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Best High-Yield Checking AccountOnJuno Basic Checking
Best No-Fee Checking AccountDiscover Cashback Debit
Best Rewards Checking AccountRadius Bank Rewards Checking
Best Student Checking AccountPNC Virtual Wallet Student
Best Checking Account for ATM rebatesSchwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking
Best Business Checking AccountBlueVine Business Checking

Your checking account is your main financial hub: It’s where you receive direct deposits, pay bills, link to your other accounts and more. According to the most recent Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances in 2016, U.S. households keep an average checking account balance of $10,545. An account as important as that should fit your finances and lifestyle as best as possible.

You can get a head start on finding the best checking account for your needs by taking a look at our list below. We’ve found the best checking accounts for interest-rate chasers, fee avoiders, rewards earners, students, ATM users and businesses.

Why trust us

ValuePenguin has a team of experts that parses through thousands of checking accounts each week to find those that offer the best features. We use exclusive data from DepositAccounts to find and weigh all account factors. This includes interest rates, monthly fees, ATM access, potential rewards, overdraft fees, accessibility and more. We update this page regularly to help you stay on top of the best checking accounts out there.

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Best high-yield checking account: OnJuno Checking Account

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $0

OnJuno is currently the leader in high-yield checking with its Basic level checking account, which is part of an offering with Evolve Bank and Trust. Accounts with balances up to $5,000 can take advantage of its 1.2% bonus rate, which is higher than the APY that all other checking accounts are offering. The rate drops to 0.25% on balances over $5,000 and there is no bonus rate for balances over $100,000.

If you have a balance that is higher, the Metal checking account has a bonus rate of 1.2% on balances up to $50,000. Balances over $50,000 earn a bonus rate of 0.25%, and balances over $100,000 earn no bonus rate. The Metal checking account has a monthly fee of $9.99 that can be waived with a $500 monthly direct deposit. OnJuno’s bonus rate is not interest provided by Evolve Bank and Trust, and OnJuno emphasizes that they reserve the right to cancel, remove, or change the bonus at any time.

There is no minimum deposit required to open a checking account with OnJuno, and you don’t have to maintain a particular minimum daily balance. You can withdraw cash at 85,000 ATMs and you get one free out of network ATM withdrawal a month (three free with the Metal account), which is reimbursed at the end of each month.

To access your checking account, you can use the free Instant Virtual Card included with the account, as well as the mobile app. The Metal card awards 5% cash back on five retailers such as Netflix, Starbucks and Target, up to $500 in purchases per year with the Basic account and up to $3,000 in purchases per year with the Metal account.

Best no-fee checking account: Discover Cashback Debit

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $0

The Discover Cashback Debit account eliminates not only a monthly fee, but a whole cache of common checking account fees. This includes fees for ATM use, overdrafts and overdraft protection, checks, returned deposit items and insufficient funds.

Just about anyone can take advantage of this fee-free account, as it doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement to open or maintain. Even better, your debit card purchases earn 1% cashback, on up to $3,000 of purchases per month. The debit card can also be used for fee-free ATM withdrawals at Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs. While Discover won’t charge you a fee for using an ATM out of those networks, the third-party ATM owner likely will.

Discover Bank review are available entirely online. The bank provides a mobile app for access as well, where you can freeze your debit card at any time, deposit checks, find ATMs and more.

Best rewards checking account: Radius Bank Rewards Checking

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $100

The Radius Bank Rewards Checking account earns double rewards in the form of both cash back and interest earned. The account earns 1.00% cash back on qualifying online and signature-based debit card purchases, as long as you maintain a minimum average balance of $2,500 or receive direct deposits totaling at least $2,500 each month.There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.

As for earned interest, you’ll need to have at least $2,500 in your account to start earning at 0.10% APY. A higher 0.15% APY applies to balances of $100,000 and higher.

The perks keep coming with the Rewards Checking account. For one, Radius Bank can get you your direct deposit paycheck up to two days earlier than usual by depositing the funds into your account as soon as the bank gets it, rather than holding it. In terms of accessibility, you can make deposits and withdrawals for free at MoneyPass and SUM ATMs worldwide. Radius Bank won’t charge you a fee for using out-of-network ATMs either, and it even offers unlimited ATM fee rebates for any third-party surcharges.

Best student checking account: PNC Bank Virtual Wallet Student

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $25, or $0 if opened online

PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet Student is more than just a checking account – it’s three accounts rolled into one. There’s the Spend checking account, which gives students experience with expenses and paying bills; the Reserve checking account, which earns interest but still allows spending; and the Growth savings account, which helps students with their savings. There is no monthly fee, nor minimum balance requirements to worry about. Plus, PNC Bank offers several budgeting and spending tools to help students practice good money management skills.

