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

Below is the list of 2014’s top banks that provide some of the best high-interest-paying online accounts.

These accounts include high annual percentage yielding savings and checking accounts.

The list is followed by a comparison table, and below that, we have provided links to the respective detailed overview pages of the selected "best banks of 2014".

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 selection down to the 12 banks listed below. 

Most of the banks on our list are able to provide such high yielding savings and 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.

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Make sure to also check out Barclays Online Banking and Savings Review.

Barclays currently offers a 0.90% APY on its online savings account, 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, due to the consistently higher than average number of customer complaints.

2014's List of 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 in ATM fees

Everyone

  • Account is available to everyone, but if you are not a resident of Michigan's lower peninsula, you are required to make a very small donation of $5 to the A.L Sclerosis (ALS) Association of Michigan. Donation is made at the time of filling out your online application
  • Requirements for earning the 3%: At least one direct deposit or ACH transfer from another account each month, 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)
  • Use any other bank's ATM machine and Lake Michigan will refund you up to $15 per month in AMT fees charged by other banks

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 (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)

The below links provide additional information on some of the banks listed on this article:

2014's List of Best 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 the 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

No

Everyone

  • FNBO Direct does not offer AMT fee reimbursements, but it has a national network of free ATMs
  • 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 at 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 rated -  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.

** Please note that any of the rates, promotions, fees, information, and ranking/review factors presented on this article may change at any time. Please review the respective bank's websites for the most updated information

Other News/Reviews:

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

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

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

Banking regulations place limits on savings accounts. You are only allowed to make six free transfers / withdraws each statement cycle

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Monthly Fees

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

5. 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.

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

7. 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

Links to detailed bank reviews:

Ally Bank Reviews | Pros and Cons | Ally Online Checking, Savings

American Express Savings | What You Should Know Before Opening an Account

American Express Savings Review. Pros and Cons of Using Amex Savings Bank

Bank of America Online Banking Reviews | Pros and Cons | Bank Reviews

Bank of Internet USA Review and 2014 Analysis

Bank of the West Reviews | Detailed Review - Pros, Cons, Rates, Online, CDs

Barclays Online Banking and High Yield Savings (UK) – Reviews | Complaints

Capital One 360 Reviews | Pros, Cons | Rates, Savings, Checking, Online Bank

Chase Bank Reviews | Before You Open a Checking, Savings, CD Account

Citizens Bank Reviews 2014 | Pros, Cons, Checking, CDs, Rates, Online Banking

Credit One Bank Reviews | Pros and Cons | Rates, Complaints, Build Credit

EverBank Reviews 2013 - 2014 | Pros, Cons | EverBank Checking, CDs, Rates

Fifth Third Bank Reviews | Pros, Cons | CDs, Mortgages, Rates, Benefits

First Direct Review - UK Banking (Pros, Cons, Complaints, Benefits, Rates)

First Premier Bank Reviews | Pros, Cons, Complaints, Benefits, Rates

GE Capital Bank Reviews - Is GE Bank Safe? GE Capital vs GE Synchrony Bank

Huntington Bank Reviews | 4 Pros and Cons You Should be Aware of

Lloyds Bank Review | History, Rates and Analysis of Lloyds Online Banking

Nationstar Mortgage Reviews | Pros, Cons, Complaints, Rates, Fees, Benefits

NatWest Review - UK | Pros and Cons | Bank Benefits, Complaints, Rates, Fees

OptionsHouse Review | Rates, Tools, Pros and Cons

PNC Bank Reviews | Review of PNC Rates, Fees, Complaints, Online Bank

Provident Bank of NJ | Before You Open an Account - Reviews, Bank Hours

Regions Bank Reviews | Pros, Cons, Rates, Compare Accounts, Online Bank

Santander Reviews | Santander Bank US, UK - Pros, Complaints, Rates

Simple Bank Review | Pros, Cons | How Simple is Disrupting How we Bank

SunTrust Bank Reviews | Top 3 Pros, Cons You Should Know About Suntrust

TD Bank Review, Detailed Analysis and Ranking of TD Bank

Union Bank Reviews | History, Rates, Fees, Pros, Services, Complaints

US Bank Reviews | US Bancorp Online Banking | Ranking, Fees, Rates, Review

USAA Reviews - Pros, Cons | Checking, Insurance, Rates, Mortgage Services

Wells Fargo Reviews | Services, Fees, Wells Fargo Rates - Mortgage, CD, Etc.

What is PayPal and How Does it Work? 2014 PayPal Reviews, Fees, Complaints

- Ogbe Airiodion

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