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The Top 7 Best Online Checking Accounts for 2021

Checking accounts with lower fees and higher interest rates are provided by the best online banks, non-banks and credit unions than conventional banks do, in part due to the money they save by not running branches. And they’re free, backed by the National Credit Union Administration or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (Technically, while they are not banks, non-banks provide much of the same services as conventional institutions do).

Best Savings Accounts
Chime High Yield Savings

The pros of checking accounts online

With online banking, day or night, you can access your account safely.

Fewer costs. Since online providers have less costs, online checking accounts tend to charge less fees than traditional banks.

best checking accounts
Radius Rewards Checking

Technology that’s user-friendly. For doing your banking, online providers usually provide well-designed websites and smartphone applications, including tasks such as depositing checks and paying bills.

The cons of checking accounts online

No customer service in person. Usually, online institutions do not have branches, which can be a deal-breaker for clients who want face-to-face support.

Cash deposits can be tricky occasionally. Some online banks and non-banks work with ATM networks to allow deposits in cash, while others only allow deposits in mobile checks, direct deposits or electronic transfers from other bank accounts.

best checking accounts
Axos Bank Rewards Checking

With an online checking account, how do I withdraw and deposit cash?

Typically, cash depositing options at an online provider include using a deposit-accepting ATM or inserting cash into a conventional bank account and moving the money to your online account. You might also turn the money into a money order, which you would be able to deposit electronically using the mobile app of your online provider.

best savings accounts
Varo Savings Account

Methodologics

We took a close look at over 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, internet search traffic and other variables; the largest credit unions based on assets and membership in the nation; and other significant and/or emerging industry players. We graded them according to parameters such as annual percentage returns, minimum balances, fees, digital experience, and more.

Chime Spending Accounts

Monthly Fee
$0

APY
N/A
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus
N/A
-Chime is a mobile-only banking service with no overdraft fees, plus a feature that allows certain customers without a charge to overdraw as much as negative $100.
-Fee per month: Zero.
-Unique features: Chime has two automated savings services, in addition to its consumer-friendly overdraft scheme. One allows you to round up each debit card purchase to the nearest dollar and pass the difference to your Chime Savings account automatically. The other enables you to pick a proportion of your paycheck that will be converted into savings automatically.
-Other pros: Chime does not charge overdraft fees or a minimum balance is required. Over 38,000 free ATMs can be used by clients via two networks, MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance, and their direct deposit can be issued up to two days in advance. Chime has a free online feature that creates and mails one in your name if you need to write a check.
-What you should know: For ATMs outside its partner network, Chime charges $2.50. -And for cash deposits, to finance your account and usually pay a fee, you’ll need to use a third-party provider, such as Green Dot.

Radius Rewards Checking

Monthly Fee
$0

APY
0.10%
With $2,500 minimum balance

Bonus
N/A
-A Rewards Checking account that incorporates a competitive interest rate and cash-back rewards is provided by Radius. It also has unrestricted ATM fee reimbursements, a rare advantage, and an early direct deposit of up to two days.
-Fee per month: Zero.
-Unique features: For three types of expenditure, you can receive 1.5 percent cash back: eating out with meal delivery systems, fitness services such as sports and healthcare transactions, and streaming subscriptions. For anything else, you get 1 percent cash back. And depending on the account balance, the interest rate has two amounts, 0.10 percent and 0.15 percent annual percentage return.
-Other pros: Radius belongs to the NYCE and MoneyPass ATM networks that are free of charge, and it does not charge ATM fees outside of the network.
-What you should know: To take advantage of receiving interest or cash back, you need at least $2,500 in your account. The cash-back perk often needs direct deposits of at least $2,500. The interest rate of 0.10 percent APY applies to deposits from $2,500 to $99,999; 0.15 percent APY applies to balances above that, so consider saving it instead if you have that much cash on hand.

Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Monthly Fee
$0

APY
1.25%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus
N/A
-The Rewards Checking, like any other Axos Bank checking accounts, has great benefits: no overdraft fees and no recurring fees, plus domestic reimbursements of ATM fees.
-Fee per month: Zero.
-Unique features: You can also earn up to 1.25 percent APY with Rewards Checking, but you’ll have to jump through a couple of hoops.
-Other pros: if you keep at least $1,500 as the average daily balance, Axos also has a CashBack Checking bonus program that offers you 1 percent cash back on debit card purchases that require your signature. Instead, you receive 0.50 percent cash back if your account falls below that.
-What you should know: The bank needs at least $1,000 in monthly direct deposits to get the full APY, and you have to use your debit card on regular transactions 15 days a month, with a minimum of $3 per transaction. You earn a lower rate if you partially meet these criteria.

Varo Bank Account

Monthly Fee
$0

APY
N/A
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus
N/A
-Varo Bank is a mobile banking app with an online banking account that does not incur monthly fees and a competitive-rate savings account.
-Fee per month: Zero.
-Unique features: The Varo banking account is an especially good deal: it is one of the best deals for international travelers, with no foreign transaction fees and an international ATM network (including 55,000 Allpoint ATMs in the US and abroad).
-Other pros: Spending much of your time abroad? Varo continues to be a solid contract. It does not charge fees for monthly service or overdraft costs.
-What you should know: Varo Bank does not have branches, so it takes some additional steps to add cash. To deposit cash at the counter, you need to visit a store that is part of the Green Dot network, such as CVS and 7-Eleven, and pay a price of up to $5.95.

Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

Monthly Fee
$0

APY
0.10%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus
N/A
-Ally is a high-yield savings account and an online-only bank with a no-fee checking account with a notable pace. And up to $10 in out-of-network ATM fees are charged monthly by Ally.
-Fee per month: Zero.
-Special features: For balances below $15,000, Ally’s Interest Checking has a rate of 0.10% APY; for balances of $15,000 and above, 0.50 percent APY.
-Other pros: Ally has more than 43,000 Allpoint ATMs free of surcharge, highly valued smartphone applications and excellent customer support. Through the phone, real-time talk, texting and Twitter, you can contact Ally. You should pair your Ally search with your savings account, which is among the highest-yielding accounts.
-What you should know: There’s no way to deposit money into an account with Ally. Customers must either select a direct deposit, transfer online or wire transfer, or purchase a money order and deposit a mobile check.

Bank5 Connect High Interest Checking

Monthly Fee
$0

APY
0.20%
With $100 minimum balance

Bonus
N/A
-Bank5 Link, a Massachusetts-based online branch of Bank Five, has a high rate and ATM fee payments of up to $15 per month for its checking account.
-Fee per month: Zero.
-Special features: 0.20% APY is the rate for High-Interest Checking and $100 is the minimum to receive interest.
-Other advantages: Account benefits include free checks and no bank ATM fees. Bank5 Link also has a highly valued account for savings.
-What you should know: Online bank statements are free, but for paper statements, there’s a $1 monthly charge.

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Monthly Fee
$0

APY
N/A
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus
N/A
-The checking account of Discover Bank helps you to receive cash back for some transactions and you will have access to 60,000 free ATMs as well.
-Fee per month: Zero.
-Unique features: You’ll get 1 percent cash back on qualified debit card transactions of up to $3,000 a month with Discover’s Cashback Debit account.
-Other pros: Explore also has an online savings account with a top-rated high-yield.
-What you should know: In Greenwood, Delaware, there is only one physical branch site, so domestic customers have to be OK without face-to-face customer service.
-ATM purchases, the purchasing of money orders or other cash equivalents, cash over portions of point-of-sale transactions, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash), and loan or account lending payments made using your debit card are not eligible for cash back bonuses, the company says. Furthermore, transactions made using payment accounts of third parties (services such as Venmo® and PayPalTM, which also offer P2P payments) do not qualify for cash back rewards. Licensed in the U.S. and other countries, Apple, the Apple logo and Apple Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc.
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