The 10 Best Checking and Savings Accounts for Your Money

best checking and savings accounts

Everyone needs a place to keep their money.

But with so many banking options available, it can be difficult to decide where to keep your cash. And with online banking, it’s even more confusing. You can open a bank account anywhere, providing you with access to dozens of choices all over the country.

While it may seem like a daunting task, the fact that you have so many options means that you can find the best checking and savings accounts for you.

What to look for in a bank account

When you open a bank account, you want to know that your money is protected. One of the first things to look for is FDIC insurance. The FDIC guarantees up to $250,000 of your money in the event that the bank fails. No matter what you are looking for in a bank, make sure your deposits are FDIC insured.

If you decide to open an account at a credit union, check that it carries NCUA insurance.

You should also pay attention to the fees charged by banks. Some may charge monthly maintenance fees, which will eat away at your savings over time. Others are willing to waive or refund ATM fees — even when you use another bank’s machine. Read the fine print and see what banking with a given institution will cost you.

If you’re interested in maximizing the interest your money will earn, look at the yield offered by the bank. Even high-yield bank accounts often offer relatively low yields, but every little bit counts. You can sometimes find higher yields when you open a bank account online than in a brick and mortar location.

Finally, check the available offerings. Does the bank provide the products and services you need? Think about how you want to use your account. Whether you’re looking for an account to stash your emergency fund, a place to keep your checking account, or are ready to take on a mortgage, look at the services offered make sure they fit your needs.

10 best bank accounts

1. Aspiration

  • Types of accounts: High-yield checking
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0 (includes overseas ATMs)
  • Overdraft fee: $25
  • FDIC insured
  • Donates 10% of revenue to charity
  • Debit card
  • Mobile banking app
Bank with Aspiration

2. Ally

  • Types of accounts: Interest-bearing checking, savings, CDs, and other banking services
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0 at Allpoint ATMs, plus $10 a month reimbursement for other ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $25
  • FDIC insured
  • Compatible with PopMoney
  • Debit card
  • Mobile banking app
Bank with Ally

3. Alliant

  • Types of accounts: Interest-bearing checking, savings, credit cards, and other banking services
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0 (checking), $5 (savings)
  • Account minimum: $0 (checking), $5 (savings)
  • Monthly service fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0 at in-network ATMs, plus $20 a month reimbursement for other ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $25
  • NCUA insured
  • Debit card
  • Mobile banking app
  • Must be a member of a qualifying company or organization or make a donation to Foster Care to Success to qualify
Bank with Alliant

4. Chase

  • Types of accounts: Interest-bearing checking, savings, credit cards, CDs, and other banking services
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $5 to $35, waived if you meet balance or direct deposit requirements
  • ATM fees: $0 at Chase ATMs, $2.50 at other ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $34
  • FDIC insured
  • Frequently offers cash bonuses for opening new accounts
  • Debit card
  • Mobile banking app
Bank with Chase

5. Simple

  • Types of accounts: Checking
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0 at STARsf ATMs. No fees charged by Simple elsewhere, but you may have to pay fees charged by the ATM operator
  • Overdraft fee: Not applicable, Simple rejects transactions you don’t have the funds for
  • FDIC insured
  • Keeps you updated on what’s safe to spend by tracking bills and account balance
  • Set up an “envelopes” system for different financial goals
  • Debit card
  • Bill pay
  • Mobile banking app
Bank with Simple

6. Digit

  • Types of accounts: Savings
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $2.99
  • FDIC insured
  • App links to your existing checking account, analyzes your spending, and automatically transfers small amounts of money into your Digit savings account
  • Guarantees transfers won’t overdraw your account
  • Text simple commands to the app to check your balance and transfer your money
Bank with Digit

7. Charles Schwab

  • Types of accounts: Checking
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0 at Schwab Bank ATMs, unlimited fee rebates at ATMs worldwide
  • Overdraft fee: $0, funds should be transferred from linked source
  • FDIC insured
  • Debit card
  • Bill pay
  • Mobile banking app
  • Possible to link to your Schwab brokerage account
Bank with Charles Schwab

8. Goldman Sachs

  • Types of accounts: Savings
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0
  • FDIC insured
  • No-frills account
  • No mobile app
Bank with Goldman Sachs

9. Synchrony

  • Types of accounts: Money market checking, savings, CDs, and credit cards
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0 (checking), $30 (savings)
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $5, waived if you keep a balance of $30
  • ATM fees: $0 at Synchrony Bank ATMs, $5 monthly rebate for other ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $0
  • FDIC insured
  • Loyalty perks include hotel and rental car discounts
  • Debit card
  • Mobile banking app
Bank with Synchrony

10. Barclays

  • Types of accounts: Savings and CDs
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0
  • FDIC insured
  • Mobile banking app
Bank with Barclays

Do you need a bank account?

In general, consumers should have at least a checking account and a savings account. You can open a bank account online, from the comfort of your home, and start managing your money almost immediately.

Checking account

A checking account is used for everyday transactions. You usually don’t have a limit on how many times you can withdraw from your account each month. It’s a good idea to set your account up with direct deposit from your employer so your paycheck automatically arrives in your account. Plus, you can use a debit card to easily make purchases or get cash from an ATM.

Savings account

A savings account, on the other hand, is a deposit account meant for you to accumulate funds. It’s important to note that savings accounts often have a limit on the withdrawals you can make each month.

Depending on the bank you choose, it’s possible to link your savings account to your checking account. This makes it easy to automatically transfer money into a savings account to build your emergency fund. You can also sometimes link a savings account so that money is automatically transferred into your checking account if you overdraft your account.

Other banking services

Depending on your needs, you might want additional services. This can include getting credit cards or opening CDs in the hopes of receiving higher yields on your money.

Keep in mind, you might not find the best checking and savings accounts at the same bank. If you like one bank’s checking account, but prefer to keep your emergency fund in an unconnected savings account, that’s not a problem. You can open accounts at various banks or credit unions in a way that offers you the maximum benefit.

No matter where you decide to open a bank account, the important thing is that you have a plan for your money. Research the different banks and credit unions to help you decide which accounts will work best for you — and your money.

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