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10 Best Savings Accounts in June 2021

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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A savings account is a key component of everyone’s financial life, but not everyone needs the same thing from their savings account. We’ve outlined the best savings accounts in several categories to help you find the right one for your preferences, whether that’s earning a high interest rate, dodging fees or getting great customer service.

To identify the best savings accounts, we looked for accounts with high yields, few fees and low to no balance minimums. We regularly check rates and accounts at over 200 banks and credit unions to stay on top of the latest offerings. Read on for details on the best savings accounts.

The Best Savings Accounts in June 2021

Best for

Institution

Best overall

Axos Bank High Yield Savings

Best for high APY


Affirm Savings

Best for mobile app


Chime Savings Account

Best bonus offer


Regions Bank LifeGreen Savings

Best for combined savings and checking


Varo Savings Account

Best for avoiding fees


Discover Online Savings Account

Best for customer service


Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Best for branch access


Chase Savings

Best for transferring funds


Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings

Best credit union savings account


Blue Federal Credit Union Sky High Savings

Looking for more rates? Check out our partners below!

Best savings accounts

Best overall savings account: Axos Bank High Yield Savings — 0.61% APY

High Yield Savings from Axos Bank

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on Axos Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Launched in 2000 as Bank of Internet USA, Axos Bank is an online-only bank that offers a standout savings account. Axos Bank’s High Yield Savings account earns a competitive 0.61% APY on balances below $25,000, and it charges no monthly maintenance fees. You can also get a free ATM card upon request — a rare perk for a savings account — though typical savings account withdrawal limits do apply.

Although you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of $250 to open an account, there are no monthly minimum balance requirements beyond that. You can easily manage your account online or through the Axos Bank mobile app. Customer service is available 24/7 through a virtual bank teller or by phone.

How we picked our best overall savings account: Our selection for the best overall savings account had to meet all of the requirements as the other accounts that made our list: having a consistently competitive APY; having minimal balance and deposit requirements as well as account fees; and being FDIC-insured. However, to rank as best overall, the account also had to meet the following requirements:

  • An APY that exceeds the current national average APY for savings accounts per the FDIC
  • No conditions necessary to meet advertised APY
  • No monthly fee charges
  • A mobile app
  • Offers online banking
  • Provides 24/7 customer support service
  • Also an option for a checking account at the bank

Best for high APY: Affirm Savings account

Affirm Savings from Affirm

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on Affirm’s secure website

Member FDIC

Although Affirm might be better known for being an online payment option for shopping, it is currently offering one of the best savings account rates on the market. In addition to offering a high 0.65% APY on all balances, the Affirm savings account has no minimum requirement to open and no fees. There’s also a mobile app for managing your account.

This account is held by Cross River Bank, which also provides FDIC insurance up to the legal limits.

Best for mobile app: Chime Savings Account — 0.50% APY

Chime Savings Account from Chime

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on Chime’s secure website

Member FDIC

As of this writing, the Chime Mobile Banking app has a 4.7 average star rating between the more than 500,000 reviews in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The app offers several stellar banking features, including the ability to connect your external accounts to facilitate easy transfers and provide a holistic financial picture in one place. The Chime app also sends transaction and balance alerts so you can stay on top of your account. If you notice any unauthorized spending, you can block transactions and turn off international transactions on your card right from the app. The Chime app also has mobile check deposit capabilities, and it allows you to send paper checks in the app as well.

The Chime Savings Account itself is a solid choice with 0.50% APY on all balances, no minimum balance requirement, no maximums on interest earned and no fees. You’ll need a Chime Spending Account to add on the savings account, a relationship that allows easy automatic savings transfers. The Chime Savings Account also saves your change on purchases with its Round Ups feature, and it stashes away a percentage of each paycheck with the Save When I Get Paid feature.

Chime is a fintech company, not a bank itself, so its banking services and FDIC insurance are provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

Best bonus offer: Regions Bank LifeGreen Savings — 0.01% APY

LifeGreen Savings account from Regions Bank

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on Regions Bank’s secure website

Unlike most bonus offers that are one-and-done, the Regions LifeGreen Savings account earns an annual 1% saving bonus up to $100. All you need to do to earn it is receive an automatic transfer of funds of at least $10 from a Regions checking account to your LifeGreen Savings account in at least 10 of the calendar months in the year before your account opening anniversary. The 1% bonus is based on your average monthly balance for each year.

Even better, the LifeGreen Savings account doesn’t charge a monthly fee and doesn’t have any minimum balance requirements. Regions Bank has branches across 15 states and is accessible online and on mobile. It’s also compatible with several mobile wallets and Zelle.

Best for combined savings and checking: Varo Savings Account — 3.00% APY

Varo Savings Account from Varo

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on Varo’s secure website

Member FDIC

Varo makes it easy to open its checking and savings accounts in one go. You simply need to download the app, go through the Varo Bank Account application and add your Varo Savings Account. Neither account has a minimum deposit requirement, and there’s no monthly fee.

The Savings Account requires just $0.01 to start earning interest. The standard rate is 0% APY. However, you can boost your rate to an industry-leading 3.00% by making at least five qualifying purchases with your Varo Bank Visa Debit Card and receiving qualifying direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 each month.

Thanks to the seamless connection between the two Varo accounts, you can use Varo’s automatic savings tools for more efficient savings. Save Your Pay automatically transfers a percentage (of your choosing) of your Varo Bank Account direct deposits to your Savings Account. Another offering, Save Your Change, rounds up every transaction to the nearest dollar and then transfers that amount to your savings account.

Best for avoiding fees: Discover Online Savings Account — 0.40% APY

With Discover Bank, you can avoid fees on items like monthly maintenance, checks, incoming wire transfers, returned deposited items, excessive withdrawals and insufficient funds. The only service charge you’ll run into is a $30 fee to send a wire transfer.

