4 Steps to Finding the Best Checking Account for You

A lot of people use a checking account daily, so it’s important to find the right account for you.

You’d think that would be a simple matter of waltzing into a bank and submitting an application. But actually, not all checking accounts are created equal. You need to find one that meets your needs. With that in mind, here are four steps to finding the best account for you.

Step One: Decide if you want an online account or one with a brick-and-mortar bank

Online banks are convenient since you can manage your account from your phone or laptop without having to leave the house. To be clear, you can usually access a checking account online with a brick-and-mortar bank. But online banks sometimes (though not always) have better interfaces than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. If you expect to mostly bank online, you may want to choose an online-only institution.

Also, you may decide to open a savings account and link it to your checking account at some point. Online banks tend to offer more favorable savings account interest rates because they don’t bear the same costs as physical banks. That could be a good reason to choose an online checking account.

Our Picks for the Best High-Yield Savings Accounts of 2024



Rate info

Circle with letter I in it.

See Capital One website for most up-to-date rates. Advertised Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is variable and accurate as of April 11, 2024. Rates are subject to change at any time before or after account opening.

Min. to earn




Rate info

Circle with letter I in it.

4.25% annual percentage yield as of July 3, 2024

Min. to earn


Min. to earn


However, brick-and-mortar banks offer the benefit of face-to-face interactions. If that’s important to you, then a physical bank could be a better choice for your next checking account.

Step Two: Decide which features are most important to you

Checking account features like debit cards and ATM access are pretty standard. But what about overdraft protection? That may not be something every account offers. Dig around to see which features different accounts offer, and read up on them so you know what they entail. 

Step Three: Consider fees

Many checking accounts charge a maintenance fee if you don’t meet a minimum deposit requirement. It’s important to compare your options here, because if a given account imposes a minimum that’s hard for you to meet, you could be looking at a monthly fee that eats away at your hard-earned money.

There’s no such thing as a standard minimum deposit requirement, either. For one bank, it may be $50. For another, it may be $100. 

Some checking accounts also waive that minimum deposit requirement if you’re linked to a savings account with a certain balance. Take a look at different options and make your choice based on a reasonable minimum for you. 

Of course, maintenance fees aren’t the only way you might be charged for having a checking account. You might also face fees for wire transfers, using ATMs at other banks, and more. Look into the fee aspect carefully before applying. 

Step Four: See if there are any bonuses available

Just as it’s common for credit cards to offer a sign-up bonus when you open an account, some checking accounts offer a welcome bonus. It’s a good idea to shop around for these offers, since they basically mean free money in your pocket. Keep in mind, though, that to snag a checking account bonus, you’ll generally need to meet a minimum deposit requirement, similar to how you have to spend a certain amount on a credit card to get the welcome offer. 

You don’t want to open a checking account on a whim. Take the time to research your options so you’re more likely to wind up happy with your choice.

These savings accounts are FDIC insured and could earn you 11x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts could earn you 11x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class accounts that landed a spot on our short list of the best savings accounts for 2024.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top