US Bank student checking account review: What should you know?

TransferWise
03.06.20
6 minute read

US Bank is the fifth largest bank in the United States, and is based in Minnesota. It offers a wide range of services, including consumer and business accounts as well as payment services.¹ In our article we also mention a suitable alternative - TransferWise - that can make lives for international people a bit easier.

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Here’s what our article will cover:

How to open a student account with US Bank

Who’s eligible to open an account?

To open a Student Checking Account with US Bank, you’ll need to fulfill a few requirements. If you’re not sure whether you qualify, it’s worth contacting the bank’s helpline directly on 800-822-6572.²

When you start the online application process, you’ll see a screen telling you what you’ll need. When we checked for this article, this is what we found:²

  • You have to be 18 years old or above
  • You must be a legal United States resident

What ID do you need to provide?

During the application process, you’ll be asked to prove certain things about your identity and address. Each applicant will need to give:²

  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  • Driver’s license, government-issued state ID, or military ID
  • Contact details including email address

Is there a minimum deposit?

Yes. For this account, the minimum is $25. You can fund this with a credit or debit card, including prepaid cards. You can also make a transfer from another account. If you already hold a different US Bank account, you may also use that as a source of funds.²

Can you open this account underage?

According to US Bank, if you’re not yet 18, you can open a Student Checking Account underage, but you’ll need a parent to act as co-owner. You’ll also need to apply by going in person to a US Bank branch – you can’t apply underage using the online process.³

What kind of student bank account does US Bank offer?

This account is aimed at students with simple, straightforward needs. It’s intended for day-to-day banking and includes access to mobile and online banking.⁴

Does this account offer a debit or credit card?

The US Bank Student Checking Account comes with a US Bank debit card. This bears the Visa logo, so you’ll be able to use it to pay wherever Visa cards are accepted. There’s a limited range of custom designs available, including for several popular sports teams.

You’ll also get an order of personal checks free, though you will need to pay – at half the usual price – if you want them to be customized to match your college, university, or other design.⁴ ⁵

Do you get paid interest?

No, interest isn’t paid on this account, regardless of your balance. You’ll need to decide whether the zero monthly maintenance fee and other features make up for not being paid interest. Take a good look at every provider’s offering and make the comparison according to your needs.

Are there any other standout features?

US Bank offers holders of the Student Checking Account free online reporting, including summaries for any US Bank cards you may hold. You’ll also get free access to your credit score, including a simulator that gives you insight into how certain financial decisions may affect you.³

You’ll also get both Online and Mobile Banking. This lets you check on your account status, pay bills, and deposit checks without needing to phone or visit a branch in person. You can also pay and receive money from other people using Zelle, but the recipient will need to possess an eligible bank account in the United States. ⁷

What about international payments?

The link-up with Zelle means that making and receiving domestic payments is fast, cheap, and easy with the US Bank Student Checking account – but it’s only on offer if the recipient has a bank account in the United States. Other international transactions will be charged a processing fee. This is 2% for transactions in US dollars and 3% if you’re using foreign currency. It may not sound much, but if you make a few transactions, it can quickly add up.⁶

If you need to make international transfers, for example to pay overseas sellers after online purchases or while you’re travelling abroad, you may want to consider some modern alternatives to a conventional bank account. The multi-currency bank account from TransferWise is a great option for paying in dozens of different currencies around the globe or using the linked debit card to pay internationally. It works online from within the US and while you’re travelling – ideal for students who spend time seeing the world.

Overdraft facilities

This account doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement, but if you go into the red by $5.01 or more, you’ll be charged a fee. You can use the bank’s Overdraft Protection facility to help avoid this. If you link an eligible credit card, other line of credit, or savings account to your checking account, funds can be transferred to ensure there’s enough money available to meet a transaction. For transfers of $50 or over, this will cost you $12.50 per day, so it can be an expensive way to use your account. Make sure to check the US Bank website for up-to-date details of overdraft fees, to make sure you’re not risking being charged.

What are the requirements to open a student bank account with US Bank?

Opening an account

US Bank offers several ways to open a Student Checking Account. You can apply online, by using a branch on certain campuses, by phone or by visiting a branch. Even if your school isn’t mentioned in the list of campuses, you’ll still be able to open an account with US Bank.⁴ ⁹

What do you do when you graduate?

The Student Checking Account is only available to students attending eligible educational institutions. Once you finish your studies, you’ll need to transfer your money to a different account. Terms and conditions can change over time, so make sure you check the US Bank website for the latest requirements, and check with the bank if you have queries or need assistance with moving accounts.

US Bank student account fees

As with most other accounts, there are some fees it’s good to be aware of. It’s important to make sure you think about these when you’re comparing US Bank’s offering with options from different providers. Here’s a run-down of the most important fees and charges you’ll need to know about:

Service Fee¹⁰
Maintenance fee Free
Statements $2 for paper statement; eStatements are free
ATM usage fee (US Bank ATMs) Free
ATM usage fee (other ATMs) Free for first four withdrawals each statement period, then $2.50 for each withdrawal
Overdraft paid/returned fee Free for each item up to $5.00; $36 for each item of $5.01 or more
Extended Overdraft Fee $36 if balance remains below zero for seven consecutive days
Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee $12.50 per day for transfers of $50 or more from eligible linked credit accounts
Returned deposited items/cashed checks $19 per item
Bill Pay Free for standard service; $14.95 for same day/overnight
External Transfers Free for inbound;up to $3 for outbound
Debit card cash advance $2 with a teller at any Visa-supporting institution

Conclusion

The Student Checking Account from US Bank could be a good option if you’re heading to college or university and looking for a no-frills package for everyday banking. The zero maintenance fee is an attractive feature, as is the low minimum deposit. On the other hand, there are few extras included and no credit card option. You’ll also be charged a transaction fee for making international payments and transfers. Think carefully about your requirements and be sure to compare a wide range of options, including both conventional bank accounts and newer alternatives such as the Transferwise multi-currency account.


Sources:
  1. US Bank - About us 19 Feb 2020
  2. US Bank - Applying for a personal checking account 19 Feb 2020
  3. US Bank - Checking account for Students 23 Feb 2020
  4. US Bank - Student Checking Account 23 Feb 2020
  5. US Bank - Visa Debit Card 21 Feb 2020
  6. US Bank - Consumer pricing info 19 Feb 2020
  7. US bank online and mobile banking 23 Feb 2020
  8. US Bank - Student checking - Common account fees 23 Feb 2020
  9. US Bank - Choose your school 19 Feb 2020
  10. US Bank - Student Checking - Common account fees 19 Feb 2020

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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