5 Best Student Checking Accounts for 2023

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If you’re a student, chances are that finances are tight. That’s why it pays to choose a checking account that caters to students. If you’re looking to save money anywhere you can, your checking account is a good place to start.

To find the best student checking accounts for 2023, GOBankingRates ranked the following based on these factors:

  • Checking account fees
  • Products and services offered
  • Average mobile app rating

Top 5 Student Checking Accounts

Here are the best five student checking accounts for 2023:

Capital One Money Teen Checking

Why it stands out: With no fees or minimums — and that means no balance requirements, minimum deposits or pesky monthly fees — the Money Teen Checking account is perfect for students because they'll even earn interest on their balances. The account also has a top-rated mobile app that enables parents to transfer money to their kids with ease. Your student can get an account at 8 years old, but don't worry — you'll have control over it because students and parents have individual mobile app logins, which enables you to see how your student is managing their money. The account comes with a free debit card that your student can use to access their cash for free at more than 70,000 ATMs across the country. Plus, you'll get alerts and the ability to lock and unlock the card. Out of 5 stars, the app received 4.9 on Apple's App Store and 4.6 on Google Play as of Jan. 5.

Pros:
  • No fees or minimum balance requirements
  • Earns interest
  • Parents not required to have a Capital One account to open a Money account
Cons:
  • No educational tools in app
  • Can only deposit cash at Capital One branches or ATMs
What to look for: Keep in mind that you'll need to visit a Capital One branch or ATM any time you want to deposit cash in the account. Also, you won't receive any paper checks, which might provide a teaching moment for students who don't know how to write them. Lastly, you won't have access to any investment services, which could also be a great learning experience for a student. CAPITAL ONE BANK REVIEW
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Discover Cashback Debit

Why it stands out: The Discover Cashback Debit account enables students to earn cash back rewards — without any fees at all. That means no monthly fees, no balance or activity requirements and no fees for expediting a replacement card, outbound ACH transfers, official bank checks or check reorders. You'll also get 1% cash back on up to $3,000 worth of purchases per month. Plus, you'll have access to more than 60,000 free ATMs nationwide and no-fee overdraft protection. If you have a job, you can also get paid up to two days early when you sign up for direct deposit. Out of 5 stars, the app received 4.9 on Apple's App Store and 4.7 on Google Play as of Jan. 5.

Pros:

  • No fees
  • 1% cash-back rewards
  • Direct deposit early pay option

Cons:

  • No interest paid on balances
  • No physical branches

What to look for: If you occasionally like to stop in at your bank, keep in mind that Discover has no physical locations. Also, remember that although you will earn rewards, there is a cap of $3,000 in rewards-eligible purchases. In addition, if earning interest on your checking account balance is a must for you, you won't find it here. DISCOVER BANK REVIEW
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Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking℠

Why it stands out: You can open a Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking account with just $25, and it's a good option if you need help managing your money. You'll never pay overdraft fees, but there is usually a $5 monthly service fee — if you're between 13 and 24 years old, however, it's waived. The account enables users to send money via Zelle, make mobile deposits, turn debit cards on and off and add them to mobile devices to tap and pay. You'll also get 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero liability protection. Out of 5 stars, the app received 4.8 on Apple's App Store and 4.8 on Google Play as of Jan. 5.

Pros:
  • No overdraft fees
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero liability protection
  • Zelle-enabled
Cons:
  • Does not earn interest
What to look for: If you are between the ages of 13 and 17, you'll need to open your account in an actual branch, and if you are between the ages of 13 and 16, you'll need an adult account co-owner. WELLS FARGO BANK REVIEW

Chase College Checking℠

Why it stands out: Open a new account with 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of enrollment and you can receive a $100 bonus from Chase. This offer expires Jan. 25, 2023. What student wouldn't appreciate that? And if you're a student between 17 and 24 years old, you'll qualify for no monthly service fees for five years. You'll have access to more than 4,700 Chase branch locations and 16,000 ATMs, and you'll be able to send or receive money via Zelle. In addition, you'll be able to use Chase's withfrank.org, a website designed to help you apply for college financial aid. Out of 5 stars, the app received 4.8 on Apple's App Store and 4.4 on Google Play as of Jan. 5.

