Compare personal checking accounts from banks and credit unions. In addition to reviewing the various checking accounts available to you in the below rate table results, you may also want to read about some of the history, features, and benefits of this type of product that we have outlined below. You may also want to view our list of reward checking accounts, which offer significantly higher rates on average, but do have minimum usage requirements.
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Standard Checking Accounts
They are available a dime a dozen – branded Gold, Silver, Green, High Interest, Free, Student, Sports Teams, etc. The vast majority of Americans have, at some point, opened a checking account at one of the 14,000+ banking institutions across the country. The plethora of choices represents features that accompany the core purpose of checking: to provide security for cash and easy access to it when needed to complete a transaction.
Checking Accounts Rate History – Average APY (%) Rate Trend over Time
History of the Checking Account
Checking account history dates back several millennia, at least to the Roman Empire, when private bankers began holding public deposits in depositories. They did so in order to add leverage to the lending system, and paid depositors interest on the monies they held. However, because of the Romans’ general preference for cash transactions, and the controversial practice of charging interest on loans, the banking system didn’t develop into its modern form until the Medieval and Renaissance periods.
Benefits of a Checking Account
When individuals open a checking account and deposit money into it today, it is the equivalent of giving the bank or credit union a loan with which they in turn use in various ways to make a profit. On the other hand, because it is arguably the most accessible financial product to consumers, it helps individuals to establish good credit and build a relationship with a financial institution that could pay off in benefits down the road.
Checking Account Features
There are many credit unions and banks with free checking accounts that come with perks like online banking, personal checks, debit and ATM cards (with free ATM usage), Bill Pay, mobile deposit, free ACH transfers and Direct Deposit. You must read the fine print on any account before opening, however, as a free checking account will usually charge a monthly fee for not meeting various requirements like a minimum monthly balance, a particular number of required debit card transactions, etc. Most non-reward checking accounts, though, do not have strict requirements in this regard. Overdraft fees are also something to consider, as financial institutions are now required to ask you if you want to opt-in to their overdraft coverage.
Some financial institutions offer high interest checking accounts. Internet banks and credit unions usually offer the highest rates and, depending on your situation, could be a savings boon to you with little or no extra effort. The rate table above is the most comprehensive list of standard checking accounts available nationwide, with filters to help you navigate based on institution type and location.