With the rising costs of textbooks, tuition and other college expenses, you’ll definitely want to keep your finances in order to minimize debt after graduation. Thanks to the hefty fees that come with most checking accounts, it can be hard to keep on top of your money when you don’t have much to work with in the first place.

Which is the best bank account for students?

Minnwest’s Digital Checking is the perfect option for busy students that are looking into their first account. As long as you’re at least 18 years old, have $100 for the opening balance and a valid ID, you can open an account online in under 15 minutes.

It has all the convenient digital features you’d want in online checking:

  • Set spending limits
  • Sign up for alerts
  • Pay rent and tuition with online bill pay
  • Use your debit card anywhere that accepts card transactions

But at the same time, we don't chip away at your balance with sneaky fees and penalties.

  • Minnwest Digital Checking has no monthly fees and no minimum balances.
  • Earn a competitive interest rate by maintaining a balance and making regular debit card purchases
  • Earn surcharge-free ATM transactions without the extra fees.  

Overdraft fees: A college student’s worst nightmare 

When there are so many checking account options out there, not everyone realizes how Minnwest offers friendlier features for those razor-thin student budgets. We're talking specifically about what makes checking accounts so scary for students: Overdraft fees. 

At around $35 a pop, depending on your bank, a student can easily find themselves several hundred dollars in the hole. And we get it: Most of us find ourselves overextended from time to time. But unlike traditional banks, Minnwest offers upfront features to keep the financial carnage of overdraft fees to a minimum. 

Opt-in overdraft coverage 

First and foremost, you have a choice in how your debit card transactions are processed should there not be enough funds in your account to cover the purchase. You can opt-in to allow purchases to go through and be subject to an overdraft fee. You can also opt-out so the purchase would be declined with no fee incurred.

You can rest easy knowing you're not a shopping trip away from being buried in overdraft fees. 

But we also have other convenient tools to keep you on top of your balance: 

  • Notification alerts on balances and transactions 
  • Sweep transfers (from savings to checking) 
  • Overdraft line of credit (for qualifying customers)

New to checking accounts? Secrets to staying on top of your money

Once you have your Minnwest Digital Checking up and running, here are some tips for busy college students to stay on top of their finances. 

Download the bank’s app

Your checking account balance and ability to transfer funds and pay bills are always in your hip pocket. Learn more about our Minnwest Bank mobile app here.

Adopt a "know before you go" policy

Now that you have your app, check in daily to see how much you have in remaining funds, whether it’s first thing in the morning or before you head out to meet your study partner at the campus coffee shop.  

Review purchases

While you’re looking at the balance, scroll down and review your transactions. If you see a purchase you didn’t make, report it immediately. For Minnwest Bank inquiries, call 1-844-MINNWEST (646-6937).

Make a monthly spending plan

Always make a list of which expenses are coming up, and how much money is coming in. Then, do the math, rinse, repeat.

Use direct deposit

Always sign up for direct deposit. No one likes driving to work on their day off. You’ll need to provide your routing number — a nine-digit code that identifies the financial institution — as well as your account number.

Protect your money

Minnwest checking accounts come with free CardValet, an online service that lets you control your cards with your mobile device. CardValet comes with great features for busy college students, including:  

  • Set spending limits on specific spending categories and merchants to help you stick to your budget.
  • Turn on fraud protection (for example, block international transactions).
  • Lock your cards with one touch, which is especially nice for those occasions when you’ve misplaced your wallet (and you’re not 100% sure if it’s at your friend’s place or at the restaurant).  

When you pack off to the dorms, it’s good to know the helpful hometown bankers at Minnwest Bank are always a phone call away. As you take your life to the next level, our personal bankers are here to help you get things done. Learn more about our personal checking accounts and other convenient online and digital services today!


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