Whether this is your first account ever or you’re looking to move your money to a new bank, knowing where to get the best checking account is a significant step in your financial journey. For many, this will be your highest traffic financial account where you deposit paychecks, withdraw money from ATMs, pay bills and spend on entertainment. It’s essential you choose the right bank or financial institution with the right option to handle your money.
|Provider||APY||Overdraft Protection||ATM Network||SimpleScore|
|Discover||0%||Auto-transfer from connected account||60,000 ATMs worldwide||3.8/5|
|Ally||0.10%–0.50%||Auto-transfer from connected account||43,000+ Allpoint® ATMs||4.6/5|
|N26||0%||None||55,000 Allpoint® ATMs||2.25/5|
|SoFi Money||0.20%||Automatically declines transaction||55,000 fee-free Allpoint® ATMs||3.75/5|
|Capital One 360||0.10%||Auto-decline, transfer from account and next-day grace||39,000 Capital One and AllPoint® ATMs||4.5/5|
|Betterment||0%||Auto-decline||All Visa-accepted ATMs||2.5/5|
A checking account is an account held with a financial institution that you can use for deposit and withdrawal transactions. Typically, checking accounts are designed for a high volume of transactions, rarely with limits on the number of deposits or withdrawals you can make. These accounts differ from savings accounts, which typically have higher APY rates but also limits on the number and types of transactions and transfers you can make.
All checking accounts have different features and perks to them. Some are interest-bearing, offer consumer protections, charge fees for usage or offer unique features. When trying to select the best free checking account for you, it’s important to understand your expected financial habits and then determine which account fits those best.
For example, let’s say you’re looking at the Ally free checking account that offers a higher APY rate for accounts over $15,000. If you’re not planning on keeping that much cash in your checking account in the future, Ally might not be the best fit. Understand where you are financially, how you plan to manage your money in the future and find the account that fits those parameters the best.
We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the checking accountss we recommend. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.
The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.
For every review, our editorial team:
Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best checking accounts of 2020.
To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.
However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare the savings account offered by Chase, it scores a 3.8 out of 5. However, when we compare the checking account offered by Chase with the checking account SimpleScore metrics, it scores a 4.4 out of 5. We change and tweak the methodologies for different categories based on industry standards to paint a complete picture of products and brands.
Have questions about our methodology?
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