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best checking accounts
20 Jul 2018

The 5 Best Banks to Open a Checking Account With

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Remember when you were a child and getting money was as simple as taking a little bit of cash out of your piggy bank?

With this bit of cash, you could do anything you ever wanted–buy a candy bar, something from the ice cream truck, or maybe save up for a new comic book.

As you get older, though, your financial priorities change. Money management goes from piggy banks and stashes of cash to checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit card points.

Not all accounts are made equal, though. Whether you’re opening your very first checking account or you’re interested in opening a business account, you need to know which offers the best value.

Here are five of the best checking accounts available on the market right now.

Check out for more great banking tips and advice.

1. TD Bank Convenience Checking

If you sign up for a TD Convenience Checking account, you get a $150 sign-up bonus. This alone shouldn’t be the reason you choose TD Bank. But it is an eye-catching detail worth looking into.

Once you start researching more about this checking account, you’ll realize there’s a direct deposit condition attached to the $150 offer. You need to accumulate $500 in direct deposits in under 2 months (60 days exact).

More so, there’s a monthly fee if you ever go under $100 in a day. Maintain at least this much in your checking account at all times to avoid the $15 penalty.

While this may sound a little off-putting, the $15 fee is the main condition to watch out for. It’s the only requirement attached to the account. If the possibility of such a fee isn’t a big deal to you, all you have to do to access this account is sign up online.

The process is simple and the money is easily available wherever you go. Make sure you download the TD Bank app and get to know your banker to see what kind of opportunities your Convenience Checking account can lead to.

2. Chase Total Checking

The next checking account worth considering is the Chase Total Checking option. This comes with a lower monthly fee and a higher sign-up bonus–as long as you pay attention to the rules.

There is a $12 monthly fee for having the account if you don’t do any of the following:

  • Maintain $1,500 every day
  • Receive $500 in direct deposits each month
  • Save a total of $5,000 across qualifying linked Chase accounts

Ask your Chase banker for further details to ensure you save this $12 monthly, since it adds up to $144 for the year if you don’t meet the requirements.

The sign-up bonus has its own set of rules. If you get a direct deposit within 60 days (of any amount) Chase will give you $300. This is if you open the account at a physical branch location and use an email authentication to get your offer coupon.

3. PNC Performance Checking

Another one of the best checking accounts available is the PNC Performance Checking account.

Be careful not to confuse this with the Performance Spend or Performance Select. Those are good options as well, but they come with more requirements. There are also more conditions to apply to obtain bonuses and avoid fees.

The basic Performance Checking is your best bet if you’re just starting to understand personal finance. It’s easy to open online and in-store, and it comes with a $200 sign-up bonus as long as you do the following:

  • receive a total of $2,000 in direct deposits
  • make ten purchases (or more) with your PNC debit card on the account

Both conditions have to be met within the first 2 months (60 days). There’s no fee for not meeting these requirements, but you’ll miss out on $200.

A fee of $15 will be added each month, however, if you don’t maintain your account at a certain level. There should be at least $2,000 coming in during each billing cycle or a monthly average of at least $2,000 in the account.

4. Consumers Credit Union

Sometimes, the right checking account and the best debit card for you aren’t offered by a bank. It may be worth looking into what a credit union can do for you.

Consider opening an account with Consumers Credit Union. This offers the best monthly fee program of all: $0! There are no rules as to how much money you need to have in the account or what the minimum amount of deposits needs to be.

Plus, Consumers Credit Union offers you a percentage yield once you reach a balance of $10,000. Even if that’s not within your reach right now, it’s something nice to think about for later.

5. Simple Checking Account

In addition to banks and credit unions, there’s now the option of exclusively online banking systems like Simple.

Simple is not a cryptocurrency. It is basically a traditional bank made to operate from your smartphone screen instead of a brick and mortar location.

A checking account with Simple gives you access to a Visa debit card and a fee-free banking system. Fee-free means you don’t have a monthly fee, there are no overdraft fees, and there aren’t even any charges for having insufficient funds.

There’s an in-app ATM finder to help you identify participating locations where you can turn your digital banking system into a physical cash resource. This includes over 40,000 ATMs that you can use free of charge.

Such benefits make it easy to understand how checking works. To further expand your personal finance knowledge, Simple provides a “Safe-to-Spend” feature. This system helps you budget for bills and identify other saving and spending opportunities responsibly.

Understanding the Best Checking Accounts and Money Management

At the end of the day, the only person who can decide where to store your money is you. You may be drawn to a big bank’s bonus offers or appreciate the easy-to-use, grassroots appeal of a system like Simple.

But there’s also everything in between to consider when researching the best checking accounts. Not to mention everything there is to learn once this is taken care of!