Finding the best bank is no easy task. You must take many factors into consideration, and an important one is fees. No one wants to waste money paying fees, so make a smart decision and look for a bank that won’t charge you to keep your money.
Approximately 10 million Americans don’t use bank accounts, and a third of them say it’s because they want to avoid high and unpredictable fees, according to MarketWatch. You don’t have to avoid banks to stop spending money on fees. Instead, look for banks with no monthly fees and other complimentary perks, such as free checking, bill pay, ATM usage and more.
GOBankingRates surveyed financial institutions to find the best banks for no fees and considered the following factors: banks that consistently charge zero fees and the number of products the banks offer with $0 monthly fees. Banks are ranked by the number of $0-fee products they offer.
Here are the best banks for no fees:
|Bank||Number of Accounts With $0 Fees||Accounts With $0 Fees||Minimum Balance Required||How to Apply|
|Bank of Internet USA||10||• Rewards Checking
• Platinum Checking
• CashBack Checking
• Essential Checking
• Golden Checking
• High-yield savings
• Money market savings
• IRA CD and savings
• Roth CD and savings
|• $1,000 for CDs
• $1,000 for IRA and Roth CDs
• $250 for IRA and Roth savings
• $100 for money market savings account
• $0 for all checking and savings
|BankDirect||10||• Smart Checking
• Checking With Interest
• Mileage Checking With Interest
• Money Market Plus Account
• Mileage Money Market Plus Account
• Regular savings account
• Interest CDs
• Mileage CDs
• IRA CD
• IRA money market account
|• $10,000 for Interest CD and Mileage CD
• $1,000 for IRA CD
• $500 for Money Market Plus, Mileage Money Market Account, Checking With Interest, and Mileage Checking With Interest
• $100 for IRA money market, Smart Checking, regular savings
|Ally Bank||9||• Online checking
• Online savings
• Money market
• High-yield CD
• No-penalty CD
• Raise Your Rate CD
• IRA high-yield CD
• IRA Raise Your Rate CD
• IRA online savings
|$0 for all||Learn More|
|TIAA Direct||4||• Interest checking
• High-yield savings
• Money market
|• $2,500 for money market
• $1,000 for CDs
• $100 for checking and savings
|Capital One Bank||4||• 360 Money Market
• 360 Checking
• 360 Savings
• 360 CDs
|$0 for all||Learn More|
Related: 10 Best Online Banks of 2016
Best Banks With No-Fee Products
If you’re ready to find a bank that won’t nickel-and-dime you with fees, consider these five.
Bank of Internet USA has put together a handy, three-question quiz to help you determine which of its products are best for your financial needs and goals.
BofI’s Rewards Checking has no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum monthly balance and no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees. On top of that, the account earns up to 1.25% APY — one of the highest APYs offered by banks with free checking accounts — as well as cashback purchase rewards.
The money market saving account enables you to earn 0.75% APY and the high-yield saving account pays 0.61% APY; interest is compounded daily on both accounts. You can also use these accounts to pay bills online and write checks for free.
If you have more than one account, it can be difficult to manage and organize them. To solve this issue, BofI offers free access to FinanceWorks, a tool that enables you to track all your banking accounts, credit cards, loan accounts and investment portfolio.
If you’d like to earn reward miles and interest on your CD, BankDirect offers a Mileage CD. It comes with a 0.10% APY and 1,000 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 — up to $50,000 — you invest in a two-year CD.
If you want to earn only interest on your CDs, the 24-month CD comes with no monthly fees and currently earns 1.22% APY. The 36-month CD has the highest APY at 1.45 percent. Although neither CD will cost you monthly fees, you do need a $10,000 minimum opening deposit and you are subject to penalty fees for early withdrawal.
BankDirect’s Regular Savings account also has no fees and requires a minimum of $100 to open an account. Customers are allowed four non-network ATM withdrawals — they will be reimbursed for up to $2.50 per transaction, per statement cycle — so you don’t have to worry too much about which ATM you use. Although this account earns a modest 0.10% APY, the interest is compounded daily and paid on collected balances.
Ally Bank has been named the best online bank five years in a row by Money Magazine. You don’t need to fear using an online bank, especially if it offers fee-free perks that make banking convenient without having to visit a brick-and-mortar location.
Ally’s online savings account earns 1% APY. According to Ally’s online calculator, a $25,000 Ally savings account would earn $251.25 in 12 months; that same account at competitors’ banks — including Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo — would earn $2.50 in 12 months.
Ally doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, because, as its website states, “It’s a savings account, not a car.”
Some other $0-fee services include:
- ACH transfers to non-Ally bank accounts
- Incoming wires
- Postage-paid deposit envelopes
- Cashier’s checks
Ally also offers a fee-free online checking account. The account earns 0.60% APY if you keep a $15,000 daily minimum balance — and 0.10% APY if you don’t — and includes a free, debit MasterCard and checks. Although Ally doesn’t have actual bank locations, it offers nationwide, Allpoint ATMs you can use for free and 24/7 live customer service.
With TIAA Direct’s money market account, you can enjoy the benefits of higher rates and check writing with no monthly fees, regardless of what your balance is. The account requires a $2,500 minimum deposit, but after that does not require a minimum balance. Accounts in the amount of less than $25,000 earn 0.60% APY. Your first set of checks is free and so is your nationwide ATM use.
The high-yield savings account requires an opening balance of only $100 and there’s no required minimum balance after that. All balances earn 0.65% APY. TIAA Direct will also reimburse you up to $15 per statement cycle for non-network ATM fees.
TIAA Direct’s interest checking account is free from annoying maintenance fees, too. This free checking account earns anywhere from 0.05% APY to 0.15% APY, depending on your balance. You must open the account with a minimum of $100, but after that there is no minimum balance or direct deposit required. The account also comes with one free order of checks, a debit card and free ATM reimbursements for non-network machines of up to $15 per statement cycle.
Many banks with free checking aren’t as free as they appear. Usually these accounts are “free” only after certain conditions are met, such as a required direct deposit or minimum balance.
Capital One’s 360 Checking account is truly free. It charges no monthly service fee, and there are no requirements for a minimum opening deposit or minimum balance. Although 360 Checking comes with many free perks, such as free ATM usage, you will be charged for other services, including $5 for checks — though the first order is free — and $20 for an online cashier’s check with overnight shipping.
Free Banking Pays
Using banks with no fees can save you quite a bit of money throughout the year. A checking account can cost you an average of $13 per month, which doesn’t include other fees, such as overdraft charges or minimum balance costs.
Now you have a head start on finding the best free account to meet your banking needs, so get yourself one today — and just say no to fees.