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Best checking accounts for May 2024

Updated May 14, 2024

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Checking accounts are great for money that you need to spend. Checking accounts generally offer checks and have unlimited transactions, but there are exceptions.

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Banks with the best checking accounts for May 2024

Note: Annual percentage yields (APYs) shown are as of May 13. All other information is current as of May 14. Bankrate's editorial team validates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products. Bankrate includes only FDIC banks or NCUA credit unions in its listings.

Morgan Stanley Private Bank Checking & Max-Rate Checking

e-trade
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
4.2

Overview

Morgan Stanley Private Bank offers a pair of checking accounts for people who’d like to earn interest on their checking. Neither Checking nor Max-Rate Checking accounts require a minimum deposit to open. Morgan Stanley closed its acquisition of E*Trade in October 2020 to become Morgan Stanley Private Bank.

Invest Rate
1.50% APY (Checking); 3.00% APY (Max-Rate Checking)
Loan
$0 minimum balance to open either account

Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking account

Bank 5 Connect logo
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
4.5

Overview

Bank5 Connect is a division of BankFive, which has 17 locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Bank5 Connect is an online-only bank.

Invest Rate
2.70% APY
Loan
$10 minimum balance to open

Heritage Bank eCentive checking account

Heritage Bank Logo
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
3.8

Overview

Heritage Bank is based in Spicer, Minnesota, and is known for its eCentive Checking Account. The eCentive checking account offers a competitive yield on balances up to $100,000. But you’ll need to earn that competitive APY by receiving electronic statements, having an automated payment or direct deposit each month and making at least $500 worth of monthly debit card purchases.

Invest Rate
0.05%-2.02% APY
Loan
$100 minimum balance to open

NBKC Bank Everything Account

NBKC Bank Logo
Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5
3.9

Overview

NBKC Bank is known for offering a competitive checking yield on all balances. It also doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit on its Everything Account. The account has ATM access and is a part of the MoneyPass network. That means customers have access to more than 37,000 fee-free ATMs.

Invest Rate
1.75% APY
Loan
$0 minimum balance to open

EverBank Yield Pledge Checking

EverBank Logo
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
4.8

Overview

EverBank, formerly TIAA Bank, is known for its Yield Pledge accounts which, it says, guarantees high-yielding APYs. TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Checking account is one account that offers a competitive yield. You don’t need a minimum opening deposit for this account. It also rewards you for depositing more with tiered yields based on your balance.

Its Yield Pledge Checking account offers the same APY on every balance. The Yield Pledge Checking account doesn’t have a monthly fee, and it reimburses up to $15 worth of ATM fees per month for everyone and provides unlimited fee reimbursement for those with at least $5,000 in the account. You only need $100 to open this account.

Invest Rate
0.45% APY
Loan
$100 minimum balance to open

Navy Federal Credit Union Logo
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
4.1

Overview

Serving millions of military members and their families, Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union. It’s a good fit for anyone looking for a credit union who qualifies to be a member. It has around 350 branches worldwide, and Navy Federal’s Active Duty Checking account holders can have as much as $20 per statement cycle of ATM fees reimbursed.

Invest Rate
0.35%-0.45% APY
Loan
$0 minimum balance to open

Ally Bank Interest Checking account

Ally Bank logo
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
4.8

Overview

Ally Bank launched in 2009 as a one-stop shop for online-only banking customers from coast to coast. It is known as an online bank that has nearly every type of account and offers a competitive yield. Ally Bank’s interest checking offers interest on all balances. You’ll need at least a $15,000 balance to earn the bank’s top checking yield.

Invest Rate
0.10%-0.25% APY
Loan
$0 minimum balance to open

LendingClub Bank Rewards Checking

LendingClub Logo
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
4.6

Overview

LendingClub Bank is an FDIC-insured online bank known for its Rewards Checking account that earns cash back and interest and also offers ATM fee reimbursement. On the savings side, LendingClub has competitive yields on its savings account and CDs. The bank acquired Radius Bank in February 2021.

It's a solid option for consumers looking for an online bank that offers competitive yields, low fees and ample ATM access.

