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NerdWallet’s 2017 Best Bank Accounts and Credit Unions

Dec. 15, 2017
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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 name
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking (see full review)
Ally Interest Checking (see full review)
Aspiration Summit Account (see full review)
Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking
Bank of Internet Essential Checking (see full review)
360 Checking® by Capital One (see full review)
Charles Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking
Chase Total Checking (see full review)
Discover Cashback Checking (see full review)
Simple (see full review)

Best savings and money market accounts

Account name
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings (see full review)
Ally Online Savings (see full review)
Barclays Online Savings (see full review)
Capital One 360 Savings (see full review)
Capital One 360 Money Market Account (see full review)
Chase Savings (see full review)
Discover Savings (see full review)
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings (see full review)
Synchrony High-Yield Savings (see full review)

Best credit unions

Financial institution
Alliant Credit Union (see full review)
Consumers Credit Union (see full review)
First Tech Federal Credit Union (see full review)

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: [email protected]. Twitter: @tonystrongarm.

Updated December 15, 2017.


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, 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.