The Finest Banks Recommended for Opening a Checking Account

When it comes to the finest banks, your account is in the right hands for the everyday management of your money

Through a procedure that is entirely separate from being influenced by advertisements, we determine which items are the best and then offer them to you. If you decide to visit one of our recommended partners, we might get paid for it. For additional information, please see our advertiser disclosure. Your checking account may be the most significant financial account you have. Since you use that account to make purchases, receive income, and pay bills, it is necessary to ensure that everything is operating efficiently. You need an account that works properly, but you also need a bank that charges you as few costs as possible so that you may keep a more significant portion of what you make. Keeping these objectives in mind, we have selected the top financial institutions from which you can choose to open your checking account. Each of these accounts provides you with the main features of a checking account. The FDIC or NCUA will protect your deposits up to the limits set by the federal government.

Highly recommended for minors: Capital One

By providing a free checking account specifically created for kids, Capital One assists children and teenagers in developing a healthy relationship with money. A debit card is issued to minors to make purchases. Accounts are available to youngsters as young as eight years old. Neither monthly fees nor account minimums are required to open an account. Parents and guardians can watch their children's accounts through online access and activity alerts. You cannot use a debit card to make purchases at establishments regarded as improper for young adults. This includes places such as pubs and liquor stores, which may be something that some parents find relief in. The annual percentage yield on the account is 0.10%. An annual percentage yield of 0.10 percent is available with the Capital One 360 checking account. The mobile app notifies you immediately of any purchases made. It also allows you to make mobile check deposits and enables you to send money using Zelle. If you misplace your card, the app will also allow you to lock it.

What we liked about the bank:

  • Accounts that earn interest for children and adolescents aged 8 and older
  • It offers a significant amount of freedom in decision-making (if parents want that)

What we did not like about the bank:

  • No paper checks are accepted. However, this may not be relevant since most teenagers probably will not need them and probably do not use them.

Highly recommended for cashback rewards: Discover Bank

Credit cards may offer a generous amount of cashback benefits, but debit cards are typically less rewarding. The Cashback Debit account from Discover Bank is a free online checking account that comes with rewards. Earn 1% cashback on up to $3,000 in qualifying debit card purchases made each month for up to $30 in monthly rewards for using your debit card. There are no monthly fees, and there is no requirement for a minimum balance to keep the account active. If you already make routine purchases with your debit card, the additional cash will be a pleasant surprise. However, if you would rather receive benefits from your credit card, this might not be the ideal option for you.

What we liked about the bank:

  • Exceptional chance to accumulate points through debit card purchases
  • Discover's comprehensive range of account options, which allow for convenient one-stop shopping

What we did not like about the bank:

  • Users can forego the benefits of making purchases with a credit card.

Highly recommended for accumulating interest: nbkc Bank

Admittedly, the annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.15 percent that you'll earn in your account at nbkc won't make you rich. However, this rate stands out in today's atmosphere of historically low-interest rates. The account has no monthly maintenance costs. In contrast to other accounts that offer pretty high interest, the restrictions that nbkc Bank places on its customers are not overly onerous. For instance, you are not required to make a set number of purchases with your debit card each month or restrict certain withdrawals to six per month. When you open an account with nbkc, you won't have to worry about making a minimum deposit. You may use your mobile device to deposit checks.

What we liked about the bank:

  • It is simple to become eligible for the rate.
  • Refunds on ATM fees around the world of up to $12 each month.

What we did not like about the bank:

  • The contemporary and laid-back atmosphere might not be to the liking of those who prefer traditional banking.

Highly recommended for keeping more than $250,000: Wealthfront Cash Account

Suppose you maintain a significant amount of cash in checking and want to earn interest on that cash. In that case, you should consider looking at Wealthfront. The cash account offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.85 percent on your balance. It allows you to have up to one million dollars in FDIC-insured funds in a single account. Wealthfront invests your money in many FDIC-insured banks so that it can provide you with this degree of protection, which is more than the statutory maximum of $250,000. You can spend money from your account by using a debit card or setting up electronic transfers. Both of these options are available to you. Suppose you have more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to deposit. In that case, a checking account is probably not the ideal destination for your money (unless you constantly use that money). Think about opening a high-yield savings account so that you have the opportunity to make extra money from your savings.

