Minimums to avoid fees: None
Out-of-network ATM fees:
• Four free per month, then $2.50 after that from U.S. Bank
• None from Citibank
Why they're winners: Both banks offer student checking with no account-maintenance fees -- ideal, since college kids are unlikely to watch their balances -- and robust mobile banking that includes remote check deposit.
Since young adults hit the ATM often, we weighted that highly here. U.S. Bank is bigger, meaning greater chance of a branch near Junior's school, but Citibank doesn't charge for out-of-network ATM use (though the bank operating the machine will likely still levy a fee).
Caveats: Because of other-bank ATM fees, you'll want a bank that has the larger number of cash machines near your child's campus and your home.
Don't let the shaky economy stress you out. A grand can still improve your career prospects, lower investment risk, make your home safer and more.