Checking accounts are notorious for just sitting there and doing nothing for you except holding onto your cash until you need to pay a bill. But there are accounts out there that do pay interest – albeit minuscule – and offer other benefits and enticements! We've done the research for you.
Several things to look for in a checking account:
â€¢ No minimum to open
â€¢ No minimum to earn interest
â€¢ No ATM fees (plus a large network)
â€¢ No monthly maintenance fee
â€¢ Free checks
â€¢ Mobile check deposit and transferring
Here are the best checking accounts for 2017:
360 Checking Account
Capital One 360
With its large network of no-surcharge ATMs, Capital One 360 offers a free checking account that is attractive for consumers looking to avoid common fees while earning interest. There is no minimum to open a 360 Checking account and customers have a variety of tools to manage their finances. These include online and mobile banking, including bill pay and mobile check deposit. Additionally, customers can easily access their money through a network of more than 40,000 free ATMs.
Interest Checking Account
Online checking accounts provided by banks like Ally Bank give traditional brick-and-mortar institutions a run for their money in terms of annual percentage yield (APY). Not only do Ally Interest Checking account customers earn at least .10% interest on their balance, they could earn up to 0.60% for daily balances $15,000 or more. The high interest checking offered combined with no maintenance fees make Ally a great online bank for customers to grow their money.
High-Rate Checking Account
Alliant Credit Union
Alliant has one of the highest interest rates among the financial institutions featured on this list, advertising a rate 10.8 times the national average. To qualify for a High-rate Checking account, customers must sign up for eStatements and set up one or more monthly electronic deposits to the account. After, they have access to more than 80,000 free ATMs and even qualify for up to $20 per month on rebates when they are charged for using an ATM out of the Alliant network.
Total Checking Account
Customers who want the benefits of both online and brick-and-mortar checking accounts frequently choose Chase for good reason. Chase has a wide network of 16,000 ATMs combined with 5,200 branches in addition to 24/7 customer support to meet your banking needs. This long-standing bank is also well-known for its online and mobile banking tools, including a popular mobile app. There is a $25 minimum deposit to open an account with a chance to waive a monthly service fee through any of the requirements listed on its website. Unlike some of the other banks listed, the Total Checking account does not earn interest.
Hybrid Checking Account
If you're willing to deposit $2,500 or more in a Hybrid Checking account, you can take advantage of up to 0.90% APY advertised by Radius. Checking account balances under $2,500 do not earn interest. To open an account, customers must deposit $10, but Radius does not require a minimum balance after depositing this amount. The bank offers free ATMs, not charging a fee when withdrawing from an ATM belonging to another bank and rebating out-of-network fees at the end of the statement cycle.
High-Interest Checking Account
While Bank5 Connect's online checking account is not a widely known compared to other banks', it has features and an interest rate that makes it competitive in the market. Bank5 Connect has an APY of 0.76% and customers only need $100 to start earning this high interest rate. This high-yield checking account has other perks, like not having a monthly maintenance fee and a debit card rewards program, that distinguish the bank.
Online Advantage Checking Account
Mutual of Omaha Bank
In exchange for a $1,500 daily balance, Mutual of Omaha's online-only checking account provides an advertised rate of 0.50% to gradually build your balance. Customers can open an Online Advantage Checking account with $100 and eligible to receive free checks for their first order. There is a $10 monthly maintenance fee, but for a low average balance of $100, the bank will waive the fee.
Compare Best Checking Accounts for 2017
|Bank/Credit Union||Account||Interest Rate (APY)||Monthly Fee||Balance to Waive Fee|
|Capital One 360||360 Checking||0.20%||Free||N/A|
|Ally Bank||Interest Checking||0.10%||Free||N/A|
|Alliant Credit Union||High-Rate Checking||0.65%||Free||N/A|
|Chase Bank||Total Checking||N/A||$12||$1,500|
|Radius Bank||Hybrid Checking||0.90%||Free||$10 Opening Deposit|
|Bank5 Connect||High-Interest Checking||0.76%||Free||N/A|
|Mutual of Omaha Bank||Online Advantage Checking||0.50%||$10||$1,500|
Comment: Do you have a checking account from our Best Checking Accounts list? What accounts would you add?