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Compare bank accounts for your financial needs

Four types accounts to better manage your money.

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Our pick for a savings account: Synchrony High Yield Savings

Synchrony High Yield Savings logo

0.65%

APY

  • Earn customer rewards
  • Free ATM card
  • No minimum balance
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savings-logo

Choose a bank account type

There are many different types of bank accounts out there to choose from. Deciding on which type of bank account you need depends on your financial goals. Broken down to its fundamental level, your goal is to either spend, save or do both. These are the four main types of bank accounts:

1. Checking accounts

A checking account is designed for everyday spending as there’s no cap on the number of deposits and withdrawals you can make each month. You’ll typically get a checkbook and a debit card so you can make purchases and withdraw cash on the go. Most checking accounts don’t earn interest, but more and more interest-bearing options are starting to pop up.

2. Savings accounts

As its name implies, a savings account is designed for saving. You earn interest on the money you keep in the account, but you typically won’t get an ATM card or checks. You’re also limited to six withdrawals a month per Regulation D. However, this policy is temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

3. Money market accounts

Think of a money market account as a savings/checking account hybrid. You get the benefits of a debit card and checkwriting privileges, but you also earn the same competitive interest rate as you would with a savings account. On the downside, money market accounts are typically limited to six withdrawals a month and they may require deposits of $500 or more to get started.

4. CDs

With a certificate of deposit, you agree to lock your money away for a set period of time (usually anywhere from three months to 10 years). In exchange, you get a fixed interest rate that won’t change even if rates drop. The only catch is that you can’t withdraw your money before your CD matures. If you do, you’ll pay early withdrawal penalties.

Different types of bank accounts

Basic checking account Interest bearing checking account Savings account Money market account Certificate of deposit (CD)
Best for Those who want a basic spending account to pay bills, transfer funds and make purchases Those who want an account that earns interest and gives them access to extra features Those who want to earn interest on their savings Those who want a checking and savings hybrid that earns interest but is accessible Those looking for a short-term investment with a locked in interest rate
Earns interest
Monthly fees
Minimum deposit $0 to $25 $100 to $500 $0 to $100 $2,500 to $10,000 $500 to $10,000
ATM access
Checkwriting
FDIC or NCUA insured
Withdrawal limits
six a month six a month Can’t withdraw until maturity

Things to consider when choosing a bank account

Here are a few features to keep in mind when finding the best bank account for your needs:

  • Financial goals. Why are you opening a bank account? If it’s to spend money, go with a checking account. If it’s to save and build wealth, go with a savings account or CD. If you want a little bit of both, a money market account may fit the bill.
  • Fees. Bank account fees include overdraft, ATM, daily balance, paper statement, and monthly maintenance fees. Look for an account with $0 monthly fees and read through the fine print to know how to avoid other associated fees.
  • Minimum balance requirements. Some accounts come with minimum opening deposit requirements. Depending on how much money you want to keep in your account will help you determine which bank account you’ll want to open.
  • Interest. Although savings accounts are a popular choice to grow your money, there are checking accounts that earn interest. Compare interest rates and how it’s compounded to decide which account is right for you.
  • Banking needs. Everyone has unique banking needs. Some prefer convenience and flexibility, while others want to earn rewards and interest. The best bank account will help you manage your finances efficiently and reach your goals.

Best bank accounts

The best bank accounts are transparent, flexible and offer perks that help you reach your financial goals. When considering the best accounts, we looked at factors like interest rates, ease of use, ATM access, deposit requirements, monthly fees and additional perks.

