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Best "Everyday" Checking Account?


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5 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

ATM fee rebates

Domestic, international, or both?

 

What else is important to you in a checking account / bank?  

 

"Best" depends highly on individual needs and requirements. 

 

Do you require local branches?  Would a companion brokerage/investment account with free trades and better banking rewards have any value?  High maximum mobile deposit limit?  Same-day ACHs in/out to other banks?  Account opening bonus?  Solid rewards credit card offerings so you can consolidate your business and do everything in one place?  Weekend branch hours?  

 

 

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Also, presumably you already have a checking account.

 

What is it about your current bank that's causing you to look around?

 

Any other deficiencies you're trying to avoid (like not getting your accounts shut down 😛 )?

 

 

Edited by cv91915
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cv’s questions are crucial to answer yourself. 
 

In my experience, I’d say you need a checking account with at least two different institutions. One that has a local office and where you want to create a long-term relationship (mine is a credit union), and the other one you can experiment with others that may have better deals or technology based on your needs (such as an online bank). 
 

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12 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Domestic, international, or both?

 

What else is important to you in a checking account / bank?  

 

"Best" depends highly on individual needs and requirements. 

 

Do you require local branches?  Would a companion brokerage/investment account with free trades and better banking rewards have any value?  High maximum mobile deposit limit?  Same-day ACHs in/out to other banks?  Account opening bonus?  Solid rewards credit card offerings so you can consolidate your business and do everything in one place?  Weekend branch hours?  

 

 

WOW!  These are REALLY good questions!  

 

1. Domestic primarily.  I do travel internationally, but only 4-5 times per year.

2. No local branch is necessary.

3.  No brokerage account is necessary.

4  I didn't even know there were banks with high maximum mobile deposit limits!

5. Same day ACH exists???  That WOULD be nice!  Beats my current solution of Cash App pull and push for a (nominal) fee!

6.  Account Open Bonus is nice.  I just opened a Capital One Bank account for myself and my wife for $400 bonus each.  I would keep them, but they don't sync with my financial tracking software (I use the "Emma" and "True Bill" apps).

7.  The cards that I want (I am literally *just post rebuilding*) are Navy Federal (for high starting limits) and the Citi Bank Double Cash.  I don't even know what other cards to get besides these two.

8.  Weekend Branch hours ARE important.....but not a deal breaker, as long as I can have an ATM that allows me to deposit cash.

 

THANK YOU!!!!

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9 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

WOW!  These are REALLY good questions!  

 

[...]

 

5. Same day ACH exists???  That WOULD be nice!  Beats my current solution of Cash App pull and push for a (nominal) fee!

 

[...]

 

8.  Weekend Branch hours ARE important.....but not a deal breaker, as long as I can have an ATM that allows me to deposit cash.

One of the big reasons I use USAA for my primary checking is because they make mobile check deposits and ACH transfers available immediately. So it's definitely a thing, I just don't know anyone else who does this. They also have ATM rebates. (but they have a lot of ATMs available to use for free, including Allpoint ATMs and certain banks like US Bank. I try to use the partners when I can so they don't have to reimburse me)

 

Also, you said no local branch is necessary, but weekend branch hours are important? What are you going to do with weekend branch hours if you don't have a local branch?

Edited by jonson
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2 hours ago, jonson said:

One of the big reasons I use USAA for my primary checking is because they make mobile check deposits and ACH transfers available immediately. So it's definitely a thing, I just don't know anyone else who does this. They also have ATM rebates. (but they have a lot of ATMs available to use for free, including Allpoint ATMs and certain banks like US Bank. I try to use the partners when I can so they don't have to reimburse me)

 

Also, you said no local branch is necessary, but weekend branch hours are important? What are you going to do with weekend branch hours if you don't have a local branch?

Hi!  I would have loved to have tried USAA as my main checking, but long story short, I had a horrible experience with them. (See my last post, and then scroll down in the topic.  I describe what happened.)

 

As for weekend hours, that's important if for some reason there are no local ATMs that do deposit.  For example, I have Navy Federal.  I just found out there there are ATMs in my area that do deposits, but before I knew that, there are separate shared branching locations that are open on Saturday when I have time to deposit cash (in the rare cases that I may need to.)  

