Consumers looking for a new checking account may find that online banks offer features that aren’t available at the bank down the street.
Brick-and-mortar banks may offer these checking account features, too, but they may come at a cost: maintaining a high minimum balance. Online checking accounts, meanwhile, typically have no or low minimum balance requirements.
Here are Bankrate’s picks for the best online checking accounts.
Bankrate’s picks for top online checking accounts
- Ally Bank: Best online checking overall
- Chime: Best online checking for beginners
- Charles Schwab: Best online checking for travelers
- Navy Federal Credit Union: Best online checking for teens
- LendingClub Bank: Best online checking for cash back
Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of Feb. 28, 2023, and may vary by region for some products. Bankrate includes only Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) banks or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions in its listings.
A closer look at the top online checking accounts
Ally Bank: Best online checking overall
Ally Bank’s Interest Checking Account earns a little bit of interest, has a highly rated app, and offers free standard and official checks as well as free domestic and international wire transfers, features some banks charge fees for. Interest Checking customers have access to more than 43,000 Allpoint ATMs. But for those times when you’re not able to use one of those ATMs, Ally Bank reimburses up to $10 worth of fees charged at out-of-network ATMs per statement cycle. At Ally Bank, you also have the ability to chat with customer service online and access a 24/7 toll-free number.
What to watch: You’ll need at least $15,000 to earn the top-tier APY. Savers looking for a higher yield on their money, especially if it’s earmarked for saving, should consider high-yield savings accounts or money market accounts.
Chime: Best online checking for beginners
Chime’s chief attraction for novice banking consumers is that it waives fees on overdrafts. Based on transaction history, Chime allows account holders to overdraw their accounts for up to $20 at first and then potentially up to $200 over time. The service requires a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more each month.
According to Bankrate’s 2022 checking account and ATM fee study, the average overdraft fee is $29.80.
Chime customers also have access to direct deposits up to two days early, which can help beginners on tight budgets more easily meet monthly expenses. Chime also has a network of more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs.
What to watch: Chime is a challenger bank, a term used to describe technology companies that act as banks. Chime’s banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank. Both banks are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).
Charles Schwab: Best online checking for travelers
Charles Schwab Bank’s High Yield Investor Checking account gives you unlimited worldwide ATM fee reimbursement. The account charges no monthly fee and has no minimum balance requirement. Schwab also doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee when making overseas purchases. You’ll earn a little bit of interest on your balance, too.
What to watch: The Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account requires new account holders to also open a Schwab One brokerage account.
Navy Federal Credit Union: Best online checking for teens
Navy Federal Credit Union’s Free Campus Checking account gives members who are full-time students an account they can use through high school and college. With this account, members ages 14-24 pay no monthly service fees and have no minimum balance requirement. ATM fees of up to $10 a month are reimbursed each statement cycle, giving students the ability to access any ATM for free (as long as it doesn’t exceed the reimbursement amount). The Free Campus Checking account also earns a bit of interest.
What to watch: You’ll have to qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership to get this account. Membership is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, civilian, contract personnel, veterans and their families. The account offers interest, but you can still earn a higher yield in a savings account. Checking accounts that offer competitive annual percentage yields (APYs) and no minimum balance requirement are easily found elsewhere, though they may not be called student savings accounts.
LendingClub Bank: Best online checking for cash back
LendingClub Bank’s Rewards checking account helps you earn 1 percent cash back on everyday purchases without incurring a monthly fee. The account also earns a little bit of interest and offers access to thousands of free ATMs around the globe. Only $25 is needed to open the account. You also can get your direct deposit up to two days early with this account.
What to watch: Keeping an average balance of at least $2,500 or having at least $2,500 in direct deposits each month are two ways to ensure eligibility for the 1 percent cash back program.
Though this checking account earns interest, at least $100,000 is required to earn the top-tier APY. And $2,500 is required to earn any interest.
Pros and cons of online checking accounts
- Typically offer 24/7 account access
- Almost all banks will let you mobile-deposit checks
- Some banks provide transaction alerts, including a warning that you’re about to overdraw your account
- Many online checking accounts let you view bank statements and search transactions online
- An online bank without branches won’t be able to help you with in-person banking, including withdrawals
- Online banks lack some features, such as safe-deposit boxes, that are available at some branches
- With no branches or onsite ATMs, online banks can be less convenient if you need cash immediately
How to choose the best online bank
As with any purchase, researching and comparing online banks can help you make the best decision. Some things to consider are:
How you’ll be able to access your money:
- Does the account come with a debit or ATM card to withdraw money from an ATM?
- Does the account come with free checks or is there a fee for checks?
- Does the bank have branches or is it an online-only bank?
- Does the debit card earn rewards or cash back?
- Is the app or website easy to use and reliable?