Best overall bank account for savings

Synchrony High Yield Savings

Synchrony High Yield Savings logo
Finder Rating: 4.9 / 5

★★★★★

Apply now
at Synchrony's secure site
0.65%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
This Synchrony account wins for best overall bank account for savings because it grows your money fast with a strong APY and gives you plenty of ways to access it when the time comes.
  • Strong APY. Your savings grows even faster with a 0.65% APY that's compounded daily.
  • Free ATM card. Unlike other savings accounts, this one comes with an ATM card for easy withdrawals. Plus, Synchrony refunds up to $5 in non-network ATM fees each month.
  • No fees. There's no monthly maintenance or ATM fees.
  • Limited transactions. Typically, you can't make more than six outgoing transactions a month without running the risk of having your account closed. But due to the temporary suspension of Regulation D, this policy could be on pause.
  • Daily withdrawal limits. To prevent fraud, you can't withdraw more than $1,000 from ATMs and $500 from point-of-sale retailers a day.
  • One branch. Synchrony's only branch is in Bridgewater, New Jersey, so you'll need to be comfortable managing your account online if you live outside this area.
Interest compounding Daily
Minimum to earn interest $0
Monthly transaction limit 6
Fee per transaction over limit $0

For more accounts that fit your goals, compare our list of best savings accounts.

Best overall bank account for checking

Capital One 360 Checking

0.1%
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
We've dubbed this free Capital One 360 Checking account best overall for its reliable interest rate, flexible overdraft options and convenient ATM access. Plus, Capital One doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, so it's a good choice for traveling overseas.
  • 0.1% APY. This account earns more interest than most traditional savings accounts, but there are stronger rates out there.
  • No fees. You won't pay any monthly maintenance, foreign transaction or ATM fees with this account. But ATM owners may charge a fee when you use non-network ATMs.
  • Flexible overdrafts. Capital One gives you four ways to avoid overdraft fees: auto-decline, next-day grace, free savings transfer or an overdraft line of credit.
  • Large ATM network. Use your debit card for free at over 39,000+ Capital One and Allpoint ATMs worldwide.
  • Not 100% free. Although you won't pay routine fees charged by some banks, Capital One will charge you $25 for above-and-beyond services like overnight card replacements and stop payment requests.
  • Expensive outbound wires. It's free to receive domestic and international wire transfers. But you'll pay $40 for each domestic wire transfer you send.
  • Possible credit check. If you choose an overdraft line of credit as your overdraft protection option, Capital One will do a hard-pull on your credit.
APY 0.1%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? No
Insufficient funds fee $9
ATM transaction fee $0
Paper statement fee $5
Wire transfer fee $40
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Overdraft fee $35

For more accounts that fit your spending lifestyle, compare our list of best checking accounts.

Best overall bank account for CDs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-yield CDs

0.65%
1-year APY
0.65%
3-year APY
0.7%
5-year APY
$500
Min. opening deposit
Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-yield CDs takes home the gold for best overall bank account for CDs thanks to its hassle-free online application process, low minimum opening deposit and strong APYs across all CD terms.
  • Several term options. Lock your money away for as little as six months or as long as six years.
  • 30 days to fund account. Most banks give you 10 days to fund your account. But Marcus lets you make as many deposits as you want for your first 30 days.
  • Strong APYs. Marcus offers consistently high rates for both its short-term and long-term CD options, making it an ideal choice for any CD length.
  • 10-day rate guarantee. If Marcus raises its rates within 10 days of you opening and funding your CD, you'll automatically get bumped up to the higher rate.
  • No branches. Marcus by Goldman Sachs High-yield CDs is online-only, so you can't visit a branch for in-person support. But you can call customer support daily.
  • No partial withdrawals. If you need to dip into your CD before it matures, you'll have to withdraw the full balance.
  • Early withdrawal penalties. Like most banks, you'll pay a penalty fee if you withdraw money before your CD matures. But Marcus has a no-penalty CD option available if you're worried about needing your money before it's time.
6-month term 0.25%
9-month term 0.35%
12-month term 0.65%
18-month term 0.65%
24-month term 0.65%
48-month term 0.65%
60-month term 0.7%
72-month term 0.7%

For more accounts that fit your savings goals, compare our list of best CDs.

What’s the best bank account for me?

The best account for you will depend on what you plan on using it for, so it’s important to identify what you value in your banking experience.

