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Natasha Macmillan, Business Unit Director - Everyday Banking
A guide to student chequing accounts
Students can get special discounts on bank accounts when they are attending a post-secondary institution, and long past the age of 19. The average bank account can cost you around $15 each month or $180 per year. Whether you’re part-time or full-time, a college freshman or university grad, finding a bank account doesn’t need to be a difficult process.
Below we highlight a few details to keep in mind when selecting the best student bank account for you.
What to look for in a student chequing account:
While the student chequing account you choose will depend on your specific priorities and spending habits, there are some general features you'll want to look for.
1. Low or no annual fees
Being a student is expensive enough without having to pay extra fees on your bank account every year. Understanding this, most student chequing accounts offer no annual fee (or at the very least a small one), so avoid banks that will hit you with these kinds of charges.
2. Unlimited transactions
Because a large amount of your account activity will be debit transactions and e-transfers, you'll want to look for chequing accounts that offer either unlimited transactions or, at the very least, a high number of free ones.
3. ATM access
While most places use debit machines these days, there are still occasions where you'll need physical money, such as cash-only bars and takeout spots. That's why you'll want to make sure your chosen bank has ATMs close by.
4. Student credit cards
Used wisely, credit cards are a great way to build your credit and learn financial skills that will come in handy as you get older. When shopping around for the right student chequing account, it may be worth it to investigate a bank's student credit card options as well.
5. Extra perks
While most student chequing accounts don't offer a lot in the way of sign up incentives and benefits, some do feature small perks. These can sometimes be a small cash bonus, Air Miles, or a certain number of free transactions.
How to open a student chequing account
In general, opening any bank account is an easy process. The vast majority of financial institutions will let you sign up online, and your new account will be ready for you to use within minutes. That being said, there is documentation you'll want to have ready to help confirm your identity and student status. This can include:
- A driver's license or passport
- A copy of your renter's lease (if you're living in an apartment)
- A utility bill or other official mail with your current address listed
- A copy of your timetable or other proof of student status
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