Best Banks to Open a Checking Account

Posted on July 27, 2021

A checking account is an essential resource to have. Electronic banking is conducted by thousands of businesses and people, while also keeping your cash in a convenient, accessible place. With a checking account, you can always view your balance online, reduce the chance of theft (or money loss), purchase things through an e-vendor, order checks, and so much more! 

But where do you start? There are many banks to pick from, some local, some international. Each has its own terms and service offerings that may (or may not) work for you. Well, check out this quick guide for some of our picks for the best banks to open a new checking account with!

Discover Card Checking

Discover is known for their credit card lines, but they also offer checking and savings options too. If you don’t want to go through excessive paperwork or long bank lines, they’re a good place to start.

In the United States, Capital One has over 60,000 ATMs and requires a $0 opening balance to have a checking account. You’ll get access to their customer service and credit monitoring as well.

Bank of America Checking

If you want a more traditional, veteran option Bank of America is a great choice for a cohesive checking account too. BoA offers numerous customer service and protection options along with flexible checking account options with low-interest fees.

The account does have a minimum monthly charge balance, but only if your checking amount sits below a threshold (typically $200). For online banking, though, they’re one of the best.

Chime Banking

Chime has pushed into the mainstream with fresh popularity, though the app and bank have existed for a while. Chime is an accessible online/app checking account that lets you get set up within minutes. It’s great for people who are looking for sign-up bonuses between friends, want a fast direct deposit line, and free money (qualifying deposits, for instance, can net you $75 in bonus money).

Chime is also fantastic for those who may not have access to typical banking options and need faster ways to get paid or get their money. You’ll get a free debit card in the mail once you signed up, too.

Chase Bank

If you want something similar to Chime but as a trusted veteran bank. But like Chime, Chase has a few sign-up bonuses as well for qualifying deposits (upwards of $200 even). Chase has multiple ATMs throughout the United States for convenience, avoiding fees associated with account withdrawals. 

Like Bank of America, however, you will want to have a minimum balance or qualifying deposit. Otherwise, the account does have a monthly fee.

Axos Bank Checking

Some banks require no minimum deposit to open a checking account, which is useful for starters. But if you have the cash to spare, Axos is another solid option for those who want a higher APY return on their balance.

Axos has a minimum opening of $50 for their account, but they have a suite of benefits for those thinking long term. For qualifying deposits, for instance, you can earn up to 1.25 percent APY. They also have no monthly fees or overdraft/overage fees. That alone can be a huge incentive for those wanting to avoid the costly buildup of overdrafts.

What Checking Account is Best for Me?

So now that you have a general idea of some of the best starter checking accounts, how do you pick the best one for you? It all depends on your own financial goals needs. But to help, we’ll list a few tips and considerations to keep in mind in hopes you find the perfect account for you!

  • Consider how often you will use an ATM

Do you plan on making cash withdrawals often? And if yes, how often? Weekly or daily? Regardless, if you need convenient ATM access, selecting a checking and bank with the most ATMs across the United States is a good idea. You also want to check their fees and see if any are associated with withdrawals. Lastly, depending on your cash needs, the highest limit for daily withdrawals is recommended. 

  • Pick an account based on how new-person friendly it is

If you’re just getting a new checking account, selecting one with minimum or no opening fees is ideal. If you need an account for your job, for example, an account that allows you to easily direct deposit is a great benefit. Accounts like Chime, which can get you access to your deposit even earlier, are helpful.

  • Decide based on long term benefits and other banking options

While we’ve discussed checking accounts thus far, banks which provide multiple account options over the long term are great too. Savings, overdraft protection, and even credit cards are worth contemplating if you want to stick with the bank (or have other financial goals).

In that case, high APY is your best bet. Though keep in mind some high APY yields don’t return meaningful dividends except at higher balance. It all depends on your earning power and, again, long-term financial goals. Even starter bank accounts should have options.

  • You want credit monitoring and analytical options

If you’re concerned about personal info and security getting into the wrong hands, bank accounts with extensive security options and credit monitoring tools are a good idea. While most banks offer baseline protections and check for abnormal behavior, others will keep an eye on your credit behavior, score, and purchases to scour for abnormal activity.

Additionally, if there’s suspicion your personal bank credentials were leaked, you can expect to be notified. With so many breaches regarding cybersecurity and personal details, you can never be too careful.

Hopefully, our suggestions and overall list help you find your brand new checking account! Take note, these are our personal choices. There are plenty of banks to choose from, and it’s worth conducting personal research too. But if you have nowhere else to go, start here! Good luck!

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