This table highlights the type of bank account that may be right for you depending on your situation:

If you’re a…

Consider this account

Features

Learn more

Digital nomad or traveler Digital bank account Typically two-in-one spend and save accounts that are chockfull of budgeting tools and auto-save features to help you reach your goals
Couple Joint bank account An effective way for couples to manage their money together
Business owner Business bank account Makes it easy to manage cash flow and keep track of spending for tax and accounting purposes
Child Kids bank account Can help children learn how to manage their money, comes with parental controls and usually doesn’t have monthly fees
Teen or student Teen bank account Can help your child manage earned money and can teach them good habits they can carry into adulthood

Compare popular bank accounts by type

Use the tabs on this table to sort through popular checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as CDs. Sort each table by minimum deposit and APY to find one that’s right for you.

Name Product Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
HSBC Premier Checking
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a 3% cash bonus, up to $600 (max. $100 per month) during first six months after account opening. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by September 30, 2020, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
BBVA Online Checking
$25
No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
$3
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks, plus up to a $250 signup bonus when you meet deposit requirements
Axos Bank Essential Checking
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
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Compare up to 4 providers

$
$
months
Name Product Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned
American Express® High Yield Savings
0.60%
$0
$0
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
0.61%
$0
$250
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account

1.00% on $0 to $10,000 but you’ll need to be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases a month
$0 per month or $7 per month for Aspiration Plus ($5.75 per month if you pay annually)
$10
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
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Compare up to 4 providers

$
$
months
Name Product Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned
CIT Bank Money Market
0.50%
$0
$100
A savings account with a higher-than-average rate and minimal fees.
Discover Money Market

0.40% on $100,000+
0.35% on $1 to $99,999
$0
$2,500
This money market account offers a competitive APY.
BBVA Money Market

0.10% on $1,000,000+ for 3 months (0.07% after)
0.08% on $20,000 to $999,999.99 for 3 months (0.05% after)
0.05% on $10,000 to $19,999.99 for 3 months (0.02% after)
$15 per month
(can be waived)
$25
Earn a promotional APY for your first 3 months and access your money by ATM, check or bill pay.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product 1-year APY 18-month APY 2-year APY 3-year APY 5-year APY
CIT Bank Term CDs
0.3%
0.3%
0.4%
0.4%
0.5%
Radius Bank CDs
0.5%
0.5%
0.5%
0.5%
0.5%
BBVA CD
0.1%
0.1%
0.1%
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Compare up to 4 providers

Compare bank accounts by state

Looking for a bank in California, New York and Texas? Use one of these lists to explore your options:

What’s a bank account?

A bank account helps you save for the future, pay bills, spend conveniently, transfer money where you need it and get cash when you want it. Financial institutions offer bank accounts to give you a secure location to hold your money.

The benefits of owning a bank account

Having a bank account can help you manage your everyday finances and keep track of your money. Benefits of owning one are:

  • A convenient way to organize your money. For example, paying bills, receiving your income, paying for goods and services or sending money to someone else.
  • A safe place to keep your money. This is especially helpful during uncertain economic climates ⁠— the FDIC offers a guarantee on deposits of up to $250,000 per person, per institution.
  • A place that records your transactions. When applying for a loan, lenders can refer to your transaction records to assess how well you can save money. You can also see where you’re spending most of your income.
  • A place to build your assets. Money held in your transaction account is easy to access ⁠— by linking it to a savings account, you can also earn interest.

What are the risks?

  • Choosing the wrong type of account. Each type of account serves a very specific purpose. Not choosing the right one could result in paying unnecessary fees or penalty charges.
  • Not having the right features. Look closely at each account to ensure that it has the features you need to make your banking needs easier.

What’s the difference between bank account types?

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Just some of the brands we compare

Click any company logo below to compare more bank accounts from that brand.

Chase logo bbva-Logo cit-bank-Logo
Capital-One-Logo Aspiration-Logo American Express logo

How many bank accounts should I have?

