The Best Savings Accounts For Students

Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers.

Getting a savings account is one of the best first steps you can take to start managing your finances and building wealth for yourself – after all, it’s never too early to start saving!

While there are many savings accounts on the market, I recommend looking for low entry barriers, high-interest rates, and budgeting features.

Many financial institutions, banks, and credit unions offer accounts with reasonable interest rates and low fees. Some even offer a dedicated student account or student offers.

Most banks also offer other products and services, including credit cards, to help you keep everything under one roof.

College students who already have a checking account can even link the accounts and automate savings to grow your savings account.

But all of this starts with a good savings account, which is exactly what we will be looking at in this article.

Best Student Savings Accounts of 2021

Here are the 11 best savings accounts for students you can open today:

Axos High-Yield Savings Account

  • APY: 0.61%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $250.00
  • Minimum Account Balance: $0

Axos Bank has been in business for 20 years and offers some of the best industry-leading rates on their high-yield savings account.

You will yield an impressive 0.61% APY on your account balance that is compounded daily, along with no monthly service fees.

To make things even better, if you are in the market for a checking account, you can open an Axos Bank Rewards Checking account that offers up to 1.25% APY on your balances, and yet again, there are no fees and no minimum balance requirements.

As an online-only bank, Axos is a great option for students looking for a great savings account.

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Discover Bank Online Savings Account

  • APY: 0.50%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $0.00
  • Minimum Account Balance: $0.00

Discover’s Online Savings Account offers a 0.50% APY, no minimum account balance, and no fees.

Opening your Discover Bank Online Savings account couldn’t be easier, and can be completed in 3 simple steps.

Everything can be done online, and you’ll need to provide basic information such as your name, address, and SSN (Social Security Number).

You can make a deposit at the account application stage or any time after that. Once completed, you’ll receive a confirmation via email from Discover bank.

One other benefit of opening this type of account with Discover is that there are no fees.

From NSF (insufficient funds) to closing your account, the bank charges no fees, which is always nice to see as it can help you keep expenses to a minimum.

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CIT Bank Savings Builder Account

  • APY: 0.45%
  • Monthly Service Fee: $0
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $100
  • Minimum Account Balance: $25,000 or $100 monthly deposit

The CIT Bank Savings Builder account comes with one of the highest APY rates offered at 0.45%.

There are a number of qualifying criteria, including a minimum opening deposit of $100 and a minimum account balance of $25,000, which can be quite an amount of money.

The good news for students is that you can substitute the minimum account balance requirement for a monthly deposit of $100 or more. This is a great option if you haven’t saved any money yet but would like to start.

Opening the account is easy, and there are numerous perks to enjoy.

There are no maintenance fees or account opening fees, and the APY is compounded daily to maximize how much you earn from your savings.

The account is limited to 6 transactions per statement cycle as per federal laws, and you can also make check deposits remotely.

As one would expect, the account also gives you access to the CIT mobile banking app and is FDIC insured.

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Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-Yield Online Savings Account

  • APY: 0.50%
  • Monthly fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $0.00
  • Minimum Account Balance: $0.00

Marcus, by Goldman Sachs, is offering a High-Yield Online Savings Account with an APY rate of 0.50%. This rate is well above the national average and can see your savings grow that much faster.

The account also comes in with no fees, including no fees to open the account and no monthly maintenance fees. This can help you make sure you do not start eating into your savings just to open the account.

The account can be opened online, saving you the hassle of having to go to a branch. There is no minimum amount required to open the account, which means you can get started straight away.

Of course, you’ll need to provide some personal details during the application process, but this is nothing out of the ordinary.

Once the account is set up, you can enjoy same-day transfers, the ability to link accounts held with other banks, and access to a contact center that’s not only open 24/7 but is based in the US.

The account is also insured by the FDIC, so you can rest easy that your money is safe.

American Express Bank Online Savings Account

  • APY: 0.50%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $0.00
  • Minimum Account Balance: $0.00

The American Express Bank Online Savings account offers students a number of key benefits, starting with an APR (Annual Percentage Yield) of 0.50%. This is much higher than the national average.

There are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance to keep, meaning you’ll get a great rate regardless of how much you manage to save.

If you already have a current account, you can easily link it to the American Express Bank savings account – you can link up to 3 different accounts with fund transfers 24/7. All you need is your account and routing number, and you’re good to go.

The bank also gives you the option to transfer funds online or by calling them.

Interest is earned daily and gets posted to your account every month.

AmEx is member FDIC, meaning you’re insured up to $250,000.

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Capital One Kids Savings Account

  • APY: 0.30%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $0.00
  • Minimum Account Balance: $0.00

Younger students, including those in high school or younger, can enjoy an APY rate of 0.30% with Capital One’s Kids Savings Account.

Since this account is only available to those under 18, parents or other adults need to co-sign as joint account holders.

Once the student reaches 18 years of age, the account will be switched automatically to a Capital One 360 Savings Account.

