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Top 10 Checking Accounts of 2019


Top 10 Checking Accounts of 2019 26.09.2019Leave a comment
Top 10 Checking Accounts of 2019

The most important part in your personal finances is your checking account. It acts as the nerve center of your accounts, and through it all your bills and expenses are paid by checks, debit cards, or online banking.

It is highly essential that you pick the right bank and checking account, which suits all your needs and will not make spending a troubling activity. There are many options and benefits to choose from, such as those with cash backs, no annual fees, APYs, and so on.

To help you make a choice, we are going to discuss the best checking accounts on the market and see which one suits you. If you find yourself not understanding some of the terms used in the following article make sure to check out this article to help you refresh your knowledge.

Terms
Terms

Alliant Credit Union High-Yield Checking Account

The Alliant Credit Union High-Interest account mixes the convenience of online banking with the low cost of online checking. The huge advantage this bank offers is the ability to earn 1.9% APY on your savings, which is 17.3 times the national average. So, if you’re looking to maximize both your time and your money, keep reading.

Alliant Credit Union High-Yield Checking Account
Alliant Credit Union High-Yield Checking Account

Benefits

Alliant has no significant fees, only the standard costs such as check printing fees apply. You will be presented with a free Visa debit card once you sign up and you can use this card to deposit money at over 80,000 of the bank’s free ATMs.

Additionally, you will receive a free box of checks when you sign up, after which a box will only cost as low as $15. There is no minimum deposit that must be paid to open the account and no minimum balance requirement to keep the account open.

This card is the perfect choice for avid technology users as it offers an app that does everything you need, such as deposit checking, and bill paying.

You can even deposit paper checks by taking a picture, which is rare for mobile banking apps. It is almost impossible to go into overdraft because this bank will automatically transfer money from your savings account to avoid it. They do only a “soft credit check,” so most applicants qualify for this account.

Disadvantages

Something that the reviewers don’t feel very comfortable about is that Alliant doesn’t offer joint banking accounts. Also, cash deposits are a messy ordeal as you will have to go to a third-party provider (Green Dot Cash Deposit) and it will require you to pay a fee, but that isn’t a big problem for most people as everything is done online nowadays.

Pros
1.9% APY
No fees
Free Visa Debit Card
The first box of checks is free
No minimum deposit
No minimum balance
Mobile App
Overdraft protection
Soft credit check
Cons
No direct cash deposits (third party involved)
No joint banking accounts

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account

One of the top checking accounts surprisingly doesn’t come from a bank, but rather an investment company. The account stands out for low fees and unlimited free rebated from any ATM worldwide.

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Benefits

Schwab has no monthly fees for this account which basically makes it free.

You have the opportunity to earn 0.31% APY on your account balance, which is hard to come by with an account that ‘doesn’t have sky-high fees. Charles Schwab provides customer service through multiple platforms, including Twitter, chat support, phone support, and a great mobile app.

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account
Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account

Disadvantages

The downside of this account is that depositing cash is tricky as you will have to convert it into a money order and send it through the mail or the app. In case of an overdraft, Schwab will use money from you your linked Schwab One brokerage account or savings account, for free, if you set them up as sources beforehand.

But if you don’t have enough money in a backup account, you could be charged with a $25 nonsufficient funds fee up to four times a day, so make sure to keep your backup account stocked.

The bank also makes a hard credit inquiry to check for eligibility, so check your credit score before applying.

Review

This checking account has some of the most positive reviews we have ever seen, with customers saying they love everything about this bank, and that the customer service is always quick and efficient in helping them.

Many of the cardholders have been loyal to Schwab bank for many years and have no complaints. People also seem to like that there are no foreign transaction fees, so they are able to take their card with them to use abroad.

The one disadvantage almost all banks have is lousy customer service, so it was refreshing to see good reviews.

Pros
Unlimited rebates from any ATM
No monthly fees
Multiple platform customer service
Overdraft protection
No foreign transaction fees
Cons
No direct cash deposits (through money order)
No joint banking accounts
Non-sufficient funds fees
Hard credit check

Capital One 360 Checking

Capital One offers a wide variety of accounts, and the 360 checking account may be one of their top-rated so far.

Benefits

This account is fee-free and requires no minimum balance to open it or keep it active. You get one complimentary checkbook, and the ability to use over 39,000 Allpoint or Capital One ATMs for free.

Their mobile app is also very convenient and easy-to-use. It allows you to pay your bills online and deposit checks by submitting photos of them.

A special perk this bank has is its overdraft options. You can pick whether you want whether it is an auto-decline, a free transfer from savings, a loan that covers overdraft.

The bank will make the payments for you with the condition that you will be refilling your account on the next day.

At last, there is an annual percentage yield of 0.20% – 1% that you will receive depending on your account balance.

Capital One 360 Checking
Capital One 360 Checking

Disadvantages

Limited branch access is the one downside Capital One has, as it holds mainly online accounts, a branch isn’t available on every corner. Although we’re sure that their app makes up for this disadvantage.

