Best Checking Account Overall

How we picked the companies to evaluate:

NerdWallet reviewed the top 25 financial institutions by domestic deposit assets, the top 25 by number of branches, the top 20 by search volume, the top 10 credit unions by membership, the top 10 credit unions by deposits, and emerging and notable players.

How we chose the winner:

When a financial institution offered multiple checking accounts, NerdWallet based its evaluation on the account that made the most sense for the most consumers, primarily based on cost. We rated checking account providers on the following factors: monthly fees (contributed to 50% of the rating), domestic ATMs (33.3%), interest rate (13.3%) and required minimum opening deposit (3.3%).

In case of a tie, financial institutions were compared by category in the following order until one institution remained:

  • Overdraft fees.
  • Banking experience.
  • Monthly fee.
  • ATM access.
  • Checking interest rate.
  • Minimum opening deposit.

How we verified our data:

NerdWallet writers and editors confirmed fees, rates, policies and other key features on each financial institution’s website. If an institution’s website was missing information, we contacted a representative directly for confirmation.