Virtual Wallet Student has features in place to keep student account holders on track, too. It provides an automatic refund of your first overdraft or returned item fee, reimbursement of the first two non-PNC Bank ATM transactions each statement period and up to a $5 reimbursement of other banks’ ATM surcharges each statement period. You also get one free incoming wire transfer each statement period; any incoming wires after that cost $15, and all outgoing wires are $30.

Virtual Wallet Student is accessible both online and through the bank’s mobile app.

Best checking account for ATM rebates: Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $0

If you’re a Schwab customer or have always wanted to get into investing, the Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking account is a good start for its unlimited ATM rebates. This checking account is available only as a linked account with a Schwab One® brokerage account. Neither of the accounts have minimum balance requirements or charges.

This pairing allows you to take advantage of any ATM with the checking account’s linked Visa® Platinum Debit Card, as well as Schwab’s investing platform. You don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees either when using the linked debit card.

The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account also earns interest at 0.03% APY on all balances.

Best business checking account: BlueVine Business Checking

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $0

Online-based BlueVine Business Checking offers business owners some peace of mind with no monthly fees, unlimited transactions, two free checkbooks and more. A rate of 1% APY is earned on balances up to $100,000, but other than that, there’s no minimum balance requirement to worry about. In addition to no monthly service fees, there are also no fees for nonsufficient funds or incoming wires.

There are some fees you might face, however, like for expedited debit card replacements, cash deposit fees at Green Dot locations and outgoing wires. Luckily, you can avoid ATM fees with BlueVine, which provides access to the MoneyPass network for when you need to make cash deposits or withdrawals. BlueVine won’t charge fees for out-of-network ATMs either, but it won’t reimburse the third-party surcharge you’ll likely face in that event.

In addition to its Business Checking account, BlueVine provides financing services to small businesses. The checking account is serviced by The Bancorp Bank, which provides FDIC insurance and the BlueVine Mastercard® Debit Card for the account.

How to choose the right checking account

If you haven't found the kind of checking account that suits your financial habits or situation, there are many more options out there that may fit the bill. For instance, if you place a high value on banks that emphasize face-to-face interaction and investment in your local community, you may want to look at a small neighborhood bank that has time to personalize its customer service. You may even consider joining a credit union, which is organized differently than a standard bank but provides the same kinds of banking services and products.

When shopping for a checking account, some important factors to pay attention to include:

  • Fees: Fees are an easy and sneaky way banks make money – and deplete your funds. Always check for a monthly fee, which is essentially just a charge to own the account, or at the available ways to waive the monthly fee. Other common fees include charges for out-of-network ATM usage, wire transfers and paper statements. Most banks also have a hefty overdraft fee that applies if it ever has to cover a transaction that exceeds your account balance.
  • Rates: Earning interest on your checking account balance is a smart perk to have, especially since almost all of your money runs through that account at some point. Many big, traditional banks offer checking account rates not much higher than 0.01%, if that. But you can do better, especially by looking at online banks.
  • ATM access: Your checking account is your go-to source for depositing and withdrawing cash, since savings accounts place limits on your monthly transactions. Look into whether a bank limits you to its own ATMs – and its geographical reach – or whether it partners with another ATM network for wider scope, too. Remember, fees may be charged for out-of-network ATM use; check whether an account offers surcharge reimbursements.
  • Minimum balance requirements: A checking account can look great at first glance with its interest rates and rewards, but take a closer look, and you might find that there are some qualifications required. Many checking accounts have a minimum amount that you must deposit to open the account and another minimum requirement that you must maintain to keep the account open. Minimum balance requirements are also often used to waive monthly fees or earn interest.
  • FDIC/NCUA insurance: Deposit insurance is key to finding a legitimate account; it is provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for bank deposits and by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit union deposits. This insurance backs your money up in the rare event your bank fails. All the big-name banks you’ve heard of are FDIC-insured, as are all the accounts we’ve listed above. Still, it’s always important to check the amount of insurance coverage a bank provides.

In the end, you should narrow your focus down to a few key factors that can guide your decision. For example, if you only have a little money in the bank and depend on each new paycheck to replenish your balance, you may want to prioritize finding a free checking account. Or if minimum balances are no worry, then you can move on to finding an account that rewards higher balances with higher interest. It’s all about finding the account that works for you – not one that you have to work to maintain.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.