Many people are starting to make the move to online checking accounts. So, why would anyone consider leaving a checking account from a bank such as Bank of America whom they’ve banked with for years? We recently left a major brick and mortar bank after doing business with them for over 10 years. Such banks advertise free checking but you have to meet special requirements such as direct deposit, a minimum balance and certain number of transaction counts to keep it free. Not many people have time to keep an eye on these requirements. Besides, how often do you make a trip into your local bank? Sure, you use the ATM quite often, but most online checking accounts offer free ATMs through their partners at major grocery stores and convenience stores.
If you’re interested in online checking, my friend Phil at PTMoney.com provides the following online checking account tips. I liked them so much I decided to repost them here for you.
- Debit Card and ATMs – It’s important to have access to your money with an online checking account. There needs to be a solid debit card attached to the account, along with plenty of free ATMs to utilize.
- A Great Website Interface – It’s all online, so it better be good. A good online interface will respond quickly and be easy to understand and navigate. And it needs to be up 24/7.
- Free Bill Pay and Checks - Most of these banks have free bill pay and checks. This is pretty standard now. Look out for limits on the number of checks you can write though if that’s a big thing for you.
- Access to an Attached Savings Account – How easy will it be for you to move your spending account money to your savings and vice versa. Online bank transfers can take a long time. If there’s a connected account, you can take some of this headache away.
- FDIC Insured – As with any cash account, the main goal is usually security. So ensure your online checking account is FDIC insured to the full $250,000.
PerkStreet Financial - PerkStreet is actually much more than than online checking – it’s better than most online checking accounts. Perkstreet isn’t considered a bank, but an online financial service that provides you cash back on debit card purchases that can be as much as 2%. We made the switch to Perkstreet and have been pleased with all the same features we had at our major bank with absolutely no fees! We have extra incentive to use a debit card for purchases rather than a credit card because of the perks. Perks can either be cash back gift cards or other perks such as Starbucks coffee (you choose). Perkstreet is convenient with free ATMS, direct deposit and the ability to transfer money to and from your savings account for free. Apply for a Perkstreet account!
Other Popular Online Checking Accounts
ING Direct Electric Orange Checking – Earn interest on your balance with this FDIC insured account. ING Electric Orange Checking provides the ability to send payments to family and friends. It has a free MasterCard Debit card, free bill pay and access to over 35,000 ATMS. Of course, link to your ING Orange Savings Account to deposit or withdraw money as needed. Earn a $50 bonus when you sign up!
EverBank Checking – The savings rate is one of the highest and most attractive with anEverBank checking account. There is a 3 month initial bonus rate on deposits up to $100,000. Minimum opening balance of $1500 required, but no minimum to earn interest. Account has great features which include free Visa check card, unlimited check writing, mobile banking, unlimited ATM fee reimbursement ($5000 minimum balance required) and overdraft protection. Bill pay is free if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $5000. Customer service is available 24/7. Apply for an Everbank checking account!
Ally Checking Account – With an Ally checking account, you have no monthly fees and no ATM fees nationwide. The account requires $0 to open, and there is no minimum balance. Other perks include cash back when you shop, free debit card and checks, unlimited check writing, and free balance alerts. You can earn a higher rate of interest with a balance of $15,000 or more. Open a Ally checking account!