These days, your banking choices seem almost infinite and it can feel overwhelming to make the right selection. You can cut the confusion and find your best checking account option quickly--by choosing the right financial institution first. It's often a good idea to skip the big, national banks entirely, because they seem to specialize in high fees and poor service. Instead, consider choosing a small, local community bank or credit union that offers personalized banking services without the high price tag (and low interest earnings) of major banks.
Which Checking Account Right is for You?
To determine the best checking account option, look at the offerings of a few local credit unions and small community banks. Both types of financial institutions offer business and personal checking accounts, and all the services of major banks. To choose the best checking account for you, consider factors like:
- Which credit unions am I eligible to join? Most people have a number of options based on their employer, their spouse or family member's employer, their career/industry, the city where they live or work, and more.
- Which local community banks are in my area?
- Which institution has the most free ATMs near me? Your credit union or community bank may have arrangements with other institutions for free ATM use.
- Which banks or credit unions offer free checking accounts? Most credit unions and many community banks in your area are likely to offer free accounts with certain restrictions like minimum balance or limited transactions per month. Requirements and minimum balances are usually more lenient than in major banks.
- Which institution has the lowest minimum deposit to open and/or lowest minimum balance requirement? If this is an issue for you, be sure to compare this information among all the CFIs you're considering, to find the best checking account.
- Who has the best interest rates for deposits, and lowest loan rates? Although these rates fluctuate often, if you anticipate needing other services beyond checking, like a credit card or loans, you'll want to understand those costs/benefits, too.
Need help finding your local community financial institution options for the best checking account? Let us help you find the best community bank or credit union for you.