Review

The one complaint cardholders have about this account is related to bad customer service when using the phone line, with customers being hung up on and having their issues not resolved. But others say their twitter support has always been beneficial.

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Pros
No fee
First checkbook free
Mobile app
Overdraft protection
Up to 1.00% APY
Cons
Limited physical branches
Bad customer service

Discover Cashback Debit

Cashback is usually something one looks for when selecting credit cards, but Discover offers a cash back option for debit cards too.

Benefits

Having this card you will earn 1% cashback on up to $3,000 spent on purchases each month, so up to $360 per year. There are absolutely no fees and no balance or activity requirements for this account. In case you lose your card you can freeze it from the mobile app and will be provided with a no-fee replacement debit card. What’s more, checks are always free for this account.

24/7 customer service is also available to help you with any problems.

Discover Cashback Debit
Discover Cashback Debit

Disadvantages

One downside is that not all merchants accept this debit card but you can withdraw money at over 60,000 ATMs nationwide. There is only one Discover physical branch (in Greenwood, Delaware) but all banking activities can easily be done online or on the very high-rated mobile app.

Review

Customers sometimes have trouble logging into their accounts, but this is usually resolved within a few days, so it doesn’t cause a lot of trouble. It also sometimes takes a significantly longer amount of time for transfers to happen than it is supposed to. These were the only complaints, and we consider the benefits of this card and the cashback option to outweigh the problems.

Pros
1% cash back on up to $3000 spent
No minimum balance
No monthly fees
24/7 customer service
Overdraft options
No foreign transaction fees
Cons
Limited acceptance of debit card
One physical branch

Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account

Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account keeps your money handy for your day-to-day spending and also connects you with a competitive interest rate.

Benefits

This account will allow you to earn a 0.76% annual percentage yield on purchases made with this card. There are no monthly maintenance fees applied, and only a $10 minimum balance is required to open an account.

To start earning interest, you must have a minimum balance of just $100. Bank5 also offers free online banking, paying of bills and e-Statements. If you want a paper statement sent by mail, you will have to pay a $1 monthly fee.

You will gain access to 7,000 free ATMs and will be reimbursed up to $15 per month if you use ATMs outside the Bank5 network. The daily ATM withdrawal limit is $500 and a daily $1000 of purchases with your debit card is allowed(a significant advantage if your card is stolen).

Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account
Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account

Disadvantages

One of the downsides is that you will be charged a $15 fee if you go into overdraft but that is a notably smaller charge compared to what more prominent providers charge.

Review

Cardholders are very pleased with the yield savings and say it has been suitable for their investments. But some complaints are to be heard about the online banking process, with one customer stating that the edit/cancellation button on external transfers sometimes doesn’t work and live-chats end prematurely.

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As you can see, online banking problems are widespread, so when opening a checking account, you must prepare yourself to deal with some obstacles on the way.

Pros
0.76% APY
No monthly fees
Online banking and bill paying
$15 ATM fee reimbursement
Cons
$10 minimum balance
$100 minimum balance to earn interest
$500 daily ATM withdrawal limit
$1000 daily debit card spending limit
$15 overdraft fee

AllAmericaBank Ultimate Rewards Checking

AllAmericaBank is one of America’s lesser-known banks, yet offers a great deal on the checking account.

AllAmericaBank Ultimate Rewards Checking
AllAmericaBank Ultimate Rewards Checking

Benefits

With this account, you will have a 3% annual percentage yield when you have up to $10,000 in it, and 0.5% APY on amounts over $10,000. To receive rewards from the checking account, you must make ten debit card transactions per monthly statement cycle and receive your statements electronically.

The offer also includes free online banking and a free Visa debit card upon signing up. To maintain this account, no minimum balance is required, but you will need to pay a minimum deposit of $50 to open the account in person and a deposit of $500 to open it online. You are not going to be required to pay any monthly service charges. Finding a provider with a high savings APY, free checking, and no fees is difficult, so this card truly has it all.

Review

This card has an overwhelming amount of positive reviews, and shockingly there are even praises for the customer service. Sayings of

I have nothing but great things to say about this bank, they have fantastic customer service

and

The customer service is excellent, they have actual humans working there

are to be heard from cardholders. The only thing this bank lacks to make it perfect is an update to its online banking system, which is somewhat underdeveloped.

Pros
Up to 3.00% APY
Free Visa debit card
Online banking
No minimum balance
No monthly maintenance fees
Superb online banking
Cons
10 transactions monthly to earn rewards
$50 minimum deposit to open account in person, $500 online

NBKC Bank Checking Account

The NBKC checking account is stripped down to the bare essentials, without all the hassles of opening an account with other providers.

Benefits

With no monthly fees, no minimum balance and access to more than 31,000 ATMs nationwide, it is the perfect card for virtually anyone. And the best of all is that the account pays over 1% interest on all balances. They also offer very high yield savings, once more without any fees. You will only be required to make a minimum $5 deposit to open your checking account, after that you won’t need a minimum balance.