No fees means your Discover Online Savings Account gets to earn 0.40% APY undisturbed. There’s no minimum balance required to earn interest, nor is there a minimum deposit needed to open the account. You can access your accounts solely online, including through the mobile app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. The mobile app also offers check deposit.

Known for its credit cards, Discover’s first card was used in 1985. That same year, Discover acquired Greenwood Trust Company, which officially changed its name to Discover Bank in 2000.

Best for customer service: Ally Bank — 0.50% APY

Online Savings Account from Ally Bank

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on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Ally Bank offers 24/7 phone customer service, a great perk for banking customers everywhere. The bank even provides a wait-time estimate on its website. In addition to constant phone support, you can reach bank representatives over secure messages within your account, through mail and via online live chat.

Making the bank’s accessible customer service even better is the fact that its Online Savings Account is a constant top competitor, currently earning 0.50% on all balances. There’s no monthly fee for the account, and Ally Bank is transparent about the fees it does charge, which include outgoing domestic wires, paid overdraft items and excessive transactions.

Tracing its history back to 1919 as the financing division of GM, Ally Bank offers an extensive and helpful mobile app that allows you to make deposits, pay your bills, transfer money, find in-network ATMs and view your balances and transactions. You can download the app on various platforms including Android, iOS and Windows.

Best for branch access: Chase Savings — 0.01% APY

Chase Savings from Chase Bank

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on Chase Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Of the big traditional brick-and-mortar banks, Chase Bank has the widest reach, with branches and ATMs in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, Chase accounts are easily accessible online and through the bank’s mobile app.

The Chase Savings account charges a $5 monthly fee, although you can waive it in a few ways — this includes keeping a $300 minimum daily balance, receiving automatic transfers of at least $25 from a Chase checking account or linking your account to a qualifying Chase checking account. There’s also a $5 fee for any transactions made from the savings account beyond the six-transaction limit per statement cycle. All balances earn interest, although at an unimpressive 0.01% APY.

Best for transferring funds: Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account — 0.50% APY

High-yield Online Savings Account from Marcus by Goldman Sachs

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on Marcus By Goldman Sachs’s secure website

Member FDIC

Marcus by Goldman Sachs, an online-only banking option, allows customers to make free electronic Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers in and out of the account. It also has one of the most generous policies on amount limits: ACH withdrawals max out at $125,000, and there’s no limit for deposits (as long as you cap your account balance at $1 million). You can even call the bank if you want to make withdrawals above these limits. Wire transfers to and from the account are also free.

The Online Savings Account is free to own and earns a 0.50% APY on all balances. You can open the account with any amount, and don’t have to worry about maintaining a minimum balance either.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. Marcus is accessible online and on its mobile app, which is available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store (although some features are available for iOS devices only).

Best credit union savings account: Blue Federal Credit Union Sky High Savings — 0.45% APY

Sky High Savings from Blue Federal Credit Union

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on Blue Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

The Blue Federal Sky High Savings earns its 0.45% APY on all balances. There’s no minimum or maximum balance requirement to own the account, nor is there a monthly fee.

Blue Federal Credit Union is accessible in person, through its 24/7 call center, online and on mobile. The credit union formed in 2016 as a result of a merger between a Wyoming credit union and a Colorado-based credit union. As a result, Blue Federal Credit Union has locations in Colorado and Wyoming, and thousands more CO-OP Shared Branches around the country.

Membership eligibility is based on family or employer connections. However, even without those ins, you can join through a donation to the Blue Foundation, which the credit union will fund for you.

Methodology

To find the best savings accounts, MagnifyMoney looks at over 200 financial institutions each week, from small community banks and credit unions to traditional brick-and-mortar banks to new online banks. Specifically, we consider the following factors when making our selections:

  • Savings account annual percentage yield (APY): We heavily weighted the APYs offered by each bank in terms of both magnitude and consistency. Higher savings account interest rates were prioritized over lower rates. Due to the variable rates on savings accounts, we also gave additional consideration to banks that were known to maintain a competitive APY over longer periods of time.
  • Minimum deposit and balance requirements: To ensure accessibility to all customers, we focused on banks that welcome deposits of all sizes, where the ideal banks in this category have minimum balance and deposit requirements of $0.
  • Bank account fees: Unnecessary fees can eat into your long-term savings in a major way. As such, we gave priority to banks that offer low or no fees, including account maintenance fees, service charges and other surcharges. If accounts had the same APY and minimum requirements, we went with the account with lower fees.
  • FDIC-insured: It’s crucial for your deposit accounts to be protected by FDIC insurance in the case your financial institution were to fail. As such, we only included FDIC-insured savings accounts on our list.

Savings account FAQ

A savings account is a type of deposit account where you can stash money for any length of time, long or short. Banks and credit unions reward you with an attractive return on your savings balance — thanks to the magic of compound interest, your savings can grow steadily over time. Keep in mind that unlike checking accounts, savings accounts aren’t designed to handle frequent transactions. Due to the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D, you are (mostly) limited to six savings account transactions — deposits, withdrawals or transfers — per month.

While savings accounts give customers a safe place to stash their money, they serve a different purpose for financial institutions. Banks and credit unions use their customers’ deposits to fund loans and other products. Banks charge borrowers interest on loans, which funds in part the interest you earn on your savings deposits. So when you open and fund a savings account, you’re helping your bank fund its business.

The money you place into a savings account at a bank is generally protected by FDIC insurance, up to the legal limit of $250,000. This limit applies per person, per bank, per ownership category.

For example, you would receive full FDIC coverage of a $250,000 deposit made to a savings account at ABC Bank, and you would get full FDIC insurance on $250,000 deposited in a savings account with XYZ bank.

