Student Bank Account and Regular Bank Account - Differences Explained

Student Bank Account and Regular Bank Account - Differences Explained

Starting your higher studies or entering to a university or college is an exciting yet whole new chapter in life. The newfound freedom it brings you can be so exciting, but it also introduces a set of new responsibilities, especially when it comes to managing your finances because you now have greater financial independence.

So as you begin to control your finances all by yourself along with your college journey, there will be various offers for student bank accounts from different financial institutions on your campus. But should you actually open a student bank account, and what advantages does it offer compared to a regular bank account?

What is a student bank account?

Basically a student bank account is an account designed specifically for students or young adults in their teens or 20s. It can be either a checking account or a savings account, and it comes with features and benefits tailored to the needs of individuals in this age group.

What are the benefits of opening a student bank account ?

1. No minimum balance requirement

Since you have just began your financial journey most of the financial institutions usually offer some flexibility when it comes to certain aspects of banking. Minimum balance requirement is one of them. Some banks offer very little minimum balance while some there many not be any minimum balance requirement.

2. No monthly fees

Many student bank accounts do not charge you with monthly fees, meaning you won't have to worry about paying a regular fee just to keep the account open.

3. No overdraft fees

Some banks do not to charge overdraft fees when a student checking account goes into a negative balance. This can be very helpful for students to manage their finances.

4. Debit Cards

Many student checking accounts offer you a debit card that you can use for ATM withdrawals, in-store purchases, and online transactions.

5. Small Initial Deposit

When opening a student bank account, you might only need to deposit a small amount,, to get started. This makes it accessible for students who may not have a lot of money to spare.

6. Low or No ATM Fees

Some student bank accounts are designed to be budget-friendly, which means they either have very low ATM fees or don't charge any at all. This can save you money when you need to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Student Bank Account Vs Regular Bank Account


Fees is one of the main factors to consider when choosing a bank, especially for students. Many regular bank accounts might waive monthly fees if you maintain a minimum balance or have your paychecks directly deposited into the account. However, these conditions can be challenging to meet for you as a student.

Some student bank accounts offer fee-free accounts, but it may require some searching time to find the right one.

ATM fees can also become a burden to your monthly budget, especially for students who are often on the move, traveling between home and school or going on trips. Thankfully, many student bank accounts don't charge you for using ATMs from other banks, and some even refund the fees charged by those "foreign" ATMs. While this benefit can sometimes be found in regular bank accounts, it's not as common. So, for students, this can be a significant feature to consider when looking for a suitable bank.

Minimum Balance

Regular bank accounts often request you to maintain a minimum balance to escape the higher monthly fees, and sometimes that balance requirement can be quite hefty.

But the good news for students is that student bank accounts usually set much lower minimum balance requirements or may even eliminate them entirely. This means you won't have to worry about getting hit with extra fees when your funds start decreasing, like at the end of a semester. It's a relief for students who might not always have a large balance in their accounts.


Managing money independently can be a difficult task for many new students, and it's not uncommon to make occasional slip-ups. For instance, you might accidentally overdraft your account or miss a payment deadline because you didn't realize that it takes a few days for money to transfer.

Here's the good news: some student accounts tend to be more generous when it comes to these mishaps, especially if it's your first time making such an error. On the other hand, regular bank accounts are typically not as forgiving and may impose stricter penalties for these slip-ups. So, for students who are still getting the hang of financial management, a student account's forgiveness can be a valuable safety net.


Banks often offer their account holders a range of rewards. Student accounts, in particular, may provide discounts on things that students commonly use, like car rentals or plane tickets. Additionally, if you have a credit card linked to your student bank account, you might enjoy extra benefits such as cashback rewards that can help you pay off your student loans.

On the other hand, regular bank accounts also come with their set of perks, although they might be more tailored to the needs and preferences of older individuals. These could include discounts on prescription medications, health checkups and other services that might be more relevant to a mature audience. So, depending on your age and lifestyle, you can find perks that align with your specific situation in both student and regular bank accounts.

Disadvantages of a Student Bank Account

In-Person Visits

Some banks may require students under a certain age, like 17 or 18, to open their accounts in person at a branch rather than online.

Interest Rates

Student checking accounts typically don't earn interest on your deposits, much like regular checking accounts. If they do, the interest rate is generally lower than what you'd get with a savings account. However, some banks might offer higher interest rates on student savings accounts compared to their standard savings accounts.

Co-Owner Requirement

In certain cases, especially if you're under 18, you might need a parent or guardian to co-own the account with you or co-sign for you. They must be over 18, and opening this joint account might require an in-person visit to the bank.

Account Changes After Graduation

When a student graduates or reaches a certain age, their student account might be converted into a regular account. Be aware that this transition could mean losing some of the benefits, such as the absence of a monthly maintenance fee, that you enjoyed as a student account holder.