Best 15 Checking Accounts of 2021

If you’re looking for a checking account that will meet all your banking needs, then you’re in the right place! We’ve prepared a list of best checking accounts, so that you can find a checking account that’s right for you without having to shop around for ages!


notebanks.' best 15 checking accounts of 2021 are:

  1. Chime Spending Checking Account
  2. Ally Bank Interest Checking Account
  3. BBVA USA Free Checking Account
  4. Simple Online Checking Account
  5. The nbkc Everything Checking Account
  6. Citibank Basic Banking Account Package
  7. PNC Bank Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select Checking Account
  8. TD Bank Beyond Checking Account
  9. Citibank Citigold Account Package
  10. Heritage Bank Base Checking Account
  11. Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account
  12. Capital One 360 Checking® Account
  13. Discover Cashback Debit Checking Account
  14. Connexus Credit Union Xtraordinary Checking Account
  15. Aspiration Spend & Save Checking Account

Let's take a look into each of these checking account offers, so you can learn about them, and see which one suits you best!

1. Chime Spending Checking Account

Chime's Spending Account is a mobile-only checking account that gives you the flexibility and convenience to manage your money easily and when you want. Thanks to many digital banking features included in the offer, such as Get Paid Early, Fee-Free Overdrafts, and Automatic Savings, you’ll basically enjoy banking with Chime.

This almost fee-less checking account option is also great for frequent travelers as there aren’t any foreign transaction fees when using your Chime Visa Debit card abroad. While somewhat lower-than-the-usual ATM fees do apply, with free access to 38,000+ MoneyPass® and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs or 30,000+ cash-back locations, you won’t have to worry about those fees at all.

Another interesting thing is that, each time you swipe your Visa Debit card, Chime will round up to the nearest dollar, and the round-up will be moved to your Savings, so you can watch your savings stack grow over time. Yes, there’s even a savings account you can open with Chime, either at the time of your application for the Chime Spending Checking or later -> meaning you can earn interest on your savings account balance for free!

2. Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

Ally Bank’s Interest Checking features lots of free perks and benefits, including free checks, incoming wire transfers, electronic statements, and access to Allpoint ATMs in the United States. This checking account is also packed with many tools that will certainly make banking a lot easier for you. Depending on the amount of money you keep in your balance, you can earn up to 0.50% APY. And, if you’re totally unfamiliar with how banking or investing works, then you’ll love Ally’s Wallet Wise courses and workshops!

3. BBVA USA Free Checking Account

While BBVA USA’s Free Checking doesn’t earn any interest, we like this checking account offer because it comes with an award-winning mobile banking app, a free Visa debit card with cashback rewards, and free access to over 64,000 ATMs across the States. BBVA USA won’t even charge you any surcharge fees when you use an out-of-network ATM, and you can benefit from up to 4 other banks' ATM fees waived per statement cycle if you add the ATM Transactions Custom Feature for $5 per month. There are also many low-fee optional products, such as unlimited supplies of standard checks for an additional $2/month, You can also enroll in BBVA's ClearBenefits Program for $4/month, and receive even more benefits, including Cell Phone Protection, Identity Theft Protection, Lost Wallet Services, and Roadside Assistance Services. With BBVA Free Checking, you pay a $0 monthly Service Charge, plus you never have to worry about fulfilling any requirements to waive monthly fees. That’s the savings and peace of mind you get with BBVA. A BBVA Free Checking account comes with a lot of free features. Finally, knowing how great BBVA USA’s customer service is, you’ll enjoy banking with them even more!

4. Simple Online Checking Account

With the possibility to earn 1.10% APY on your balance with Protected Goals, not only is this free, online checking account a very attractive deal for your daily banking needs, but it is also a great way to save money for your future financial plans! Other very useful budgeting tools and features include Expenses, which is a bill tracker allowing you to better manage your finances, and Safe-to-Spend, a built-in budgeting tool that subtracts recurring bills and financial goals, so you’re always up to date with how much money you’ve got available to spend, without having to worry about whether you’d have enough to cover for regular expenses, including your bills, and living expenses.

5. The nbkc Everything Checking Account

The nbkc Everything Checking account deserves well its place on the list, not only because it’s free, but also because it can work as both a checking and a savings account - letting you earn interest on your checking daily balance, as well as the funds kept in your Goals balance. Add to that quite competitive interest rates, free access to nbkc and MoneyPass ATMs, free cashier's checks, money orders, stop payments, change orders, and phone transfers, and no overdraft or NSF fees, and you’ve got yourself a rather nice checking account, with one minor thing to consider - this is [again] an online-only checking account, so if you’re not comfortable with that, keep looking.