If ABC Bank went under, you wouldn’t lose a dime of your deposit. The FDIC would either set you up with a new account at another FDIC-insured bank for the same amount as the closed account, or send you a check for the balance. However, if you had a $50,000 checking balance and a $250,000 savings account balance with ABC Bank, you would only receive $250,000 in total FDIC insurance for your accounts — with a potential loss of $50,000.

Credit unions rely on National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insurance. The NCUA is an independent agency that maintains the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which funds deposit insurance payouts. All federal credit unions are insured by the NCUA. State-chartered credit unions are regulated by the state supervisory authority where the credit union’s main office is located, but they may also have NCUA insurance.

Money kept in a savings account is best left alone unless you absolutely need it. To maximize the return on your savings, stash most of your liquid cash flow in a savings account, and only keep the funds you need for day-to-day spending in your checking account. That allows your money to grow more efficiently — more money in a savings account means more interest earned and compounded.

How easy it is to move money in and out of your savings account depends on your financial institution. Typically, a transfer between deposit accounts goes through Automated Clearing House (ACH). ACH transfers should only take one to two business days to clear, often clearing immediately or within one business day. Some institutions, however, may take the full two days, depending on their own rules and regulations.

Keep in mind that savings accounts have a limit of up to six certain transfers or withdrawals per month, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D, or Reg D. This limit only applies to “convenient” transfers and withdrawals made by “preauthorized, automatic, telephonic agreement, order or instruction, or by check, debit card or similar order made by the depositor and payable to third parties.” Less convenient transactions are exempt from this regulation, including withdrawals or transfers made in person at the bank or ATM, by mail or over the phone.

Making more than six transactions per cycle will often result in an excessive transaction fee depending on the financial institution. Exceeding the limit several times can lead to the bank closing your account for good.

It’s safe to say that everyone should have a savings account. If your money’s going to sit in a bank account, it might as well earn interest while it’s there. And if you’re going to earn interest, it’s surely best to find an account that earns the most interest possible — namely a high-yield savings account.

Even if you’re not interested in chasing the highest possible interest rate, you should still have a savings account to keep your money safe. Some people don’t trust banks and stash cash under their mattresses. But what happens if your house burns down or there’s a break-in? Stolen or lost funds are gone for good. Meanwhile, money in a savings account is kept safe by the FDIC, which even offers bank skeptics peace of mind as it ensures you’ll get your money back no matter what.

If you’re not sure which account to choose, consider your savings priorities first. If you’re trying to reach a savings goal, a high-yield savings account will help you reach your goal faster than a lower-rate account.

Perhaps you want an account where you don’t have to worry about fees. There are several fee-free savings accounts and accounts that don’t charge for excessive withdrawals that would be perfect for your needs.

Generally, though, these two features should be your top priorities when applying for a savings account. A high-yield savings account grows your money more efficiently, and minimizing fees helps you keep it.

If you’re looking at interest rates, there’s not much difference between the average savings accounts offered by banks and credit unions. In December 2020, the average savings account rate from brick-and-mortar banks earned just 0.06% APY, while credit unions had an average APY of 0.25%. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find competitive rates at banks or credit unions — it simply means you’ll need to shop around

The same goes with fees. A 2018 MagnifyMoney survey of 57 rewards checking accounts from banks and credit unions indicated that credit unions tend to charge slightly higher fees than their traditional bank counterparts. However, credit unions are nonprofits, and tend to charge fairer fees than big banks do.

For many people, the choice of bank or credit union is a matter of personal preference. When you join a credit union, it means that you own a piece of the institution along with its other members. With a credit union, there’s more transparency about how your deposits are being used — many people prefer to know that they are funding loans and helping other members, as opposed to paying big executive paychecks.

When it comes to physical access, banks usually have credit unions beat. Big banks have the money to spread their branches throughout the country, while credit unions tend to serve specific communities and locations. Still, credit unions very often partner with other credit unions and ATM networks to provide their members with widespread ATM access. Note that the CO-OP Financial Services credit union service organization has the second largest branch network in the United States.

A high-yield savings account is an easy way to boost your savings without any extra effort on your part. Let’s say you have $5,000 in a 0.01% APY savings account, which is a typical rate from traditional, big banks. Assuming you don’t make any additional contributions, in a year, you’d earn a whopping 50 cents in interest. That’s a pretty poor rate.

Switching that $5,000 deposit over to a high-yield savings account that earns 0.65% APY would yield $32 and change in interest annually — that’s definitely a sight better than 50 cents. Additional recurring deposits, perhaps monthly, would increase your savings even more. Setting up automatic recurring deposits is an easy way to turbocharge your savings.

Many deposit accounts charge a monthly maintenance fee, with the exception of online accounts, which seldom charge a monthly fee. The exact fee amount of a monthly fee depends on the bank and the specific account, but they can range anywhere from $5 to $15 a month. The good news is that there’s almost always a way to waive the fee. Typically, this means maintaining a minimum monthly balance or making a certain number of transactions per month.

Banks also often charge for returned deposits, overdrafts, excessive transactions, expedited delivery or transfers, incoming and outgoing wire transfers and paper statements. But if you avoid these items, you’ll skip the fees.

Many of the best savings accounts are available online. By operating only over the internet, banks are able to save on the cost of owning and maintaining physical branches. Banks pass those savings onto their customers in the form of the high rates you see above.

But just because they’re online doesn’t mean they’re any less secure than a well-known bricks-and-mortar bank. Reputable online banks offer FDIC insurance on your balances up to the legal limit. If you’re unsure, you can use the FDIC’s BankFind tool to check a bank’s insurance status.

As for online security, most banks employ the same security features as the big banks, if not more. This includes network and browser encryption, firewalls, anti-virus scanning and anti-malware protection. Banks may also offer additional safety features like two-step authentication, automatic logout, fingerprint identification and proactive account monitoring. You can always check a bank’s exact safety features on its website, which applies to both online-only and brick-and-mortar banks.

