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Standout Online 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. Compare standout checking accounts from our partners below.

Chime Spending Account

at Chime, Deposits are FDIC Insured

Chime Spending Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Chime Spending Account

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

N/A

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Chime, Deposits are FDIC Insured


Bonus

N/A

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.

Read Full Review
Radius Bank Rewards Checking

at Radius Bank, Member FDIC

Radius Bank Rewards Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Radius Bank Rewards Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.10%

With $2,500 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Radius Bank, Member FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

The new Rewards Checking, launched in September 2019, combines the features of two previous accounts, Hybrid and Rewards Checking. You can earn 1% cash back on signature-based purchases in stores and online (at store checkouts, you select “credit” instead of “debit”). If your balance hits $2,500, a 0.10% annual percentage yield kicks in. If you have $100,000 or more, the rate becomes 0.15% APY.

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.

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Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by the NCUA

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.25%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by the NCUA


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

It’s easy to apply for Alliant membership. Just agree to support an Alliant-affiliated nonprofit if you don’t meet the other criteria, and Alliant will make a $5 donation on your behalf. Once you open an account, you’ll have access to Alliant’s services, including more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs, and you’ll pay minimal fees.

You’ll qualify for an annual percentage yield of 0.25% if you opt out of paper statements and have at least one electronic deposit made to your account each month, such as a direct, ATM or mobile deposit or a transfer from another financial institution.

For more details on Alliant Credit Union, read our full review.

Read Full Review

Why online checking accounts 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.

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People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

Explore Best Savings Accounts of September 2020

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Standout Online Checking Accounts