6. Citibank Basic Banking Account Package

We love the Citibank Basic Banking Account package because it lets you create your banking package for a monthly fee that’s so easy to avoid! You can add a savings or money market account, and watch the balance in those accounts grow over time. Citibank Basic Banking has everything you need for whatever banking task you wish to perform! The most rewarding is the fact you can use your Citibank debit card for all kinds of purchases, attach it to a digital wallet app, or withdraw funds free of charge at over 60,000 ATMs across the United States. This latter compensates for the lack of out-of-network ATM fee waivers. Plus, as a Citibank debit cardholder, you’ll enjoy exclusive access to a variety of events with Citi Live Entertainment! 

7. PNC Bank Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select Checking Account

The PNC Bank Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select Checking Account comes with a waivable $25 monthly fee, but even if you can’t meet the requirements to avoid the monthly fee, this checking account definitely deserves your attention. PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet combines a checking, a long-term savings, and a short-term savings accounts into one awesome package, featuring many free perks, including free PNC exclusive checks, free cashier’s checks, free PNC Bank Visa® Debit Card with cashback rewards, free money management tools, and more! Plus, you’ll enjoy no fees from PNC to access any ATM, as well as up to $20 reimbursed each month in case other banks charge you ATM usage fees!

8. TD Bank Beyond Checking Account

Featuring no out-of-network ATM fees, and no foreign transaction fees, the TD Bank Beyond Checking Account is great for those looking for a checking account with many free benefits, and a debit card they can use abroad at no extra charge! With the TD Bank Beyond Checking, you’ll also earn a small interest on your current balance. However, if that’s not enough, you can open a savings or money market account with TD Bank for $0 monthly fees!

9. Citibank Citigold Account Package

Our best premium checking account, as it includes many free, premium features, such as unlimited out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements, no foreign transaction fees, exclusive travel benefits, and more. This checking account package comes with a Visa you can use worldwide at no cost, while earning Citi ThankYou points on your purchases. With the Citigold Concierge, you’ll have access to amazing events, and enjoy the service of a personal travel agent to help you - which is another reason why this checking account package might be ideal for wealthy frequent travelers!

However, the most important characteristic of the Citigold Account Package is that it’s designed primarily for those interested in more banking and wealth management solutions. With the help of a dedicated team of wealth management advisors, Citibank Citigold Account Package customers will be able to make smart financial plans and decisions, while enjoying a full suite of financial education resources with the Citi Personal Wealth Management platform.

Plus, there’s a competitive interest rate that applies to Citi Accelerate Savings account balances, so we strongly recommend opening one as well.

10. Heritage Bank Base Checking Account

The Heritage Bank Base Checking Account is great if you’re looking for a basic checking account solution that has all that you need for daily banking, for a monthly fee that can be waived easily. In this case, all you need is to keep at least $100 in your balance to avoid the monthly fee. This is also the minimum amount required to open the account.

Heritage Bank’s Base Checking also stands out for its lower fees. Unlike many other banks, Heritage Bank charges $2.50 for out-of-network ATM usage (vs. the market’s $3), $34 for overdrafts and NSF (vs. $36-$38), while its foreign transaction fees are set at 1% per transaction, unlike the usual 3%.

Despite its being a “low-cost” checking account, the Heritage Bank Base Checking comes with a range of benefits and tools that will certainly make banking both easier and more enjoyable for you! Some of these include Heritage bank’s money management and savings tools, purchase rewards, a Visa debit card with Visa benefits, and CardValet. While Heritage BaZing benefits aren’t automatically added, try seeing with a Heritage Bank representative whether you could receive them as well. Another option would be to consider another Heritage Bank checking, perhaps an interest-bearing one, such as the Bank Summit.

11. Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account

As an online division of BankFive, Bank5 Connect offers a FDIC-insured, online-only checking account with minimum fees, but great APY rates, as well as purchase rewards. There’s a very low minimum deposit required to open the account ($10), but, besides that, you can forget all about monthly fees, overdraft fees, Bank5 Connect out-of-network ATM usage fees, incoming wire transfer fees, and external transfer fees. Last, but not least, you’ll earn a 0.25% APY on your balance if you keep a minimum of $100 in your High-Interest Checking.

