Best Checking Accounts of 2020

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A good checking account is one with low or no fees, has access to an extensive ATM network, with a low opening balance requirement, and other features that work for you.  Throw in an interest-earning feature, if you can find one.

Will you benefit more with a major bank whose ATM and branch locations are all over the United States?  Would you be needing more of an online bank that allows you to deposit and transfer funds electronically?  If you’re after a good experience, you may want to check the bank’s customer service ratings and client reviews.  These are important factors that can dictate the quality of your interaction with a bank.

Here are The Smart Investor Select’s picks for checking account:

Ally Bank Interest Checking

0.10% APY

The Ally Bank interest checking accounts is a singular checking account that offers a tiered interest rate structure.  The yields vary depending on your minimum daily balance in your account.  There are no monthly maintenance fees with your checking account. 

You can access your checking account in more than 43,000 ATMs through the Allpoint network.  You can also deposit your checks remotely through your phone and computer.  This allows you to stay connected and update your finances regardless of your location.  Your checking accounts also come with free checks and debit cards, which is an added bonus. 

Some positive aspects of the Ally Bank checking account system are the ability to earn interest on your daily balance.  You do not need a minimum deposit and there are zero monthly fees.  Along with the lack of monthly fees, there are no added costs to having standard checks or debit cards.

Along with the positive benefits of having an Ally Bank checking account, there are also limited overdraft fees that are below the national average.  You must be aware of your balance because you cannot incur more than one overdraft fee in a single day.

ally bank review

Capital One 360 Checking

0.10% APY

The Capital One 360 checking accounts are mostly used and operated online for your optimal convenience.  You can easily pay your bills, get your cash, making deposits, and transfer your money without the added stress of a monthly fee.  This allows you to condense your banking work without extra trips to your local bank.

You can easily open your checking account online and manage your account securely by signing onto your phone or computer. You do not have to rely on waiting for your bank to open.  The hours are entirely at your disposal, which offers increased flexibility and user-based tools.

Another added benefit of opening a Capital One 360 checking account is the zero fees when opening a checking account.  There are no fees when opening, keeping, or using your Capital One 360 account domestically or for foreign transactions.  This is extremely helpful and beneficial to a traveling and busy adult.

There are also many other additions to this service.  You can receive overnight check delivery, overnight delivery of a replacement a card, and request to stop payments.  All of these are great improvements to your banking experience that limit any unnecessary stress.   

capital-one-360 review

Bank of America

0.10% APY

Bank of American offers a checking account program with its Advantage Relationship checking offer.  This account offers an interest-bearing with a $100.00 minimum opening deposit.  When you maintain a combined balance of $10,000 across your eligible linked accounts you waive the $25 monthly maintenance fee.  This is a great incentive to build your financial portfolio and organize your financial priorities.

Another great aspect of Bank of America’s checking account system is the tiered rates offered on all of their balances.  You can also grow your checking account by declining or returning transactions when you do not have enough money.  This helps you to now overdraw your account and maintain your financial independence while preventing fees from adding up.

Some negative aspects of the checking account system are the interest rates are relatively low compared to other banking institutions.  Also, the requirements to waive the monthly fees are higher than average.  Also, there is a $2.50 fee when you use a non-Bank of America ATMs, which also increases the fees, if you are traveling or in a financial bind.

Bank-of-America review

Chase Sapphire Checking

0.01% APY

Chase offers three main types of checking account. Their “standard” account is Chase Total Checking. This is a standard checking account with a $12 monthly service fee. However, if you maintain a balance of $1,500 or more in your Total Checking or a linked savings account, the monthly fee is waived.

If you tend to maintain a higher balance, you might prefer the Chase Premier Plus Checking Account. It costs a $25 monthly service fee, but that fee is waived if you maintain a balance of at least $15,000 in the Premier Plus or any linked accounts. The main benefit is that this kind of account pays 0.01% interest, so it’s worthwhile for larger accounts.

The third option is Chase Sapphire Checking. This type of account costs a $25 monthly fee, and the fee is not waivable. That said, there’s no minimum balance. There are also no ATM fees, even on out-of-network ATMS. This makes the Sapphire Checking account ideal for frequent flyers and anyone else who does a lot of traveling.

Chase Mortgage review

Discover Cashback Checking

0% APY

Discover Checking Accounts offer unique offerings for your banking needs.  Discover checking accounts allow you to earn cashback rewards.  You earn one percent cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases monthly.

This is a unique feature along with their lack of charging fees with their checking accounts.  There are no fees for your account maintenance, ordering checks, In-network ATM use, online bill pay, or replacement debit cards.  Discover checking accounts also have no minimum balance requirements or activity requirements.  This largely benefits the customer by eliminating excessive fees, while incorporating incentives to open an account.

It is simple to deposit paper checks as well.  Discover uses a mobile app where you can easily track your spending, move your money, and deposit paper checks.  These are exclusive features through Discover that just a few amongst the many features offered to satisfy their customer.

If you prefer online banking, instead of traveling to a physical banking branch, then this is the right bank for you.  Your mobile deposit is secure and you are never held responsible for any unauthorized transactions. 

Discover Personal Loans Review

Chime Spending Account

0% APY

The Chime checking account is known as a Spending Account.  It is a great way to build your financial standing due to its lack of fees or minimum balance.  There are no monthly account fees or minimum balance requirements. 

Chime banking offers a program that accelerates your direct deposits by making them available to you two days early.  Once you establish a direct deposit into your Spending Account you are eligible to receive your early payment as soon as your employer deposits it. 

If you receive a direct deposit of at least $500.00 monthly then you are eligible to enroll in Chime’s SpotMe service.  This optional service allows you to overdraw your account by up to $20 on your debit card purchases without any extra fees. 

Chime also can increase your SpotMe allowance up to $100 based on your account history.  You can constantly check your SpotMe limit on your mobile app. This offers a great way to promote reliability between you and Chime.  You can build your credit and financial independence with this consistent program. 

Another benefit of using the Chime checking account system is the option for using paper checks.  You can create a paper check with the mobile app and then it can be sent in the mail to you.  This a great option if you require physical proof of your financial standing or any other official or unofficial reasons.

Chime bank review