Online and mobile banking features
Student checking accounts generally feature online bill pay, mobile deposits, online statements and the ability to set up text and email alerts if the balance drops below a certain limit, Montanaro says.
These features lessen the need to be physically close to a branch. That's important for students, especially if they live in one town during the school year and somewhere else during the summer.
"Most college students today have a smartphone and that's a great tool to access and track their account information. They have the power to track spending, transfer money, deposit checks and monitor account balances at their fingertips," Montanaro says.
In addition to mobile banking, students should look for the ability to set up a schedule to automatically move money from one account, such as checking, to another, such as savings, at regular intervals, says Casey Weade, a CFP professional and president of Howard Bailey Financial in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This feature can help young adults build up an emergency fund with little effort. "Being able to set up automatic transfers online is a benefit for someone who is trying to save money," Weade says.