What we liked about the bank:

  • Distribute the funds mechanically across several different banks.
  • There are no overdraft fees or monthly service costs.

What we do not like about the bank:

  • Only individual accounts are allowed (no joint account at this time)

Highly recommended for those looking for credit unions: Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is a customer-owned financial cooperative that provides members with a free checking account that pays an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.25 percent on balance. Before joining a credit union, you need to meet some eligibility requirements, but Alliant makes this process simple. After joining Foster Care to Success, an organization that assists youth in foster care across the United States, anyone is eligible to become a member of the organization. You will have to sign up for electronic statements and make at least one electronic deposit into your account each month to earn interest on your balance. You won't earn anything even if you don't meet those standards, but there won't be any monthly costs.

What we liked about the bank:

  • There is neither a minimum deposit nor any monthly fees.
  • Refunds on ATM fees of up to $20 per calendar month.

What we did not like about the bank:

  • You must have electronic statements and make at least one electronic deposit every month to accumulate interest.

Highly recommended for having branches: Chase Bank

Likely, large banks do not have a reputation for offering low-cost checking accounts. Still, the Total Checking account offered by Chase Bank comes quite close. You can do your banking in person at one of the almost 4,700 available branches. You can also avoid paying the monthly charge if you make a direct deposit of at least $500 per month or maintain an average daily balance in the account of at least $1,500. Expect to pay $12 each month if you do not meet the requirements to receive a waiver.

What we liked about the bank:

  • There are several ways to get rid of the monthly charge.
  • A fundamental and sufficient account containing a large number of physical places.

What we do not like about the bank:

  • There is a possibility of incurring high costs when using an ATM, going over your limit, and using other services.

Highly recommended for global travel: Schwab Bank

The Charles Schwab Bank High Yield Investor checking account contains all of the standard features you would expect to find in a checking account. It is an excellent choice for people who frequently travel. Schwab will reimburse your ATM fees an unlimited number of times, no matter where you are. There are no fees charged for making purchases or withdrawals in a foreign currency. You will not be subject to any account minimums or monthly fees, and you will receive an APY of 0.03% on the amount of your checking account.

What we liked about the bank:

  • Rebates on ATM fees, both domestically and internationally, without any limits.
  • There are no mandatory monthly payments or minimums.

What we do not like about the bank:

  • You are required to open a linked brokerage account regardless of whether or not you desire one.

Comparing the banks:

Bank or Credit Union

Why We Picked It

Advantages

Disadvantages

Capital One Highly recommended for minors
  • Accounts that earn interest for children and adolescents aged 8 and older
  • It offers a significant amount of freedom in decision-making (if parents want that)
  • No paper checks are accepted. However, this may not be relevant since most teenagers probably will not need them and probably do not use them.
Discover Bank Highly recommended for cashback rewards
  • Exceptional chance to accumulate points through debit card purchases
  • Discover's comprehensive range of account options, which allow for convenient one-stop shopping
  • Users can forego the benefits of making purchases with a credit card.
nbkc Bank Highly recommended for accumulating interest
  • It is simple to become eligible for the rate.
  • refunds on ATM fees around the world of up to $12 each month
  • The contemporary and laid-back atmosphere might not be to the liking of those who prefer traditional banking.
Wealthfront Cash Account Highly recommended for keeping more Than $250k
  • Distribute the funds mechanically across several different banks.
  • There are no overdraft fees or monthly service costs.
  • Only individual accounts are allowed (no joint account at this time)
Alliant Credit Union Highly recommended for those looking for a Credit Union
  • There is neither a minimum deposit nor any monthly fees
  • Refunds on ATM fees of up to $20 per calendar month
  • You must have electronic statements and make at least one electronic deposit every month to accumulate interest.
Chase Bank Highly recommended for Branches
  • There are several ways to get rid of the monthly charge.
  • A fundamental and sufficient account containing a large number of physical places
  • There is a possibility of incurring high costs when using an ATM, going over your limit, and using other services.
Schwab Bank Highly recommended for global travel
  • Rebates on ATM fees, both domestically and internationally, without any limits.
  • There are no mandatory monthly payments or minimums.
  • You are required to open a linked brokerage account regardless of whether or not you desire one.

