Best Checking Accounts for  Online Banking

Conor Keenan Author Bio By: Conor Keenan  Last updated on March 13, 2024
Conor Keenan is compareaccounts.com's co-founder. His work in personal finance has been featured by MSN, CNN, AOL, Fox News, Yahoo News & many more.

Editorial Freedom: The opinions, reviews, or recommendations in our articles are solely our own & are not endorsed by any financial institution or partner. Thanks to commissions from partner offers, our site remains free. Content by our team is independent & not commissioned by any advertising partners or financial institutions herein.

Discover Bank Logo

Rating:

  • Checking Account
  • No. Fees. Period.
  • No Monthly Fee
  • No Insufficient Funds Fee
  • Fee-Free Overdraft Protection
  • Set Up Direct Deposit & Access Funds up to 2 Days Sooner with Early Pay
  • Access 60,000+ Fee-Free ATMs
  • Send Money with Zelle®
  • Debit Card Cashback – Earn 1% Cash Back on up to $3,000 in Debit Card Purchases Each Month
  • See Site for Details

On Discover Bank's Secure Site,
Member FDIC

 

Bank of America Logo

Rating:

  • Checking Account
  • Out of Network ATM Fee: $2.50 in US
  • Monthly Fee: $12 - Waived with Qualifying Activities
  • Overdraft Fee: $10 per item
  • International Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Check Image Service Fee: $3 per Statement
  • No ATM Fee Reimbursements
  • Option to Pay for Paper Checks
  • If You're Not Careful, This Checking Account's Fees Cost You More Than Its Worth

 Not Recommended 

Not Recommended. Shown For Comparison Purposes Only.

 High Cash Back Rate 

Upgrade Savings Account Logo

Rating:

  • Checking Account
  • Earn up 2% Cash Back on Common Everyday Purchases
  • 1% on All Other Purchases
  • Earn These Rewarding Cash Back Rates with Recurring Direct Deposits of $1,000+ per Month
  • No Monthly Fee
  • No Overdraft Fees
  • Set Up a Recurring Direct Deposit & Get Paid Up to 2 Days Early
  • U.S. Based Customer Service
  • Terms & Conditions Apply
  • See Site for Details

On Upgrade's Secure Site,
FDIC Insured

 

Cit Bank Logo

Rating:

  • Checking Account
  • Chip Enabled Debit Card
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Deposit Checks via Mobile App
  • Earn up to 0.25% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) with $25,000 Minimum Balance
  • Terms & Conditions Apply
  • See Site for Details

On CIT Bank's Secure Site,
Member FDIC

Wells Fargo Logo

Rating:

  • Checking Account
  • Min. Opening Deposit: $25
  • Monthly Fee: $25 - Waived with Minimum Monthly Balance of $20,000
  • Overdraft Fee: $35 per item, up to 3 Fees per Day
  • International Transaction Fee: 3%
  • 1 ATM Fee Reimbursements per period
  • Discount on Safety Deposit Box Rental
  • If You Want to Avoid Overdraft Fees, We Recommend a Different Checking Account

 Not Recommended 

Not Recommended. Shown For Comparison Purposes Only.

 $300 Bonus 

Chase Bank Logo

Rating:

  • Checking Account
  • Chip Enabled Debit Card
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and make direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 90 days of coupon enrollment.
  • Access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs & more than 4,700 branches
  • Deposit Checks via Mobile App
  • Send Money with Zelle®
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
  • Terms & Conditions Apply
  • See Site for Details

On Chase Bank's Secure Site,
Member FDIC

To recap our recommendations.

Best Checking Accounts According To CompareAccounts™

Discover® Bank Cashback Debit: Best for Online Banking Experience + Customer Service

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking Account: Best For Branch Access + Bonus

Chase Total Checking® Account: Best For Easy $300 Bonus

CIT Bank® eChecking Account: Best For ATM Rebates

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account: Best For Direct Deposit + Debit Card Cash Back Rates

Discover Bank Logo

Rating:

On Discover Bank's Secure Site,
Member FDIC

Best For: Online Banking Experience + Customer Service

Unleash the power of no-fee banking combined with rewards!

Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases monthly, all while protecting your money with comprehensive tools and features to prevent fraud, like the ability to freeze your debit card.

Discover Bank is one of the first online focused banks to offer no monthly fees and what they call "No. Fees. Period." That means you won’t pay a monthly fee, regardless of your monthly balance. You’ll enjoy fee-free overdraft protection, and you won’t pay a fee for insuffiecient funds.

Pair your free debit card with digital wallets like Apple Pay® to enjoy seemless transactions and gain access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.

Experience mobile-first banking with the Discover App, make quick transfers using Zelle®, find a nearby ATM, deposit checks and much more, all from your phone.

Best of all, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor for peace of mind. And remember, Discover has US-based customer service available 24/7.

See Discover Bank's Secure Site For More Details.

Cit Bank Logo

Rating:

On CIT Bank's Secure Site,
Member FDIC

Best For: ATM Rebates

CIT Bank has been helping customers for over 100 years. Founded in 1908, CIT Bank is now part of First Citizens BancShares, Inc.

CIT Bank's eChecking account offers 0.10% APY on balances under $25,000 and 0.25% APY for balances of $25,000+.

Minimum deposit required to open an account is $100. However, it does offer no monthly fees and no fees for online transfers.

CIT Bank does not have its own free ATM network. Because of this it offers up to $30 in other bank’s ATM fees reimbursed per month.

See CIT Bank's Secure Site For More Details.

