12 Best Banks to Bank With | No Fees, High Yield Savings Accounts, Reviews
The Best Rated Banks in 2015
What are the factors you consider when searching for the best banks to bank with?
Are banks with "no fees" at the top of your list?
What about banks that provide added value (i.e., perks)? Would you consider this an extremely important factor for finding and choosing a best bank to bank with?
For example, in regards to added value, a lot of individuals consider high yield savings, high yield checking accounts, and ATM fee refunds as important "added value" factors when searching for the best bank to open an account.
With this article, we are presenting a list of the top rated banks in 2015, as well as reviewing some of the important factors that you should consider before signing up with a bank.
Top 12 best banks to bank with | No fees, high yield savings, checking accounts, ATM refunds
- Ally Bank
- American Express Bank
- Bank of Internet USA
- Capital One Bank
- Discover Bank
- FNBO Direct
- GE Capital Bank
- Lake Michigan Credit Union
- SallieMae Bank
- Synchrony Bank
You can also check out: Barclays Online Banking and Savings Review. Barclays currently offers a 1% APY on its online savings account, which is a higher interest rate than what is offered by a few of the banks on our list.
However, Barclays has not been included on our list, due to the higher than average customer complaints against the bank.
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Selection Criteria: Top 12 Online Banks to Bank with in the US
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 banks listed above.
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.
For example, a lot of them:
- Do not operate many bank branches
- Do not hire nearly as many employees as traditional brick-and-mortal banks
- Rely heavily on automated online tools
... and based on the above factors, many of these banks are able to pass along these "overhead cost savings" as additional interest to their depositors.
List of Top High Yield Checking and Savings Accounts
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 your 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
On our list of top banks, we focused on banks with $0 monthly fees.
5. Minimum Balance
The minimum balance is the minimum amount of money that a bank requires you to keep in your account each month. For our top rated banks, we focused on those firms with a $0 minimum.
6. Account Opening Deposit (Minimum $$$ to Open Account)
Initial deposit required by some banks when you open an account
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
All the banks on our list are FDIC insured.
In the unlikely event that any of these banks would fail, the FDIC would step in and "reimburse" your funds in the failed bank - up to $250,000 per bank and per beneficiary for checking, savings and CD accounts.
The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) is backed by the full faith of the US government, and the $250,000 is the maximum amount allowed by law at FDIC insured banks.
In addition to savings, checking and CD accounts, money market accounts and other types of demand deposits are also insured.
With a combination of accounts, it is possible for you and your family to increase the $250,000 maximum insurance limit.
Here is an example of how a couple could raise the ceiling on the FDIC maximum:
Image from Ally Bank
Various Types of Bank Accounts and Banking Products
Retail Banks Accounts and Banking Products
- Checking account
- Savings account
- Deposit account
- Transaction account
- Asset account
- Loan account
- Revolving loan account
- Extension of credit
- Credit account
- Certificate of Deposits account
- Online bank account
- Mortgage loan account
- Safety Deposit Box
- Other Safekeeping services
- Cash management services
- Trust services
Financial and Investment Accounts - Broker Dealer (BD), Global Markets (GM), Custodian, and Investment Manager (IM):
- Broker dealer trading accounts
- Sales and trading
- Transaction accounts
- Custodian accounts
- Trust services
- Brokerage accounts
- Investment Management accounts
- Clearing accounts
- Services (Research, M&A, etc.)
- Investment and lending accounts
What is a bank? A bank or banking institution is any agent, branch, company, agency, or office person that conducts business in any of the below capacities:
- A commercial bank registered under the banking laws of a country within which the firm does business
- A trust company registered under the banking laws of a country within which the firm does business
- A registered private bank
- A registered savings and loan association
- An insured institution as defined in section 401 of the National Housing Act
- A registered savings financial institution
- A registered industrial bank
- A registered thrift institution
- A registered credit union
- A registered national banking association