There is a dramatic shift occurring in the banking world: more and more consumers are getting comfortable with banking almost exclusively online. Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people shop, work, socialize, and make payments and it is pushing us closer to a cashless society. This has encouraged millions of consumers to open bank accounts where the vast majority of transactions occur without ever having to visit a bank or credit union branch.
The second factor in this rush to online banking has been the advance of online tools and apps that give consumers much more confidence and security to conduct their finances online. This is true of upstart banks and some of the largest banks with thousands of branches throughout the country. Digital and online banking seems to be the new normal. Millions have come to know they can enjoy a great online banking experience, with no hidden charges, no opening deposit, superior smartphone technology, and all the FDIC protection they deserve.
Our Selection Process: 10 Features of The Best Online Checking Accounts
We reviewed over 1,000 checking accounts found at banks and credit unions across the country to compile our list of The Best Online Checking Accounts.
Your checking account should be safe, simple, and full of the features you need. We found most banks had confusing offers, monthly balance or usage minimums, gimmicks to get you to use your account, and a host of other nonsensical add-ons. Instead, we chose institutions that help you keep your finances simple and understandable. The best online checking accounts offer:
- Free debit card
- No NSF/overdraft fees
- No or low monthly or annual fees
- No account balance minimums
- Free use of ATMs
- Powerful mobile tools
- Free online banking and bill pay
- Strong customer service
- Very high acceptance rates, no matter your financial history
- Available in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
Banks offering the most features and lowest fees rose to the top of the list, as did those with a low or no minimum deposit, low or no balance requirement, and a broad ATM network. Banks with high customer satisfaction and an intuitive digital banking experience also earned higher scores.