The amount of bank accounts you open depends on your personal financial goals. Most people typically have two accounts ⁠— a checking and a savings account. If you’re starting out with your first bank account, you’ll want to open up a checking account. And once you’re ready to start saving, you can open up a savings account. As your savings start to increase, most people tend to look into other types of accounts, such as CDs. And if you’re looking for a hybrid between a checking and savings account, you can consider a money market account or an interest-bearing checking account.

How do I open and close a bank account?

Opening a joint account

Joint accounts are best for people who are working towards a similar financial goal together.

Why most of us are unwilling to change banks

We don’t want to change banks for a number of reasons. If it’s not our priority to make a change, it may be because we’re getting exactly what we need from our bank or because it’s too much of a hassle to switch. If you’re satisfied with the services your bank provides, or even just loyal to the company you’ve been with for years, you might feel less inclined to change.

How do banks protect my security online?

Here are some common measures banks take to protect your sensitive information:

  • Investment in safety. Banks spend millions of dollars to protect your money, mainly because they are required to refund money to those who have been defrauded.
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This gives an added layer of protection from hackers.
  • Password security. You’ll often find that your password needs to be a certain length and contain certain characters.
  • Encrypted personal information. This means that the lock symbol is displayed in your browser, and the information coming in and out is scrambled.
  • Log-in security. You’re locked out of your account after too many failed log-in attempts. Plus, you’re auto-logged out after a few minutes of inactivity and there are firewalls in place so only authorized people can log in.
  • SMS codes. To ensure you say who you are, banks will also send codes to your phone to authorize new transactions.

Quick tips for using everyday bank accounts

  • Take advantage of cash back opportunities. If you’re paying for purchases using your debit card, ask for cash out at the same time rather than withdrawing at an ATM. This counts as one transaction, not two, and lets you avoid any potential ATM fees.
  • Monitor your transaction history. If your account has a limit on the number of transactions you can make each month before fees apply, monitor your account regularly and try to work out ways to minimize your transactions where possible
  • Bank securely with credit. When you make a purchase, should you choose debit or credit? By choosing credit, you’ll be activating enhanced security or the complimentary insurance policies offered on your card.
  • Find ways to waive fees. If you’re currently paying a monthly account-keeping fee on your account, ask your bank what options you have for getting that fee waived. They may suggest opening a savings account, signing up for direct deposit or maintaining a minimum balance to get rid of that fee. They may also suggest a different transaction account that could end up suiting your needs better in the long run.

Using your bank account for international transactions

Is it possible to reverse a foreign exchange transaction on my transaction account? You will need the help of your bank in most circumstances, but if you have the supporting documentation then you should be able to reverse a foreign exchange transaction.

Is it possible to cash out an international check? Yes, some US financial institutions will accept an international check deposit, although the funds could take longer to clear and you may be charged international transaction fees.

Do foreign banks charge a fee to receive an international money transfer? Yes, there are foreign banks who will charge your recipient upon receiving funds from an international money transfer. Remember to take into account exchange rates and recipient fees.

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Having problems with your bank account?

Commonly asked questions about bank accounts

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AmandaNovember 30, 2018

    How do I get cash without my direct express card because I’m waiting on my replacement card in the mail.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoDecember 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for getting in touch! To withdraw cash from your Direct Express card while you wait on your replacement card, you may visit any bank or credit union that displays the MasterCard® acceptance mark and get cash from a teller. Hope this helps and let me know if you have questions, I’m here to help!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    JeffJuly 7, 2017

    I would like to set up an account for my civic organization that requires two authorizations (digital preferred) for any withdrawal of $5000 or more. Can you please help me find a bank that will provide this service?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJuly 10, 2017Staff

      Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      So far, we do not have an available comparison page for different bank accounts, but most major banks would allow you to open a bank account for your civic organization with two authorized signatories. I would suggest that you contact any of the banks near your office to confirm your application.

      Meantime, you may like to read our guide here on choosing a bank account that will work according to your needs.

      Cheers,
      May

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