What are the best checking accounts for 2021? And do I even really need one?
To answer that second question — Yes! In a world that is growing increasingly paperless, opening a checking account is one of the most responsible decisions you can make. Keeping your money with a bank gives you so many benefits, like the ability to shop with a debit card and to make digital payments. Plus, while you won’t see your money grow as fast as you would with a savings account, some do provide a small amount of interest.
As for which are the best checking accounts for 2021, check out Savetastic’s quick list, which shows the best checking accounts ranked by user experience.
Below are some more of our top picks in 2021, with quick links at the bottom of the post.
Kabbage Small Business Checking Account
If you’re looking for an account to help your small business, Kabbage Checking is a powerhouse — the first to be offered by American Express. They offer a 1.1% APY (a crazy amount for a checking account) on balances up to $100,000, mobile check deposits and cash deposits at over 90K participating retailers nationwide. There are also no monthly fees, no maintenance fees, no minimum balance requirements, free in-network ATM access, debit cards, checks, bill pay and the Kabbage app! Learn more or apply here.
Looking for personal checking accounts? Keep reading.
Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking
This is an excellent choice if you are just opening a banking account for the first time. The Free Rewards Checking account does not require a monthly fee or a minimum account balance. But an even bigger benefit of storing your money with Consumers Credit Union is its high APY. That stands for Annual Percentage Yield and refers to the amount of interest you will make on money you keep in the account.
The Free Reward Checking account offers APY rates of between 0.1% and 4.09%, which are some of the highest yields available.
Capital One 360 Checking Account
The big draw of the Capital One 360 Account is its lack of fees. You won’t have to pay a monthly fee, an ATM withdrawal fee or even a foreign-transaction fee, which makes this is a great choice if you plan to travel internationally. It also offers 0.10% APY on high balances, which is generous, though not as steep as the Consumers Credit Union account described above.
Capital One also offers one of the easiest, user-friendly sign up systems and apps.
Charles Schwab High-Yield Investor Checking
The hook when you open a checking account with Charles Schwab is you’ll automatically receive a separate Brokerage Account. That means the bank provides a way for you to invest some of your money. But if that sounds like more than you’re looking for, don’t be deterred. The checking account offers a host of other benefits, including no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. But what really sets this account apart from others is the access it gives you to ATMs around the world. Charles Schwab charges no foreign transaction fee and will reimburse you for using any ATM outside the country.
PNC Virtual Wallet
PNC is an excellent choice for a first bank account because it’s designed to teach you about managing your money. Features include Money Bar, which shows you where you spend as well as Spending Zone, which helps you meet goals by adjusting spending patterns. While its Virtual Wallet does not reimburse all ATM surcharges, you do get free ATM access at over 18,000 machines nationwide. Unfortunately, you will have to pay a $7 monthly fee for keeping a balance below $500.
All rates noted here are subject to change at any time.