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12 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

I have Navy Federal.  I just found out there there are ATMs in my area that do deposits, but before I knew that, there are separate shared branching locations

Last I knew they don't participate in the shared branch network, like many (most?) subprime kredit younyuns do.

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23 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

WOW!  These are REALLY good questions!  

 

1. Domestic primarily.  I do travel internationally, but only 4-5 times per year.

 

I've kept my USAA accounts solely because of the international ATM fee reimbursement, but they still charge 1% FTF on withdrawals.  

 

When I leave the US I always leave with some currency that is local to my destination, and I use credit cards whenever possible, so the 1% FTF isn't a big deal since there are no other costs.  But this is the only reason I haven't closed my USAA accounts (I had exactly zero positive encounters with their phone agents).  

 

Also note that their ATM cards cannot be linked to checking, which I didn't realize until I tried to withdraw money in Amsterdam and the machine kept telling me I had insufficient funds (I had plenty in checking).  

 

There are places that do international ATM withdrawals for free (Schwab?), so this isn't reason alone to open USAA checking.

 

2. No local branch is necessary.

3.  No brokerage account is necessary.

4  I didn't even know there were banks with high maximum mobile deposit limits!

 

Bank of America has a $75,000 limit (single-item or monthly), which is generally enough.  I've seen places that cap individual mobile deposits at $1,500, which is basically  useless.

 

5. Same day ACH exists???  That WOULD be nice!  Beats my current solution of Cash App pull and push for a (nominal) fee!


Many banks use Zelle, which is practically instant.  I have just enough direct deposited into a Chase checking account to get a fee waiver, and I immediately transfer the money to our main checking account.  The money is usually in the destination account by the time I can log in to see it there.  I have other savings accounts that do same-day ACHs (Affirm, Marcus, others), but they take a matter of hours (although I'm never actually in that big of a hurry 😛 ).
 

6.  Account Open Bonus is nice.  I just opened a Capital One Bank account for myself and my wife for $400 bonus each.  I would keep them, but they don't sync with my financial tracking software (I use the "Emma" and "True Bill" apps).

 

Chase is constantly bribing customers to open accounts.  There are several sites that list current bank bonuses, like:

 

https://www.hustlermoneyblog.com

 

7.  The cards that I want (I am literally *just post rebuilding*) are Navy Federal (for high starting limits) and the Citi Bank Double Cash.  I don't even know what other cards to get besides these two.

8.  Weekend Branch hours ARE important.....but not a deal breaker, as long as I can have an ATM that allows me to deposit cash.

 

THANK YOU!!!!

 

Which "big banks" have a lot of local branches where you live/work?  

 

Most waive any monthly fees with some really minimal requirements (direct deposit or nominal minimum balance).  Nearly all of their savings account options are atrocious, which is why I keep liquid savings elsewhere, and favor places with relatively quick ACH capabilities. 

 

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What are these ATM's of which you speak?  I vaguely remember them from the days of cash, but couldn't tell you the last time I actually used one.  I don't even have a logo'ed debit card...the one I have is literally just a card to be used in an ATM...probably close to 30 years old at this point. 

 

Most small local banks have rebates if you are actually wasting cash when rewards could otherwise have been accumulated.

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Looks like I will be looking into these further:

 

1. Ally (Even though they are scummy and got caught discriminating against people of color... Probably not going to go with them but I'm keeping them on the list for now)

 

2. Axos (ATM Fee Credit the next day)

 

3. Schwab Checking (I have Schwab for my 401k and I like them. They do have excellent customer service!)

 

4.  Radius Bank (Good vibes), but not great reviews in some places.

 

5. Fidelity Cash Management Account (reimburse ATM Fees the SAME DAY) plus my wife uses them for her 401k and their website is clean and masterful. 

 

6.  Connexus Credit Union - They seem real nice. They're actually in the front running.  Their site is clean and nothing special but very "customer servicy"; very friendly and it seems to be geared towards and marketed towards women.

