BEST OF

8 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.

Ruth Sarreal
By Ruth Sarreal 
Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn

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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.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The White House has announced plans to eliminate so-called junk fees on college-sponsored bank accounts. Read more about these fees and President Biden's plans.

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

  • Discover® Cashback Debit

  • Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

  • Ally Bank Spending Account

  • Varo Bank Account

  • Alliant Credit Union Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Best Bank Accounts for College Students

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Varo Bank Account
Learn more

at Varo Bank, Member FDIC

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
PNC Virtual Wallet Student
Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking
Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Alliant Credit Union Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account
APY

3.10%

With $100 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$100

Requirements to qualify

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
Learn more

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Member FDIC

APY

4.40%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

NerdWallet rating 

4.0

/5
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking
Monthly fee

$10.00

Waived with direct deposit or $500 minimum balance

APY

N/A

Bonus

$300

Requirements to qualify

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Discover® Cashback Debit
Learn more

at Discover® Bank, Member FDIC

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

$360

Up to $360 per year. See website for details.

Our pick for

Overdraft-friendly Bank

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Ally Bank Spending Account
Learn more

at Ally Bank, Member FDIC

Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.10%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Last updated on March 21, 2024

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.

Frequently asked questions