You sure can. If you have a lot of cash on hand, opening multiple savings accounts can allow you to maximize your FDIC insurance. Think of the scenario mentioned above: Keep $250,000 in an ABC Bank savings account and $250,000 in an XYZ savings account. Dropping the total $500,000 in a single ABC Bank savings account would leave $250,000 uninsured.

Opening more than one savings account may also help you keep track of separate savings goals. For example, you can use one savings account to house your emergency fund, which you never touch except for in dire circumstances. Keeping your emergency fund separate from your other accounts may make it easier for you to avoid dipping into it.

If you do have more than one savings account, just make sure they all earn at competitive rates.

Unlike certificates of deposit, savings accounts have variable rates. This means that the bank can decrease or increase their rate at any point, often without notice. However, you can typically expect rate changes to happen on or right after the start of a month.

Deposit account rates often track the federal funds rate, which is set by the Federal Reserve. The federal funds rate establishes the rate banks and other financial institutions charge each other for lending. So when the federal funds rate is cut, banks tend to cut their own rates in response. This includes not only deposit rates, but loan rates as well. Conversely, banks boost their interest rates when the Fed raises the federal funds rate.

Keep an eye on the Federal Reserve’s regular meetings to get a better sense of where the federal funds rate — and therefore your deposit rates — are headed.

If you earn $10 or more in interest in a year, then yes, your savings interest is taxable. Your bank or financial institution will send you a 1099-INT form documenting the interest you’ve earned. Using that form, you include your interest earnings with your annual tax filing. The bank will also send a copy of your 1099-INT form to the IRS.

Even if you don’t receive a 1099 from your bank, you’ll still need to report interest earned on your tax return. Plus, if you earned more than $1,500 in interest in a year, you’ll need to list out the sources of all that interest income on Schedule B of the 1040 Form.

Your earned interest is taxed according to your marginal tax bracket. If you earned $50 in interest and you’re in the 22% tax bracket, you’ll pay $12 in taxes on that interest earned.

Having a savings account is a crucial part of your financial life, but there are other types of deposit accounts that you can (and perhaps should) fit in, such as:

  • Certificates of deposit: A certificate of deposit (CD) is a time deposit. Unlike savings accounts, which have no expiration date, CDs operate according to defined terms. Typically, CD terms range between three and 60 months, although some institutions offer terms beyond these parameters. Once you make your initial deposit, you have to wait for the term to expire — or mature — to access your funds and interest earnings.CDs are a solid savings alternative for those who have already maxed out their other savings accounts. They’re also good for longer-term savings goals. Opening a longer CD lets you lock in a high rate for the length of the term and not have to deal with the rate fluctuations that come with regular savings accounts.CDs often require a minimum deposit to open, often ranging between $500 and $10,000 — any deposits larger than that are often considered jumbo CDs. However, there typically aren’t monthly fees to worry about with a CD. That being said, withdrawing money from a CD before maturity will result in an early withdrawal penalty. Some banks may offer no-penalty CDs, which tend to have shorter terms, that allow you to avoid the penalty.
  • Money market accounts: A money market account more closely resembles a savings account. It earns interest without an expiration date and limits your outgoing transactions to six per cycle. However, money market accounts can also include some checking account features like a debit card and the ability to write checks. This makes them a good alternative if you plan to dip into the account a bit more regularly, rather than using it only for emergencies.Money market accounts tend to earn at higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. However, they also tend to require higher balances to open and then earn interest. Money markets often charge monthly fees, as well, even when they’re online.
  • Checking accounts: Checking and savings accounts are the bread and butter of your financial life. While savings accounts are meant for stashing your money away, checking accounts are designed to help you move through the world, making payments, sending transfers, getting cash and more.That doesn’t mean that your checking account can’t earn interest, too, however. Maximize your savings by opening a high-yield checking account to match your high-yield savings account. Checking accounts don’t earn at rates as high as savings accounts, but that way, all your money in all your accounts can grow at the same time. For more efficiency, consider keeping the majority of your funds in your savings account for better growth — then you can transfer funds over to your checking account as needed.

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The Best IRA CD Rates – June 2021

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Perhaps you’ve decided to build a CD ladder within your IRA, or maybe you’re looking for a safe way to store your retirement cash for a specific period of time. Whatever the reason, you’re interested in getting an IRA CD and, understandably, want to know what products will give you the best rate of return.You can get an IRA CD with terms ranging from three months to more than six years, with interest rates generally increasing with the term length. There are lots of options, so we’ve rounded up the top IRA CD rates that are available right now for a variety of terms. You’ll select your IRA CD terms based on your CD-ladder master plan or whenever you’ll need access to your money.

Every month, we choose the best IRA CD rates using data from DepositAccounts.com, a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions. We sorted the products by APY, then eliminated institutions with a health rating below a B. We then eliminated products that are not available nationwide. From there, we chose the IRA CD with the highest APY among products with a minimum deposit no greater than $5,000. Here are the best options.

The best IRA CD rates in June 2021

TermInstitutionAPYMinimum opening deposit
3 monthsBethpage Federal Credit Union0.40%$50
6 monthsCommunitywide FCU0.70%$1,000
12 months Lafayette FCU 0.80%$500
18 months Evansville Teachers FCU0.75%$1,000
2 years Lafayette FCU0.90%$500
3 yearsLafayette FCU1.01%$500
4 years Lafayette FCU1.16%$500
5 years Lafayette FCU1.26%$500
6 yearsEvansville Teachers FCU1.20%$1,000

Best 3-month IRA CD — Bethpage Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)

3 Month IRA from Bethpage Federal Credit Union Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers an array of IRA CDs, including a 3-month CD with a competitive APY of 0.40%. This CD requires a $50 minimum deposit, and dividends are compounded and credited monthly.