- How can you transfer money to other accounts or people?
Look out for any fees, too. Bankrate’s 2022 checking account and ATM fee study found the monthly service fees for interest-bearing accounts is $16.19 and the monthly fee on non-interest checking accounts was $5.44. Even one fee can be costly, which is why finding an online bank that doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement or maintenance fee can be a good choice to save money. Brick-and-mortar banks may have direct deposit requirements on some accounts to avoid a monthly maintenance fee.
Online checking account FAQs
Make sure you’re banking with a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) bank or a National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit union. They are government-backed organizations. The FDIC insures both brick-and-mortar and online banks.
In some cases, an online bank may be a division of a traditional bank or the funds might be held under the FDIC insurance of a brick-and-mortar bank. Here are some examples:
- Bank5 Connect is a division of BankFive.
- BrioDirect is an online subsidiary of Webster Bank.
- CIT Bank is a division of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co.
- Citizens Access and Investors eAccess are divisions of Citizens Bank.
Online banks usually offer debit cards for their checking accounts but might not offer debit cards or ATM cards for savings accounts or money market accounts.
You can usually use debit cards to make purchases and withdraw money at an ATM. With a money market account or possibly a savings account, a debit card may only be able to withdraw money from an ATM.
Many online checking accounts feature debit or ATM cards for accessing money at an ATM. Knowing your bank’s ATM network, if it has one, can also save you money; in-network ATMs typically don’t charge a fee.
Methodology for Bankrate’s Best Checking Accounts
Bankrate’s editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is fact-checked to ensure accuracy. Our editorial and research teams analyzed more than 100 widely available financial institutions, made up of the biggest banks and credit unions, as well as a number of popular online banks.
To find the best checking accounts, Bankrate’s editorial team analyzed various factors, such as fees, minimum balance requirements and annual percentage yield (APY) offered. All of the checking accounts listed are insured (sometimes through partner banks) by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) at banks or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) at National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions.
Account minimums, monthly service fees and ATM charges are some important things to consider when choosing a checking account. It’s easy to find a checking account that doesn’t charge fees and has minimal balance requirements. Many online banks offer them, and they are a good fit for many consumers.
Choosing a bank or credit union that’s backed by the federal government will ensure your money is safe. Be sure to follow FDIC and NCUA limits and guidelines.
Bankrate’s editorial team chose the criteria, developed a scoring system to determine the best checking accounts, and used its knowledge of financial services and banking experience to choose the best ways to rate them.
Banks we monitor
These financial institutions are featured in our CD rate research: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amerant Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, Bask Bank, BB&T, BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union), Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Bread Financial (formerly Comenity Direct), BrioDirect, Capital One Bank, Chase Bank, CIBC USA, CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, Emigrant Direct, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First Internet Bank, First Technology Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, Golden 1 Credit Union, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, Huntington National Bank, Investors Bank, Investors eAccess, KeyBank, Limelight Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, MySavingsDirect, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, PenFed Credit Union, PNC Bank, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union, Suntrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank (California), U.S. Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank, VyStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.
Overview of the best banks of 2023. Best bank for savings accounts: Ally Bank. Best bank for checking accounts: Axos Bank. Best bank for credit cards: Capital One.What is the best bank 2023? ›
- TD Bank: Best for customer service.
- Regions Bank: Best for avoiding monthly fees.
- U.S. Bank: Best in-person bank for CDs.
- Chase Bank: Best for a large branch network.
- Axos Bank: Best for online account options.
- Capital One Bank: Best online checking account.
|Ally Bank Best Overall||None|
|Synchrony Bank Best for Savings||None|
|Capital One Best for College Students||None|
|Discover Best for Checking||None|
It currently has more than 4,700 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs. Chase has branches in all of the 48 contiguous United States and has more branches in the U.S. than any other bank.
The Lifestory Research 2022 America's Most Trusted® Bank Study found Chase the most trusted bank. The America's Most Trusted® Study is a large-scale survey of consumers in the United States that seeks to identify the brands that people trust the most within their respective industries.What is the easiest bank account to open online? ›
- Easiest account to open — Revolut.
- 2nd-easiest account to open — Chime.
- 3rd-easiest account to open — Capital One.
- 4th-easiest account to open — Current.
- 5th-easiest account to open — Wise.
- 6th-easiest account to open — Majority.
- FAQ about online banking.
- State Bank of India (SBI) Savings Account. 2.70% p.a.
- HDFC Bank Savings Account. 3.50% p.a.
- Kotak Mahindra Bank Savings Account. 3.50% p.a.
- DCB Bank Savings Account. 6.50% p.a.
- RBL Bank Savings Account. 6.00% p.a.
- IndusInd Bank Savings Account. 5.00% p.a.
