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New Free Checking Finder Tool on DepositAccounts


As many readers know, a major focus here at DepositAccounts has always been on tracking and organizing as much helpful data as we can gather on banks, credit unions, and their deposit products. This focus (and the technology that drives this initiative) has resulted in a very large data set – which includes more than a quarter million rates, as featured by our rate tables – and the discovery of many of the attractive deals that we cover here on the Bank Deals Blog.

One less publicized aspect of our team’s data collection efforts pertains to the account attributes we monitor for many accounts. These attributes include many of the key factors to consider when opening an account such as monthly service charges, ATM fees, min/max amounts, early withdrawal penalties, and account features. These attributes are visible whenever you expand the account details on any of our rate tables (by clicking the ‘details’ dropdown arrow to the right side of the listing) and in our tools, such as our CD Early Withdrawal Calculator.

Today we’re introducing a Free Checking Finder tool that utilizes both our rate and attribute data to help consumers find the best checking account based on their particular banking behaviors. Interest rates play a big role in determining the overall value of a checking account, but they don’t tell the whole story, and for many Americans, they play only a small part.

If you are like most Americans, who overdraft your account on occasion or use ATMs from other banks, you could easily save far more by finding a bank or credit union with extremely low fees than you would by focusing on the highest interest rate.

Depending on the amount you deposit and how you typically use your checking account, you may be best served by one that offers a high rate on your entire balance, a reward checking account that offers high rates up to a limit as long as you use your debit card, or a cash back checking account that offers cash back on purchases. Or, if you are like most Americans, who overdraft your account on occasion or use ATMs from other banks, you could easily save far more by finding a bank or credit union with extremely low fees than you would by focusing on the highest interest rate.

Until now you would have to search through each of the checking rate tables and their individual results and calculate the total return yourself. Our new free checking finder tool allows you to answer eight questions about your normal banking behavior and suggests the accounts that suit you best rather than ones that require you to change your behavior to maximize returns.


Once you have entered your typical behavior, the tool will search all eligible checking accounts and rank them by total annual savings. The total annual savings includes the interest earnings and the total fee savings vs the national average. It is not unusual for one with an exceptional interest rate and below average fees to be followed by another with an above average rate and exceptionally low fees, depending on your criteria.


Breaking Down the Savings

Each row includes a details link that you can click to view a full break-down of how the annual savings is calculated, along with the additional account attribute data we have on file.

expanded results

Even in the current low interest rate environment, it is still possible for most people to find a checking account that will significantly increase savings. We hope this tool will help you to locate these gems without having to spend hours reading the fine print.

Bozo   |     |   Comment #1
My $.02. Without having to jump through the hoops of reward checking, Alliant CU offers a plain-vanilla option. Keep your money in the Alliant savings account (at 1.05%). Open an Alliant checking account. The first order of checks is free, there is no monthly maintenance fee, no per-check charge, and no "hoops". When you need to write a check, simply transfer money from savings to checking (with the click of a mouse). Think of it as an interest-bearing checking account (with no fees or minimums, or hoops).

I've done this for years with no problems, fees, or minimums. Indeed, I often have a checking account balance under $1.00.
xxx   |     |   Comment #2
Their CD's stink...
Bozo   |     |   Comment #3
To: Poster "XXX"

I was merely referring to the savings/checking option. One need not grab all the apples from the same orchard.
MONEYFINGER   |     |   Comment #28
???   |     |   Comment #29
an old dying dog looking for attention
???   |     |   Comment #31
BS posts as usual
broke limey
broke limey   |     |   Comment #33
To: ???____that bloke really got under your skin, mate.
???   |     |   Comment #36
Got That. Working on a flavor for you.
If ya get muh drift.
rhutnik   |     |   Comment #4
Does the Savings to Checking transfer occur instantly? For example, Ally inter-account transfers are instant.
CTM   |     |   Comment #5
A transfer is instant and limited to 6 per month (FRB regulation D applies).
Bozo   |     |   Comment #7
The transfer is instantaneous. You can even call them on the phone and do a transfer from savings to checking. They are "dinosaur-friendly".
Martin   |     |   Comment #14
The instant transfer is not unique to Alliant, every bank and CU where I have savings and checking does the same thing, moves the transfer amount from one account to the other, because there is no real transfer occurring, just administrative ledger adjustment.
111   |     |   Comment #9
Bozo, you strike me as someone who is often on the lookout for new CDs. If that's true, how do you deal with Alliant's fairly low ACH push limits?
Bozo   |     |   Comment #10
To: Poster "111"