Membership to Bethpage Federal Credit Union is open to anyone who opens a $5 savings account. The financial institution is headquartered in Bethpage, New York. Branch locations are in Long Island or New York City, but account holders can also use Bethpage FCU’s co-op nationwide network as well as its online banking services.

Best 6-month IRA CD CommunityWide Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth)

6 Month IRA from Communitywide Federal Credit Union

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union is offering the highest rate available on 6-month IRA CDs at 0.70% APY for deposits of at least $1,000. It has other IRA CD products, too, with term lengths ranging from 6 to 60 months.

There are a number of ways to become a member of CommunityWide, including being a member of Michiana Goodwill Boosters, Marine Corps League of St. Joseph Valley, or Habitat for Humanity Helpers. You can also join if you are an employee, retiree or donor member of a long list of companies or a spouse or relative of a CommunityWide member.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best 1-year IRA CD, 2-year IRA CD, 3-year IRA CD, 4-year IRA CD and 5-year IRA CD — Lafayette Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

1 Year Fixed IRA from Lafayette Federal Credit Union If it’s IRA CDs you’re after, a membership to Lafayette Federal Credit Union may be worth your while. The credit union offers a standout rate on its 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, 4-year and 5-year IRA certificates. Each certificate requires a minimum deposit of $500 to open the account and to earn the APY.

Membership extends to individuals who live or work in the Washington, D.C., or Potomac, MD., area; members of the Home Ownership Financial Literacy Council; and immediate family members of a current Lafayette Federal member. Those who live in Maryland, Virginia or D.C. and are members of the American Consumer Council (ACC) are also eligible, as are employees of certain companies.

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on Lafayette Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best 18-month IRA CD and 6-year IRA CD — Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union (Traditional, Roth, CESSA)

6 Year IRA from Evansville Teachers Federal Credit UnionTo join this credit union, you may make a $5 donation to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association. You may want to strongly consider doing so, as the 18-month and 6-year IRA CD rates offered by Evansville FCU are the best on the market in terms of APY. Plus, opening an IRA CD through Evansville Teachers FCU only requires a minimum balance of $1,000.

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on Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3 questions to consider before opening an IRA CD

Opening an IRA CD generally requires filling out a form or talking to a banker. You’ll have to have a way to fund your IRA CD, whether that’s rolling over an existing retirement account into an IRA CD or depositing cash into the product. The same limits that apply to IRA contributions apply to IRA CDs: $5,500 per year ($6,500 if you’re over age 50) of your own money across all your IRA accounts each year, and you can do a rollover once per year.

Unless you’ve invested in a bump-up IRA CD, you won’t be able to take advantage of a higher rate until your CD matures. Withdrawing funds from an IRA CD before they mature will result in a stiff penalty. Bump-up IRA CDs give you a chance to increase your interest rate to a higher level if it’s available, but you’re generally only allowed to do this once or twice during the life of the CD.

You can either use the direct-transfer method or the indirect-transfer method. The direct transfer method requires setting up your new IRA account filling out a form authorizing the bank or credit union to transfer money from the old account into the new account. The indirect transfer method involves you asking for a check from your old IRA account. You have up to 60 days to deposit that check into your IRA CD to avoid incurring a penalty.

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Editors’ Choice: Best Checking Accounts for June 2021

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

 

Reviewed By

The best checking accounts can provide a competitive interest rate, ATM fee reimbursements and even cashback rewards. If your current account doesn’t offer any of these features, it may be time to switch.

Why trust us?

At MagnifyMoney, it’s our mission to inform our readers about the best financial opportunities out there. Our insights have been cited by top financial publications including MarketWatch, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal.

Our dedicated team of financial experts spent dozens of hours grading each checking account on its features, including fees, minimum balance requirements, ATM and branch network availability, APYs and customer satisfaction. We distilled our picks from a list that included hundreds of banks, credit unions and online institutions nationwide.

We ensure our list is updated every month as new banks are added to our database, and we update information as banks change their terms. Check out our best checking account picks for June 2021 and click on the links in the table below to read about why we picked each one.

Please note: While this list is up-to-date as of this writing, many banks have cut back on or even halted their hours temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to protect their customers and employees. Many banks continue to offer standard services online and over the phone, as well as through automated ATMs.

Best checking accounts of June 2021

Best overall checking account: Paramount Bank Interest Checking

Interest Checking

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on Paramount Bank (MO)’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Highlights:

  • High APY available on accounts up to $99,999.99
  • No ATM fees, and up to 20 reimbursements per month for third-party fees
  • Easily waivable $3 monthly fee
  • APY: Up to 0.75%
  • Maintenance fee: $3
  • Current promotion: N/A
Why we picked it: Paramount Bank offers a standout APY on its Interest Checking Account. Balances up to $99,999.99 earn 0.75% APY, while balances of $100,000.00 or more earn an APY of 0.10%, which is still above-average in the current rate environment.

Beyond its impressive rates, Paramount’s Interest Checking is also notable for not charging ATM fees — plus, Paramount will refund up to 20 third-party ATM fees per month. The account comes with a free Visa Debit Card, and you can manage your account using the Paramount Bank app, as well as through a limited number of branch locations throughout the country.

What to watch out for: You’ll need to make a deposit of at least $100 to open the account. In addition, there’s a monthly fee, though it’s only $3 and is waivable by maintaining an account balance of just $1.

