Best Checking Accounts of 2017 - NerdWallet
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NerdWallet's Best Checking Accounts of 2017

Competitive interest rates and low (or zero) fees make these checking accounts stand out from the rest.

By Tony Armstrong
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 accounts
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Interest Checking Account
Our overall rating
Learn moreat Ally Bank
Monthly fee
None
APY
0.10%
With $1 minimum balance
Why we like it
No monthly fee
10,000+ ATMs
Live help 24/7
Along with a competitive interest rate and access to over 43,000 free ATMs, users of Ally's Interest Checking account enjoy excellent customer service. The online-only bank keeps its call center staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers a live chat service with wait times rarely exceeding a couple of minutes. Customers can reach out on Facebook and Twitter for additional support. If you're looking to bank online but would like your questions answered by an actual person every so often, Ally might be for you.
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Chase Total Checking®
Our overall rating
Learn moreat Chase
Monthly fee
$12
Waived with direct deposit or $1500 minimum balance
Sign-up bonus
$200
Requirements to qualify
Why we like it
10,000+ ATMs
2,000+ branches
Live help 24/7
Sign-up bonus
Chase offers new customers who set up direct deposit a "welcome bonus" of $200 (expires 4/16/2017). You can avoid a $12 monthly maintenance fee by signing up for direct deposit or keeping a minimum balance of $1,500.

Bonus aside, this account is a winner for people who prefer a big-bank experience. with about 5,200 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs, and the option of having multiple types of accounts at one place. We don't recommend choosing your primary checking account based solely on a sign-up bonus. But if you like the account and its features anyway, why not get a little something extra?
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360 Checking
Our overall rating
Monthly fee
None
APY
0.20%
With $1 minimum balance
Why we like it
No monthly fee
10,000+ ATMs
Mobile-friendly
Low overdraft fee
This Capital One checking account comes with all the gizmos you'd expect from an online bank, and its APY of 0.20% for balances under $50,000 is nothing to sneer at. But where this account really separates itself from the pack is its overdraft policy. Instead of hitting customers with a flat fee, Capital One charges interest at an 11.50% annual rate on the overdrawn amount. That means that if you try to make a purchase that exceeds your balance by $50 and it takes you a week to replenish your account, you'll have to cough up only 11 cents in fees. That's a remarkably forgiving policy, especially when compared with overdraft fees at other banks.

Your other options are simply having the bank decline to pay charges that you don't have enough cash to cover or to use a 360 Savings account to cover overdrafts for free. If overdrawing your account has gotten you into trouble in the past, consider opening an account at Capital One.
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Free High-Rate Checking
Our overall rating
Monthly fee
None
APY
0.65%
With $1 minimum balance
Why we like it
No monthly fee
ATM reimbursements
10,000+ ATMs
Live help 24/7
Alliant's digital tools are a step ahead of those offered by other credit unions. Its mobile check-deposit feature, for instance, lets you make daily deposits of up to $50,000. What's more, you can qualify for an APY of 0.65% by opting out of paper statements and having at least one electronic deposit made to your accounts each month, which includes direct, ATM and mobile deposits, as well as transfers from other financial institutions.

Becoming a member is just as easy: All it takes is a one-time donation of $10 to an Alliant-affiliated nonprofit. For that you also get access to more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs and a minimum of fees.
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Xtraordinary Checking
Our overall rating
Learn moreat Connexus Credit Union
Monthly fee
None
APY
1.75%
With $1 minimum balance
Why we like it
No monthly fee
ATM reimbursements
10,000+ ATMs
Competitive APY
Along with a solid lineup of online tools and over 50,000 free ATMs, the Connexus Xtraordinary Checking account offers an APY of 1.75% on balances under $25,000.

To qualify for this rate, you must enroll in electronic statements and do the following each month: make 15 debit card transactions, receive at least one direct deposit, and schedule at least one online bill payment. Connexus also offers a basic checking account if you can't or don't want to meet those requirements. If you don't live within this credit union's field of membership, a one-time donation of $5 to Connexus Association will get you in the door.
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Mobile Banking
Our overall rating
Monthly fee
None
Why we like it
No monthly fee
10,000+ ATMs
Mobile-friendly
Low overdraft fees
Like checking accounts at most banks and credit unions, Simple lets you sign up for direct deposit, pay your bills online and more. But what makes this account stand out is its handy budgeting tool, Safe-to-Spend. It factors in your monthly bills and savings goals to show how much you can afford to spend on nonessential expenses without getting into a hole. Simple also gives you access to more than 50,000 free ATMs.
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