Best checking accounts for people under 30 - Roost
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Best checking accounts for people under 30

Some checking accounts are well designed for people in their 20s

When you’re in your 20s, your banking needs are different from someone in their 40s who might have a mortgage or several children or one eye on retirement. In your 20s, you’re just getting started with your career and your finances reflect that. When choosing a checking account, you’ll want to focus on things like no minimum balance, no fees, mobile app alert notifications, and getting paid 2 days early with auto-deposit paychecks(!).

Below, find a few checking accounts that we like, then read on to learn more about what to look for in a checking account.

Banking productWhat we like about it
chime-logo ~ Breaking Money SilencePros:
No minimum to open
No minimum balance
No monthly fees
No overdraft fees
Great mobile app + notifications  
Get paid 2 days early
Automatic savings
No fee for replacement debit card
Cons:
• No cash deposits, no checkbooks and no physical locations
Learn more
Varo News and PressPros:
No minimum to open
No minimum balance
No monthly fees
No overdraft fees
Mobile app, mobile check deposits, bill pay, push notifications available
Get paid 2 days early
Automatic savings
$50 referral bonus
Cons:
• Doesn’t earn interest, no physical locations, $25 fee for replacement debit card
Learn more
Our Announcements | Radius BankPros:
No minimum balance
No monthly fees
No overdraft fees
Mobile app, mobile check deposits, bill pay
Get paid 2 days early
Unlimited cash bank on Radius debit card 
Cons:
• $100 minimum opening deposit, extended overdraft penalty of $5 per day, app notifications not available, only one physical location, $35 fee for replacement debit card
Learn more
File:Axos Financial Inc Logo Color.svg - Wikimedia CommonsPros:
No minimum to open
No minimum balance
No monthly fees
No overdraft fees
Mobile app, mobile check deposits, bill pay
Earns interest at 1.25% APY
Cons:
• Hard to qualify for the interest earning, notifications not available, no physical locations, $5 fee for replacement debit card
Learn more
Simple | Online Banking With Built-In Budgeting & Saving ToolsPros:
No minimum to open
No minimum balance
No monthly fees
No overdraft fees
No fee for replacement debit card
Mobile app, mobile check deposits
Safe to spend budgeting tool Push notifications available
Cons:
• Joint accounts only possible if both people have individual accounts with Simple. Cash deposits take work, no checkbooks 
Learn more

What to look for in a checking account

If you want a detailed analysis of what you should look for in a checking account, you can read our Checking Account 101 article. But here are at least a few things you should think about when you’re considering which checking account to go with.

  • No minimum. When you’re just starting out in your career, you might find that your checking account balance will go up and down a lot. You’ll get your paychecks, but, when rent or bills are due, you’ll find the money going out just as fast as it comes in. In this case, you may find that your balance dips pretty low occasionally. You don’t want to worry about this, so it’ll be wise to choose an account that has no minimum balance. You don’t want to pay penalties when your balance is low (that just makes a tight situation a little bit worse, and that’s no fun for anyone), so find a checking account that has no minimum balance.
  • No fees. Your checking account should be a convenient tool that you can use however you want. You shouldn’t have to pay fees just to keep it open or to do simple things like taking money out of an ATM. So, you’ll want to look at checking accounts with no fees. There are a lot of great zero-fee checking accounts out there, and these are the best ones for you to focus on. This way, you’ll be able to keep and use all of your money instead of spending it on hidden fees. 
  • Ease of use. Again, you want your checking account working for you, so you don’t want to have to work hard in order to use it. Sure, you’ll want easy access to lots of no-fee ATMs in your area, but it’s wise to go beyond that. Look for an account with a robust mobile app. You’ll want an app that does most (or all) of the following:
    • Balance checks. Quickly check your balance and transaction history by signing into the app and see the status of your account at a glance. With a banking app, you should be able to see your available balance, recent deposits, and payments, all with a quick touch of a button. Find an app that’s secure and easy to use so you’ll always know the status of your account.
    • Notifications. Being able to check your balance whenever you want is great, but being able to set up alerts is even better. Find an app that lets you set notifications for things like when a deposit clears and when your balance is low. Push notifications can save you time and make it so you don’t have to sign in to see the most important or urgent information about your account.
    • Electronic check deposits. A lot of the money coming into your checking account will come to you electronically, via direct deposit or payments from other apps (like Venmo). But sometimes you’ll find yourself with an actual physical check. In times like these, you don’t want to have to walk down to the ATM to make your deposit. Find a banking app that lets you shoot a photo of your check and deposit it remotely, right from your couch! It’ll make your life a lot easier.
    • Linking to other apps. Make sure you link your checking account to other commonly used apps, like Venmo or PayPal. It might already have a preferred app, like Zelle, so check that out as well.

These are just a few of the features you could consider when you’re choosing a checking account, but we think they’re the ones you’ll want to prioritize and focus on first when making your choice. Later in life, when your priorities are different, there may be other factors to consider, but for now, this is a good place to start!

What makes a checking account right for people under 30?

When you’re in your 20s, you might find yourself with less money in your pocket (or bank accounts) than you might like. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars in the bank, you likely won’t have to worry about how much interest your checking account will earn. You can focus, instead, on keeping all of your hard-earned money by avoiding monthly fees and those associated with minimum balances. These kinds of accounts (especially ones that are easy to use via apps and other electronic means) are well-suited for someone like you, someone just getting started on your financial journey!

Finding the right checking account for you

When choosing your checking account, it may seem tempting to just go with a known quantity — the same account you had when you were in school or one from the same bank your mother or cousin uses or something. But you have your own needs and priorities. Take a close look at your checking account options and make sure they line up with your needs. Focus on avoiding fees and penalties and ease of use. If you do this, you’ll find the best account for you to keep your money safe and use it wisely. A good checking account should fit like a new shoe, so hold out for one that’s your size!

A quick note! Our goal is to gather and share info that’s up-to-date and helps you make great decisions as a renter. That said, the information you get directly from a provider could be a little different. Make sure to review their terms and conditions directly; and, if you see anything here that needs to be updated, please let us know! Advertising disclosure
Last Updated: November 24th, 2020