BEST OF

7 Best Bank Accounts for College Students

The best bank accounts for college students have easy opening requirements, low or no fees and high interest rates.

Jul 29, 2022

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A bank account can help college students manage money and build good financial habits. The best bank accounts for college students don’t charge monthly fees or require direct deposit, and they have forgiving overdraft policies and well-rated mobile banking apps, and offer multiple customer support options.

Note that college students under 18 typically need an adult to be a joint account owner.

Why trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage to help you choose the financial accounts that work best for you. See our criteria for evaluating banks and credit unions.

Summary of the best bank accounts for college students

  • PNC Virtual Wallet Student: Best Budgeting Tools

  • Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking: Best for ATM Access

  • Ally Bank Interest Checking: Best for Overdraft-Friendly Bank

  • Varo Bank Account: Best for International Travel

  • Alliant Credit Union Ultimate Opportunity: Best for High-Yield Savings (tie)

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account: Best for High-Yield Savings (tie)

  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: Best for Branch Access

Best Bank Accounts for College Students

Our pick for

Best Budgeting Tools

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
PNC Virtual Wallet Student

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

Not yet rated

Our pick for

ATM Access

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

APY

0.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.5/5

Our pick for

Overdraft-friendly Bank

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

APY

0.10%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

5.0/5

Our pick for

International Travel

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Varo Bank Account
Learn more

at Varo Bank, Member FDIC

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

5.0/5

Our pick for

High-Yield Savings

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Alliant Credit Union Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account

APY

2.70%

With $100 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$100

Requirements to qualify

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

Not yet rated

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
Learn more

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

APY

3.30%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$100

Requirements to qualify

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

Not yet rated

Our pick for

Branch Access

NerdWallet rating 

3.5

/5
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

APY

N/A

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

Monthly fee

$10.00

Waived with direct deposit or $500 minimum balance

Overdraft star rating

4.0/5

Last updated on July 29, 2022

Methodology

Methodology for the Best Bank Accounts for College Students

To determine the best bank accounts for college students, we took a close look at accounts that are specifically designed for students as well as accounts with features and benefits that are helpful to students but not specifically designed for them. We compared the accounts based on monthly fees and requirements, overdraft policies, ATM network size, number of branches, mobile and online banking capabilities and customer support options.

Financial institutions and providers surveyed are: Affirm, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amalgamated Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Barclays, BB&T (now Truist), BMO Harris, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Bread Savings, BrioDirect, Capital One, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, City First Bank, ConnectOne Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Current, Discover Bank, E-Trade, Fifth Third Bank, First Foundation, First Republic Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, GO2bank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Hope Credit Union, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, Industrial Bank, KeyBank, Lake Michigan Credit Union, LendingClub Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Monifi, Nationwide (by Axos), Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC, One, OneUnited Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Revolut, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, Scarlet, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, SoFi, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank (now Truist), Synchrony Bank, TAB Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank, Upgrade, USAA Bank, Varo, Vio Bank, Wells Fargo and Zynlo Bank.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Bank Accounts for College Students

Frequently asked questions