13 Best Banks to Bank with | Banks with No Fees and High-Yield Savings
Best Banks with No Fees & the Top Rated Banks
When searching for the top banks to bank with, consumers consider a couple of key factors.
Banks with no fees are a top priority for consumers searching for the best banks to bank with. This priority includes finding banks with no monthly service fees, no account opening fee, and no maintenance fees.
In addition to banks without service fees, another key factor for selecting top banks to bank with are those banking firms that provide high interest savings accounts.
Besides having high-yield accounts, banks that also reimburse you for your ATM costs is another top consideration for individuals searching for the best banks to open a checking account with.
In this article, we present a list of the top rated best banks with no fees, as well as a review of some of the important factors that you should consider before signing up with one of these top ranked banks.
Best Banks to Bank with
Below is the list of 2015's best banks for checking and savings accounts.
These top rated banks provide some of the best interest rates on savings accounts and high-yield checking accounts.
The list is followed by a detailed comparison table, which presents the features and services that we like about each of these selected banks.
- Ally Bank
- American Express Bank
- Bank of Internet USA
- Barclays Online Bank
- Capital One – 360
- CiT Bank
- Discover Bank
- FNBO Direct
- GE Capital Bank
- Lake Michigan Credit Union
- SallieMae Bank
- Synchrony Bank
Note: Barclays Online Bank was just added to the list to make it 13 best banks to bank with.
What methodology did we use in identifying, researching, and selecting our list of best banks to use?
We started out with a more comprehensive list of financial banking providers (large commercial banks, credit unions, regional banks, state banking institutions, and other diversified banking firms).
After applying various ranking and comparison criteria (no fees: $0 monthly fees, no minimum balance, high-interest paying savings accounts, high-yield checking accounts, ATM fee refunds, etc.), we were able to narrow the selection down to the banks listed below.
List of Top Interest Paying, High-Yield Checking and Savings Accounts
Sorted from highest to lowest APY:
Min. to Open
Selection & Ranking Factors – What We Like About These Top Rated Banks
Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU)
Bank of Internet USA – Checking
GE Capital Bank
Barclays Online Banking
The comparison table above continues below this section:
How Can These Banks Offer Such High Rates?
Most of the top banks on our list are able to provide these high interest savings accounts and high-yield checking accounts and offer some of the highest interest rates available because of their unique banking business models.
For example, most:
- Do not operate many bank branches
- Do not hire nearly as many employees as traditional brick-and-mortar banks
- Rely heavily on automated online tools
... and based on the above factors, many of these banks are able to pass along these "overhead cost savings" as additional interest to their depositors.
Continued: List of Top Interest Paying, High-Yield Checking and Savings Accounts
American Express Bank
Capital One 360
FNBO Direct Online Savings
FNBO Direct Checking
Bank of Internet USA – Savings
* USAA is a popular bank serving our military and veterans. However, it did not make it onto our top list of best banks offering high APYs because it offers a lower APY compared to the banks on our list. Still, USAA provides exceptional value: no monthly service fees, nationwide ATM fee refunds, free funds transfers to any bank in the United States, and tiered APY rates.
** Please note that all rates, promotions, fees, information, and ranking/review factors presented in this article may change at any time. Please review the respective banks' websites for the most updated information.
Some Key Considerations
1. Type of Account Provided
What are the differences between high-yield checking and high interest savings accounts?
A high-yield checking account comes with greater flexibility than a high-yield savings account.
Banking regulations place limits on savings accounts. You are only allowed to make six free transfers or withdrawals during each statement cycle from a savings account.
2. High-Yield APY (High-yield paying checking/savings accounts)
The APY (annual percentage yield) is the annual interest rate that the bank pays you for depositing your money in an account with them.
Having as high a yield as possible is a high priority for most individuals.
3. ATM Fees Refund
Some of the best banks on our list will refund your ATM fees up to a particular amount each month.
This allows you to use any 3rd party bank's ATM and have the ATM fee refunded that you are charged for using the other bank's ATM machine.
4. Monthly Fees
We focused on banks with no monthly service fees.
5. Minimum Balance
The minimum balance is the minimum amount of money that a bank requires you to keep in your account each month.
For our top rated banks, we focused on those firms with no minimum balance requirements.
6. Account Opening Deposit (minimum amount to open account)
The account opening deposit is the initial deposit required by some banks when you open an account.
7. Requirements to Earn High Interest Rates
Most of the banks listed on our list of best banks for checking and savings accounts require you to meet a few requirements in order to qualify for the high interest paying accounts.
In addition, one or more of the top banks on our list only provide services to residents in a particular state or to individuals that are part of a group or affiliation.
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All of the banks on our list are FDIC insured.
In the unlikely event that any of these banks should fail, the FDIC would step in and "reimburse" your funds from the failed bank – up to $250,000 per bank and per beneficiary for checking, savings, and CD accounts.
The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) is backed by the full faith of the US government, and $250,000 is the maximum amount allowed by law at FDIC insured banks.
In addition to savings, checking, and CD accounts, money market accounts and other types of demand deposits are also insured.
With a combination of accounts, it is possible for you and your family to increase the $250,000 maximum insurance limit.
Here is an example of how a couple could raise the ceiling on the FDIC maximum:
Various Types of Bank Accounts and Banking Products
Retail Banks Accounts and Banking Products
- Checking account
- Savings account
- Deposit account
- Transaction account
- Asset account
- Loan account
- Revolving loan account
- Extension of credit
- Credit account
- Certificate of Deposits account
- Online bank account
- Mortgage loan account
- Safety deposit box
- Other safekeeping services
- Cash management services
- Trust services
Financial and Investment Accounts – Broker Dealer (BD), Global Markets (GM), Custodian, and Investment Manager (IM):
- Broker dealer trading accounts
- Sales and trading
- Transaction accounts
- Custodian accounts
- Trust services
- Brokerage accounts
- Investment management accounts
- Clearing accounts
- Services (research, M&A, etc.)
- Investment and lending accounts
What is a bank?
A bank or banking institution is any agent, branch, company, agency or office person that conducts business in any of the below capacities:
- A commercial bank registered under the banking laws of a country within which the firm does business
- A trust company registered under the banking laws of a country within which the firm does business
- A registered private bank
- A registered savings and loan association
- An insured institution as defined in section 401 of the National Housing Act
- A registered savings financial institution
- A registered industrial bank
- A registered thrift institution
- A registered credit union
- A registered national banking association
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Ogbe has 15+ years of experience supporting top Wall Street firms (Goldman Sachs, Citi, HSBC, BNYM, etc.) in implementing global transformation and compliance operations.
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