 

7. Chime - they don't do ATM fee rebates at all.  In fact they have out of network ATM fees.  I just like the marketing and the good guy image... Which will probably only last until their I.P.O, LOL!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/16/2021 at 7:37 PM, jonson said:

One of the big reasons I use USAA for my primary checking is because they make mobile check deposits and ACH transfers available immediately.

I revived an old USAA account recently, but didn't know about the immediate avail of mobile check depo.  Is there a max $ amount on this instant funds?   If you have a USAA CC, do you know if you make a payment from your USAA account does the available credit update immediately also?

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On 1/17/2021 at 8:09 PM, Journeyjeans said:

3. Schwab Checking (I have Schwab for my 401k and I like them. They do have excellent customer service!)

Double check to make sure this is still current, but last I checked Schwab was among the very small handful of places that refunded all ATM fees, including international, and also charged no FTF on withdrawals.  

 

I've never opened a Schwab account for this purpose since I'm too lazy, given how little paying USAA just the 1% FTF has cost.

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6 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Double check to make sure this is still current, but last I checked Schwab was among the very small handful of places that refunded all ATM fees, including international, and also charged no FTF on withdrawals.  


No FTF, unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide.

 

Schwab checking fee schedule: P-6425867

 

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2 hours ago, ON-MY_way said:

I revived an old USAA account recently, but didn't know about the immediate avail of mobile check depo.  Is there a max $ amount on this instant funds?   If you have a USAA CC, do you know if you make a payment from your USAA account does the available credit update immediately also?

I actually do not have a credit card with USAA, so I cannot answer any questions about that.

 

Also, I do not know the limits of same day availability for mobile deposits, as I don't make large check deposits to my account. The most I've done is probably $2,000, and $10,000 is the daily max. I personally don't trust depositing that much through mobile deposit. If I have anything substantial to deposit, I take it to a Chase branch and deposit it into my business account (where they always hold it for 1 to 5 business days, despite years of history with them 🙄).

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I revived an old USAA account recently, but didn't know about the immediate avail of mobile check depo.  Is there a max $ amount on this instant funds?   If you have a USAA CC, do you know if you make a payment from your USAA account does the available credit update immediately also?

Mobile check deposits are a YMMV with USAA. Your daily limits and whether or not you get instant availability depends on how long you've been a member, how you've managed your accounts, how often you utilize the mobile deposit function and whether or not you are credit qualified.

My daily deposit limit is $100k and I always get instant availability on everything.

Recently USAA made an update to how credit card payments post when made from your USAA deposit account. It used to be that the payment took a day or two to post and your available credit wasn't replenished until that time. Now it's instant.
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9 hours ago, PotO said:


Mobile check deposits are a YMMV with USAA. Your daily limits and whether or not you get instant availability depends on how long you've been a member, how you've managed your accounts, how often you utilize the mobile deposit function and whether or not you are credit qualified.

My daily deposit limit is $100k and I always get instant availability on everything.

Recently USAA made an update to how credit card payments post when made from your USAA deposit account. It used to be that the payment took a day or two to post and your available credit wasn't replenished until that time. Now it's instant.

They probably got tired of being embarrassed by Crap One.

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They probably got tired of being embarrassed by Crap One.

Got news for you. As much as I do like CapOne, they have never -- yes, never -- beaten USAA in anything like that.

CapOne until today does not give you instant availability on credit card payments made via CapOne eBanking. And the CapOne mobile check deposit function is light years behind USAA's in virtually every aspect.
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12 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

Oh! I found the bank that I think I will go with! PNC Bank and their "Virtual Wallet" product!  For me, they would rebate $10 per month of ATM fees, and rebate their own atm fees (four per month).  Looks good!

Thanks for thinking out loud as you went through this process. The feedback from others and the questions you raised (and answered) should helps lots of CBers. 

 

My own choice/assessment is that no one financial institution perfectly does all of the things I want done, so I figure out the strengths of each bank/CU, and have an account with each one that does each action/benefit I need/want in the manner I want. This means multiple accounts, but it also means I'm never stuck with one institution. But for those who want "everything under one roof" I think you did a great job summarizing and identifying key aspects to making an informed choice. 

