More than ever, with new banking regulations, banks want to pitch their products to college students. It seems that a college student's account has a major impact on the banks' earnings.

Some of the things being offered to college students include:

  • No-fee checking accounts
  • Flexible debit card rules
  • Longer zero-interest promotional periods on credit cards 

Why Are College Students' Bank Accounts So Important?

First of all, if a bank grabs the student when they're young, and the bank treats them nicely, they have a customer for life. This is especially true when it comes to credit cards, since the length of your credit history counts for 15% of your credit score.

Second, according to Nessa Feddis, Senior Counsel at the American Bankers Association, students perform better than the overall population because they carry lower balances and with the new credit card rules that took affect on February 22, 2010, they now need either proof of income or a co-signer on the card. 

What are the Offers and Deals?

Credit Cards

  • Discover's Student More has 0% APR for nine months
  • Capital One's Journey Student Rewards pays 1% cash back with a 25% bonus on the 1% each time a bill is paid on time 

Checking Accounts

There are about two dozen banks that offer free checking to college students, to name a few, Fifth Third Bank, TD Bank, US Bank and some smaller regional banks do as well. They often require $50 to open the account, but don't require direct deposit.

Sallie Mae, the student lender also has a no-fee checking account; however, it's currently only available at a small number of colleges. Sallie Mae does expect more schools will be signing on in the near future.

Debit Cards

The debit card offers that banks make to students are generally no different than the offers made to the general public. Some may, however, offer extra benefits to students, such as allowing students to use ATM's outside the bank's network. US Bank and Fifth Third Bank allow a student to make an ATM withdrawal outside the network four and five times a month, respectively.

Online bank PerkStreet will give you 2% cash bank on debit card purchases or 1% cash back if your checking account balance drops below $5,000 (I want to know the student who maintains a $5,000 checking account balance.)

Prepaid Cards


There are no prepaid cards pitched directly at college students. Not a big deal as many charge a user fee, about $10 a month, so that makes them very expensive on a college budget, and many don't report the activity to the credit reporting agencies, so you can't build a credit history.

If you're a student, are you planning on signing up for any of these bank products?