Most banks offer checking accounts, but some charge high checking account fees, or don’t offer much by way of features or benefits. With the advent of online banking and the rise in competition among financial institutions, you can now find many free checking accounts that offer a variety of services, including high interest rates. Because there are many competitors for the title of best bank, GOBankingRates has analyzed the financial products from over 100 banks to find some of the best checking account offers for 2019.
Here are the 10 Best Checking Accounts of 2019:
- Axos Bank
- Bank5 Connect
- FNBO Direct
- Charles Schwab Bank
- First Internet Bank
- Capital One Bank
- My eBanc
- Ally Bank
- SouthTrust Bank
|The Best Checking Accounts of 2019|
|Bank||Account||Min. Deposit||Service Fee||Min. Balance||APY|
|Axos Bank||Rewards Checking||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||1.25%|
|Bank5 Connect||High-Interest Checking||$10.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.76%|
|FNBO Direct||Online Checking||$1.00||$0.00||$0.01||0.65%|
|Charles Schwab Bank||High Yield Investor Checking||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.20%|
|First Internet Bank||Interest Checking||$100.00||$10.00||$500.00||0.70%|
|iGObanking.com||High Interest Checking||$1.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.25%|
|Capital One Bank||360 Checking||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.20%|
|My eBanc||Advantage Checking Account||$5,000.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.50%|
|Ally Bank||Interest Checking||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.60%|
|SouthTrust Bank||Direct Interest Checking||$25.00||$0.00||$0.00||0.10%|
|Rates are updated weekly.|
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Best Checking Accounts of 2019
The GOBankingRates ranking identified the best bank accounts using a methodology centered on the following criteria:
- Minimum deposit required
- Monthly maintenance fee
- Minimum balance required to avoid fees
- Annual percentage yield
- Nonsufficient funds fee
If you’re looking for the best checking account to open, consider the features that best meet your needs. Some things to consider might be free checking, the best interest rates, the best online checking account or a checking account bonus. You should be able to find a good option in the list no matter what you’re looking for. Read on for details on each account so you can more easily compare checking accounts and decide which type of checking account best suits you.
Why: Axos Bank offers a whole host of features likely to appeal to most checking account customers, all wrapped up in an extraordinarily high-yield package.
Review: Axos Bank offers customers five different no-fee checking accounts, but its Rewards Checking account takes the cake, allowing customers the chance to earn as much as 1.25% APY, with qualifying activities. That alone would likely be sufficient to earn the bank a spot on the top 10 checking accounts ranking. However, that high yield comes with no minimum balance, no overdraft fees, and unlimited ATM fee rebates domestically, making the package hard to beat overall.
- No maintenance fees
- No minimum balance requirements
- Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
- No non-sufficient funds fee
How to Open: You can open an account online. The first step is to create a username and password. After that, provide the requested personal and financial information.
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Why: The Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account lives up to its name, with a rate of 0.76% APY. The account offers much more than a high yield, however.
Review: In addition to a competitive interest rate, Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking has no monthly fees. The minimum opening deposit is $10, but you’ll have to put up $100 if you want to earn interest. The account provides rebates for non-network ATMs, along with numerous additional perks.
- No monthly fee
- Free online banking, bill pay and eStatements
- Free mobile banking
- Debit rewards program
- Free first order of basic checks
- Free in-network ATMs, with up to $15 in out-of-network fee reimbursements per month
How to Open: You can open a bank account online with your Social Security number, valid ID, address and a source of funding. You may even want to consider opening a joint bank account if you want more than one person in the same checkings account.
Why: FNBO Direct’s Online Checking Account is perfect for customers who want an account with no monthly service fees and a high interest rate of 0.65% APY.
Review: The FNBO Direct Online Checking account doesn’t charge a monthly service fee, but it does charge a $33 NSF fee for overdrafts. The account’s several free features include free online banking, bill pay, account alerts, stop payments, debit card fraud monitoring and person-to-person payments with Popmoney. It only takes $1 to open the account.
- 24/7 worldwide access to more than 2 million ATMs, with no FNBO-generated fees
- Free incoming wires
- No paper checks
- High APY with no hidden fees
How to Open: You can open a checking account online. You’ll need your Social Security or tax ID number, valid driver’s license or state ID, employment information, and information about any loans or mortgages you have, as well as your bank account and routing numbers to fund your account. The application process takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
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Why: No fees or minimums and a high APY make Charles Schwab Bank a strong entrant in the top 10 best checking accounts for 2019. It’s also a player in the competition for the best national bank of 2019.
