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Standout checking accounts

There are a lot of checking accounts out there. So many, in fact, it can be overwhelming to weed through all the options — good and bad — and then confidently choose one. Social scientists call this “information overload”. We call it inconvenient.

To get the most from your checking account, you need low fees, good customer support and free ATMs nearby. If you earn interest on your cash, even better. Below we’ve rounded up some standout checking accounts.

Monthly feeOut-of-Network ATM FeeDetails
Chime Spending Account's logo

at Chime,

Member, FDIC

$0

$2.50

Why we like it

Chime is a mobile bank account that has no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees, and you have access to more than 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs. Through Chime’s early direct deposit service, customers can get their paychecks up to two days earlier than if they cashed their checks at a bank.

 

This account works best for people who don’t write many checks or make cash deposits. If you need to write a check, Chime has an online feature that creates and mails one on your behalf. For cash deposits, you’ll need to use a third-party service.

 

For more details on Chime, read our full review.

Radius Bank Hybrid Checking's logo

at Radius Bank,

Member, FDIC

$0

$0

Why we like it

You can open a Radius Hybrid checking account with just $10 and pay no monthly fees. With the Hybrid account, an attractive 0.85% annual percentage yield also kicks in at balances of $2,500 and over. But the bank’s ATM policy is the real selling point. Radius belongs to a network of over 7,200 SUM-branded cash machines but doesn’t charge out-of-network ATM fees, and it has an unlimited refund policy for fees charged by the ATM owner.

 

Radius has only one full-service branch, in Boston, so you’ll have to be comfortable banking online.

 

For more details on Radius Bank, read our full review.

More about checking accounts

A checking account is a bank account that is typically used for everyday expenses. It tends to have a lower interest rate than a savings or money market account, but unlike those accounts, there's no limit to how often you can access your money.

Why online checking acounts dominate the list

Some important factors for virtually every bank-shopper are monthly fees, ATM access and interest rates (since they have the biggest impact on your bottom line). And, as it happens, online banks typically offer higher interest rates.

A little about us
At NerdWallet, we offer straightforward info and tools to help you make the best possible financial decisions. All for free. So how do we make money? In most cases, when someone applies or gets approved for a financial product we get paid. But that doesn’t sway our opinions.