The Best Checking Account Providers for October 2019

We went out to look for the best checking account providers for October 2019. The right checking account gives you flexibility and freedom to pay for anything you need, from your weekly groceries to your utility bills to your next vacation. You can use paper checks or a debit card from most checking accounts, and you can make as many purchases in a month as you wish without incurring fees or penalties.

When you’re looking for a new checking account, it can be helpful to look at any interest that the account pays when you maintain a balance, the fees that you might have to pay for low balances or overdrafts, and the number of ATMs or physical branches near you. Sometimes fees will be waived if you have a direct deposit set up to the account or do all your banking online.

Checking Accounts Providers

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Best Checking Account Providers

For October 2019, we’ve found five of the best checking account providers — all of which are worth considering if you’re planning to open such an account.

1. BBVA Premium Checking

Known for their excellent mobile app that first debuted more than a decade ago, BBVA has won awards for their mobile banking options. Their premium checking account pays interest on any amount, but there is a monthly fee if you don’t have a direct deposit of at least $4,000/month or maintain a $4,000 balance. If you’d like to avoid fees, try BBVA’s free online checking account that does not pay interest. A great reason to be among the best checking account providers.

You can also add on the BBVA ClearBenefits program for $4/month, which includes roadside assistance, insurance for identity theft and cell phone damage, and $10,000 of accidental death and dismemberment benefits. This is an account that you’ll pay more for than others, but it does offer a lot of extras that you won’t find elsewhere.

  • Current Interest Rate: 0.05% APY
  • Minimum Balance Required: $4,000 to avoid fees
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25
  • Fees: $19/month, which can be waived with a $4,000 monthly direct deposit or maintaining a balance of at least $4,000. If you want paper statements, there’s an additional $3/month fee.
  • Ease of Use: 64,000 ATMs in network, plus the bank waives fees twice a month for using out-of-network ATMs. Good online banking, online bill pay and mobile deposit tools.

2. Simple

Simple is a small, Oregon-based online bank that aims to be, well, simple to use. Their incorporated saving tools let you set aside money for a variety of purposes, like vacation or tuition. You can set up direct deposits and make individual deposits quickly. Simple is great if you want a low-hassle account that pays decent interest when you carry a balance. Due to its simplicity, it deserves to be between the best checking account providers.

  • Current Interest Rate: 2.02% APY for balances under $10,000 and 2.15% APY for balances of $10,000 and more.
  • Minimum Balance Required: None
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: None
  • Fees: No monthly fees and no overdraft fees.
  • Ease of Use: 40,000 ATMs that are free to use. Excellent mobile banking tools, including the ability to set up separate savings accounts for different goals.

Checking Accounts Providers

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3. Consumers Credit Union

Sometimes a credit union can be more appealing than a bank because it can pay higher interest and charge lower fees. Consumers Credit Union pays some of the highest interest around, but you’ll have to check off several boxes in order to achieve the best rates. That includes receiving your statements electronically, making at least 12 purchases with your connected debit card and setting up monthly direct deposits. Still, if you’re planning to do these things anyway, you can get a nice return.

This account is best for those who aren’t planning to keep a really high monthly balance. If your balance goes over $10,000, you’ll go down to a much lower 0.20% APY for between $10,000.01 and $25,000, and 0.10% APY for more than $25,000. It’s really designed for people who will actively use it as a checking account, with money coming in and going out regularly. So check your personal circumstances to see if this could be one of the best checking account providers for your specific case.

  • Current Interest Rate: Up to 5.09% APY for balances under $10,000.
  • Minimum Balance Required: None
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: None
  • Fees: None
  • Ease of Use: 30,000 ATMs and complete reimbursement of your fees for using other banks’ ATMs.

4. Bank5 Connect

This is a small bank with only one checking account option, but it works great for average checking account holders who won’t carry a high balance and are comfortable doing all their banking online. Plus, they pay for your first order of paper checks. But they do have some usage limits that you should be aware of: $500 maximum per day to withdraw from ATMs and $1,000 maximum per day spending on your debit card.

  • Current Interest Rate: 0.76% APY.
  • Minimum Balance Required: $10; $100 to earn interest.
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $10
  • Fees: None if you use electronic statements.
  • Ease of Use: 6,600 ATMs and $15/month reimbursement of your fees for using other banks’ ATMs. Decent mobile app and online tools.

5. Ally Bank

Ally is an online-only bank that started as a physical financial institution about 100 years ago, so it’s got a much longer history than most similar banks. They have a lot more available products, including home and auto loans and investment accounts, than a typical online bank, too. One of the best checking account providers with also other products available.

Their interest checking accounts are a nice mix of low fees and reasonable interest, especially if you’ll keep a higher balance.

  • Current Interest Rate: 0.10% APY for balances under $15,000; 0.60% APY for balances of $15,000 and above.
  • Minimum Balance Required: None.
  • Minimum Opening Deposit: None.
  • Fees: None.
  • Ease of Use: 43,000 ATMs and $10/month reimbursement of your fees for using other banks’ ATMs.

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