- ICICI Savings Bank Account. 3.50% p.a.
The best checking accounts for March 2023
Best overall rate: Heritage Bank. Best for no/low fees: NBKC Bank. Best for members of the military and veterans: Navy Federal Credit Union. Best for mobile app and high-yield rate: Ally Bank.
- JPMorgan Chase.
- U.S. Bank.
- PNC Bank.
- Wells Fargo.
- Capital One.
- M&T Bank Corporation.
- FDIC Insurance. ...
- Lots of Fee-Free ATMs. ...
- High-Yield Savings Accounts. ...
- Multiple Banking Products. ...
- Helpful Financial Management Tools. ...
- Investment Help.
- BayVanguard Bank*
- Altamaha Bank.
- Androscoggin Bank*
- Axos Bank*
- Bank of America*
- Bank of Travelers Rest.
- Bank Independent*
On the whole, Bank of America and Chase charge similar fees for their accounts. Bank of America has a higher monthly fee for its savings account. However, most its checking accounts have much lower monthly fees. This is due to Chase's many checking accounts increasing in rewards levels, making the fees more expensive.Which bank has the highest customer satisfaction? ›
|First Hidden Column||Company||2021|
|1||Bank of America||76|
The bottom line: TD Bank makes it a bit easier to waive monthly service fees on its standard checking account than Chase. It has a lower minimum opening for CDs than Chase CDs. If you would like to open a traditional savings account, you could go with either bank since the accounts are very similar.How many bank accounts should I have? ›
Some experts suggest you should have four bank accounts -- two checking and two savings. You'll use one checking account to pay bills and the other for spending money. One savings account will be dedicated to your emergency fund and the other to miscellaneous goals.Which state has a Best bank in USA? ›
- Texas. This repeat win for Texas comes largely on the strength of both breadth and quality of banking choices in the state. ...
- 2. California. ...
- Illinois. ...
- Ohio. ...
- Florida. ...
- (tie) Kansas. ...
- (tie) New York. ...
United States: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo. United Kingdom: HSBC, Barclays. China: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Construction Bank. Japan: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.Why is Chase better than Wells Fargo? ›
With 4,000 more ATM locations than Wells Fargo, reduced fees and a wider variety of welcome bonuses, Chase is a better option for most customers.Which banks have the best reviews? ›
- Alliant Credit Union: Best credit union.
- Ally Bank: Best bank; best money market account.
- Capital One 360: Best online banking experience.
- Charles Schwab Bank: Best bank or credit union for ATM access.
- Chase: Best for sign-up bonuses and for branch access (tie).
- High-Yield Savings Account. Across the board, most of our experts agreed that a high-yield savings account is one of the best ways to keep your money safe. ...
- Certificate of Deposit (CD) ...
- Money Market Account. ...
- Treasury Securities.
Yes, you can open a bank account completely online, without ever going into a bank branch. With a completely online bank or account, you can also do all your account management online.Which bank can I open online without deposit? ›
- Ally Bank. Ally Bank is a high-interest option with unique online integrations such as mobile check deposits, money transfers by voice, and automated savings programs. ...
- Axos Bank. ...
- Capital One. ...
- Discover. ...
- Monorail. ...
- State Farm. ...
Online banks often offer higher interest rates on your savings products and high-interest checking accounts. Many also offer lower fees than brick and mortar banks. They can offer these benefits because their operational costs are lower. This makes them a smart place to stash savings such as an emergency fund.Is there a downside to opening multiple bank accounts? ›
Having multiple checking accounts could also mean more maintenance — and more fees — from the bank if you fall below the minimum balance requirements or inactivity thresholds. Be sure to stay on top of your finances to avoid paying any unnecessary fees or losing out on accruing interest.Is it worth opening multiple bank accounts? ›
Some banks offer better rates to current account holders, which may make it worth opening an account. Keep tabs on different income streams - if you have more than one job, or receive income from letting a property, it's often useful to keep your earnings in separate accounts.Should I open a checking account with another bank? ›
Having multiple bank accounts can be beneficial, but how many you decide to have depends on your situation and goals. At the very minimum, it's a good idea to have at least one checking and one savings account. Beyond that, consider your money management goals.Which bank has no monthly fee? ›
Ally Bank offers a checking account that doesn't have a monthly maintenance fee or a minimum opening deposit. It also pays 0.1 percent APY on balances less than $15,000 and 0.25 percent APY with a minimum daily balance of $15,000.Where is the safest place to open a bank account? ›
- SINGAPORE. ...
- CANADA. ...
- FRANCE. ...
- SWEDEN. ...
- NORWAY. ...
- NETHERLANDS. ...
- SWITZERLAND. ...
