What You Need to Know About the Top Checking Accounts

Having an excellent checking account saves you money on fees while allowing for convenient banking. Although bank fees can seem trivial, the reality is that they add up to a substantial amount of money over time. By setting up the right checking account, you can meet all your banking needs without losing money on unnecessary charges. Leading checking accounts also give you access to online banking features and smartphone apps that make transferring and managing your money simple. Choosing the checking account that matches your needs starts by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of the leading offerings that are available.

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Ally

Ally has an online checking account that is ideal for individuals with basic banking needs. You do not have to pay any monthly maintenance fees to keep the account, and there are no minimum balances. Since Ally is strictly an online offering, it gives you a broad range of virtual tools to do all your banking from the comfort of home. You can access Ally’s secure online portal to send money to other accounts or to pay your bills. Options are available to establish automatic payments so that you do not have to spend valuable time paying bills each month.

Ally also offers a smartphone app that enables you to securely manage your account from any location. You can deposit up to $50,000 per day using Ally’s eCheck Deposit feature. Ally allows you to deposit up to $250,000 per month, and the bank can increase your monthly limit if you consistently have a high volume of cash flow.

Pros of Ally

  • Ally’s standard checking account charges no monthly fees.
  • You can withdraw money at over 43,000 Ally ATMs.
  • An exceptional online portal makes it easy to do all your banking online.

Cons of Ally

  • There are no Ally bank branches, so developing a personal relationship with Ally’s bankers is difficult.
  • You cannot deposit cash into an Ally checking account.
  • Ally requires you to deposit at least $15,000 before you can receive the bank’s ordinary interest rate of 0.6 percent per year. Accounts with less than $15,000 get 0.1 percent interest.

Bank of America

Bank of America is an established bank that has been around for over two decades. The bank offers two checking account options for new customers. Core Checking does not pay interest, but it only requires you to deposit at least $250 per month to avoid the monthly maintenance fee of $12 per month. The bank’s Interest Checking offering requires you to maintain a balance of at least $10,000 to avoid a monthly fee of $25, but it pays up to 0.02 percent interest per year. Throughout the U.S., Bank of America has over 5000 branches that you can use for your banking needs.

Pros of Bank of America

  • No monthly maintenance fees if you keep sufficient funds in your account, meet the monthly deposit requirement, or are a student under 24 years of age.
  • Bank of America has over 16,000 ATMs.
  • Mobile banking features let you do most of your banking online.

Cons of Bank of America

  • Although Bank of America offers accounts that pay interest, the available rates are low relative to other checking accounts that are available.
  • Bank of America’s mobile app only allows you to deposit $5000 per month.
  • Many customers complain that service is generally slow at Bank of America’s branches due to the firm’s size.

Chase

Chase is a reputable bank that offers a wider range of features than most of its competitors. The bank has 5,100 branches throughout the U.S., and its bankers can help you with mortgages, retirement accounts, business services, and more. You have to pay a maintenance fee of $12 per month, but the fee is waived if you deposit at least $500 per month or keep a minimum of $1500 in your account. Chase’s mobile banking features let you keep track of your balance through text message alerts, and the app lets you deposit up to $2000 per day.

Pros of Chase

  • Chase gives you $200 for opening a new checking account.
  • There are over 16,000 Chase ATMs around the world.
  • Chase’s fraud monitoring services are among the best in the banking industry.

Cons of Chase

  • Chase pays just 0.01 percent annual interest on its checking and savings accounts.
  • The basic Chase checking account only allows you to deposit up to $5000 per month with the mobile app, but you can request having this limit raised.
  • Many online reviews complain that Chase closes accounts without providing an explanation.

Capital One

Capital One’s checking accounts charge no fees and require no minimum balance. The bank even gives account holders their first checkbook at no charge. Capital One has 39,000 ATMs across in the U.S., so withdrawing and depositing money is simple.

Banking with Capital One is also fun and convenient since many of its branches are designed as cafes. You can, therefore, grab a cup of coffee or a pastry while doing your banking.

Pros of Capital One

  • You can withdraw $1000 per day at Capital One ATMs.
  • The lack of account fees makes Capital One checking accounts a wonderful way to save money.
  • Capital One pays an interest rate of up to one percent for account holders who maintain a sufficient balance.

Cons of Capital One

  • Most states do not have any Capital One branches or cafes.
  • Capital One’s online banking platform tries to upsell customers on mortgages, auto loans, and other products.
  • The bank’s mobile app cannot accept money orders, traveler’s checks, or foreign checks.

TD Bank

TD Bank lets customers choose between three different checking account options. The basic TD Simple account charges $5.99 per month, but it does not require a minimum balance. Other TD Bank checking accounts charge up to $25 per month, but you can avoid monthly fees by keeping at least $2500 in your account. Most of TD Bank’s branches are on the East Coast, but online banking services are available.

Pros of TD Bank

  • TD Bank is ideal for international travelers since it does not charge foreign exchange fees when withdrawing cash from a foreign ATM.
  • The bank does not require a minimum opening deposit.
  • New customers can get up to $300 for opening a new checking account.

Cons of TD Bank

  • Unlike almost every bank available, TD Bank offers no way of getting around its service charge of $5.99 per month for customers who open the basic TD Simple account.
  • Most of TD Bank’s checking accounts pay no interest.
  • TD Bank charges $35 for overdrafts and returned transactions.

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