How to Find the Right Checking Account
Finding the right checking account always starts with understanding your own needs. If savings accounts are like piggy banks, then checking accounts act as wallets for your everyday spending. This means that a good checking account should let you access your money whenever and wherever you need it.
However, convenience can mean different things to every person. While it hasn't been long since the days when written checks were commonplace, banking habits have been rapidly transformed by digital technology. Today's mobile banking apps enable users to check balances and transfer money on the go. At the same time, some people still prefer to conduct their business in person at a nearby bank branch.
Start by deciding what type of bank services you'll rely on the most frequently. Once you know whether you're a digital or traditional customer, you can begin looking for the best options in either category. Read our reviews of online banks and national institutions to find out which type might fit your financial requirements.
Understanding Checking Account Fees
One of the biggest concerns people have when considering a bank is the fee policy that applies to checking accounts. Most banks follow the same fee structure, in which customers must meet certain activity requirements in order to avoid paying account charges. These requirements often involve a monthly minimum balance or a recurring direct deposit arrangement.
While no bank likes to admit it, account fees have always represented a significant source of revenue for any modern bank. This means that it's important for you as an account-holder to be aware of the fees your bank can charge and take steps to avoid them ahead of time. Here are some simple but effective ways to protect yourself from the most common bank fees.
|Doing This…||Helps You Avoid…|
|Tracking your balance and account activity||Overdraft fees|
|Only using ATMs that belong to your bank||Non-network ATM fees|
|Setting up direct deposit to your account||Monthly maintenance fees|
Checking Account Interest Rates Today
As of June 11, the national average rate for interest-bearing checking accounts was 0.05% APY. Until March 2018, the national average had remained unchanged at 0.04% for nearly five years. Interest checking accounts at major banks continue to offer very low interest rates, especially when compared to newer online account options.
Most interest checking accounts also require higher minimum balances and charge higher monthly fees than standard, non-interest checking options. Because the main purpose of a checking account is to handle your daily transactions, simply choosing a checking account for its high interest rate isn't usually the best idea.
You can sort the results above in order of interest rate to find out which banks have the best checking account interest rates, but you can also use our filters to find checking accounts that have low fees or stronger account features. Consider convenience and accessibility alongside interest rate when you shop for a new checking account.
More Banking Resources
If you're interested in finding out more about deposit accounts and how to get the most out of your bank, read through our topic guides and reviews of banks and bank accounts.