- GERMANY. Americans may be surprised to learn they can open offshore accounts in Germany (albeit at low-interest rates), which has topped the list of the world's safest banks.
Credit unions typically offer lower fees, higher savings rates, and a more personalized approach to customer service for their members. In addition, credit unions may offer lower interest rates on loans. It may also be easier to obtain a loan with a credit union than a larger bank.What is the biggest danger when online banking? ›
Some of the biggest security issues associated with online banking include malware or phishing scams to intercept or steal customers' personal and financial information. Online banking is safe. However, hackers are constantly at work, finding new ways to get around security measures.
Online banking is safe to use as long as the bank is federally insured. With the right security measures, online banks can offer competitive APYs, allowing you to get the most out of your money without having to put your financial security at risk.What is the easiest bank account to get? ›
- Chime. Chime1 is probably the easiest to join. ...
- TD Bank. To sign up with TD, users can go online and enter their basic information, including a driver's license number or state ID. ...
- United Bank. United Bank has the same requirements as TD. ...
- Synchrony. ...
- Chase Bank. ...
- Axos Bank. ...
- Ally. ...
- Wells Fargo.
How much does the average household have in savings?
|Average U.S. savings account balance|
Bankrate (opens in new tab) predicts the Federal Funds rate will increase to around 5-5.25 percent in 2023. As a result, savings rates are expected to rise as well, with more high-yield savings accounts predicted to peak at 5.5 APY in the middle of this year, and many already surpass 4%.What will interest be in 2023? ›
Markets now view it as probable that the Fed Funds rate reaches 5.25% to 5.50% in 2023.What will the average interest rate be in 2023? ›
Rates will keep rising in 2023
In December, the FOMC projected that the median Federal Funds Rate (FFR) in 2023 would be 4.6 percent. After the Federal Reserve pushed up rates twenty-five basis points, they currently stand between 4.25 and 4.75 percent.
The general rule of thumb is to have at least six months' worth of income saved by age 30. This may seem like a lot, but it's important to remember that life is unpredictable, and emergencies happen. If you lose your job or get sick, you'll be glad you have that savings cushion.Which bank gives 7% interest on savings account? ›
Jana Small Finance Banks
Jana Small Finance Bank offers interest rates between 4.50% to 7% on various amounts. The interest rates with the are provided below, effective as of November 15, 2022. Interest is based on the day-end balances in the savings account.
Current Refinance Rates for March 2023
30-year fixed: 7.17% 15-year fixed: 6.34% 30-year jumbo: 7.31%
The current Bank of America, N.A. prime rate is 7.75% (rate effective as of February 2, 2023).
Two-thirds of the economists polled by the WEF for its Chief Economists Outlook report said a global recession – a shrinking of the world's gross domestic product – was likely in 2023. Also in January, the World Bank warned the global economy was “perilously close to falling into recession”.Will us have a recession in 2023? ›
The bottom line
Signs point to a recession in 2023, not just in the U.S. but globally, though many experts remain hopeful it will not be too severe. This is good news for everyone, as it could mean fewer people lose their jobs, and household financial impacts will be mild.
The labor market is cooling down, putting less pressure on wages, while housing prices and new construction have both declined. Unfortunately, this slowdown in economic activity will likely come with a cost: According to Bloomberg's December 2022 survey of economists, there is a 70% chance of a recession in 2023.Will interest rates go down 2024? ›
The average interest rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage reached 7.08%, as of Monday. However, with the economy expected to cool and possibly dip into a recession, many recent forecasts expect rates to drop to 6% or below in 2024, including a Fannie Mae projection of 5.2%.Where are interest rates going in the next 5 years? ›
They provide insight into interest rate forecasts over 5 years. An interest rate forecast by Trading Economics, as of 2 March, predicted that the Fed Funds Rate could hit 5% in 2023, before falling back to 4.25% in 2024 and 3.25% in 2025.Should I lock my interest rate today? ›
If you want to avoid uncertainty and preserve the rate in your mortgage loan offer, get a mortgage interest rate lock. Interest rate locks can offer peace of mind to borrowers, but they are not foolproof—you could miss out on a lower interest rate after you lock and your loan might not close before the lock expires.What percentage of Americans have no savings? ›
An uncertain economy is affecting how Americans are able to save for emergencies. Nearly half (49 percent) of U.S. adults have less savings (39 percent) or no savings (10 percent) compared to a year ago, according to a new Bankrate survey.How much money does the average person keep in their bank account? ›
While the median bank account balance is $5,300, according to the latest SCF data, the average — or mean — balance is actually much higher, at $41,600.Where should I be financially at 35? ›
So to answer the question, we believe having one to one-and-a-half times your income saved for retirement by age 35 is a reasonable target. By age 50, you would be considered on track if you have three to six times your preretirement gross income saved.