Banks Still Offering Free Checking and Great Interest Rates

By Ashley Jacobs on 14 October 2011 (Updated 25 March 2014) 21 comments

Are you shopping for a new bank thanks to the new bank fee increases?

Here are 6 banks that are still offering awesome perks, like free interest-bearing checking accounts, and high-yield savings accounts and CDs.

Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct)

Capital One 360 makes themselves available to their customers 24/7 and offers checking, savings, loans, investing, retirement, and business services to their customers. They have over 85 million clients in more than 50 countries. 7 million of these clients reside in the United States.

Checking Accounts

  • Capital One 360 has an 360 Checking account that offers an APY of %.

Saving Accounts

  • Capital One 360's 360 Savings Account offers a % APY with no fees and no minimums.

CDs

  • Capital One 360 offers High Interest CD with terms from 6 months to 60 months.

ATM Coverage

No fee if you use an ATM in the Allpoint network. No reimbursement for using an outside ATM. Find a free ATM for Capital One 360 here.

How to Join

Customer Service Info

  • Phone Number: (800) 464-3473
  • Email: sales@capitalone360.com

 

Ally Bank

Ally Financial has over 90 years of experience and serves over 15 million consumers and dealers. Ally Bank was named one of the Best Banks of 2011 by Money Magazine.

Checking Accounts

  • Ally offers free checking accounts with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. The APY on Ally's checking accounts is 0.40% on accounts with under $15,000 and 0.75% on accounts with over $15,000.

Saving Accounts

  • Ally has an Online Savings Account with no minimum balance and no monthly fees. They offer a 0.95% APY and you can open your account with $0.

CDs

  • Ally's High Yielding CD can be opened with a $0 deposit and boasts no monthly fees. For 12 months, you will get an APY of 1.04%.
  • Ally's No Penalty CD allows you to pull out your full balance and interest after 6 days of opening your account. You can open it with $0 in deposits and get an APY of 0.95% for 11 months.

ATM Coverage

Ally will reimburse you for all your ATM fees.

How to Join

  • You can open an account online, apply by phone, or open an account by mail.
  • Account Signup Page

Customer Service Info

  • 24/7 Phone Number: (877) 247-ALLY
  • Email

 

 

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is owned and operated by its members and functions as a not-for-profit cooperative. Alliant is very causes-friendly and donates to charities including the Make a Wish Foundation, the Special Olympics, and Autism Speaks.

Checking Accounts

  • Alliant offers a free basic checking account that requires no minimum balance. 
  • Alliant also offers a free high rate checking option (APY 1.10%) for members who opt out of paper statements and have at least one recurring electronic deposit each month.

Saving Accounts

  • Alliant's most popular savings account is their Regular Savings account. The Regular Savings account requires a minimum balance of $5, no maximum balance, and offers a 0.80% APY on balances of $100 or more.

CDs

  • Alliant offers a Regular Certificate for deposits ranging from $1,000 to $24,999. The APY for a Regular Certificate is as high as 1.65%.
  • Alliant also offers a Jumbo Certificate for deposits above $25,000. The APY for a Jumbo certificate is as high as 2.20%.

ATM Coverage 

Free ATM use with over 80,000 ATMS available nationwide. Find an Alliant ATM here.

How to Join

Alliant is a members-only credit union. There are several easy ways to become a member:

  • You can join Alliant by making a one-time  $10 donation to Foster to Care Success--a charity for foster teens and orphans. 
  • Any person who is related by law or blood to an existing member may join.
  • Domestic partners of unmarried members.
  • Persons who live or work in qualifying Chicagoland Communities.
  • Employees or members of qualifying organizations, including NCAAP, Google, Kaiser, SHRM Employees, US Airways, and JetBlue.
  • Account Signup Page

Customer Service Info

 

Bank of Internet USA

Bank of Internet USA is an online bank with no physical branches. It offers its customers quality customer support, easy access, an online safety guarantee, and great rates. Bank of Internet USA is a Costco preferred lender.

Checking Accounts

  • Bank of Internet USA offers a Rewards Checking account with an opening deposit of $100. This account requires no opening deposit, no monthly maintenance fees, and boasts an APY of up to 1.25% when you complete certain actions each month (such as making direct deposits and using bill pay).
  • Bank of Internet USA also offers a High Interest Checking account with a minimum deposit of $500. This account has an APY of .71% and has no monthly maintenance fee as long as you maintain a balance of $5,000.

