It’s just Banking 101: Students are great for business at banks and credit unions. When a high school or college student opens a checking account at a financial institution, there’s a good chance he or she will become a customer for life.
To provide an incentive to open an account, many banks and credit unions offer student checking accounts that give extra benefits to young adults who are just starting their financial journey, says J.J. Montanaro, a CFP professional at USAA in San Antonio.
For example, students who offer proof they’re enrolled in an educational institution by showing a school-issued ID can open up student checking accounts with a low minimum balance, minimized fees, free online bill pay, free ATM use or ATM rebates, free checks, and mobile deposits or transactions, he says.
Montanaro believes it’s worthwhile to search for a bank that’s a good match. “Parents should work with their kids to research and pick a checking account. There can be a lot of costly details in the fine print, so it pays to understand what you’re getting into,” he says.
Here are 5 basic student checking features Montanaro and other financial experts say students should look for before opening an account.