Invest Rate
0.10%-0.15% APY
Loan
$25 minimum balance to open

Capital One 360 Checking

Capital One Logo
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7

Overview

Capital One Bank is ideal for consumers looking for a full-service bank with a wide network of no-fee ATMs and access to branches in select states. It offers most of the accounts that people need. The 360 Checking Account has early direct deposit available, the ability to deposit cash at any CVS store, it earns a little interest and it doesn’t have a monthly service fee.

Invest Rate
0.10% APY
Loan
$0 minimum balance to open

Chase Bank Total Checking and College Checking (pay no interest); Premier Plus Checking and Sapphire Checking

Chase Bank Logo
Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
3.4

Overview

With a massive branch network and breadth of product offerings, Chase is often viewed as the country's signature banking institution. Chase is an option to consider if you live near its branches and ATMs. Its checking and savings yields are generally very low. Chase is known for having checking account bonuses for new customers, and electronic deposits of at least $500 per month can waive the monthly service fee on the Total Checking account.

Invest Rate
0%-0.01% APY
Loan
Minimum balance varies by location

Bankrate's expertise

Bankrate’s trusted industry knowledge

Our banking editorial team regularly evaluates data from more than a hundred of the top financial institutions across a range of categories (brick-and-mortar banks, online banks, credit unions and more) to help you find the options that work best for you.

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In the news

Savers are still benefiting from the Federal Reserve’s 11 rate increases since 2022. The Fed left rates unchanged for the sixth straight meeting on May 1.

Generally, you’re going to find the most competitive yields at FDIC-insured online banks in savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs.

The current rate environment is great for savers because top savings yields are outpacing inflation, but it also means credit card rates are typically high. According to Bankrate’s May 8 survey, the average credit card rate is near a record high at 20.66 percent.

Why should you open a checking account?

Like savings and money market accounts, federally insured checking accounts are insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, depending on whether your account is at a bank or credit union.

Because of their accessibility and safety, checking accounts make for a good financial hub. These versatile accounts can be used to pay bills, make purchases and receive deposits. Checking accounts can simplify your financial life. For example, you can set up your checking account to receive automatic deposits from your employer and make automatic withdrawals to pay your bills. Mobile apps enable you to make payments, transfer money and review your transaction history whether you’re at home or on the go.

Requirements to open a checking account

Checking accounts typically have some general requirements, and you’ll need to meet them in order to open an account.

Identification
Most banks and credit unions require two forms of identification to open an account. A Social Security card, passport, state ID or driver's license are the most commonly required documents.
Minimum deposit
The minimum deposit to open a checking account is typically around $25 or more, although there are some accounts that allow for less.
Address
You'll need to provide proof of address when opening an account. Utility bills, lease agreements and insurance cards can work well.
Age
It may be difficult to get a checking account under age 18. That said, opening a teen account, a joint account or a custodial account can be an option for minors.

What to look for in a checking account

What to know about checking account fees

Using a checking account can be expensive. The good news is you can find checking accounts that don't charge monthly maintenance fees as well as make it easy to avoid other common tolls. Here's what you need to know.

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Pros and cons of checking accounts

Checking accounts can be a good place for your money. But in some cases, there are better alternatives. 

Here are some pros and cons that comes with having a checking account:

Pros

  • Checkmark

    It’s an easy way to pay bills and make everyday purchases.

  • Checkmark

    Many employers and service providers offer direct deposit that goes directly into your checking account.

  • Checkmark

    Your money is protected in an FDIC-insured bank as long as your balances are within FDIC limits and guidelines.

  • Checkmark

    You can generally write checks or access your money from an ATM.

  • Checkmark

    A checking account will allow you to send and receive money through Venmo or Zelle.

Cons

  • Some checking accounts charge fees for things such as not meeting a minimum balance.

  • Though some checking accounts earn a competitive yield, many earn little or no interest.

Checking account FAQs

Research methodology

Bankrate’s editorial team is made up of five banking experts. These experts have researched numerous banks and at least twice a month review bank websites to make sure readers stay up to date on the latest rates and bank products.

We select banks that have high annual percentage yields, or APYs, and that are popular and broadly available, including some of the largest banks.

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Types of checking accounts

Learn about the most-widely available checking account types to decide which is best for you.

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Steps to open a bank account

Know what to expect and what to look out for when opening a checking account online.

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Bank ratings and reviews

Read Bankrate's expert reviews before deciding where to deposit your money.