Checking Account Finder

Compare fees and features to manage your money.

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Your personal checking account is where you make deposits and manage your everyday financial needs. Between withdrawing cash, paying bills and transferring money, your checking account is probably one of the most heavily used bank accounts you have. If you’re thinking of switching banks or assessing your account needs, find out more and compare.

Editor's pick: BBVA Online Checking

  • Open with $25
  • No monthly service charge
  • No ATM withdrawal fees at Allpoint and BBVA ATMs

Editor's pick: BBVA Online Checking

A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.

  • No service fees
  • Personalized debit card
  • Cashback rewards

Compare checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
$0
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
0.05%
More than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
$19/month
(can be waived)
A full-service interest checking account that offers automatic rebates of ATM fees. Earn a $200 cash bonus when you add direct deposit.
0.01%
Free to use anywhere worldwide
$25/month
(can be waived)
Get a $1000 welcome bonus when you join Sapphire Banking by January 17, 2020. Within 45 days of joining, transfer a total of $75,000 or more in qualifying new money or securities to a combination of eligible checking, savings and/or investment accounts (excludes any J.P. Morgan retirement accounts and CDs), and maintain the balance for at least 90 days.
Radius Bank Rewards Checking
Radius Bank Rewards Checking
1.20% on balances of $100,000+
1.00% on balances of $2,500 to $99,999.99
More than 20,000 ATMs + unlimited ATM surcharge rebates
$0
Earn cash back with this high-interest checking account, plus get free ATM access worldwide.
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches nationwide
$12/month
(can be waived)
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches.
0.01%
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$0
Linked checking and savings accounts from a mobile-first bank that’s light on fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do checking accounts work?

Although features of checking accounts differ between banks, they all serve the same basic purpose: to provide a variety of ways to access your money: checks, ATMs and debit card purchases.

From your checking account you can:

  • Make deposits.
  • Pay bills.
  • Transfer money between accounts.
  • Withdraw cash from ATMs.
  • Make purchases at stores and online.
  • Set up automatic payments.

Checking accounts come with fees and charges from using banks and ATMs. You’ll also pay fees for added features on your account.

Commonly asked questions about checking accounts

Q: I’m about to share an account with my wife, are there any considerations?
Investing in a joint account as a couple is a good way to save on banking fees and manage the household expenses together. If there are any concerns about trust, you could look into a joint account that requires both signatures on major transactions.

Q: How do I cancel a bank check?
The process may vary slightly by financial institution, but to stop payment you need to report it lost or stolen to your bank. You may pay a fee.

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Types of checking accounts

There are different types of checking accounts available on the market. Each type comes with its own benefits, fees and features. Here are some common bank account types to help you choose.

Bank accountDescription
Free checking accountThese accounts typically charge no fees for ATM transactions at the associated bank and no monthly fee. There may be some conditions such as direct deposit.
Rewards accountEarn cash back or airline miles for each transaction.
Student bank accountOffered to full-time students, these accounts won’t require a minimum balance or charge monthly or ATM fees.
Online bank accountYou’ll usually receive unlimited domestic electronic transactions and be restricted to online access only.
Interest-earning checking accountSome financial institutions may offer checking accounts that earn interest up to a certain amount. You’ll have the usual benefits like ATM access and linked debit card.
Travel bank accountThese bank accounts don’t charge an international ATM fee, or it will have a worldwide ATM network to get cheaper withdrawals.
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How do I compare checking accounts?

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a checking account.

  • Options for accessing your cash. Get your cash from a teller, online or from an ATM. Online banking allows you to view your account, make payments, deposits and transfers right from your computer. Many banks offer mobile apps, making online banking even more convenient.
  • What are the monthly fees and charges? Compare the fees that various banks charge. Some banks will charge if you don’t maintain a minimum balance, while others charge for using in-branch bank tellers.
  • Debit card. If your bank issues a debit card, see if it’s backed by a major credit card provider like Visa or Mastercard. This will allow you to make purchases in stores and online.
  • ATM. The quickest and easiest way to access your money is through an ATM. Some banks will charge fees for using ATMs at other banks, while others will waive them. Check the network to see how many ATMs are close to you.
  • Signup bonus. Some banks reward you right off the bat by offering a signup bonus or other incentive, most often with the requirement that you deposit a minimum amount and keep it in the account for a period of time.
  • International transactions. Larger banks with an international presence can provide you with certain services if you travel overseas, including cash withdrawals at ATMs. Check the fees for international money transfers, overseas purchases and currency conversion when looking at different checking accounts.

Can I rent an ATM for my business? If so, how?

Yes, there are numerous companies that allow you to lease or even buy an ATM for your business. Many work by sharing a percentage of the transaction earnings with you. You can also contact a bank, as many will pay you to have their ATM.

How do I compare banks?