Saving Accounts

  • With a minimum deposit of $100, customers can open a High Yielding Savings account with no minimum balance, no maintenance fees, and an API of  .80%.

CDs

  • Bank of Internet USA has Certificates of Deposits with an APY of up to 1.60% on a 60 month CD. Twelve month CDs have an APY of up to 1.10% and a minimum of $1,000 is required to open an account.

ATM Coverage

Unlimited ATM reimbursements are offered to customers.

How to Join

Customer Service Info

  • 24/7 Phone Number: (877) 541-2634 
  • Email

 

Connexus Credit Union

Connexus Credit Union aims to help their members achieve their finance objectives. They offer customized solutions to their members as well as safety and security. In 2009, Connexus was named "One of the Best Places to Store Your Cash" by Yahoo.

Checking Accounts

  • Connexus's Xtraordinary Checking account offers APY rates of up to 1.75% on balances up to $25,000. There are no minimum account balance requirements and no monthly fees. You must use online bill pay at least once a month and have 15 debit card transactions to qualify for this account.
  • Connexus also offers a MyRewards Checking account with APY rates of up to 1.35% on balances up to $25,000. There is no minimum account balance required and no monthly fees. You must have 10 debit card transactions to qualify for this account.

Saving Accounts

  •  Connexus Credit Union's general Savings Accounts offers an APY of up to .50%. A small minimum balance is required for this account.

CDs

  •  Connexus offers Certificates of Deposits with APY's of up to .65% for a 12 month CD with a balance of under $10,000 and 1.10% for a balance of over $10,000.

ATM Coverage

Up to $25 per month in ATM reimbursements. Connexus lists all it's ATMs here.

How to Join

  • Anyone who makes a one-time $5 donation to the Connexus Association is eligible to join
  • Employees, families, students, and alumni of Northcentral Technical College and Rasmussen College may join
  • Employees, families, and retirees of Liberty Mutual Insurance, UMR, and their affiliates can join
  • Account Signup Page

Customer Service Info

  • Phone Number: (715) 847-4700
  • Email

 

Incredible Bank

Incredible Bank is a division of River Valley Bank, an institution established in 1967. They aim to offer better rates than most other online banks. Incredible Bank's goal is to keep customers financially fit by providing a high yielding checking account without making customers jump through any hoops.

Checking Accounts

  • Incredible Bank offers their Incredible Checking account, boasting an APY of 0.88% for balances up to $249,000. An initial deposit of $1,000 is required to open the account and it is fee free.

Saving Accounts

  •  N/A

CDs

  • Incredible Bank offers the Incredible 9, 12, 13, and 19 month CD's with APY's of up to 1.31%. An initial deposit of $10,000 is required to open a CD and penalties for early withdrawal may apply.

ATM Coverage

Incredible Bank will reimburse customers for all ATM fees.

How to Join

  • The only way to open an account with Incredible Bank is by doing it online.
  • Account Signup Page

Customer Service Info

  • Phone Number: (877) 261-4750
  • EmailL info@incrediblebank.com

 

 

All the banks on this list are FDIC or NCUA insured. (NCUA is the Credit Union version of FDIC insurance and functions in virtually identical ways.)

 

4.105265
Average: 4.1 (19 votes)
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

21 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Will Chen's picture

Great write up Ashley. I met Julie (Family CEO) at the personal finance blogger conference last week. She's a wonderful lady and a great blogger. I love the fact that she was a customer first and then became a guest contributor for them.

Guest's picture
Guest

I personally don't think 1% is such a great interest rate. My bank (Classic Bank) - currently has a reward checking account that offers a 3.01% APY when the qualifications are met each month (when you use your debit card 10 times during the calendar month, receive an e-statement, provide and maintain a valid e-mail address and have at least one automatic payment or direct deposit). It's a little bit or work each month, but definitely a lot better than when I was with ING.

There are many other small banks that offer this type of deal too - some may have 12 or 15 debit transactions per month - but most of the terms are the same.

If anyof the legislation does pass regarding debit card fees, I may have to go to cash and my rewards credit card at that point :(

Will Chen's picture

That's what I love about lists like this. It helps to encourage discussion and we learn about even MORE awesome banks.

Here's a link to Classic Bank:

http://www.classicbank.com/personal/checking

Guest's picture
artzyphartzy

I am looking into Classic Bank. The APY is now 2.5 on their Reward Checking account which is better than anyone else seems to be offering. BankRate gives them a 4 star rating. Anyone else have any experience with them?