How we picked our best overall checking account: Our pick for best overall checking account had to have the characteristics that we favored for any checking account that made this list: a competitive APY, low or no minimum balance requirements and minimal monthly service fees or ATM fees (or ATM fee reimbursements). To be considered for the best overall checking account, however, an account had to check off these more specific, stringent requirements:

  • An APY that exceeds the current national average APY for checking accounts
  • No conditions necessary to meet advertised APY
  • Access to either over 40,000 ATMs nationwide or ATM fee rebates
  • A monthly maintenance fee below $10
  • An option for a savings account at the bank

Best high yield checking account: Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking

Highlights:

  • Access to over 30,000 ATMs
  • Most lucrative rates require minimum direct deposits or spend on CCU Visa credit card
  • APY: Up to 4.09%
  • Maintenance fee: $0
  • Current promotions: N/A

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Why we picked it: Consumers Credit Union has routinely offered sky-high rates, even in a plummeting rate environment, earning this account the title of best high-yield checking account.

While this is a tiered rate account, the lower tiers — which can be earned with fewer requirements — still offer attractive rates that are well above those offered by other banks and credit unions.

What to watch out for: While balances between $10,000 and $25,000 — regardless of your tier — earn an APY of 0.20%, it’s worth noting that balances over $25,000 earn an APY of just 0.10%.

In addition, if you don’t meet the monthly activity requirements, you’ll earn an APY of just 0.01% and won’t receive ATM refunds. The account also has an overdraft fee of $30.

Best free checking account: Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Highlights:

  • No overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • APY: Up to 1.25%
  • Maintenance fee: $0
  • Current promotions: N/A

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Why we picked it: We’ve crowned the Axos Bank Rewards Checking account as the best free checking account not only for its attractive features, but also for its consistency.

The Axos Bank Rewards Checking account has consistently offered competitive APYs — even as earning rates drop at other banks. This account also offers all of the bells and whistles that the best standard checking accounts are known to include, like ATM fee reimbursements and no overdraft fees.

What to watch out for: The Axos Bank Rewards Checking account is a tiered, interest-earning variable rate account. So, in order to earn the 1.25% APY, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Receive monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more
  • Use your debit card for a total of 15 transactions per month (minimum of $3 per transaction)

If you don’t meet those requirements, you’ll receive a reduced APY from what’s advertised. There’s also a $50 minimum balance required to open this account.

Best no-fee checking account: Discover Cashback Debit

Highlights:

  • No insufficient funds fee
  • Access to over 60,000 no-fee ATMs
  • 1% cash back on up to $3,000 of debit card purchases per month
  • APY: None
  • Maintenance fee: $0
  • Current promotions: N/A

Read the full review

Why we picked it: The Discover Cashback Debit checking account is a truly no-fee checking account, with no monthly maintenance fees, no insufficient funds fees and access to over 60,000 ATMs.

As the icing on the cake, this account offers 1% cash back on all debit card purchases, up to $3,000 per month. This is a unique perk among checking accounts, and if you prefer cash back to earning interest, this could be the account for you.

What to watch out for: There aren’t too many surprises with this account — just be aware that fees for non-Discover ATMs may apply.

Best checking account bonus: HSBC Premier Checking

Online HSBC Premier Checking

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on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

Highlights:

  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates within the U.S.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $50 monthly service waived if you meet any one of the requirements
  • APY: 0.01%
  • Maintenance Fee: $50
  • Current Promotions: $450 welcome bonus

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Why we picked it: HSBC is currently offering up to a $450 welcome bonus for those who open and fund a new Premier Checking account by June 30, 2021. To earn the bonus, you must make recurring monthly qualifying direct deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account for three consecutive calendar months, beginning the second full calendar month after account opening. You also must be a new HSBC customer to take advantage of this offer, and fund your new account with new money.

What to watch out for: The Premier Checking account earns a dismal 0.01% APY on balances of $5 or more. It also charges a hefty $50 monthly fee.

Best rewards checking account: Radius Bank Rewards Checking

Highlights:

  • Earn up to 1.00% cash back on debit card purchases
  • Offers early direct deposit
  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates
  • APY: 0.10% on balances between $2,500 and $99,999, 0.15% on balances over $100,000
  • Maintenance Fee: $0
  • Current Promotions: N/A

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Why we picked it: Radius Bank’s Rewards Checking account features a robust rewards program that offers up to 1.00% cash back on debit card purchases, as well as a decent APY on the funds in your account. There’s a minimum $100 opening deposit required for this account.

This account also stands out for its unlimited ATM fee rebates and early direct deposit feature, as well as having no fees.

What to watch out for: To earn the cash back, you must maintain a minimum balance of at least $2,500.

Best no-ATM fee checking account: TD Bank Beyond Checking

Highlights:

  • No fees at TD Bank ATMs, and reimbursed fees for out-of-network ATMs for accounts that maintain a daily balance of at least $2,500
  • No required minimum opening deposit
  • Overdraft fees reimbursement offered up to two times per year
  • APY: Up to 0.03% on balances greater than $0.01
  • Maintenance Fee: $25
  • Current Promotions: Earn $300 when you open an account and make at least $2,500 in direct deposits within 60 days of opening. Offer expires Aug. 3, 2021.

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Why we picked it: TD Bank’s Beyond Checking account is a great option for those who prioritize fee-free access to ATMs.

With this account, not only do you receive fee-free ATM access to TD Bank’s network of ATMS, but if you maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $2,500, TD Bank will reimburse you for any fees incurred at out-of-network ATMs.

What to watch out for: Be aware of the dismal APY offered, and note that there’s also a $35 overdraft fee associated with this account.

Best business checking account: Axos Bank Business Interest Checking

Business Interest Checking

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on Axos Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Highlights:

  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursement
  • Up to 50 free transaction items per month
  • Monthly service fee can be waived if you maintain an average, daily minimum balance of $5,000
  • APY: Up to 0.81% on balances between $0 and $49,999.99
  • Maintenance Fee: $10
  • Current Promotions: $100 welcome bonus for businesses that incorporated after June 1, 2020. Application must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2021 to qualify.

