13 Best Banks to Bank with | Banks with No Fees and High-Yield Savings

By Ogbe Airiodion . Updated | July 29, 2015 9:04 am

 

12 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 Online Banks with the Highest Interest Rate Savings Accounts

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.

Sorted alphabetically:

Note: Barclays Online Bank was just added to the list to make it 13 best banks to bank with.

Selection Methodology:

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. 

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List of Top Interest Paying, High-Yield Checking and Savings Accounts

Sorted from highest to lowest APY:

Firm

APY

Min. to Open

Selection & Ranking Factors – What We Like About These Top Rated Banks

Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU)

3%

$0

  • Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) offers one of the highest paying accounts in the US
  • The firm’s high-yield, no fee checking account (Max Checking) pays an eye-popping 3% on balances up to $15,000
  • You can earn up to $450 a year if you leave $15,000 in the account each month
  • The 3% APY is a lot more than you would get if you invested in a high interest CD or money market account
  • The account also comes with ATM fee reimbursement, earning it a “top bank with no ATM fees” ranking
  • LMCU free checking accounts also come with no minimum balance requirements
  • Best of all: the 3% Max Checking account is available to everyone; if you are not a resident of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, you are only required to make a small donation of $5 to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) of Michigan. The donation is made at the time of filling out your online application
  • Requirements for earning the 3%: At least one direct deposit or ACH transfer from another account each month, a minimum of 10 debit card purchases per month, a minimum of 4 logins per month, and sign up to receive eStatements
  • You can open an LMCU bank account online for free with no deposit

Bank of Internet USA – Checking

1.25%

$100

  • Bank of Internet USA’s Rewards Checking comes with unlimited ATM reimbursements
  • Plus, you can earn up to 1.25% APY on all balances of $150,000 or less
  • Free bill pay
  • Free FinanceWorks™ money management software
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees
  • Use any domestic ATM and the bank automatically refunds the fees by the next business day
  • Free mobile deposit— deposit checks instantly 24/7 wherever you and your phone go
  • Free MyDeposit— deposit checks instantly, from the comfort of your home or office, using a computer and scanner

GE Capital Bank

1.05%

$0

  • Earn 1.05$ APY on $1 to $1,000,000
  • No minimum deposit required to open an account
  • No transaction fees
  • Interest compounded daily and paid monthly
  • Open a bank account online with no deposit

Synchrony Bank

1.05%

Varies

  • Earn 1.05% on any balance
  • As long as you keep a $30 minimum balance, the bank will waive the $5 monthly service charge

EverBank

1.01%

$1,500

  • EverBank’s Yield Pledge Money Market account pays 1.01% on $0-$50,000 in balances
  • You also get a 1.40% bonus interest rate, which applies to the first $50,000 for the first 6 months
  • Use ATMs across the country and never pay an EverBank ATM fee
  • Keep your balance at or above $5,000 each month, and EverBank will pay you back 100% of the ATM fees charged by other U.S. banks
  • No monthly fee
  • Free bill pay
  • Mobile check deposits

Barclays Online Banking

1.00%

$0

  • Barclays’s high-yield account (Online Savings Account) pays a 1.00% APY
  • Free checking account with no minimum balance
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balances required to open an account
  • Open a bank account online for free with no deposit

CIT Bank

1.00%

$100

  • CIT Bank’s high interest paying account (High-Yield Savings) pays up to 1.00% (Tier 1)
  • The bank also has a Tier 2 savings account option, which pays 1.05% but requires a daily balance of $25,000
  • The interest rate compounds daily, which gives you a higher return on your money
  • No account opening fees
  • No daily minimum balance
  • No maintenance service fees
 

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.

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Continued: List of Top Interest Paying, High-Yield Checking and Savings Accounts

Ally Bank

0.99%

$0

  • Ally bank is one of the top banks with free checking and no minimum balance requirement
  • Ally bank’s online savings accounts pay a savings interest rate of 0.99%
  • There is no minimum deposit required to open an account
  • There are no monthly maintenance fees
  • The Ally bank account comes with no ATM fees (nationwide AMT fee refunds)
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Deposit checks remotely with Ally eCheck Deposit
  • Grow your money faster with interest that is compounded daily

Discover Bank

0.95%

$500

  • Earn 0.95% APY for all balances
  • Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly
  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • 24/7 customer service

American Express Bank

0.90%

$0

  • American Express Bank, FSB, is a branchless bank that offers saving accounts with competitive rates
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Apply for an account online or by phone
  • No hidden fees
  • 24/7 account access

SallieMae Bank

0.80%

Varies

  • Interest rate compounds daily – this gives you a higher return on your money
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements

Capital One 360

0.75%

$0

  • 360 Savings® — the online savings account from Capital One 360®
  • No maintenance or account opening fees required
  • No minimum balance required to open or keep an account

FNBO Direct Online Savings

0.75%

$1

  • FNBO Direct Online Savings is a high interest savings account that pays 0.75%
  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Free person-to-person payments with Popmoney®**

FNBO Direct Checking

0.65%

$1

  • FNBO Direct Checking is a high-yield checking account that pays a 0.65% APY
  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Free stop payments
  • No monthly service fees
  • Free debit card fraud monitoring
  • Free incoming wire transfers

Bank of Internet USA – Savings

0.61%

$100

  • Bank of Internet USA’s High Yield Savings account pays an APY of 0.61%
  • Your interest compounds daily
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum monthly balance
  • Free mobile deposit — deposit checks instantly 24/7 wherever you and your phone go
  • Free MyDeposit — deposit checks instantly from the comfort of your home or office
  • Free FinanceWorks™ — Track all of your financial accounts, even those at other institutions, from your Bank of Internet USA online banking account
Note:

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. 

 

Good banks to bank with high yield savings accounts and with no fees

 

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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FDIC Insured

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.

Tip:

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:

best rated banks - FDIC insured

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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

Bank Definition

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

____________________________________________________

Questions or comments about this review? Click the link below to send me an email.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,

Ogbe Airiodion

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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