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15 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

Oh! I found the bank that I think I will go with! PNC Bank and their "Virtual Wallet" product!  For me, they would rebate $10 per month of ATM fees, and rebate their own atm fees (four per month).  Looks good!

They have the worst customer service I’ve encountered yet. 
The worst was when I paid off a car loan several months ago. Once the loan was paid, it immediately disappeared from my online account. So I called to confirm it was paid in full and that the autopay had been cancelled. Rep says yes to both. Well, they proceeded to take two more payments out of my checking account after the loan was paid off. They refused to refund to my PNC checking since the payments were pulled from my WF checking. They refused to ACH back to the source account at WF. They would only mail me a refund check via USPS. Two separate phone reps plus an in-branch teller and a branch manager, all as rude as can be. Apparently it’s a mortal sin to pay off a loan early instead of paying them the max interest possible. 
I had to call WF to block any further withdrawals.
I closed every account I had with them.

Edited by DPB
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On 1/27/2021 at 5:37 PM, jonson said:

I actually do not have a credit card with USAA, so I cannot answer any questions about that.

 

Also, I do not know the limits of same day availability for mobile deposits, as I don't make large check deposits to my account. The most I've done is probably $2,000, and $10,000 is the daily max. I personally don't trust depositing that much through mobile deposit. If I have anything substantial to deposit, I take it to a Chase branch and deposit it into my business account (where they always hold it for 1 to 5 business days, despite years of history with them 🙄).

Thanks for your experience.  I'll do some 4-figure test deposits and see if it meets my needs.  I agree, for large checks I deposit to my business account.... which have been NFCU mobile deposit at times. lol.

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On 1/27/2021 at 6:46 PM, PotO said:


Mobile check deposits are a YMMV with USAA. Your daily limits and whether or not you get instant availability depends on how long you've been a member, how you've managed your accounts, how often you utilize the mobile deposit function and whether or not you are credit qualified.

My daily deposit limit is $100k and I always get instant availability on everything.

Recently USAA made an update to how credit card payments post when made from your USAA deposit account. It used to be that the payment took a day or two to post and your available credit wasn't replenished until that time. Now it's instant.

This is GOOD news.   Since NFCU and I have had our 'love loss' for each other in 2020, I've been in planning my generous CU relationship.  Lo and Behold, I stumbled upon remembering I opened USAA checking/savings back in the day with they had public open eligible.  Through some log-in digging and phone calls, I was able to re-fund accounts.  So funny the Transfer page still shows my old Washington Mutual acct numbers. 😅   Any tips on how to best to 'manage your accounts' with them?  Eventually I'll apply for a USAA CC when my scores reach the 700s. 

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On 1/27/2021 at 5:46 PM, PotO said:


Mobile check deposits are a YMMV with USAA. Your daily limits and whether or not you get instant availability depends on how long you've been a member, how you've managed your accounts, how often you utilize the mobile deposit function and whether or not you are credit qualified.

My daily deposit limit is $100k and I always get instant availability on everything.

Recently USAA made an update to how credit card payments post when made from your USAA deposit account. It used to be that the payment took a day or two to post and your available credit wasn't replenished until that time. Now it's instant.

I assumed it was a YMMV type of situation. I have a very good history with them (no overdrafts or bounced checks), but in the early days, they did not give me the mobile deposit option because I didn't have a credit product. So when I had a paper check from one of my clients, I had to visit a UPS store to deposit the checks. I almost gave up on them completely, until one day I noticed mobile deposit became an option for me. These deposits (as well as the push/pull ACHs) were available immediately, so I suck with them ever since.

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13 hours ago, jonson said:

I suck with them

I've never met you, but I'm still certain you suck less than USAA.

 

They're the only bank I've ever done business with that doesn't allow you to use an ATM card to withdraw money from a checking account (only from savings)...  dubya tee eff is that?  

 

I'm not talking about a debit card.  I'm talking about an ATM card, which is what I have.

Edited by cv91915
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