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E-Trade Checking account

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It’s free to maintain and can fund investments instantly.

finder.com’s rating: 4.5 / 5.0

★★★★★

With its ability to move money into a brokerage account in a few clicks, this no-frills checking account is best for those involved in same-day stock market trades. But if you’re looking for a more traditional banking experience, you might be better off elsewhere.

$0 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$100

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APYN/A
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$100
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM feeFees may be imposed by the owner or operator of the ATM or network.
Foreign transaction fee1%
Overdraft fee$5
Nonsufficient funds fee$25
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Review by


Amy Stoltenberg is a staff writer covering all things travel, shopping and lifestyle. After earning a BA at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as technical designer in corporate fashion before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering around Los Angeles looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and plotting her way to all 50 states (she's currently at 28).

Expert review

E-Trade’s Checking account is best for day traders. It shines when it comes to its minimal fees and convenience in moving funds into a brokerage account.

But if you aren’t a trader, a traditional checking account may be a better option.

How do I open an E-Trade Checking account?

You can open an E-Trade Checking account online, or by visiting a branch location.

To get started with an E-Trade Checking account online, take the following steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the E-Trade home page, hover over Account types and select Bank.
  3. In the box featuring E-Trade Checking, select Open an Account.
  4. Select whether you’re opening a joint or individual account, then click Continue.
  5. Indicate whether or not you’re an existing customer. If not, fill out your personal information like contact info and address, then click Continue.
  6. Provide your Social Security number, birthdate and occupation. After filling out the brief form, click Continue.
  7. Set up your account, review your info for accuracy, create an ID and fund the account. Make sure you’ve got $100 ready to make the initial deposit.

Early closeout fee

Before signing up, keep in mind that if you close the account within 120 days of opening it, you’ll be charged $10.

Eligibility

All US citizens ages 18 and older with a valid Social Security number are eligible to apply for an E-Trade Checking account.

Required information

Keep the following info handy when applying for an E-Trade Checking account:

  • Social Security number
  • Valid US ID, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Valid US address

What are the benefits of a checking account with E-Trade?

E-Trade’s checking accounts are designed so users can more seamlessly fund market trades. Expect a suite of online banking features like automatic bill pay, mobile check deposit, a free debit card and:
  • $0 maintenance fees or minimum balances. The account is free to maintain.
  • Same-day transfers for market trading. Add money to an investment account instantly from your E-Trade Checking account for free. Sending money to a mutual fund or independent account from an external account can take up to three days.
  • Award-winning mobile app. Investopedia ranks E-Trade’s mobile app, Power E-Trade, one of the top five accounts for trading in 2019.
  • $0 fees at ATMs. Since E-Trade doesn’t have an ATM network of its own, you’re not charged fees for using domestic ATMs. However, you’re still responsible for covering any fees charged by ATM owner.

What should I look out for?

Potential downsides of this account include:

  • High outgoing wire fees. There’s a $25 fee to wire money out of an E-Trade Checking account, though incoming wire transfers are free to receive.
  • Overdraft fees. Enrolling in overdraft protection is free, but E-Trade will charge you $5 every time it makes an automatic transfer to cover insufficient funds.
  • Limited brick-and-mortar presence. Though it has 30 locations nationwide, they’re spread throughout only 16 states.

Which states does E-Trade have branch locations in?

E-trade has a brick-and-mortar presence in the following states:

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Minnesota
  • Texas
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for a traditional checking account, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when looking for a checking account.

E-Trade’s ATM network and fees

You’ll receive a free debit card with this account, but E-Trade doesn’t have its own ATMs. There’s no fee to withdraw cash from US ATMs, but independent fees still apply. International ATM withdrawals using your E-Trade Checking account will incur a 1% fee.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
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 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.
Citibank® Account Package
Citibank® Account Package
0.50%
$0
No access to ATMs
$2.50
Earn a $300 bonus after opening new eligible checking and savings accounts and completing required activities.
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 in the first six months (up to $600) or $450 welcome bonus when you open your account with qualifying activities. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by June 30, 2021, 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.
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 financial app offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
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.
OnJuno
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
OnJuno
Up to 2.15%
$0
more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide
$0
OnJuno embraces an open banking system for everyone, regardless of their age, location, or income.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

Deposit funds into your E-Trade Checking account by:

  • Direct deposit. Automatically send incoming funds to your E-Trade Checking account.
  • Electronic transfer. Move money from bank-to-bank using your computer or smartphone. Note that this could take up to three days to process.
  • Wire transfer. For same-day delivery, send a wire.
  • Deposit a check by mail. Mail a check to E-Trade HQ at:
    E*TRADE Bank
    Attention: Deposit Operations
    c/o E*TRADE Financial Corporation
    PO Box 484
    Jersey City, NJ 07303-0484.

    Note that this deposit method can take approximately five business days

Access funds from your account through:

  • ATM withdrawal. Use your debit card to withdraw funds from any ATM around the world. International ATM withdrawals will incur a 1% fee.
  • Electronic transfer. Move funds out of your E-Trade Checking account and into an external bank account.
  • Wire transfer. Keep in mind that there’s a $25 fee per transaction.

What other checking options does E-Trade offer?

Since E-Trade’s investing platform is its specialty, it doesn’t offer a wide variety of checking accounts. There’s one option other than the basic E-Trade Checking account:

  • Max-Rate Checking account. Deposit $100 to get started and earn an APY of 0.05% on all balances. The $15 monthly maintenance fee can be waived by maintaining a balance of at least $5,000 or keeping a balance of $50,000 in E-Trade investment accounts, executing at least 30 trades per quarter or direct depositing at least $200 per month.

If you’re looking for an account that provides for easy fund transfer to investment accounts, you might also consider the:

  • Premium Savings account. Opening the account is $0 and you’ll need to maintain a balance of at least $1000 to waive the monthly maintenance fee — or maintain a monthly balance of $5,000 in total E-Trade deposits, maintain a combined balance of $50,000 in investment accounts or execute a minimum of 30 trades per quarter.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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