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Checking Account Finder

Compare checking accounts by fees and features to manage your money.

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Finder's pick for checking: : Chime Spending account

Chime Spending account logo

$0

Deposit to Open

  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly service fees
  • Get your paycheck early
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Compare checking accounts

We busted out our calculators to analyze, review and rate more than 110 checking accounts to help you compare what's out there — whether you need your checking account to write checks, pay bills, transfer funds or withdraw cash from ATMs.

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Chime Spending account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Spending account
N/A
$0
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Get rid of fees with this mobile-first bank offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
Chase Total Checking
Finder Rating: 2.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Chase Total Checking
N/A
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide
$2.50
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 more than 4,700. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
HSBC Premier Checking
Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
HSBC Premier Checking
0.01%
$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
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
BBVA Online Checking
N/A
$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.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Essential Checking
N/A
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
1.25%
$50
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Up to 1.00%
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
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This article was reviewed by Brad Stevens, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and 30-year veteran of the credit industry who specializes in rehabilitating struggling banks.

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What is a checking account?

A checking account is a bank account designed for everyday spending. It allows you to pay bills, receive direct deposits, make purchases online and in-person, withdraw money at an ATM, write checks and more.

Checking account features

Checking accounts commonly come with:

  • A linked debit card. Usually either Visa or Mastercard.
  • ATM access. Though some accounts will charge a fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • Internet banking. This feature allows you to go online to access your account details and make transactions.
  • Branch access. This feature allows you to process transactions in a bank branch.
  • Checkbook. This feature allows you to make purchases with checks.

Types of checking accounts

You can quickly narrow your search for the right checking account by identifying which features are most important to you. Check out each variant below and compare each checking account option for that type.

Type of checking account

Highlights

Learn more

Traditional checking accountBased on our experience reviewing and rating more than 110 traditional checking or mobile-based debit accounts, this is our curated list of the best overall picks.
Free checking accountWhen free and easy to use is at the top of your list, these are the accounts to pick from.
Interest checking accountDo more with your checking and earn an annual percentage yield (APY) on the money that’s just sitting there waiting for bills to be paid.
Rewards checking accountEarn points, miles or cash back with every purchase by opening an account that offers special incentives when you spend.Compare accounts
Online checking accountWithout the cost burden of brick-and-mortar branches, online checking accounts can serve your needs without the fees.
Second chance checking accountIf you’ve been in trouble with a bank before, these accounts may give you a chance to regain the bank’s trust by improving your credit score.
Business checking accountKeep your business running smoothly with a checking account tailored to the demands of the business world.
Student checking accountPrepare your student for responsible financial management with a checking account for high school and college.
Digital bank accountBank from your smartphone with an app-based account and debit card.

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. If you prefer to bank in person, see if your bank has a national presence.
  • Minimum deposits. Check if the account has a minimum opening deposit or if you need to meet a minimum ongoing balance to avoid fees.
  • Monthly fees. Compare the fees that various banks charge. Some banks will charge if you don’t maintain a minimum balance, while others charge for out-of-network ATMs, foreign transactions, overdrafts, checks, wire transfers and more.
  • Debit card. If your bank issues a debit card, find out how long it will take the bank to replace funds should your card information get stolen. Also check to see how easy it is to freeze your card and get a replacement if you lose it.
  • 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 nationwide you can use fee-free.
  • 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. Don’t get an account just because of a freebie — look into all of the other features first.
  • 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.
  • Interest-bearing or rewards. Some checking accounts earn cashback bonuses or even interest.

What are common checking account fees?

There are over 30 bank fees you may encounter while managing your money, but here are the five most common:

  1. Monthly fee. The basic recurring charge to keep the account open. Not all checking accounts charge a monthly maintenance fee, and some banks will waive it when you meet certain minimum deposit requirements.
  2. Overdraft fee. The penalty amount if you spend more money than the available balance in your account. Typical overdraft fees can cost up to nearly $40.
  3. ATM fee. The small fee for using an ATM not included in your bank’s network. ATM fees vary country to country, but most in the US cost less than $3.
  4. Foreign transaction fee. The amount, usually a percentage, of a debit card purchase made overseas. While some checking accounts don’t charge at all, others can tack on as much as 3% of your purchase for using your card outside the US.
  5. Account closure fee. Most banks will charge you a fee of $25 or so if you close your account within 90 to 180 days of opening.

Can I open a checking account online?

Most banks will allow you to open an account online. You’ll need to supply your personal information, including Social Security number, and a government ID.

To get started, visit the website of the bank you’re interested in, navigate to the application page and follow the onscreen prompts. When your application has been processed and approved, you’ll be notified and given the details of your new account so that you can transfer money into it.

But if you handled an account poorly in the past that led to an account closure, check your specific state laws regarding forced closed accounts. Some state laws restrict you from opening a new account for a period of time. This may require you to opt for non-bank alternatives, like prepaid cards, for a while.

How often should I monitor my checking account?

You should monitor your checking account at least once a week. This will help you keep track of your spending, avoid bank fees and spot any fraudulent transactions you may need to report to your bank.

Checking guides

Common questions about checking accounts

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8 Responses

    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 can also review some tips and guides to open a business bank account.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    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

    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.

      Learn more about the the different types of bank accounts, their benefits and what you need to consider before opening.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

    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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