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Best Checking Accounts

Once upon a time, checking accounts were the simplest type of bank account. They were no-frills affairs, designed for keeping your money safe but easily accessible with a check or withdrawal. Now, with all the financial institutions competing for your money, checking accounts have become specialized, each coming with a set of perks that are meant to set it apart from the pack and draw your attention. If you’re unsure which one is most suited to your lifestyle, we’ve broken down a few of the best checking account options out there.

Find out now: Which checking account is best for me?

Using SmartAsset’s compare checking accounts tool, we’ve ranked checking accounts by how efficient they are with your money – how low their fees are and the amount of interest they earn you, if any. The fees charged include monthly maintenance, ATM withdrawal, overdraft, stop payment, paper account statements and replacement of debit cards. Here’s our top ten list:

Ally Interest Checking

Ally Bank’s account has the highest potential interest among these checking accounts – it starts earning at a rate of 0.1 percent, which jumps to 0.6 percent as soon as you have $15,000 or more in your account. This is the principal draw of the account, which also boasts 22,000 free ATMs for use nationwide. Users should be aware of the $9 overdraft fee and the $15 stop payment fee.

Capital One 360

This checking account has no overdraft fees and no foreign transaction fees. When you sign up for a new account, you get a $50 cash reward. The account also earns interest at the third highest rate, 0.2 percent. However, there is a hefty $25 stop payment fee for a mistaken transaction.

Best Checking Accounts

Simple Checking

Simple’s appeal rides on the convenience of its robust online and mobile app based banking platforms. This checking account doesn’t charge for monthly maintenance or overdrafts and doesn’t carry a minimum balance. It does have a large network of ATMs and accounts earn a small amount of interest at 0.01 percent. You will have to pay a fee if you want to receive paper statements or replace a debit card.

Related Article: How to Break Up With Your Bank in Four Easy Steps

Nationwide E-Checking

Nationwide’s interest rate is the second-highest, and the highest at a minimum deposit, at 0.3 percent all the time. However, it charges some users an $8 maintenance fee, and does not have free ATM use or debit card replacement.

US Bank Premium Checking

Despite the heavy fees – $10.95 a month and $36 for overdrafts – US Bank’s Premium Checking account may have the most convenient ATM use. All ATM fees, even those out of network, are waived. This account also earns 0.01 percent interest.

Best Checking Accounts

Citi Basic Checking

This account has no minimum requirements, but charges $10 a month in maintenance fees, $34 for overdrafts and has one of the highest ATM fees at $2.50 per transaction.

US Bank Easy Checking

This account assesses $6.95 a month in maintenance fees, and $2.50 for each ATM transaction. It also has the heftiest overdraft fee at $36.

Related Article: The Top Ten Banks in America

Bank of Internet USA Rewards Checking

This type of checking account has no ATM fees, and a variable interest rate based on a large set of conditions. However, it also charges $10 each for overdrafts, paper statements and debit card replacement.

Chase Total Checking

Chase Total Checking accounts have relatively high fees all around, at $12 a month for maintenance, $2 for each ATM transaction and $34 for overdrafts. You can have the maintenance fee waived if you meet certain requirements like keeping a combined average daily balance of $5,000+ in linked deposits accounts or having $1,500 of minimum daily balance in this account.

Photo Credit: © iStock.com/dardespot, © iStock.com/Elenathewise, © iStock.com/skynesher

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Alex Silady Alex is a graduate of New York University's journalism school. He has penned and edited articles, features, and videos for news, politics, and entertainment websites, both in the US and abroad. His specialties are archival research and the history of finance. Alex's hobbies include video games, especially RPGs, and following NHL hockey.

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