The best bank accounts for college students

By: Martin Dasko on September 17, 2015

“Why did it cost me $29 just to access my OWN money last month?”

I was a broke college student, but not a foolish one. I worked full-time to ensure that I didn’t graduate with student loans and I tried to keep track of all of my spending. So you could imagine how shocked I was when I found out that my local bank had charged me $29 for accessing my own money.

The last thing that a college student should ever spend money on is on is their money. I quickly switched banks because I didn’t want to be hit with random fees when I was trying to save up for those expensive textbooks and parties.

What are the best bank accounts for college students?

The key to finding the perfect bank account is to search for the most services at the lowest possible fee - hopefully that's $0.

Side note: I’m only going to recommend the products that I’ve personally used because I don’t want to promote something that I don’t believe in 100%.


With a free checking account you just can’t go wrong. I love everything about Tangerine. You can deposit money with your phone, open multiple sub-accounts, label your sub-accounts, and access your money without any fees.

Tangerine even has an offer now where you and your friend both get $50 for signing up for a new account whenever you refer someone. I personally love the sub-accounts feature because you can save up for your various goals (trips, books, or new car).

As a student this is the best value. You never have to worry about getting hit with petty fees.

TD Canada Trust Student Checking Account

With TD Canada Trust, you can apply for a student checking account and receive a free student account with no minimum balance. The best part about opening up an account here is that you build a relationship with an established bank.

I personally have a credit card and checking account with TD. I picked up my credit card as soon as I turned 18 and I’ve been building my credit ever since.

What should college students look for in a bank account?

Here are the features that all students should demand:

  • Ease of use. Your banking app should be as easy to use as Tinder or Facebook.
  • No monthly fee. You can’t afford to and shouldn’t pay $10 a month to access your own money (the little that you have).
  • No minimum balance. Let’s be honest, there will be times where your account will hit $10.

If done right then your banking account is something that you’ll think about for 2 hours at the most. Set it and forget it. I login to my banking account once in a while to move money around and to ensure that everything is alright.

Don’t get ripped off as a college student. Sign up with a bank that’s going to respect you and your money.

Use our helpful Money Saving Student Guide to find the best deals and information about expenses in college and university.