|Best||Checking Account||Best Feature|
|Highest APY||La Capitol Federal Credit Union Choice Checking||5.25% APY|
|Rewards Checking||Pelican State Credit Union Kasasa Cash Back||4% Cash Back|
|Online Checking||Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking||5.00% APY|
|For Branch Access||Boeing Employees Credit Union Member Advantage Checking||4.07% APY|
|For International Travel||La Capitol Federal Credit Union Choice Checking||No Foreign Transaction Fees on Purchases|
|Student Checking||Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking||2.00% APY|
|Business Checking||America First Credit Union High-Yield Business Checking||0.30% APY|
How to Get the Best Checking Account - 5 Tips
There are many checking accounts on the market, and choosing an account isn’t always straightforward. Here’s what to consider when shopping for a new checking account:
- Fees: It's essential to minimize fees when using a checking account for your day-to-day transactions. Be vigilant of monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and out-of-network ATM fees. Evaluate your banking habits to determine which fees are most significant to you, and then seek a bank or credit union that keeps those fees low.
- Minimum Requirements: Some banks and credit unions have specific requirements for opening a checking account, such as a minimum deposit amount. They may also impose minimum balance requirements to earn the APY or avoid fees. Before opening an account, ensure that you can meet the institution's requirements, or explore options with no minimum requirements at all.
- APY: While not all checking accounts offer interest, if you intend to earn interest on your funds, consider the APY when comparing different accounts.
- Customer service: Regardless of whether you prefer online banking or visiting a branch, it's crucial to have access to responsive and helpful customer service representatives for addressing any issues or queries.
- Digital experience: Particularly if you frequently bank online or through a mobile app, prioritize banks and credit unions that provide innovative online and mobile banking technology to enhance your digital banking experience.
To identify the best checking accounts, WalletHub’s editorial team regularly compares over 650 offers based on APY, minimum opening deposit requirements, and a number of other features. The products listed in our Best Checking Accounts page were chosen for their ability to provide competitive APYs, the institution’s size (as indicated by deposit amounts or assets), and their frequent appearance in online searches or other potential considerations. Below, you can read more about how each category winner was decided:
- Overall – The most important factors were interest rate, monthly and overdraft fees. We also wanted an account that would have a reasonable minimum deposit requirement.
- Highest APY – This category focused on the absolute highest interest rate available to a checking account. We also looked at monthly fees and overdraft fees.
- Rewards Checking – We wanted this category to show accounts with the best rewards. We looked at signup bonuses, ongoing rewards but also APY.
- Online Checking – This category was aimed at consumers who prefer banking online. The most important aspect was the ability to apply and do all your banking through the issuer’s platform or mobile app. We also looked for high interest rates and low fees.
- Branch Access – Since we sometimes need a physical touch, accounts from banks with a large presence across the country were given priority. Of course, we also took into account interest rates, monthly fees, and whether they offered an ATM card or not.
- International Travel – For this category, we looked for checking accounts that had no foreign transaction fees, either for purchases or ATM withdrawals. We also looked at ATM fees and interest rates.
- Student Checking – Here, we looked at monthly fees, overdraft fees, but also a low minimum deposit requirement. We also wanted the checking account to have an associated mobile app.
- Business – Since businesses tend to have more capital to invest, we considered business money market accounts with the best APY for a balance of $500,000 or more. Then, we picked the best ones based on APY, monthly fees, and the number of transactions allowed per month.