Your checking account is the workhorse of your financial life. As a young professional, you should look for a checking account that’s easy to manage on-the-go and doesn’t charge bogus fees. It’s easy enough to find a checking account that waives monthly “maintenance fees” with direct deposit or that doesn’t charge monthly fees at all. Some checking accounts go a step further and pay interest or reimburse other banks’ ATM fees.
That said, don’t obsess over checking account interest. No checking account will pay as much interest as a good high-interest savings account. Your best bet is to open both and link them. Never keep more money in your checking account than you need for the next couple of weeks. Not only can this money be earning interest in savings, it’s safe in the event somebody steals your debit card and drains your checking account.
Best checking accounts for young professionals
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the top checking accounts in the U.S. ideal for young professionals as of 2023. These options have been selected based on customer reviews, bank reputation, account features, and benefits.
Chase Total Checking℠
Chase Bank is a well-known brand with a wide range of financial products. The Chase Total Checking℠ account is a robust choice for young professionals, especially for those who prefer in-person banking with over 4,700 branches nationwide.
Chase Total Checking℠ is the one of the most popular account types offered by Chase. You’ll get a full suite of features, including overdraft protection, access to free withdrawals at Chase ATMs, mobile banking, and online bill pay.
- Convenient physical bank access
- Wide range of additional banking services
- Family-friendly banking options
- Monthly fee if requirements to waive not met
- Chase charges fees for non-Chase ATMs
There is a $12 monthly service fee, but it can be waived with direct deposits of $500 or more, a balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more in this account, or an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings, and other balances.
Chase’s online and mobile banking services are top-notch, with features like online bill pay, mobile check deposit, and account alerts. Plus, you’ll have access to over 16,000 ATMs.
Chime® Checking Account
Chime’s online-only Spending Account makes everyday spending easy with a Chime Visa® Debit Card. Overall spending on the card is limited to $2,500 a day, so this isn’t an account for bigger-ticket purchases — but it’s a great place to store money for regular use.
No credit check is required to open an account. This is a huge bonus, since it’s hard to find a legitimate checking account that doesn’t use credit reporting to screen new customers. If you have a history of closed accounts or less-than-great credit, you can start over with Chime.
Account-holders get a linked savings account with Chime as well. If you want to, you can set Chime to round up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and drop the remainder in savings; a “spare change” savings approach.
With direct deposit, you can get paid two days early. Not everyone can access this feature — your employer needs to allow it — but it’s one of the best parts of Chime. Access your money as soon as the deposit is received, instead of waiting two days for the check to clear.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Axos Bank is another online-only bank with a strong offering for young professionals: the Axos Bank Rewards Checking. Axos’ Rewards Checking account shines in terms of potential earnings, making it a unique choice for the financially savvy professional.
Axos Bank offers a variety of banking accounts with leading rates, low to no monthly maintenance fees, and easy-to-use software to make your personal banking experience efficient.
Their flagship offering is their Axos Bank Rewards Checking account that offers a tiered, variable interest rate based on how many Axos products and services you use.
- Up to 3.30% APY*
- Zero minimum monthly balance requirements
- Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
- Multiple rate requirements to earn max APY
- Online-only bank
The account has no monthly maintenance fees and no insufficient fund fees. But the real highlight here is the interest rates. Axos offers tiered interest rates that can reach up to 3.30% APY* based on certain conditions.
- You’ll earn an easy 0.40% APY when you receive monthly direct deposits totaling $1,500 or more.
- After you’ve set that up, you can earn another 0.30% APY by making 10 transactions of at least $3 each month (or signing up for Personal Finance Manager “Account Aggregation.” in Online Banking).
- You’ll earn another 1.00% APY by keeping an average balance of at least $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Managed Portfolios Account.
- You’ll earn another 1.00% APY by keeping an average balance of at least $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Self Directed Trading Account.
- Finally, you’ll get an additional 0.60% APY when complete full monthly payments on an Axos Bank mortgage, personal loan, or auto loan.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking also provides unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, a valuable feature for those who require regular cash access. The bank’s digital tools are also noteworthy. You can easily deposit checks and pay bills through the Axos mobile app, and the bank’s online platform provides extensive money management tools.
Both Chime and Axos offer strong alternatives to traditional banking with their innovative and user-friendly platforms. These banks demonstrate how modern technology can transform everyday banking into a seamless, more rewarding experience. As always, it’s crucial to evaluate your individual financial needs and habits when deciding on the right checking account for you.
Ally Bank Interest Checking
Ally Bank is one of the leading online banks, perfect for young professionals on the go. Their Interest Checking account is attractive due to its lack of maintenance fees and no minimum deposit requirements.
Despite being an online bank, Ally does an excellent job of providing 24/7 customer service, including live chat. They also offer mobile check deposits and a broad ATM network. The account also generates interest, with rates varying depending on your balance.
Capital One 360 Checking
The Capital One 360 Checking account is another excellent choice for digital-savvy young professionals. It’s a fee-free checking account that also earns interest—two key attributes that are likely to be appreciated by new professionals.
The 360 Checking offers free access to over 70,000 ATMs nationwide, mobile check deposit, and an excellent mobile app. Plus, Capital One’s branches, or “Cafes,” offer a unique, relaxed environment for banking.
Schwab Bank Investor Checking™ account
The Schwab Bank Investor Checking™ account is an excellent option for young professionals, particularly those who travel frequently. The account has no monthly service fees and requires no minimum balance.
The standout feature is unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide, making it the perfect checking account for those who love to travel. It also comes with a free brokerage account, providing an excellent opportunity to start dabbling in investments. The account also accrues a small amount of interest.
Choosing the right checking account as a young professional will largely depend on your lifestyle and needs. Whether you prefer digital banking or in-person interactions, interest-bearing accounts, or extensive ATM networks, there’s an option for everyone. Be sure to consider these options to help you get started on your financial journey.
Remember, the key is to find an account that offers you convenience, low fees, and other benefits that align with your financial goals. Make sure to do your research and choose wisely. Happy banking!