Guest's picture
Amanda

It's not universally available, but USAA bank has free checking, no ATM fees from them and they reimburse up to $15 a month in other banks' ATM fees, and their home page states they have no intention of charging the debit card fee. Until recently their debit cards had rewards points, but they've recently done away with that, though the credit card still has them. Mobile deposits, online banking, no fees...if you can get it, it's a good deal.

Will Chen's picture

I've heard a lot of great things about USAA. Do you have to be a member (or related to a member) of the armed forces?

Guest's picture
Guest

Yes, I believe you have to be current, former, or dependent of the military to join, but once you are your family is in perpetuity. My husband got his Id as a teenager when his father was in the National Guard. When I married him I got my own Id, and now our children are members. As long as they are their future spouses and children, etc, will be eligible.

Will Chen's picture

Thank you! That's very useful information. I'm glad to see our military members have a great financial option. They seem to do a lot--insurance, retirement planning, etc--beyond just banking.

Guest's picture
Guest

Actually banking services are available to everyone. It's insurance that is only available to military. I have accounts with them and no military relationship.

Guest's picture
Guest

Why would you leave money in a checking account to collect interest in the first place? I personally like reward type checking over interests because I get rewarded for using my debit card instead of credit card.

If you want to save money, put them in a savings account. Checking should be used for wise spending.

Guest's picture
Lisa

If you are a military member or are a Veteran USAA has free checking and is not charging a monthly Debit fee to use their debit card, unlike most banks which are starting effective Nov 1st. www.usaa.com

Guest's picture

I was hoping someone would cover this topic. It gets so draining looking for a bank. Thanks for doing the footwork. I'll have to tweet this one.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@MSEnthusiast

Guest's picture
Samir

I love my bank, Southern Community Bank and Trust, located in North Carolina (even though I now live in New Jersey). They make deposits available right away, and pay 1% interest on checking if you use your debit card at least 10 times a month. It used to be 6% in 2008. The customer service is EXCEPTIONAL. Last week, my wife mailed a check and it didn't get there when we thought. She called, they said they'd call her when the mail came in, and they did telling her the check had arrived, and the made the funds available that day.

Guest's picture
abmoo

Does anyone have any experience with ING Checking? I have an ING Savings, and it takes 2 business days to transfer $ to my checking account - that's a REALLY long time, especially in the case of emergencies. How long does it take for transfers within ING? How long does it take for checks to clear? I hate to say it, but it's convenient that Bank of America clears checks immediately, almost worth the $5 a month vs. the hassle of waiting 2 business days to get access to my own money.

Guest's picture
Samir

I think you are asking two questions. Transferring money electronically, vs depositing checks. My bank, Southern Community, immediately makes funds available from a deposit. But you have to mail it in. If I transfer money via ACH, it usually takes a day or two. From my account to my wife's account, both at Southern Community, it's instaneous, which is good since sometimes she runs out of money. Most the local banks around here take 4 days to clear checks, which is why I'd just rather mail it to Southern Community.

Guest's picture
abmoo

Wow! Thank you, that was helpful. Do you think it's the same/similar with other online banks? For example, I write the whole rent check and my roommate (that my landlord doesnt know about) writes me a check for her portion. If I deposit her check in Bank of America, it clears immediately. But if I had to mail her check in, and wait for it to clear, I'd like to at least be able to transfer $ from my savings instantaneously in the meantime....

Guest's picture
Brad

I'm disappointed they didn't mention USAA. They offer free checking and so many valuable banking options.

Guest's picture
jenn

Even though USAA is only available to members, failing to include them in this article is a great disservice to your readers. It is very similar to the auto insurance advertisements that provide statistics about their rating, but only with an * stating that the information excludes USAA. Eliminating the best competition from your rating does not make you any better...USAA offers an incredible banking opportunity and is worth mentioning...as many readers have already stated in the comments.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Yeah, I'm surprised the original CNN article didn't mention USAA. Maybe they thought the military membership restriction was too exclusive to be a general recommendation?

I'm glad that people are sharing their favorite banks and credit unions in the comments. I'm learning a ton from you guys.

Guest's picture
Pedro

Alliant Savings states a .95 APY via your link, did this change? Or is the 1.15 estimated from their dividend payout which it also states there?

Guest's picture
Guest

Just wanted to update some information I read. I just opened up an online Ally savings account, and it was so easy! But the APY is now 0.87%.