There are several features to consider when deciding on a bank, including:

  • Your banking needs.
  • Your current and future financial goals.
  • The products and services a bank offers.
  • The bank’s fees for the transactions you’re likely to conduct regularly.
  • The Internet banking and mobile app platform.
  • Branch and ATM locations.
  • Customer support options.
  • How long it has been in business.
  • Its reputation among friends, family and other consumers.
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Pros and cons of checking accounts

  • Money management. A checking account gives you a secure place to keep your money, where you can easily deposit income and pay bills. The bank statements give you a record of your transactions so you can better manage your spending.
  • Purchase power. A debit card with a credit card logo gives you unlimited access to your money.
  • Convenience. If you choose a checking account that has online banking, you’ll be able to see your balance daily and manage your spending.
  • ATM access. With your linked debit card, you can access your funds at an ATM for more flexibility.

There are a few things you should watch out for so you can maximize the benefits of a checking account:

  • Fees. There are various fees for every checking account. Don’t only look at monthly fees, but also look for overdrafts, check transactions and overseas purchases.
  • Minimum deposits. Some accounts require a monthly minimum balance or you’ll be charged a fee.
  • Too many transactions. In some cases you’re allowed a certain number of transactions with your ATM withdrawals or teller assistance before you start paying fees.
  • Online purchases. Be sure that you understand the fees for purchases made overseas online. You may be charged extra or you’ll pay an exchange rate.

Tips to make the most of your checking account

Balancing your checkbook

Keeping your checkbook (or register) balanced is an essential part of maintaining your checking account. All deposits and withdrawals should be recorded here. This way you know how much you have in your account at all times. You can also compare this to your account online to check for accuracy.

Common options for overdraft protection

Most all banks now offer some form of overdraft protection. Depending on your bank, you can link your checking account to another financial account. Then if you overdraw on your checking account, your bank will pull money from your linked account. Be aware: This type of transaction almost always comes with a fee.

Consequences of bounced checks

If you write a check for more money than you have in your account, that check will “bounce”. Bouncing a check can come with severe consequences. First, you will incur an insufficient funds fee/overdraft fee, typically around $35. It also could negatively affect your credit. And you might face legal consequences. It’s important to reach out to your bank and the person or institution you wrote the check to as soon as you realize the error.

Ways to safeguard your logins, statements, PIN and other sensitive financial info

  • Establish strong passwords and PINs.
  • Don’t use public Internet connections or computers when accessing your account.
  • Review your statements for suspicious transactions.
  • Always log completely out of your account.
  • Opt for paperless statements, and access them online instead.

Common checking account fees

Knowing the common fees you might incur is the first step in avoiding them. Here’s what to look out for:

  1. Overdraft fee. If you spend more money than what is in your account, your bank will penalize you.
  2. Minimum balance fee. Many checking accounts require you to maintain a minimum balance or pay a fee.
  3. ATM fee. If you use an ATM other than your bank’s, you could be charged a small fee.
  4. Foreign transaction fee. If you make purchases while overseas using your checking account, you will likely be charged a fee.
  5. Paper statement fee. If you opt to receive a hard copy of your statement in the mail, you might have to pay for the service.
  6. Deposit fee. Having money deposited into your account from another bank could come with a fee.
  7. Transfer fee. Transferring money out of your checking account to another bank might cost you.

Common questions about checking accounts

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8 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AryaJuly 22, 2019

    How can I open a business bank account in us for LLC? I am from India. I want to open remotely, is it possible? I can travel to the USA, if it’s impossible to open physically.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJuly 23, 2019Staff

      Hi Arya,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You must meet basic eligibility requirements to open a US-based business account:

      -Valid Social Security or tax identification number
      -Valid state-issued ID
      -Valid US address
      -Sole proprietor, if applying online

      Looks like you need to ensure you have the above to open a business bank account. You may check other tips and guides to open a business bank account on this page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  2. Default Gravatar
    jgpingarAugust 28, 2018

    I need to open a checking account in U.S.
    I am a foreig citizen, so I don’t have a Social Security Number.
    What can I do?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloAugust 29, 2018

      Hi there,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      If you relocated to the US to work or study, it is possible for you to open a US bank account. As a new arrival to the US, you may find it more difficult to meet the requirements of a bank. You’ll typically need to provide government-issued ID and a Social Security number as well as proof of your creditworthiness.

      Online banking is an option, but current laws in place to protect against money laundering could prevent you from successfully opening an account. You may find better results by talking directly with a client representative at a bank’s physical branch. You will need to confirm the requirements for the bank you’re interested in as well as gather the documentation necessary. Also ask about maintenance fees so that you can plan ahead.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  3. Default Gravatar
    LorenzoAugust 15, 2018

    Want to know what bank would be best for my needs

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoanneAugust 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Lorenzo,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Everyone has unique banking needs. Some prefer convenience and flexibility, while others want to earn points on their purchases. One of the great things about bank accounts are they can be a short term commitment.

      Review your needs regularly to see if your bank account still meet your needs.The best bank account will help you manage your finances efficiently and reach your savings goals.

      This page will further explain the different types of accounts, their benefits and what you need to consider before opening.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

  4. Default Gravatar
    StephanieJuly 24, 2018

    I need help with getting me bank account setup

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJuly 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Stephanie!

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      To open a bank account, you can do this online (by visiting the website of the bank) or you can go directly to the bank’s offie and physically open an account there. May I ask for which bank account this is?

      Looking forward to your reply!

      Nikki

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