Checking Accounts

Where should one open a checking account in the USA? Do a quick comparison of the options available, what fees are there, how to get the best checking account.Checking accounts have become an indispensable tool that everyone must have these days as all your transactions go through your accounts. There are a ton of financial institutions out there that allow maintaining a checking account but choosing wrongly can set you back.This is because an account can come at a cost and banks/financial institutions can charge you as much as $100 per year even if you don’t use the account at all.Thankfully almost every financial institution has some excellent options that can reduce the overall cost of having a checking account. These terms can hugely vary as some banks require their customers to maintain a certain minimum balance while others award their customers for having a healthy amount in their account.So, which bank is the best for maintaining a checking account? There is no one right answer to that question, different banks offer different services with their checking accounts. For your convenience, we have researched the popular options and have compiled a list for you.

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Things to Look Out For

When opening a checking account with a bank you can consider a few things, these include:

  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • Minimum balance requirements
  • Initial deposit requirements
  • Branch network 
  • ATM availability and platform
  • FDIC or NCUA insured

For your convenience, we selected the ones that have no monthly maintenance fee, do not carry minimum balance requirements, have minimal initial deposit requirements, have a vast network of physical branches across the US, and use the most used ATM platform for seamless connectivity.

In addition, the banks we selected also carry insurance of up to $250000 for your checking account.

Best 5 Checking Accounts in the USA

Here are the best banks and checking accounts offered by different banks:

  1. Capital One 360 Checking Account
  2. Ally Interest Checking Account
  3. Discover Cashback Debit Account
  4. Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking Account
  5. Chase College Checking Account
  6. Capital One 360 Checking Account

The Capital One account ranks 1st because they do not require any minimum deposit or balance maintenance for checking accounts. On top of that, the bank has a huge 70,000+ ATM network. 

Their cards can also be used at all MoneyPass and Allpoint ATMs. Apart from these excellent features, the Capital One account also brings a mobile app that is very intuitive and user friendly. 

Every account has a few caveats, while you can use out-of-network ATMs, this will place an extra charge on your account that is not reversible. Moreover, the overdraft fee is $35 if you choose to debit your account beyond your balance.

  1. Ally Interest Checking Account

Ally Interest Checking account is a close second because of their similar features, but the ATM network is smaller than that of the Capital One Bank. You still get to access 43000+ ATMs but the bank more than makes up for it by offering $10 reimbursement for using other ATM networks.

The other amenities are pretty much the same as no minimum deposit is required and the bank even offers a high 0.25% APY if you have a balance of above $15000. $0 overdraft fee for crossing your prescribed limits is a welcome characteristic as well. 

Sadly, the bank doesn’t have physical presence and you can only access your account through the mobile app or online.

  1. Discover Cashback Debit Account

Discover Cashback Checking/Debit account is the best bank account if you’re looking for cashbacks and rewards, the bank offers 1% cash back up to $3000 each month on debit card purchases.

You get the option to forego the overdraft option so that your bank doesn’t get hit by unexpected charges, and while the ATM network is large, they don’t offer reimbursement for ATM usage on out-of-network usage.

  1. Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

Now if you’re looking for a bank account that has a vast network of 80000+ ATMs and even then assists you with a $20 reimbursement for out-of-network usage, then Alliant Credit Union is the best place for you.

If you go paperless, you can get the advantage of 0.25% p.a. and you don’t require any specific amount to open a bank account. There are some hidden terms like you need to opt-in to the paperless banking and must also check the monthly e-return checkbox to qualify for returns.

There are options to get a credit card should you feel the need and the bank offers one of the best customer services in the country.

  1. Chase College Checking

If you’re between 17 to 24 and are a student then Chase college checking account is the best for you. The reason it is best for students is because although their accounts carry maintenance and other charges, they’re exempt for students. 

There are options that can earn you up to $1000 if you’re a new account holder and the service of the bank is stellar. 

Chase College bank has a very easy sign up process and while people would think that they are an online only bank, it has a huge number of branches all across the country so you’ll never be out of support even if you travel but after 24 years of age you’ll find it to be expensive.

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We hope this guide helped you decide better about different checking accounts out there. In our opinion, the Capital One checking account presents the best value closely followed by the Ally Interest Checking Account.

But if you’re looking for other things Discover Cashback Debit Account brings an excellent rewards program that earns you reward points that you can redeem later. For a nationwide coverage and if you’re looking to travel to far flung areas the Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking Account allows ATM usage even outside the bank’s own network.

The Chase College Checking Account presents the best value for your time and money making it an ideal option for students and those who are opening an account for the first time.

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