What is the definition of a checking account?

A bank account that enables customers to make frequent withdrawals and deposits is a checking account. You may put money into the account (or have your company do it for you) and then use it as a holding space for money that you intend to utilize shortly. It is simple to spend money taken from these accounts. For example, you can:
  • Move money from the account so that you can pay the bills online.
  • Use a debit card to pay for your purchases.
  • Give instructions to billers to make monthly deductions of monies automatically.
  • Get cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) or the bank for your spending needs.
  • Write checks.
  • Connect your account to several mobile payment apps, such as PayPal, Venmo, etc.
Suppose the financial institution you bank with or the credit union you belong to is federally insured. In that case, the federal government will protect your deposits up to $250,000. Instead of carrying significant sums of cash, it is generally better to keep your money in a checking account and electronically make all of your purchases.

What are the traits of a reliable checking account?

Monthly fees are troublesome for several reasons, including the fact that they are easy to ignore and the fact that they progressively drain your account. Charges for overdrafts and various other fees can also mount tens or even hundreds of dollars over a year. A checking account ought to be low-cost and straightforward to navigate simultaneously. Ensure the checking account you choose has the features and functionality you require. The following are some of the features that you could find helpful:
  • Online bill pay service that gives you the option to schedule payments as well as make payments on demand.
  • Remote or mobile check deposit.
  • The capacity to link accounts held with other organizations.
  • ATM fee reimbursements.
  • The ability to lock your debit card when you don't intend to use it for a certain period.
  • Cashier's checks and money orders are examples of official forms of payment.
  • You can reach customer care via chat, the phone, or an app on your mobile device for assistance whenever you require it.
  • Automated teller machines that take deposits.

Key terms associated with checking accounts

  • Available balance: The term "available balance" refers to the sum of money you are permitted to spend in your checking account. There is a possibility that the balance shown for your account is not the same as the sum available in your account. This could be attributed to recent deposits or holds placed on funds in your account.
  • Debit card: A debit card is a plastic payment card linked to your bank account. You can purchase in-person or online with retailers who accept that card just like you would with a credit card. In addition, you can use your debit card to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine.
  • PIN: Your identification number, often known as a PIN, is a numeric code used to assist in protecting your account. Keep that number a secret because it's a security measure that helps stop people you don't know from accessing your account. When withdrawing cash at an ATM or engaging in other activities, you could be required to enter your PIN.
  • Insufficient funds: If you attempt to spend more money than what is currently available on your account, you may be required to pay a fee for having insufficient funds. Always verify your balance and maintain a current status on your account by setting up alerts and balancing the account every month.
  • Overdraft: You are said to have overdrawn your money from your checking account if your bank permits you to spend more money than you currently have in your account. The tool, known as "overdraft protection," allows you to cover the difference between the amount you wish to spend and the current amount in your account. Banks typically give you the option to opt for this feature, and if you do, you can cover the difference. Overdraft protection is typically subject to a maximum limit and may include an associated fee. It is possible that passing on this option and limiting your spending to what you can do is the best action.
  • Remote or mobile deposit: When you get a check in the mail, you can deposit the money into your account remotely or by mobile deposit by using the mobile app provided by your bank to take a picture of the check.
  • Endorsement: It is possible that to deposit monies, you will be required to sign the back of checks and other forms of payment that you receive. This action is known as "endorsing the thing," and it allows you to put constraints on the item. For example, you may endorse a check by writing "for deposit only" on it.

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