Interest Checking Account
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Monthly Fee
None
APY
0.10%
With $1 minimum balance
Why we like it
  • No monthly fee
  • 10,000+ ATMs
  • Live help 24/7
  • Competitive APY

Ally’s Interest Checking account holders enjoy excellent customer service. The online-only bank staffs its call center 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and wait times for its live chat service rarely exceed a couple of minutes. You can reach out on Facebook and Twitter for additional support. Plus, the account bears interest, comes with access to more than 43,000 free ATMs, and doesn’t charge monthly fees.

If you want to bank online, but you’d like to have your questions answered by an actual person every so often, Ally might be for you.

This checking account was named one of the best in NerdWallet’s 2017 Bank Awards.

Chase Total Checking
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Monthly Fee
$12
Waived with direct deposit or $1500 minimum balance
APY
20%
Requirements to qualify
Why we like it
  • 10,000+ ATMs
  • 2,000+ branches
  • Live help 24/7
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Sign-up bonus

Chase offers new customers who set up direct deposit a welcome bonus of $200 (expires 4/16/2017). You can avoid a $12 monthly maintenance fee by receiving at least $500 in direct deposits each month, keeping a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in your new checking account, or maintaining an average daily balance of at least $5,000 across eligible Chase accounts and investments.

Bonus aside, this account is a winner if you prefer a big-bank experience – Chase has about 5,200 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs – and want to have multiple types of accounts at one place. We don’t recommend choosing your primary checking account based solely on a sign-up bonus. But if you like the account and its features, anyway, why not get a little something extra?

This checking account was named one of the best in NerdWallet’s 2017 Bank Awards.

Free High-Rate Checking
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Monthly Fee
None
APY
0.65%
With $1 minimum balance
Why we like it
  • ATM reimbursements
  • 10,000+ ATMs
  • Mobile friendly

It’s easy to become an Alliant member: Just make a one-time donation of $10 to an Alliant-affiliated nonprofit. Once you’ve joined, you can take advantage of all of Alliant’s services, including more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs, and you’ll pay minimal fees.

You’ll qualify for an APY of 0.65% 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. And Alliant’s digital tools are a step ahead of those offered by other credit unions. Its mobile check-deposit feature, for instance, lets members make daily deposits of up to $50,000.

But the credit union doesn’t take part in shared branching and doesn’t have many branches of its own, so if you live outside of the Chicago area, you’ll have to do most of your banking online.

This checking account was named one of the best in NerdWallet’s 2017 Bank Awards.