Best Banks for Checking Accounts
In our search for the best checking accounts for Colorado residents, we focused on banks that have low monthly fees, efficient online banking apps and convenient branch locations throughout the state. If you want to focus your banking business at one institution, these banks also provide decent savings and money market account options.
Best for Free Checking: KeyBank
Key Bank's Hassle-Free checking account is ideal for consumers looking for a free, no-frills checking account. This account's digital features are designed to accommodate the modern consumer, and it comes with a debit card, online bill pay and mobile banking rather than paper checks. The account also has no monthly service fee and no overdraft fees.
If you require physical checks to pay your bills, you'll want to consider something other than Hassle-Free Checking as your primary account. A better option would be Key's Express Checking Account, which has a minimum open deposit of $50 and no monthly fee as long as you make monthly deposits of at least $500 or have 8 account transactions each billing cycle.
Best for Branch Access: Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is one of the three largest consumer banks in the US, alongside Chase and Bank of America, and it is the biggest operating in Colorado. With a total of 163 branches throughout the state, Wells Fargo is the best option for consumers who value brick-and-mortar banking. If you prefer to make deposits and withdraw cash through a teller, Wells Fargo offers both checking and savings accounts with reasonable fees and interest rates.
Wells Fargo – Additional Details
- Standard Checking Account Fee: $10.00/month
- Monthly Fee Waivers: 10 debit card uses OR $1,500 daily balance OR $500.00 direct deposit
- Non-Network ATM Fee: $2.50 domestic, $5.00 international
For consumers who desire affordability, the Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account is a solid checking option with minimal fees. The account can be opened online or at any Wells Fargo branch with a $50.00 deposit, and it comes with a full suite of online banking capabilities—including bill pay, transfers and budgeting tools. The $10.00 monthly fee can be waived if you make 10 debit card purchases, deposit at least $500.00 or maintain a daily $1,500 balance every month.
However, if brick-and-mortar access isn't your primary concern, consider products offered by some of the other banks on this list. In recent years, Wells Fargo has been exposed for a number of fraudulent banking practices, some of which resulted in hefty fines from regulators. Thankfully, both KeyBank and Chase offer comparable products for customers who want to avoid Wells Fargo.
Best Checking for Students: Chase Bank
Chase College Checking is the most affordable and accessible banking option for college students in Colorado. The account can be opened with $25, and there are no monthly fees charged for students under 24 for up to 5 years. Additionally, students who open a new account before April 6, 2018 can receive $50 by enrolling in paperless statements and making 10 qualifying transactions.
Chase converts your student account into their standard checking option, Chase Total Checking, when you graduate. The Chase Total Checking account has a monthly fee of $12.00, which is waived if you have monthly direct deposits of $500.00, a daily minimum balance of $1,500 or an average beginning day balance of at least $5,000 combined in all your linked and qualifying Chase deposit balances. With 114 branches in Colorado and tens of thousands of ATMs across the country, Chase is a good banking option for students and graduates alike.
Best for Savings: BBVA Compass
With a BBVA Compass ClearChoice Money Market account at BBVA Compass, you can receive a savings APY of 1.80% for any balance—a rate usually reserved for high balances. To receive this high savings APY, you need to open an account online with at least $25. Those who prefer banking in-person can always open the account online to receive the promotional benefits, and then deposit money into the account at any of BBVA Compass' 38 Colorado locations.
While the opening deposit minimum is $25 for a BBVA Compass ClearChoice Money Market Account, the monthly fee is 15. This fee is waived if your account's minimum daily collected balance is $10,000.00 or if you set up monthly transfers of at least $25 from your Compass checking account. If you don't plan on having a high balance in your money market account, you can avoid monthly fees altogether by opening up a free checking account with Compass and setting up transfers.
Best for Small Businesses
When looking for a small business bank account, consider how many deposit and debit transactions you make per month. Most banks charge higher monthly fees in exchange for allowing more transactions, and will penalize you anywhere from $0.25 to $0.75 per transaction for exceeding the limit. Both of our recommended accounts below allow 500 transactions per month and charge reasonable transaction penalty fees.
Best Free Business Checking: Bank of Colorado
Bank of Colorado is the most affordable checking solution for Colorado business owners. The bank's Free Business Checking package comes with no monthly fee and 500 free transactions per month, which includes checks, deposits and debits. After the 500-item limit is reached, Bank of Colorado charges $0.25 per transaction—an affordable rate compared to the industry standard $0.50.
When using a local bank such as the Bank of Colorado, consider the downsides. For example, accounts can only be opened in person and not online. While the bank has 44 locations throughout the state, it only has three outside Colorado—all of which are located in Gallup, New Mexico. Business owners who need to access their bank while traveling may want to consider a bigger bank like US Bank.
Best for Branch Access: U.S. Bank
US Bank can't compete with the Bank of Colorado when it comes to fees, but it makes up for it with branch accessibility. US is the second largest bank in Colorado with 157 branches—only six fewer than Wells Fargo—and it has 3000 more spread across the American west, midwest and southwest. Additionally, US Bank branches and ATMs cover Western states where other major banks don't operate.
The Platinum Business Checking Account from US Bank allows 500 monthly transactions and has a monthly fee of $25. The fee for extra transactions is $0.40, $.15 more costly than Bank of Colorado. The $25 monthly fee is waived if you maintain an average balance of $25,000 in the account, or have over $75,000 in business deposits and outstanding business credit balances. This account is best for business owners who have high account balances or who value regional branch access enough to pay the fee.
Summary of the Best Banks in Colorado 2018
When you're looking to open a new bank account, consider what features in a bank are most important to you. You may have to make a trade-off between less important wants and your more important needs. As you continue researching, you can use this guide and the table below as a reference point for comparison shopping.
|Best For…||Bank Name||Monthly Fee|
|Checking & Branch Access||Wells Fargo||$10.00|
|Small Business Checking||Bank of Colorado||$0.00|
|Small Business Branch Access||US Bank||$25.00|