NBKC online banking enables you to see transactions and account balances and set up alerts to be received on your computer. You can also pay your bills electronically and set up future recurring payments to save yourself time.

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NBKC Bank Checking Account
NBKC Bank Checking Account

Disadvantages

A con of this account is that there are not many physical branches, only three in the Kansas City area. The international wire fees are also significantly higher than the norm ($45).

Review

The reviews of cardholders are all positive and say that the terms are very satisfactory. They say they have never once been disappointed with this bank and always stick to their word about what they provide.

Pros
No monthly maintenance fees
No minimum balance
1% APY
Online banking
Cons
$5 deposit to open an account
$45 international wire fee
Limited physical branches

Ally Bank Checking Account

Ally bank is a high-rated online bank that offers high rates and helpful customer service for no monthly maintenance fees.

Benefits

Through this bank, you can make your everyday banking count, with an annual percentage yield of 0.10% APY if you have less than $15,000 daily balance on your account, and a 0.60% APY if your daily balance is above $15,000.

You can use any Allpoint ATM in the US for free, and you will be reimbursed up to $10 per statement cycle when you use other ATMs. There is no minimum opening deposit required, but the sooner you put money in your account, the sooner you will start to earn interest.

Ally Bank Checking Account
Ally Bank Checking Account

Disadvantages

A downside is that Ally bank doesn’t accept cash deposits. But, you will have the option to deposit a check from your mobile, set up a direct deposit, set up a wire transfer, or send a check by mail.

Review

Opinions on this card are very varying; some are super positive, while others are exceedingly negative. Their customer service is praised, but at the same time, some customers are not satisfied with it at all.

This problem is one thing that depends on the type of worker you get on the phone; some are very willing to help while others are just trying to get through their workday without doing any work so there is nothing you can do.

Some cardholders also say their checks are sometimes rejected for no reason and their assets randomly frozen, so everyone’s experience is different.

Pros
Up to 0.60% APY
No monthly maintenance fees
$10 reimbursement for foreign ATM fees
Good customer service
No minimum opening deposit
Cons
No cash deposits

FNBO Direct Online Checking Account

Another great online checking account is being offered by FNBO. It comes with various advantages that will make your life easier. 

Benefits

The FNBO Online Checking account is a simple product that offers a high yield (0.65%) on the whole balance and requires a very low minimum opening deposit ($1).

After that, it never needs a minimum balance to keep the account open. FNBO also has a superb mobile application (Popmoney) which allows you to send money directly to anyone you want for free. Withdrawal from FNBO ATMs is free, but they offer no reimbursement on withdrawal fees when you use out-of-network ATMs.

You are provided with the chance to pick what happens in case of an overdraft. Either you can choose overdraft protection that charges a fee of $33 per transaction up to a maximum of $132 per day, or the option for transactions to be declined if they will lead to an overdraft.

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FNBO Direct Online Checking Account
FNBO Direct Online Checking Account

Review

Most reviews of this card that we’ve stumbled upon have been highly positive. Many customers were skeptical of an online bank at first but found FNBO to be very convenient and trustworthy, with top-notch customer service. Their online direct transfer system also seems to be efficient and punctual.

Pros
0.65% APY
No minimum bonus
Mobile app
Overdraft options
Praised customer service
Cons
No foreign ATM fee reimbursement

First Internet FreeInterest Checking Account

This bank is suited well to customers who prefer online banking and who are always on the go with limited time to spend at physical branches.

Benefits

There is a minimum deposit of $25 in order to open the account with no monthly maintenance fees. After you sign up for this account, you will get a free debit card and order of checks. You have the opportunity to link your debit card to Apple pay to make purchasing easier. All incoming wires, ACH transfers, and e-Statements are also free.

First Internet FreeInterest Checking Account
First Internet FreeInterest Checking Account

Disadvantages

A downside is that there is no reimbursement for withdrawal fees from out-of-network ATMs, but you can take money out for free at over a million ATMs worldwide. They have a fantastic online banking platform and mobile app so you can do everything from wherever it is convenient for you.

Review

Almost all customers are satisfied with all the services offered, saying it’s the best online banking they’ve seen. Any complaints are quickly addressed by their online team and resolved immediately.

Pros
Online banking
Apple pay options
No monthly maintenance fees
Fantastic online banking and mobile app
Cons
No foreign ATM fee reimbursement
$25 minimum deposit to open an account

Final Thoughts

A checking account is a necessity for almost all people and choosing the right one is not an easy task. You should take the time to look into all your options, check for limits, regulations, and requirements.

Always remember to check if you’re eligible and once you have found the right one, sign up and you’ll have made one big step ahead for your personal finances.

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Andrei Shilkov

Blog author. I am well versed in Finance and Digital Marketing. I have two bachelors degrees in Finance. Born in Russia, but later moved to the USA, to western Pennsylvania, the city of Pittsburgh. I have a Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) certificate. I also worked at IRS and Microsoft.

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