Student Credit Cards
Online Banks for Students
When most people think "banks", they perceive Bank of America or Citi as the be all and end all. These are just a few examples of banking institutions but there are many that are commonly known by the general public. In most cities, you'll find a few banks that are prevalent with branches and ATMs. These makes it easy to access your money and maintain your account. However, the problem with these banks is that their savings account rates are not very high, making them poor places to keep larger sums of money that you'd like easy access to.
There is another option.
Online banking. Surely, you've seen ads for ING Direct, Ally, and Citi's online entity. These banks have two main benefits: no minimums and higher interest rates. Both of which are significant as compared with typical brick-and-mortar banks. The rates can be as high as 5%, which is great compared to a lowly 3% (at best) for a regular bank. And not requiring a minimum invites many more users than before.
How are they able to afford this? Easy - since they don't have the expense of rent, tellers, and ATMs, they can simply have a staff of phone customer service reps (which other banks have as well) to assist customers with questions.
Of course, there are a few negatives. Your access to money isn't quite as easy. You have to either request a check from them or transfer your money into a local account - there aren't (yet) any ING Direct ATMs. Also, some people like speaking face-to-face with tellers, which these virtual banking options don't provide.
One recommended tactic is to have both - an online bank for the higher savings rate and a local bank for ATM and teller access. Provided you have free transfers, you can simply move your cash back and forth as needed. Give it a try!