12. Capital One 360 Checking® Account

What makes the Capital One 360 Checking Account such a good checking account offer is that it’s so straightforward: it comes with everything you need to bank as you wish, and without anything you don’t need, fee-wise. Free debit card, free access to over 40,000 ATMs, free first check order, free online and mobile banking. No fees on monthly account maintenance, no minimum deposit required, no out-of-network ATM transaction or withdrawal fees, no overdraft fees, and no foreign transaction fees. There’s a small NSF fee of $9 - which is almost unbelievable, since most banks charge up to $38 each time your check is returned due to insufficient funds!
 
Another big pro of the Capital One 360 Checking is that you can earn interest if you set up savings goals. You can also open a free savings account with Capital One, and have it linked to your 360 Checking. The Capital One 360 Performance Savings comes with a 1% APY, no minimum balance requirements, and FDIC insurance.

13. Discover Cashback Debit Checking Account

As one of the top rewards checking accounts, Discover Bank’s Cashback Debit Checking Account lets you earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 spent on eligible purchases each month, You can even grow your cashback rewards further by transferring them to your Discover Savings Account, and setting up Auto Redemption - you’ll earn 0.80% on your cashback.

While Discover’s Cashback Debit Checking is indeed great for this particular feature, especially since cashback rewards are reserved for credit card deals, this isn’t the only thing we love about this checking account. Another reason why we recommend it is because there aren’t almost any fees linked to the products and services included in this offer! You’ll receive a free debit card (and a replacement card, if needed), free checks, free ACH transfers, free check copies, free stop payment orders, free access to ATMs, including over 60,000+ Allpoint and MoneyPas ATMs in the United States, and a lot more. You’ll also avoid monthly fees, overdraft and NSF fees, as well as foreign transaction fees! You’ll only pay $30 per outgoing wire transfer. While wire transfers are indeed a quick way to transfer funds electronically from one bank account to another, you can easily avoid these fees by using alternative money transfer service providers that don’t charge anything at all.

14. Connexus Credit Union Xtraordinary Checking Account

For those looking for a high-yield checking account option with no monthly fees, the Connexus Credit Union Xtraordinary Checking Account might be a great solution for their banking needs - assuming, of course, you want to join a credit union. You can become a Connexus member if you open an account with them. If you don’t live near a Connexus location, though, you can still join by donating $5 to support financial education services provided to those in need.

This checking account gives you access to over 54,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the United States, and up to $25 in out-of-network ATM surcharge rebates. There’s also a mobile banking app you can download to manage your account on the go, using many tools to help you stay in control of your budget, such as Spending Activity Tool, and a Virtual Financial Assistant.

If you keep up to $25,000 in your Xtraordinary account, you’ll earn 1.75% APY, and on anything above this limit, you’ll earn 0.25% APY, which is still better than you would earn with many other banks. While there aren’t any minimum average monthly balance requirements to keep your account active, to earn interest on your balance, you’ll have to subscribe to eStatements, and either make 15 or more debit card purchases or make $400 in net spend purchases each month using your Credit Union Debit Visa. The same applies for ATM surcharge fee rebates.

15. Aspiration Spend & Save Checking Account

Aspiration is a one-of-a-kind financial firm offering an exquisite banking product, while taking care of its community in so many ways. Its Spend & Save is a combination of a checking account and a savings account that is noticeably different than any other checking account you’ll find. With Spend & Save, you’ll earn up to 10% cash back on your debit card purchases, and even more if you spend at socially conscious businesses. You’ll also be able to withdraw money from any Allpoint ATM free of charge. However, we recommend using a debit card instead, especially since you’ll be given the option to plant a tree with every roundup!

There are two Spend & Save plans. With “Aspiration” or “Pay What Is Fair”, you can choose how much, if anything, you want to pay per month, while with “Aspiration Plus”, you’ll pay $7 per month or $5.75 per month if you pay annually, you’ll receive even more rewarding benefits, including 1% APY on your savings, greater cashback percentage on Conscience Coalition purchase, and 1 out-of-network ATM reimbursement per month. Again, these aren’t the only good things about Aspiration Plus. We particularly like its Planet Protection feature, whereby Aspiration purchases carbon offsets on your behalf to neutralize the carbon impact of your driving. Plus, you’ll also receive a debit card made from recycled plastic!

So, if you’re up for protecting the environment, look no further!


So, there you go: our list of best 15 checking accounts, with up-to-date information, and rates, made to help you decide which checking account to offer. The most important thing to consider when choosing a checking account are, of course, its fees. However, don’t focus solely on those, as many checking accounts are worth every dollar. That said, the market being so competitive and innovative, you can find awesome checking account deals with [almost] no fees at all!