Best Checking Account of 2017: Bank5 Connect

The best checking account earns interest and is affordable.

Choosing where to open a checking account can tough because there are so many options to consider — no-fee checking accounts, free checking accounts, online and brick-and-mortar banks, customer perks and bonuses, to name just a few. To make your decision easier, GOBankingRates surveyed data from the 100 largest banks by asset size, according to the FDIC, and found that few checking accounts can compete with the benefits a Bank5 Connect checking account has to offer.

In the GOBankingRates’ Best Banks of 2017 study, Bank5 Connect won the Best Checking Account award because of its excellence in the following factors:

  • Monthly maintenance fee
  • Annual percentage yield
  • Minimum deposit to open the checking account
  • Minimum balance to avoid a fee
  • Nonsufficient funds fee

If you’re looking for the best online checking account, a Bank5 Connect account could be your solution. Here’s why Bank5 Connect ranked among the best checking accounts again, taking the top spot for the third year in a row.

Why Bank5 Connect Was Awarded Best Checking Account of 2017

An interest-bearing checking account offers the essential features of both a checking account and a savings account. You can use your account to write checks against your account balance, manage expenses and earn interest. Whereas the majority of other banks don’t provide the opportunity to earn interest on checking account balances, Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking Account not only enables you to earn money but also offers the best checking account yield offered by any financial institution in the Best Banks study.

See: Best Checking Accounts of 2017

Competitive Interest Rates, Low Deposits and Low Fees

With a Bank5 Connect checking account, you can earn 0.76% APY on your account balance. By way of comparison, FNBO Direct, a runner-up for the category, offers 0.65% APY for its Online Checking account.

Another competitive feature of Bank5 Connect’s checking account is its minimum deposit. To open a checking account, many financial institutions require a minimum deposit that can range from as little as $25 to as much as $1,000 — or higher, depending on the type of account. With Bank5 Connect, however, you can open a bank account online with an opening deposit of just $10, and the minimum balance to earn interest is only $100.

Monthly maintenance fees are another common bank fee that institutions charge. With no monthly maintenance fees, Bank5’s online checking is technically a free bank account, but there are some fees and penalties you could incur:

Bank5 Connect’s Low Account Fees
Cashier’s Check$0
Overdraft Transfer$0
Incoming Wire$0
Returned Deposited Item$5.71
Uncollected Funds$15
Stop Payment$15

Rewards and Free Offerings

In addition to minimal fees, Bank5 Connect also offers a number of free banking perks, such as a free first order of basic checks, free cashier’s checks and free overdraft transfers. Bank5 Connect customers also enjoy free use of ATMs anywhere. If you pay a surcharge for using an out-of-network ATM, Bank5 Connect will reimburse up to $15 of ATM fees every statement cycle.

Additionally, a Bank5 Connect Visa debit card gives you the ability to get cash back. You can earn reward points from everyday purchases, and points are redeemable for gift cards, merchandise, electronics and vacation packages with Bank5’s UChoose debit rewards program. You can earn one point for every $2 you spend at drug stores, gas stations, restaurants or your favorite shops. You must sign for your purchases in order to get the points.

Convenient Online and Mobile Banking

Bank5 Connect recognizes that modern banking must be convenient for the customer, and that means having easy access to your money. The bank offers mobile and online banking, enabling easier account management that fits your schedule and lifestyle. With a computer or mobile device, you can transfer funds between accounts, remotely deposit checks, pay bills online and much more.

Methodology: To compile its list of the top 100 banks, GOBankingRates surveyed the FDIC’s list of banks sorted by asset size, excluding non-active institutions, investment banks and any institutions that require customers to use investment services to access commercial bank accounts. This list of 100 banks includes 72 brick-and-mortar banks and 28 online-only banks according to the GOBankingRates database. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.

Criteria for ranking: To determine its Best Checking Accounts category ranking, GOBankingRates scored each bank’s basic, personal checking account from most to least favorable on the following factors: (1) minimum deposit to open the checking account, (2) monthly maintenance fee, (3) minimum balance to avoid a fee, (4) annual percentage yield and (5) nonsufficient funds fee. Monthly maintenance fee and APY were weighted more heavily than other ranking factors, and accounts were then ranked by overall score.

Data was compiled from and verified against the individual institutions’ websites between Oct. 11 and Oct. 26, 2016. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. APY was based on the minimum deposit required to open the account. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some banks mentioned in the Best Banks of 2017 survey are clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement.