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||Where 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 Checking||0.76% 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 Checking||Unlimited 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 name||Where it shines|
|Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings (see full review)||1.05% APY on balances of $100 or more and easy-to-meet membership requirements|
|Ally Online Savings (see full review)||1% APY and excellent customer service|
|Barclays Online Savings (see full review)||1% APY and well-rated mobile apps|
|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 institution||Where 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 Union||Participates in shared branching, giving customers access to more than 5,000 branches and 30,000 free ATMs|
Verified Feb. 2, 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, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Bank of America, Bank of Internet, Bank of the West, Bank5 Connect, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Capital 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 Union, Discover 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 Bank, Regions 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 Bank, TD Bank, The Golden 1 Credit Union, Union Bank, USAA, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank, Zero Financial and Zions Bank.