At present, most of my CDs are of the "IRA" variety, so ACH would not help me. For those with after-tax funds, an easy work-around to low ACH limits is overnight mail. It's a bit old-fashioned, but dependable.
Martin   |     |   Comment #13
Bozo, Ally ACH is much better than Alliant, I had to transfer money out of Alliant last month and it took 5 transfers and 8 days to do the job, the ACH limit at Alliant is a deal killer.
Ally has fast transfers and are not limited to 1PM cut off time as at Alliant, the bill pay and ACH at Ally is almost instant and the cut off time is 8PM.
rketi   |     |   Comment #32
You can pull from Alliant instead of push from Alliant when you want to transfer more money. I did tranfer 100000 in one shot.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #17
It is very difficult to find a checking account that also pays a high interest rate without debit card hoops to jump through. This is exactly why I use the Ally demand note account 1.16% APY for the $50,000 tier. This used to be no tier account with a $1,000 min. balance but now you need at least $15,000 to get 1%. I keep the other $35,000 at redneck bank 1.5% APY and link it to demand notes. This combination should yield around 1.3%-1.4% overall depending on the demand note balance. I think this combination still beats any no hoop checking account out there.
Dunmovin   |     |   Comment #19
No FDIC on ALLY demand notes just like GMAC had none
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #20
That's why I'm just maintaining the $15,000 balance instead of $50,000 now. I have been with them for decades and never lost a dime. They used to pay a 5 year CD rate on liquid cash with only a $1,000 balance to maintain. I'm looking hard at that Nationwide 1.15% on $10,000 checking account though if they don't start raising their interest rate soon.
Dunmovin   |     |   Comment #21
Ally hasn't been around for decades
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #23
GMAC demand notes has.
Dunmovin   |     |   Comment #24
Reread you own comment. GMAC is now toast. You haven't been with Ally for decades!
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #26
GMAC Demand notes turned into Ally Demand notes it's the same account with the same terms.
RJM   |     |   Comment #22
I rarely write checks so I just use my Ally Savings as a checking account. I have my credit cards draw from that account directly. Of course, you have a limit of 6 per month but you can open as many savings accounts as you want. The difference between 1.15 and 1.16% is inconsequential.

LMCUs reward checking is only 10 transactions and pays 3%. That ones pretty easy but its only on $15k. I also love the fact that they have a "scorecard" that you can check your progress every month.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #34
Not much difference right now RJM but the demand note account had consistently beat out every other MMA until just recently. For about 20 years I didn't have to rate chase all. I wish they would hike their rate to 1.5% so I could close all these extra rate chasing accounts.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #18
Hey Bozo check out the Nationwide bank checking account @1.15% APY with only a $10,000 min. balance and no debit card hoops to jump through. This looks like a nice FDIC insured option as long as there are no strange ACH daily or monthly transfer limits.
Róbert Dávid
Róbert Dávid   |     |   Comment #6

I use CC for everything, so I set number of debit usage to zero. And I get all rewards checking accounts on top of which the database has no knowledge of the required number of debit card usages.. I understand, but this makes the tool useless for me.
jennifer   |     |   Comment #8
I adore the new checking finder tool!

It caused me to have an appreciation of the massive amount of data you all collect and sort so brilliantly for us!
Marketing Genius
Marketing Genius   |     |   Comment #11
Lovely tool - such a good idea, too. Whoever came up with it must be a marketing genius.
RJM   |     |   Comment #12
Hard to believe anyone that follows this site would still be paying for checking.

I'm a fan of Discovers because the 10 cent cashback per transaction dwarfs the lost interest...for me anyway.

And, I don't even use a checking account for my larger bills. (I have it taken direct from a savings)

I don't think I have EVER paid for a checking account in my life. Although my business account about 25 years ago required a $1500-2000 min balance.

As for physical checks, I might write 2-3 a year. Sometimes only 1. Usually for my car tag. Because they charge a large fee to pay by credit card.

And, about 5 years ago, I had to send the state a money order for a speeding ticket that I was able to get dropped by going to driving school. They wouldn't take a small check so I had to set foot in one of those seedy check cashing places. They offered free money orders. And it was in the middle of hot summer and they offered a free cold drink which was a nice touch. (canned soft drinks or bottled water).

I only needed one money order since then and my local credit union didn't charge me for it. Although previously, they told me they did charge a small fee which is why I went to the check cashing place.

I'm guessing maybe they forgot or waived it because I keep $30k on account but I didn't ask.

The online banks will offer free official checks but I didn't want to wait.
Ann   |     |   Comment #15
"Hard to believe anyone that follows this site would still be paying for checking."

I think the target audience for this feature is Google-search-fed passersby (note the example using 4 overdrafts a year!), not existing loyal followers. :-)
Marketing Genius
Marketing Genius   |     |   Comment #16
Yeah, they should probably buy - but I'm just a Marketing Genius, not a blogger.
jim p
jim p   |     |   Comment #38
Great idea. Surprised Alliant Credit Union was not even listed. As far as non rewards checking they seem to have an all around good checking account - interest, some atm refunds, not many fees etc.
Ally6770   |     |   Comment #39
I have 2 reward checking paying 3%. One will pay up to $15,000 and one up to $25,000. I have free checks, no minimum balance and also ATM withdrawals which I do not use. One account requires 10 debits and the other 12 debits. All of my stores and these 2 credit unions are on a street 3/4 to a mile not to far from my house. I can go through the express lane and put one item through at a time if I am not close to getting to the 22 debits. I can log on to my account and click status to find out how many debits I have made throughout the month. Transfers are made immediately like the payment to my credit card gives me immediate credit even though the money is not deducted from my account for a few days. I find the debits a minor inconvenience and it will pay for my electric and gas bill through out the year with enough left over to pay for 3 months and a little for my bundle cable bill. The only thing that takes time is receiving the checks and that takes about a week.

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.