Wells Fargo||Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card||None||None||Online student community for education planning and student loans discussion groups||Learn More|
|TD Bank||TD Go Reloadable Card||None||None||Email and text alerts to notify about balance and account info|
Eligible for use with digital wallets
|Bank of America||Core Checking for students and student savings||Students under age 24 eligible for a waiver while enrolled in high school or college||$25 to open||College planning tools and resources for banking basics and after college||Learn More|
|Chase Bank||Chase High School Checking|
|$6 — can be waived by meeting requirements||$25 to open||Student center offers resources on auto finance options, Chase Liquid prepaid card, obtaining free credit score, etc.||Learn More|
|Bay Federal Credit Union||Savings and checking accounts for young adults and teens||None||None||Free mobile and online banking tools that help to track savings and spending activities||Learn More|
|Discover Bank||Rewards credit cards for students|
Checking and savings accounts with no fees and high rates
|None||None||Student loans||Learn More|
|Santander Bank||Student Value Checking Account for ages 16-25|
Santander Youth Savings for those under 18
|None||$10 to open||Financial education tools||Learn More|
|U.S. Bank||Student Checking||None||$25 to open||Financial planning and financial goals resources||Learn More|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||Campus Checking for full-time students ages 14-24||None||None||Online resources for financial tips|
Student loan offerings
Online resource for setting and keeping track of financial goals
Capital One 360 is an offshoot of the well-known credit card issuer Capital One. Capital One 360 is an entirely online bank that charges no fees and has no account minimums for a variety of checking and savings accounts.
The Journey Student credit card is designed for those with little or no credit, which makes it one of the best student credit cards. It has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, and you can get your credit limit raised after you pay on time for five months. The card also offers 1 percent cash back on all purchases, which jumps to 1.25 percent if you pay on time.
Wells Fargo is a traditional bank that offers special services for younger clients. For example, it enables you to build your credit history while you’re in college with the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card, which offers 3 percent cash rewards for the first six months on gas, drugstore and grocery purchases.
Younger customers can also access an online student community, where they can participate in education planning and student loan discussion groups. The Wells Fargo Teen Checking account, for teens from 13 to 17, has a $25 minimum opening requirement and provides fee-free checking if you opt for online statements.
TD Bank was one of the pioneers of the online banking industry. In addition to opening savings and investment accounts with no investment minimums and no fees, younger customers can get the TD Go Reloadable Card, which allows parents to track teen spending online and receive text and email alerts. The card is also eligible for use with digital wallets, and using it is a good way for teens to get comfortable with financial responsibility.
Bank of America might be an old-line bank, but it has adapted its services for a younger clientele. Although you’ll still have to pony up a $25 minimum to open an online bank account, fees are waived for students under 24 if they’re enrolled in high school or college.
Students also get access to online resources for banking basics, which includes information on college planning and paying back student loans after college. The Core Checking account for students offers debit card access, and the Student Savings account comes with overdraft protection. Both accounts feature mobile banking and online banking.
Chase Bank still requires $25 to open an account but offers specialized accounts for younger clients, who can choose from the Chase High School Checking account — for those 13 to 17 — or the College Checking account for those 17 to 24. Although Chase charges a $6 annual fee for each account, you can get it waived if you have monthly direct deposits or a $5,000 average day-ending balance.
For the High School account, you can also avoid the fee if you have a linked parent or guardian account — and for the College Checking account, you’ll pay $0 in fees for the first five years you’re matriculating.
Bay Federal Credit Union offers specific checking and savings accounts for teens from 11 to 17 and for young adults from 18 to 22. Both accounts offer Visa debit cards and online and mobile access.
You can open a membership savings account with just $5 and there are no balance requirements or service charges for either a checking or savings account until you turn 23. It’s these features that put Bay Federal Credit Union’s offering in the running for the best savings account for young adults.
Discover Bank offers student loans with zero fees — and gives 1 percent back if a student earns a 3.0 GPA or higher. Credit cards for students include the Discover it card for students, which earns 5 percent cash back in rotating categories, and the Discover it Chrome card for students, which offers 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants. Checking and saving accounts with no fees and high interest rates are also available.
Explore: 10 Best Banks for College Students
Santander Bank’s entry into the youth account arena is called the Student Value Checking Account. As long as you’re a student and age 16 to 25, you can open the account, enjoy no minimum balance and pay no monthly fee. You can bank on the go with Santander using your smartphone, computer or an ATM. To keep updated on your account status, you can customize account updates via text messages or emails.
The Santander Youth Savings Account is for kids under 18. In addition to online access, the account features a low minimum deposit of $10 and no monthly fees. All accounts provide customers with access to the Resource Center, which provides financial education tools for topics like how to save or master your debt.
U.S. Bank offers a basic, free bank account specifically for students. The U.S. Bank Student Checking bank account offers mobile and online access, a Visa debit card, a free first order of checks, fee-free withdrawals at U.S. Bank ATMs and no monthly maintenance fees. The online Student Banking Center provides financial education for students and parents, along with descriptions of available products.
The Navy Federal Credit Union offers a Campus Checking account with no monthly service fee and no minimum balance requirement for students 14 to 24. The account also offers a 0.05 percent dividend rate and up to $10 in monthly ATM fee rebates. The student account comes with the same benefits as all Navy Federal checking accounts, which include a Navy Federal debit card, online banking, free bill pay, online statements and free mobile and scan deposits.
Banking is a competitive field and many of these banks offer similar services. You’ll find, however, that there are distinctions between banks — no matter how small — that might make one better for you than another, so put in the time to find the best bank for your needs.
Methodology: GOBankingRates.com identified the best banks for young adults by analyzing available products, fees, account minimum requirements and access to personal finance education and tools. All fees and rates are subject to change at the banks’ discretion. And, some bonus offers might no longer be available on the banks’ websites, depending on how you access the web page.
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.
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