The account comes with many useful features to help eligible students learn how to manage their money better.

These features include My Savings Goals, allowing you to set up and track goals, and Automatic Savings Plan to ensure deposits to the account are made on a pre-determined schedule.

The account also comes with a mobile banking app that includes several parental controls.

The account can be opened online or by visiting one of the Capital One bank branches or Cafes.

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HSBC Everyday Savings Account

  • APY: 0.01%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $1
  • Minimum Account Balance: $1

HSBC offers a number of different savings accounts, including the HSBC Everyday Savings account.

The APR rate is basically the minimum possible: 0.01%.

There is a minimum opening balance requirement of $1 – which most students can afford!

The Everyday Savings Account is available to everyone and has low barriers to entry. Even so, it comes with many of the features we have become accustomed to when it comes to bank accounts.

You get free access to internet banking as well as HSBC Mobile Banking. To help you stay on top of your finances, you can also set up automatic savings for any amount and for how long you like.

You can easily open the account online. HSBC will inform you through the submitted contact details if your application is approved or not, or whether more information is required.

Bank of America Advantage Savings

  • APY: 0.01%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $100
  • Minimum Account Balance: $500 or more

At 0.01%, the starting APY rate is not the best, but the bank can be quite accessible and offers higher APY rates for those enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program. Qualifying for this might not be so easy for students.

While the Bank of America Advantage Savings usually carries a monthly maintenance fee of $8.00, qualifying students get a fee waiver.

On the other hand, you can earn as much as 15% cash back through their cash back program.

Another cool feature that comes with this account is Keep the Change. Through this feature, debit card purchases are rounded up with the difference going straight into your bank account, where it will start to earn interest.

The account is FDIC-insured and comes with a number of features, including overdraft protection and custom alerts.

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BBVA Bank Online Savings Account

  • APY: 0.01%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25.00
  • Minimum Account Balance: None listed

BBVA Bank’s Online Savings Account comes with a few features that can help students manage their finances better.

It should be noted straight off the bat that the APY rate is not the best out there. At 0.01%, there are better ones if this is important for you.

There are no maintenance fees, and you can even save money (and the planet) by switching electronic account statements.

You also get access to online banking and mobile banking through their award-winning mobile app.

You can make as many as four withdrawals every statement cycle free of charge, and you can also avoid ATM fees (withdrawing from a BBVA ATM is fee-free).

The bank does charge fees for several things, such as Insufficient Funds and closing your account early. An account is considered to be closed early if this is done within 180 days of opening the account.

Fees can change by state and can be easily found through their website.

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DCU Primary Savings Account

  • APY: 6.17% for the first $1,000 then 0.25%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $5.00
  • Minimum Account Balance: $0.00

DCU’s Primary Savings account comes in with higher interest rates, reaching a healthy APY rate of 6.17%. This rate is far higher than what the competition is offering, but there is a catch.

The 6.17% rate only applies for the first $1,000.00 in your account. Anything above that gets a 0.25% rate, so you’ll need to work out the effective rate you’ll earn, depending on how much money you have saved in the account.

Computing the effective rate can be a bit complicated. This is why the bank offers a handy savings calculator to easily work out how much you would be able to save over a period of time.

The account also has a very low minimum opening deposit, and there is no minimum account balance to keep. This makes the account ideal for those who are just starting to save money.

Radius Bank High-Yield Savings

  • APY: 0.15%
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $100.00
  • Minimum Account Balance: $0.00

Radius Bank High-Yield Savings account starts with an APY of 0.15% for balances that range between $2,500 and $24,999.99. Anything above this sees the rate go up to 0.25%.

While some other banks offer higher rates, this account comes with a few bells and whistles that could make it worth your while.

Opening an account is fast and easy and can be done entirely online. Do remember you need a minimum deposit of at least $100 to open the account.

Once the account is open, you can download its mobile banking app. This gives you access to Goalkeeper where you can set up and track financial goals. You can set an unlimited number of goals, and everything is automated and completely free.

The account comes with a free ATM card, and there are no ATM access fees, even if you use an ATM network that’s not Radius to help you save even more money.

Finding The Best Student Savings Account For You

A good high-yield savings account can be your first step toward a more financially responsible future. Personal finance is a very important topic, and the earlier you start, the more benefits you can get further down the line.

When it comes to deciding which account is best, there is no easy answer. This is because every one of us has different financial goals and requirements. This means that what works for me might not work for you, making choices a bit more personal.

Having said that, always keep in mind the interest rates. High rates mean your savings will grow faster, but this is not everything.

Fees, such as overdraft fees, are another important factor to consider as they can quickly eat into whatever you manage to save.

One other useful feature might be the ability to automate a monthly direct deposit into your account, as this will help you make sure you continue to save. Banks with robust mobile banking apps are always a good option.

It can also be helpful if the bank or financial institution you decide to go with can offer you a student checking account or a money market account as this will allow you to keep everything under one roof.

Additional Disclosures: Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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