Pros:
  • Bonus offer
  • No monthly service fee for five years
  • Plenty of branches
Cons:
  • No locations in some states
  • No ATM fee reimbursements
  • No interest
What to look for: Students who are 17 must open the account in a branch. Keep in mind that after your no-monthly-fee five years are up, you will have to pay a fee of $6 unless you make a monthly direct deposit or maintain an average ending day balance of at least $5,000. CHASE BANK REVIEW
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Chime Checking Account

Why it stands out: Open a Chime* checking account and you'll pay no monthly service1 or foreign transaction fees — and you won't have to keep a minimum balance. Eligible members get fee-free overdrafts on up to $2002, and you'll have access to more than 60,000 free ATMs3. You'll also get 24/7 live customer service, and if you have direct deposit, you can get paid up to two days early4. The free debit card5 enables you to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. You can also turn on instant transaction alerts and block your card with a simple tap. Out of 5 stars, the app received 4.8 on Apple's App Store and 4.7 on Google Play as of Jan. 5.

Pros:
  • No monthly or overdraft fees
  • Early access to paychecks
  • 60,000-plus free ATMs
Cons:
  • $2.50 fee per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • Can only deposit cash at partner locations, such as Walmart and 7-Eleven6
What to look for: You can deposit cash at Walgreens for free, but some retailers might charge a fee of up to $4.95. You can make mobile check deposits via the app, but to access this feature, you must have one qualifying direct deposit of $1 or more7. If you're looking for a joint account, you won't find one at Chime yet, but according to its website, it’s working on it. CHIME REVIEW
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How To Choose a Student Checking Account

There are quite a few student checking accounts on the market, so it might seem daunting to choose one. Here are some things you should consider before signing on the dotted line:

  • Fees: The best checking accounts for students are those with no fees, period. Make sure you know exactly what — if any — fees you might be charged for an account.
  • Mobile app: If you want a mobile app to go with your checking account, check the bank’s website to see if it offers one; if it does, check the app’s rating on the App Store and Google Play.
  • ATM availability: If you typically use ATMs, make sure the account you choose gives you access to free ones near you — or reimburses you for charges at out-of-network ATMs.
  • Paper check-writing capability: Few people still write checks these days, but if you need to, make sure the account you sign up for actually has them.

Final Take

Students can find checking accounts that cater to them and offer special deals that can really help them financially. It might take some searching, but by knowing exactly what to look for, you might find choosing the best account for your needs is much easier. Just make sure you know what your top wants are and go from there.

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Compare Checking Accounts

GOBankingRates’ Best Banks 2023

Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

Information is accurate as of Jan. 5, 2023.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website and 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 GOBankingRates, 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 alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

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GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their circumstances.

The information related to Chase College Checking was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product/card. Product details may vary. Please see the issuer’s website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.

*Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.

1There’s no fee for the Chime Savings Account. Cash withdrawal and Third-party fees may apply to Chime Checking Accounts. You must have a Chime Checking Account to open a Chime Savings Account.

2Chime SpotMe is an optional service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.

3Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

4Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

5The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card is issued by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted.

6The retailer that receives your cash will be responsible for transferring the funds for deposit into your Chime Checking Account. Cash deposit fees may apply if using a retailer other than Walgreens.

7Mobile Check Deposit eligibility is determined by Chime in its sole discretion and may be granted based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member’s direct deposit enrollment status.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase.

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About the Author

Barri Segal has 20+ years of experience in the publishing and advertising industries, writing and editing for all styles, genres, mediums, and audiences. She has been writing on personal finance topics for 12 years and gains great satisfaction from making a difference in consumers’ lives.
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