 High Cash Back Rates 

Upgrade Savings Account Logo

Rating:

On Upgrade's Secure Site,
FDIC Insured

 

Best For: Direct Deposit + Debit Card Cash Back Rates

Upgrade was built from the ground up to deliver an excellent digital customer experience, evident in their top rated mobile app.

Upgrade currently offers up to 2% Cash Back on their Upgrade VISA® Debit Card for common everyday purchases and 1% cash back on everything else, with a current maximum of $500 in rewards per calendar year. Gain access to these rewarding cash back rates with recurring monthly direct deposits of $1,000+.

They offer this incredible debit card & checking account with no monthly fees, and no over draft fees.

You can even get paid up to 2 days early with a recurring direct deposit.

Upgrade is an incredible financial technology company, not a bank. Rewards checking plus accounts are provided by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC and serviced by Upgrade.

U.S. based customer service is available daily via phone or email. You can open a premier savings account with Upgrade in as little as 5 minutes to complete the sign-up process.

Deposits are insured through the FDIC for up to $250,000 per depositor and interest compounds daily.

Terms & conditions apply. See Upgrade's Secure Site For More Details.

 $300 Bonus 

Chase Bank Logo

Rating:

On Chase Bank's Secure Site,
Member FDIC

Best For: Easy $300 Bonus

Chase Bank is the largest bank in America and has been helping Americans make the most of their money for 100+ years.

New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and make direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 90 days of coupon enrollment.

This account does come with a monthly service fee of $12. However, you can avoid this fee with qualifying activities such as electronic deposits made into this account totaling $500 or more.

Chase has one of the best mobile apps available to handle all of your online banking needs. You can make easy transfers using Zelle®, find a nearby ATM, deposit checks and more from your device.

Open your account today and set up direct deposit to earn this bonus as soon as possible.

See Chase Bank's Secure Site For More Details.

Customers Also Viewed These High Yield Savings Accounts:

Discover Bank Logo

4.25% APY

Rating:

On Discover Bank's Secure Site,
Member FDIC

Best For: Online Banking Experience + No Fees

Discover Bank offers 4.25% APY with no monthly fees and $0 initial deposit.

Discover Bank is one of the first online focused banks to offer no monthly fees and what they call "No. Fees. Period."

Whereas other banks may charge you a fee for certain services, Discover won't charge you a fee on any of the following items: monthly maintenance, official bank check, expedited delivery for official bank checks, deposited item returned, stop payment order, insufficient funds, or for closing your account.

If you're looking for a competitive APY with "No. Fees. Period." this account is for you.

See Discover Bank's Secure Site For More Details.

4.25% APY

Rating:

On U.S. Bank National Association's
Secure Site, Member FDIC

Best For: Branch Access

U.S. Bank offers new Elite Money Market Account clients up to 4.25% APY with a $25,000 deposit. 

A minimum $100 initial deposit is required to open the account.

U.S. Bank has over 2,000 branch locations in more than half of U.S. states.

Deposits are insured through the FDIC for up to $250,000 per depositor and if you have any questions U.S. Bank offers "24-Hour Banking" meaning a customer service representative is available 24/7.

In order to earn the 4.25% APY, you must have a balance of $25,000 or more. If you're planning on depositing less than $25,000, we recommend choosing a different account.

Avoid maintence fees with an average daily balance of $10,000 or more.

See U.S. Bank's Secure Site For More Details.

 

What to Look for in a Checking Account

It’s always wise to compare your options when opening a new checking account.

Here are the top features to look for and compare:

1. Ease of Setting Up

Your checking account should be where you setup your direct deposit and where you pay bills from. Because of this, it needs to be easy to open an account, set up your direct deposit, and set up payees to pay bills.

All of the checking accounts we recommend have these features.

2. Monthly Fees

Monthly fees can eat into your paycheck fast. You should avoid them as much as possible. That’s why we recommend you focus on no monthly fee checking accounts to keep as much as your pay check as possible.

3. Required Initial Deposit

Does the bank require a large initial deposit? Are you comfortable depositing that much right away? These days, most banks will allow you to open an account with as little as $1 or even $0 dollars.

Some banks may offer a higher yield with a higher initial deposit. You’ll just need to decide whether that higher initial deposit will be worth any increase in yield.

4. Minimum Balance Required

Minimum balance required to maintain your account is another feature to keep a close eye on.

Most of the banks we recommend do not have large minimum balance requirements, if any minimum balance requirement at all.

The accounts we do recommend that have a higher minimum required balance are usually CD accounts, which you don’t want to open unless you want to lock up your money for 6 months, 12 months or longer.

5. Accessing Your Money

Accessing your money is very important with any checking account.

Almost all of the checking accounts we recommend come with a mobile app that gives you 24/7 access to your accounts.

Additionally, banks will issue a debit card for your checking account, that you can use physically, virtually, or contactless payments through your wallet app.

6. Transferring Your Money

As important as it is to access your accounts, you’ll likely need to transfer money in and out of your checking account often.

That’s why its important to pay attention to features like transfer or peer to peer payments with Zelle®.

7. Mobile Check Deposit

If you can’t set up direct deposit, or if sometimes you get paper checks having mobile check deposit will allow you to deposit checks into your account from anywhere.

Most checking accounts we recommend comes with mobile check deposit.

8. Overdraft Fees

Things happen. Sometimes we pay a bill or make a purchase that is more than the money in our accounts. Normally, this would incur an overdraft fee, usually these fees range betwen $25 – $50.

Most of the checking accounts we recommend do not have overdraft fees, because the last thing you need when you don’t have enough money in your account is another fee to pay.

With the above in mind, now you’re more confident to choose the right checking account for you.