Top 12 best banks to bank with | No fees, high yield APY savings, checking accounts, ATM refunds

Below is the list of this year’s top banks that provide high interest and annual percentage yielding savings and checking accounts.

The list is followed by a comparison / ranking table, and then a brief overview of each financial firm.

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). 

Top 12 best banks with high yield savings and checking accounts

After applying various ranking and comparison criteria (No fees: $0 monthly fees, $0 minimum balance, high yield savings or high yield checking accounts, ATM fee refunds, etc.), we were able to narrow the list down to the below best banks.

Most of the banks on our list are able to provide such high yielding savings / checking accounts, and pay higher APYs because of their unique banking business model.

They “don't operate many bank branches, don't hire nearly as many employees, rely heavily on automated online tools, and pass along some of those savings as additional interest to their depositors.”

List of Top 12 Best Banks to Bank with in the US

Make sure to also check out Barclays Online Banking and Savings Review. Barclays currently offers a 0.90% APY, which is a higher interest rate than what is offered by some of the banks on our list. However, Barclays has not been included on our list, however, due to the consistently higher than average number of customer complaints.

Also check out8 Best Credit Unions Open to Anyone | Credit Union vs. Bank | 2014 Top Review

Top High Yield Checking Accounts (See 2nd Table Below for List of Best Savings Accounts)

Bank / Financial Institution

APY

Min. to Open Account?

Refunds ATM Fees?

Available to:

Important / Other Information

Lake Michigan Credit Union

3.00%

Varies

Refunds up to $15 per month

Everyone

  • Account is available to everyone, but if you are not a resident of Michigan's lower peninsula, you must make a $5 donation to the A.L Sclerosis (ALS) Association of Michigan. Donation made at the time of filling out your online application
  • Requirements: Direct deposit, minimum of 10 debit card purchases per month, minimum of 4 logins per month, sign up to receive eStatements
  • Earn 3% APY on balances ($0.1 to $15,000)

Liberty Bank

2.10%

$50

Refunds up to $20 per month

MO or IL residents only

  • Nationwide ATM fee refunds up to $20 per monthly qualification cycle
  • Earn 2.10% APY on balances up to $10,000 and 2.10% minus 0.55% for balances over $10,000

Provident Bank of NJ

1.51%

$50

Refunds 100% of ATM fees per month

New Jersey residents only

  • Requirements: Make 10 purchases with your debit card, one Direct Deposit or ACH Debit, and get paperless eStatements

Capital One

0.85%

Varies

Select ATMs only

Everyone

  • $50 bonus (3 card purchases within 45 days of opening)
  • 0.85% APY (Balances of $100,000 or more)
  • 0.80% APY (Balances between $50,000 and $99,999)
  • 0.20% APY (Balances up to $49,999)

Top High Yield Savings Accounts

Bank / Financial Institution

APY

Min. to Open Account?

Required Min.  Balance

Refunds ATM Fees?

Available to:

Important / Other Information

EverBank

0.86%

$1,500

$0

No

Everyone

  • 1.10% APY bonus rate for first 6 months (Up to $50K for 1st-time money market clients)
  • 0.86% first year APY up to $50K
  • 24/7 live EverBank specialists

FNBO Direct

0.85%

$1

$0

National Network of Free ATM's

Everyone

  • FNBO: First National Bank Omaha

American Express

0.85%

$0

$0

No

Everyone

  • No need to change bank. Link savings account to existing checking account with a different bank

SallieMae

0.85%

Varies

$0

No

Everyone

  • Compounded daily (hence higher return on your money), paid monthly

Ally Bank

0.84%

$0

$0

ATM fee refunds - nationwide

Everyone

  • Top winner for consistently high yields and high customer reviews
  • 24/7 customer service

Discover

0.80%

$500

$0

No

Everyone

  • Among the best savings interest rate -  Moneyrates.com 2Q 2013
  • 24/7 customer service

CiTBank

0.80%

$100

$0

No

Everyone

  • If you open your account with $25,000 or more, you'll get an additional 0.05% APY rate (0.85% in total). Less than $25K and you only get 0.80%

CapitalOne

0.75%

Varies

$0

No

Everyone

  • $50 bonus
  • No need to change bank. CapitalOne 360 Savings account can be linked to your existing checking account

Bank of Internet USA

0.61%

$100

$0

No

Everyone

  • Track all your financial accounts, even those at other institutions, all from your Bank of Internet USA Online Banking

Note: USAA is a popular bank serving our military and veterans. It did not make it to our top list of best banks offering high APYs, however, 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.

Key Variables Used in our Selection of the Best Banks Providing High Yielding Accounts

The below key comparison and ranking selection factors were used in our analysis of the best banks to bank with.

Type of Account
High yield checking or savings? A high yield checking account comes with greater flexibility than a high yield savings account.

Federal Reserve regulation mandate savings account limits: Six transfer and withdrawals per statement cycle limitations.

High Yield APY (High yield paying checking / savings accounts)
The APY (Annual Percentage Yield) is the annual interest rate that the bank pays you. Having as high a yield as possible is a high priority for most individuals.

ATM Fees Refund
Some of the best banks on our list will refund ATM fees, up to a particular amount. This allows you to use any bank's ATM and get refunded the ATM fee that you are charged for using that other bank's ATM machine.

Monthly Fees

Only banks with $0 monthly fees have been included on our list of top banks.

Minimum Balance
Minimum balance that a bank requires you to keep in your account each month. Only banks with a $0 minimum have been included on our list.

Account Opening Deposit (Minimum $$$ to Open Account)
Initial deposit required by some banks when you open an account

Requirements
Most of the banks listed here require you to meet a few requirements in order to qualify for the high interest paying account.

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

See Also:

- Ogbe Airiodion

Posted publications are for informational purposes only. Before acting on any information on this site, we strongly recommend you seek financial advice from your own adviser. Visit our Terms of Use for further information on your accessing this site.

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