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Why we picked it: Axos Bank’s Business Interest Checking account stands out among other business checking account products for a myriad of reasons, most notably its surprisingly low fees.

In addition, Axos Bank throws in a number of freebies with its Business Interest Checking account, from ATM fee reimbursements to free checks, making it our pick for the best business checking account.

What to watch out for: Transactions are $0.50 each after the first 50, and there’s a $100 minimum opening deposit required for this account. Balances of $50,000 or above are subject to lower APYs.

Best checking account for students: Chase College Checking

Chase College Checking

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on Chase Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Highlights:

  • $6 monthly service fee waived for up to five years if you’re 17 to 24 years old, have proof of student status and are enrolled in college, or if you meet any one of Chase’s monthly requirements
  • No monthly service fee on a Chase Savings account linked to this account for overdraft protection
  • APY: None
  • Maintenance fee: $6
  • Current promotions: $100 bonus for new Chase customers with qualifying activities. Offer expires July 14, 2021.

Read the full review

Why we picked it: The Chase College Checking account is a great option for students, as it waives its monthly service fee for those between the ages of 17 and 24 who have proof of a student status, for up to five years while in college.

With widespread ATM access, the ability to pay friends with QuickPay or Zelle and a robust mobile app, this account checks all the boxes for college students.

What to watch out for: For this account, you’ll need to show proof of student status. There’s also a $2.50 non-Chase ATM fee and $34 overdraft fee associated with this account.

Best joint checking account – PNC Virtual Wallet

Highlights:

  • Free access to 18,000 ATMs, plus two PNC ATM fee reimbursements per statement cycle and up to $5 in fee reimbursements from other financial institutions’ ATM surcharges per statement cycle
  • Budgeting tools and features
  • Fee waiver
  • APY: N/A
  • Maintenance fee: $7, but waived if certain requirements are met
  • Current promotions: Earn up to $50 when you open a new Virtual Wallet account and fund it with a direct deposit of $500 or more within the first 60 days. Offer expires June 30, 2021.

Read the full review

Why we picked it. The PNC Virtual Wallet is a standout checking account that supports joint ownership. This account comes with a plethora of budgeting tools that can help couples manage their money more effectively, such as the ability to create budgets for different spending categories and set up alerts for certain account activities. This account also has $0 monthly maintenance fee if you have a minimum of $500 in monthly direct deposits, or if you maintain a monthly balance of $500 in the Spend + Reserve account — both of which are easier to achieve with two people owning the account, as opposed to one.

What to watch out for: If you can’t meet the monthly qualifications to waive the monthly service fee, you’ll have to pay $7 per month. In addition, your balance doesn’t earn interest.

Other honorable mentions

Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking: This account from investment firm Charles Schwab offers a few attractive perks like unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide, no monthly fees or minimums and no foreign transaction fees. The Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account falls flat with its paltry 0.03% APY on all balances over $0.01, which can’t quite compete with the best high yield checking account, the Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking account, which earns up to 4.09% APY.

Aspiration Spend and Save: The Aspiration Spend and Save cash management account is one of the most fee-friendly accounts out there, even allowing you to pay a monthly fee in an amount that you think is fair. Aspiration comes with the added bonus of access to over 55,000 ATMs and cash back rewards — especially at conscience-minded businesses. To earn the 1.00% APY you’ll have to open a Spend and Save Plus account and pay $7.99 per month or $5.99 per month if you pay annually. Only balances up to $10,000 will earn the competitive 1.00% APY. Balances over $10,000 will earn 0.10% APY.

Betterment Checking and Cash Reserve: Another cash management account, Betterment Checking and Cash Reserve maximizes your FDIC insurance up to $1 million and provides unlimited transfers in and out of your account. It also earns interest at 0.30% APY. A minimum deposit of $10 is required, but there is no minimum balance required to earn the attractive APY.

Chase Premier Plus Checking: A step up from Chase’s basic checking account, the Chase Premier Plus Checking account earns a paltry 0.01% APY (across all balances) and waives select fees, including on the first four non-Chase ATM transactions per month. However, its features don’t quite justify the $25 monthly service fee, which you can only waive by meeting certain requirements.

Chime: The mobile-first Chime account is great for individuals who have trouble with traditional checking accounts. It allows you to receive direct deposits up to a couple days early, grow savings automatically and even overdraw your account for free if you meet certain eligibility requirements. Chime also provides free access to over 38,000 ATMs, which you can access with the account’s linked debit card. Despite all these perks, Chime doesn’t earn any interest on account balances. However, Chime does stand out for having a robust, no-overdrafting policy.

TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking: Despite TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge promise, which ensures their rate will always remain among the top 5% of competitive accounts, the Yield Pledge Checking account earns a pretty low APY of 0.10%. The minimum opening deposit is $100, but all balances are eligible to earn the 0.10% APY. Luckily, there’s no monthly service fee, nor are there fees for out-of-network ATM usage. Plus, you can get reimbursed for ATM surcharges. This made it a strong contender for our Best Overall Checking Account.

Varo Money: Pioneering fintech company Varo offers a pretty much fee-free, checking-like cash management account, which allows customers who meet certain requirements to overdraft up to $50 at no cost. Varo can get you your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit, and it also offers fee-free access at over 55,000 Allpoint® ATMs and provides a free Varo Visa® Debit Card, which you can lock in the app at any time. Though all of these perks are nice, the checking account doesn’t earn interest; you’ll have to open the Varo Savings Account for that.

Capital One 360 Checking: The Capital One 360 Checking account is easily accessible — via its debit card, mobile and online — and there’s no fee or minimum balance to worry about. You also get access to over 39,000 Capital One and Allpoint ATMs for free. However, its low 0.10% APY can’t quite keep up with its competitors. All balances are eligible to earn Capital One’s 0.10% APY.

Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking: Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking account isn’t always so high-yield, as it earns 0.20% APY. There is a minimum deposit of $10 required to open and a minimum balance of $100 required to earn interest.Still, the account is relatively customer-friendly as it doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees and offers free access to thousands of ATMs nationwide in addition to up to $15 in surcharge reimbursements.

Methodology

We look at hundreds of financial institutions and reviews to determine our picks for the best checking accounts. Specifically, we consider the following factors when making our selections:

  1. Checking account rates: We heavily weighted the APYs offered by each institution on their checking accounts, paying attention to both high interest rates and the consistency at which these rates were offered. Higher and more consistently competitive interest rates were prioritized.
  2. Minimum deposit and balance requirements: We also controlled for account accessibility by looking at minimum deposit and balance requirements, prioritizing banks and accounts that have low minimum requirements or none at all.
  3. Bank account fees: Because the best checking accounts are the ones that don’t cut into your hard-earned money, we favored checking accounts that don’t charge monthly service fees or ATM fees, as well as those that offer ATM-fee reimbursements. If accounts had the same APY and minimum requirements, we went with the account with lower fees.
  4. Special offers: As an added bonus to their checking accounts, some institutions offer cash bonus offers for new customers or even cash-back rewards for debit card usage. We made sure to include these special accounts and offers so you can get more from your account.
  5. Specialized accounts: Checking accounts aren’t one-size-fits-all — nor should they be. When we did our search, we also looked for specialized accounts with specific features made for certain groups, like students, business owners and joint account holders. Because different accounts are intended to serve different purposes, the features we prioritized for each account type may vary.

What should I look for in a checking account?

When shopping for a checking account, keep in mind that its main purpose is providing a convenient and safe place to stash the cash you use for your daily spending. With that in mind, factors such as safety, ease of use and minimal costs should be top-of-mind.

Here’s what to look out for specifically when you’re searching for a checking account that’s right for you:

An account that meets your needs

A great first step to finding the right checking account is understanding what you want from a checking account. Of course, you’ll want an account that’s easily accessible. But only you can decide whether that means prioritizing brick-and-mortar branches, mobile app access or worldwide ATMs. As debit cards are a big part of accessibility, you should also make sure you’re getting a debit card that’s protected.

If you’re a senior citizen, a student or perhaps a couple looking for joint account ownership, these are things to consider when making your checking account wishlist. As shown above, there are several specialized accounts out there that offer special deals and features for members of these groups.

Next, determine whether you want your checking account to earn interest or other rewards. Often these rewards only add to the checking account experience, rewarding you for owning the account rather than you paying to own it. Rewards on some accounts may also offset any fees you face.

If you don’t know where to start, it helps to check out high-yield checking accounts first. These accounts are most often free, easily accessible, provided by reputable institutions and, as an added bonus, can earn you money.

An account with few or zero fees

It’s a good idea to check for bank fees when shopping for a checking account. After all, why pay your bank fees for access to your own cash?

Thankfully, there are many checking accounts that charge little to no fees. Online banks, in particular, offer checking accounts with no fees, as they are able to save on the operational costs that burden brick-and-mortar banks. Some checking accounts even offer unlimited ATM reimbursements or a monthly allowance for reimbursable ATM surcharges.

Since many checking accounts offer little to no interest, it’s even more critical to opt for an account with minimal fees. Common checking account fees include:

  • Maintenance fees
  • Minimum balance fees
  • ATM fees
  • Overdraft fees

If your checking account has any monthly balance or spending requirements to waive the maintenance fee, make sure you stay within those limits to avoid any unnecessary fees.

An account that offers widespread ATM access

There’s nothing worse than needing cash in a pinch and not having a way to get it. Then, even when you find an ATM, it’s out of your bank’s network, so to add insult to injury, you’re charged a fee (or two) for using the ATM.

You can avoid this situation by finding a checking account that offers widespread ATM access. Often, this isn’t even brick-and-mortar banks, which may offer free access to a few thousand branded ATMs across the country. Online banks tend to go above and beyond, offering free access to tens of thousands of ATMs, often worldwide, through ATM networks like AllPoint and MoneyPass.

An account with FDIC Insurance

You want to make sure your money is protected no matter what. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance — and National Credit Union Administration insurance for credit unions — insures your money up to legal limits, which for an individual’s checking account would amount to $250,000. This means that up to $250,000 in your checking account will be recovered if your bank or credit union fails.

In the event of institution failure, you’ll either get a check for the amount that was in your checking account, or set up with a new account for the same amount at another insured institution.

An account that has overdraft protection

Overdraft protection is a crucial feature, especially if you’re often at risk of overextending your funds. This feature works in a few different ways, depending on the institution and the account. Often, a bank’s overdraft protection will link your checking and savings accounts, drawing on your savings account when you overdraft from your checking account. Other iterations may simply not allow you to overdraft the account at all.

Typically, you’ll have to enroll in overdraft protection. Some accounts charge an extra fee for overdraft protection, but many of the best no-fee checking accounts offer this feature at no cost.

An account that pairs with a high-yield savings account

You might want to pair your checking account with a high-yield savings account if you’d like to maintain your day-to-day spending, but also stash away a portion of your cash to earn a higher rate of return in longer-term savings. A high-yield savings account is also a great option for those who don’t want to be tempted with the ability to easily spend their savings on everyday needs.

If this sounds like the right setup for you, start by finding a checking account that fits your daily spending needs and is easily accessible and FDIC-insured. You can then track your spending and set up regular deposits into a separate, high-yield savings account for any excess cash you don’t spend. Keep in mind that not all savings accounts are created equal, so it’s worth shopping around for the best rates when it comes to your savings account, too.

FAQ: What should I know about checking accounts?

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