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NerdWallet’s Best Bank Accounts and Credit Unions of 2017

Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
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The best checking and savings accounts come with all the services you need to manage your money and have high rates and low fees. Some even throw in a special feature or two, such as ATM fee reimbursements and online budgeting tools.

To help consumers find the best checking, savings and money market accounts and credit unions for them, NerdWallet launched its Bank Awards, now in their second year.

We chose our award recipients from dozens of financial institutions, including big-name banks and promising up-and-comers. NerdWallet writers and editors devoted more than 200 hours to compare and score these institutions on criteria including interest rates, fees, bonuses, ATM access, digital experience and more.

Take a look below at NerdWallet’s award winners, including where each really shines. Is your bank or credit union among them?

Best checking accounts

Account nameWhere it shines
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking (see full review)Has easy membership requirements and offers access to more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs
Ally Interest Checking (see full review)Exceptional customer service
Aspiration Summit Account (see full review)1% annual percentage yield on balances of $2,500 or more and a 0.25% APY on balances below that
Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking0.76% APY on all balances of $100 or more
Bank of Internet Essential Checking (see full review)Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements
360 Checking® by Capital One (see full review)Consumer-friendly overdraft policy
Charles Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor CheckingUnlimited ATM reimbursements worldwide
Chase Total Checking (see full review)$200 sign-up bonus
Discover Cashback Checking (see full review)Earn up to $120 in cash back on purchases
Simple (see full review) Safe-to-Spend tool shows you how much you can really afford to spend on nonessential expenses

Best savings and money market accounts

Account nameWhere it shines
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings (see full review)1.11% APY on balances of $100 or more and easy-to-meet membership requirements
Ally Online Savings (see full review)1.05% APY and excellent customer service
Barclays Online Savings (see full review)1% APY
Capital One 360 Savings (see full review)Excellent tools for tracking savings goals
Capital One 360 Money Market Account (see full review)1% APY on balances of $10,000 or more and 0.60% APY on balances below that
Chase Savings (see full review)$150 sign-up bonus
Discover Savings (see full review)1.01% APY and a $100 sign-up bonus
GS Bank Online Savings (see full review)1.05% APY
Synchrony High-Yield Savings (see full review)1.05% APY

Best credit unions

Financial institutionWhere it shines
Alliant Credit Union (see full review)Stellar checking and savings accounts and a broad ATM network
Consumers Credit Union (see full review)Excellent interest-bearing checking account
First Tech Federal Credit UnionParticipates in shared branching, giving customers access to more than 5,000 branches and 30,000 free ATMs

We’re big fans of the aforementioned accounts and credit unions, but consider taking a look at our checking and savings account tools for even more options near you.

Tony Armstrong is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: tony@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @tonystrongarm.

Verified May 1, 2017.


METHODOLOGY

To determine the best accounts and credit unions, we took a close look at more than 60 financial institutions: the largest U.S. banks based on assets and internet search traffic; the nation’s largest credit unions with broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. Factors we consider include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing tech and customer service.

Financial institutions surveyed: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, AspirationAssociated BankBank of America, Bank of Internet, Bank of the West, Bank5 ConnectBarclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris, Boeing Employees Credit UnionCapital One, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Comerica, Commerce Bank, Community First Credit Union of Florida, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Delta Community Credit UnionDiscover Bank, EverBank, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, GoBank, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, MetaBank, M&T Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, People’s United Bank, PNC, Radius BankRegions Bank, Santander, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Simple, Star One Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust, Synchrony Bank, TCF BankTD Bank, The Golden 1 Credit Union, Union Bank, USAA, U.S. BankWells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank, Zero Financial and Zions Bank.