Which Bank for Student Checking

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Which Bank for Student Checking
By Momz (Momz) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 11:56 am: Edit

Probably should have, but we didn't open a checking account for D before sending her to school. She has an ATM card, credit card, and Student ID with points and cash on it etc. She has needed checks for Lab fees, and purchasing Cad software. Don't know why she couldn't use cash. Anyway which banks offer no fee student checking? We are with a Credit Union that does not have a branch where she is. She is at UC Berkeley. Any advice?

By Mini (Mini) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 12:00 pm: Edit

After much backing and forthing, we went with Bank of America/Fleet. They guarantee free student checking accounts for five years, and have the largest number of free ATMs. (She is in Mass., we live in Washington State, and there are large numbers of BOAs/Fleets in both places.)

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 12:34 pm: Edit

I second Bank of America. I've been with them for about 20 days and it has been great. It all depends on where she is going to school. I'm at NC and I got signed up by a brach manager... I got 200 free checks, a credit card, online access, the works. Citibank also has free checking up north.

By Mom2003 (Mom2003) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 12:46 pm: Edit

BofA must be popular. Son just opened an account there. The advantage is that they have a branch in our state and an ATM on his campus. So we can deposit money if he needs any in an emergency and he can withdraw (maybe turn out to be too easy...)

By Over30 (Over30) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 12:49 pm: Edit

Fleet/Bank of America also (in Mass). They have a branch in the student center plus banks in our hometown.

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

Woops... maybe I better start reading the whole post!

UC Berkeley...yep.
Univ Of California Berkley - Pat Brown Grill Genetics & Plant Biology Bldg
Berkeley, CA 94720

There's an ATM there. If I were your D, I'd go with BofA.

By Grlzmom (Grlzmom) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 04:50 pm: Edit

My daughter kept her accounts (checking/savings/debit card) at our small local bank. Her college accepts her checks and she can hit any postoffice, walmart or walgreens and get cash back. She does all her other banking online including bill pay and transfers.

In fact, she can do transfers free from any ATM.

By Momz (Momz) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit

Thanks everyone, looks like after the holiday weekend we will look into B of A

By Ktwofish (Ktwofish) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 06:58 pm: Edit

USAA offers a great college account offer. Free checking, and a VISA debit card you can use at any ATM 10 times per month free. They will refund ATM charges from other institutions (up to $15). All banking can be done online. Transfers can be set up between a hometown bank and USAA, either on a schedule or on demand.

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 07:03 pm: Edit

Make sure when and if you sign her up to go for CampusEdge (for students).

By Simba (Simba) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 07:17 pm: Edit

WAMU - Washington Mutual. Principal Bank (they even give you $50 to open), and in CA World Savings.

By Patient (Patient) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 07:23 pm: Edit

On the Stanford campus (at Tresidder Student Union) is a Wells Fargo branch and ATM, and Stanford Federal Credit Union. So H opened accounts for S at Wells Fargo. I prefer Wamu myself but it just seems to be better if you have an account at a branch that is right on campus.

By Iflyjets (Iflyjets) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 07:26 pm: Edit

One note; if your son or daughter is under 18, BofA will not authorize them to have a separate credit card. They can, however, receive a debit card tied to their CampusEdge checking account. We did this and I am able to track my D's balance online and electronically deposit her college "allowance" monthly (or as neeeded for books/fees, etc...).

By Bookworm (Bookworm) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 07:35 pm: Edit

S's school also offers credit union, not just for students but families. States can be used over lifetime, and will help with loans for cars, mortgages. Never used one; any thoughts?

Iflyjets, my S has had the same thing.

By Robyrm (Robyrm) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 07:47 pm: Edit

Is the query about using a credit union? We have used the credit union associated with H's former employer for 19 years for all our banking needs. You do not have to stay affiliated with the original institution to remain a member. I would guess it has all the advantages of small town banking- personal service, ease of communication, services targeted to the needs of members, etc. However, it is also affiliated with Cirrus, etc, etc..so we can use our ATM around the world. We have not been agressive about looking into options, because the personal nature of the service, and reasonable rates for all conventional services, seem fine to us. Car loans are especially cheap, so several family members have signed up just to take advantage of this option..I think that you can do just about everything you could at a regular bank!

By Patient (Patient) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit

Thanks for the above. That's why I was going to put S's savings into the credit union, plus which I don't like Wells Fargo, sorry if there are any WF afficianados out there.

By Patsfan (Patsfan) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 08:13 pm: Edit

My son has a local checking account with a Debit/ATM card.

His out of state school has a bank branch on campus so we opened another account at that bank (Citibank). It is a lot easier to deal with local banks. I have the ability to transfer funds into the account if necessary.

I also had him apply for a credit card at home before he was exposed to all of the offers on campus. The line is limited to $800 but the card is in his name

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 09:52 pm: Edit

We chose Fleet Bank also. BUT they only guaranteed the free accounts for one year here (CT). However, the bank officer told DS to just go into Fleet next year and ask for it again. She said it won't be a problem. We chose Fleet because there are local branches here (just in case we need to make a deposit) and tons of branches in Boston for DS to use (free ATM at their banks). He has a checking account but only so he can pay his credit card bill if he uses it.

By Ellemenope (Ellemenope) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 07:27 am: Edit

California B of A student account set up for D here before she will leave for out of state college. The free checking for students is only if the student's parents have a B of A account, I think. Then the checking account is free for 5 years. You might want to check the fee structure out.

D will have access to Fleet ATM on campus with no extra fees. The debit card should work for local businesses. B of A online banking is great! The student package also included a credit card in her own name (under $600 or $800 limit). We don't expect that she will end up writing many checks except to the school, which shouldn't have a problem accepting out of state checks.

By Eadad (Eadad) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 02:46 pm: Edit

B of A will guarantee offer of free checking for five years even if parents don't bank there (we don't). By doing a monthly direct deposit either from parent diverting part of their payroll deposit to student's acct OR if student opens a small savings acct, the student can electronically move funds to checking (even $5 per month) and it counts as a deposit.

They made it very easy and seem anxious to start building relationships with students now in hopes of continued banking relationships when they are graduates and out in the world.

By Mini (Mini) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 03:39 pm: Edit

BoA/Fleet offered my d. a credit card, without the parents name on it or any other security, even though she is only 16. However, there is no particular advantage that we saw in getting a credit card from the same bank as the checking accout, so she's doing the Citibank thing and collecting the free 50 bucks.

By Strick (Strick) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 03:46 pm: Edit

Our bank was acquired (and acquired and acquired) and wound up under Wells Fargo. They have a branch and ATMs on campus plus our S's checking account and low limit credit card (which I keep) were free. We were able to set up an automatic transfer to post money from our account to his. Those were only things that recommended them and they're particular to our situation.

I do know some schools that have credit unions for students. It sort of makes sense to check out what's available at or around your school.

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