Review: Charles Schwab’s High Yield Investor Checking account is a key player in the overall Schwab financial system. To get the free checking account, you must link it with a Schwab One brokerage account. However, that account has no fees and requires no funding. High Yield Investor Checking can be a great account for travelers, as there are no foreign transaction fees and unlimited ATM reimbursements.
- Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide
- Free standard checks
- Free bill pay
- Schwab Mobile Deposit
How to Open: Online account opening takes about 10 minutes. You’ll need your address, Social Security number, and your employer’s name and address. You can also download an application and mail it in.
Related: How to Open a Bank Account Online
Why: First Internet Bank’s Interest Checking account pays a high rate of 0.70% APY and comes with numerous freebies.
Review: The main drawback of First Internet Bank’s Interest Checking account is the $10 monthly fee. However, it can be avoided with a $500 average daily balance. The bank does offer a different truly free checking account with no restrictions, but it doesn’t pay interest. The Interest Checking account comes with ATM fee rebates, free online and mobile banking, bill pay and a free first order of checks.
- Rebate of up to $10 in other banks’ ATM fees per month
- $100 minimum opening balance
- $30 NSF fee
How to Open: Accounts can be opened online. You need to be a legal U.S. resident, at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number and a valid ID.
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Why: iGObanking.com’s online checking account pays 0.25% APY interest while having no monthly maintenance fee and a minimum deposit of just $1.
Review: The iGObanking.com High Interest Checking Account offers free bill pay and a tool that lets you import an unlimited number of bills and pay them online. You also have surcharge-free access to the 43,000-plus ATMs on the Allpoint network. The NSF fee is relatively high at $30.
- Access to 43,000 surcharge-free Allpoint ATMs
- Unlimited bill pay
- Funds transfer service
- No monthly service fee
- Low opening deposit
How to Open: You can open your account easily online at the iGObanking website. The process takes about 10 minutes, and you’ll have to be at least 18 years old and a citizen or resident. You’ll need your Social Security number, valid form of ID, and funding source, along with your last address if you moved within the past two years.
Why: Capital One Bank customers enjoy no fees and no minimum deposit or minimum balance requirements with the Capital One 360 Checking account, which offers a 0.20% APY.
Review: The Capital One 360 Checking account’s base APY of 0.20% APY increases on balances of $50,000 to $99,999.99 and again on balances of $100,000 or more. The bank has a top-rated mobile app that allows remote checking deposits.
- Fee-free online and mobile checking
- No monthly or ongoing fees
- Over 39,000 fee-free Capital One and Allpoint ATMs
- Low $9 NSF fee
How to Open: You can open an account online or in person at a Capital One branch.
Why: The My eBanc Advantage Checking Account offers a respectable 0.50% APY.
Review: My eBanc’s Advantage Checking Account provides lots of features and benefits, including free online and mobile banking, unlimited check writing, person-to-person and interbank transfers and local discounts across almost 400,000 merchants in the U.S. However, the account requires a significant $5,000 balance to open.
- No minimum balance to earn APY
- First set of 50 checks free
- Free money management tool
How to Open: The online application process takes about 10 minutes and requires a copy of your valid driver’s license, your bank account and routing number, your current home address and your email address.
Review: Ally Bank‘s checking account offers a 0.60% APY for balances of $15,000 or more. The bank offers a host of services, including remote check deposit, money payment through Zelle and a no-fee overdraft transfer service.
- 24/7 live customer care
- Access to fee-free Allpoint ATMs
- Reimbursements of up to $10 for fees at other ATMs per statement cycle
- No monthly fees or minimums
How to Open: Accounts can be opened online in five minutes or less with a Social Security number, a U.S. residential street address, your name and your birthdate.
Why: Free is the name of the game with SouthTrust Bank, with a no-cost, interest-earning checking account that carries lots of free services.
Review: SouthTrust Bank’s Direct Interest Checking account charges no monthly fees. It also comes with free bill pay, free online and mobile banking and free eStatements with online check images.
- No minimum balance
- No monthly service charge
- Free thank you gift at participating locations
How to Open: SouthTrust Bank has no facility on its website to open new accounts. You’ll have to visit a branch to open a checking account.
Click through to see the best banks of 2019.
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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 Sept. 21 and Oct. 22, 2018. To determine the Best Banks of 2019, GOBankingRates considered the banks’ rates at the time the research was conducted; however, rates that appear in the articles are accurate as of today. 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.