Checking accounts are one of the most standard bank accounts to have. With a checking account, you can easily keep track of your transactions, usually without any fancy bells or whistles. Even if you don’t use any paper checks, a checking account is viewed as a necessity for a personal and business accounts. However, you should also be careful to not overspend with a checking account.
Checking accounts have a variety of features, but accumulating interest like savings accounts isn’t one of them. Some of these features include being able to deposit and withdraw funds. There’s also overdraft protection available which will stop a transaction from exceeding the amount of money in your account. With wide-spread internet access and smartphones, you can use online and mobile banking to make financial transactions as painless as possible.
If you’re interested in opening a checking account but are unsure of where to start, this guide, breaking down the checking account features of different banks, will serve you well.
For nearly a century, Ally has been a reliable bank for customers and their finances. They offer basic banking, along with financing for vehicles, homes, and businesses. Additionally, there are no fees, such as a monthly maintenance fee, associated with Ally.
Ally offers various standard checking account features. You can make deposits easily, whether it’s at a bank, or through their depositing app, which lets you deposit checks using a photo. In conjunction with Zelle, you can use Ally to send money to other United States bank accounts. Should you encounter any problems or have questions you need resolving, they offer 24/7 customer service.
- 24/7 Customer Service
- EMV Chip Technology
- Easy Deposits
- Cannot deposit cash in ATM
- Increased overdraft fees
- Holds on check deposits
Chase offers checking accounts for a variety of clients, including high school and college students. You can use a Chase account to gain access to all kinds of perks. Chase checking accounts are multifaceted and full of perks. New customers may receive a bonus $150-300 deposited in their account, depending on what perks they sign up for. You can also deposit checks through your mobile device, get updates via text, and receive fraud monitoring alerts regarding any suspicious activity that may occur.
There is a $12 monthly maintenance fee, which is waived for those earning more than $500 in deposits each month.
- Easy Deposits
- Fraud Monitoring
- Paperless Statements
- Certain accounts require a minimum balance
- Inconsistent app quality
Capital One is a popular choice among many account holders for a few good reasons. Namely, this bank has no fees and no minimums for keeping your account open. You can also gain interest on your money with no specified minimum income. There are options for overdraft usage, including protection which stops transactions that could put you into the red and grace periods that let you make a purchase, provided you can remedy it before a $35 penalty fee.
- Mobile banking
- Various overdraft options
- Strong interest rates
- Most banking needs to be done online
- Large fees for overdraft usage
This bank offer all kinds of options for checking accounts, including ones that are suitable for people just getting started and those who are looking to switching over. KeyBank offers multiple variations on the standard checking accounts. The most basic is the Hassle-Free Account, which has no monthly maintenance fee. Other accounts have maintenance fees which range between $5 and $50. However, these can be waived provided they meet the deposit requirements. There’s also easy payment through debit cards and online bill paying. All accounts offer mobile banking and deposits, but only some accumulate interest.
- Plenty of account options
- Mobile banking
- Free checks for certain accounts
- Certain accounts are more restricted than others
- Monthly maintenance fees
Toronto-Dominion Bank offers three personal checking accounts: Convenience, Premier, and Simple. The Convenience and Premier accounts offer bonus incentives for customers who keep their account above a certain balance. The Simple account has a monthly maintenance fee for $5.99, which cannot be waived. The Convenience account has a $15 fee which is waived with a $100 daily balance. The Premier account has a $25 fee which is waived with a $2,500 daily balance.
- Lots of account choices
- Low minimum requirements to waive fees
- Cash incentives
- Non-waivable maintenance fee
- No interest accumulated on Simple and Convenience accounts
Bank of America
Ranked as the second largest U.S. bank according to its assets, Bank of America offers two primary types of checking accounts for consumers. The checking accounts are designed for students and adults.
The bank’s Core Checking account has a minimum opening deposit requirement of $25. It has a $12 monthly fee that is waivable for high school and college students who are under the age of 24. People who have qualifying minimum direct deposits of at least $250 are also able to have their monthly fees waived. Those who have an average daily balance of $1,500 also are able to avoid the monthly fees.
The bank also offers the Interest Checking account option. This account earns interest and requires a minimum opening deposit of $100. The monthly fee for this account is $25. People can avoid paying the fee if they have an average of $10,000 during a statement cycle in their checking accounts combined with their other linked Bank of America accounts such as savings or IRAs.
- Core Checking has a low minimum deposit
- Ability of students to waive their monthly checking fees
- Ability to access the accounts at thousands of ATMs
- High average balance requirements to waive fees for the Interest Checking account
- Interest doesn’t accumulate in Core Checking accounts
Wells Fargo has offered banking services to its customers for more than 100 years. The bank offers a variety of different types of checking accounts that are geared to meet the needs of different people.
Wells Fargo has an Opportunity Checking account that is designed for people who have trouble getting checking accounts because of their problematic credit histories. This account has a $10 monthly fee and comes with a debit card, online Bill Pay, and checks. It requires a minimum opening deposit of $25 and offers several ways to avoid paying the monthly fee.
Wells Fargo also offers its Everyday Checking account, which also has a minimum opening deposit of $25 and monthly fees of $10 that are waivable. People who are college students between the ages of 17 and 24 receive $5 discounts on the monthly fees and are able to waive them completely by linking their Wells Fargo debit cards.
Wells Fargo’s Preferred Checking has a $15 per month fee and earns interest. The monthly fee can be waived if you also have a linked Wells Fargo mortgage.
Finally, the bank offers a checking account for teens between the ages of 13 and 17 called the Teen Checking account. This account has a monthly fee of $3 that can be waived if you choose to receive your bank statements online only. Overdraft fees for Wells Fargo accounts are $35.
- Variety of different account options
- Availability of Teen Checking for young people
- Fees are easily waived
- No interest accumulates on balances in Teen Checking, Everyday Checking or Opportunity Checking accounts
- High overdraft fees
When you look for a checking account, you want to make sure you understand everything as thoroughly as possible. Be aware of minimum balance requirements, maintenance fees, and any other essential features. By following these tips, you can make sure that you have a positive experience when it comes to your checking account.