12 Best Banks to Bank With | No Fees, High Yield Savings Accounts, Reviews

By MarketConsensus Staff . Updated | May 9, 2015 7:16 pm

 

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

Below is the list of 2015's top banks that provide some of the best high-interest-paying online accounts. 
 
The list is followed by a comparison table.

Sorted alphabetically:

  1. Ally Bank
  2. American Express Bank
  3. Bank of Internet USA
  4. Capital One Bank
  5. CiTBank
  6. Discover Bank
  7. EverBank
  8. FNBO Direct
  9. GE Capital Bank
  10. Lake Michigan Credit Union
  11. SallieMae Bank
  12. Synchrony Bank

You can also check out: Barclays Online Banking and Savings ReviewBarclays 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.

 

See Also:

Top Financial Advisors - TEXAS

Best Fee-Only Advisors - CHICAGO

Houston, TX - 12 Top Financial Advisors and Wealth Managers

Best 13 Fee-Only Advisors in Chicago, IL

13 Wealth Managers in LOS ANGELES

10 Energy Stocks to Buy

Los Angeles, CA - Wealth Managers

10 Energy Stocks to Buy for Your Portfolio

 

Selection Criteria: Top 12 Online Banks to Bank with in the US

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).

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.

Checklist - selecting a top bank

 

List of Top High Yield Checking and Savings Accounts

Bank / Financial Institution

APY

Min. to Open Account?

Important / Other Information

Lake Michigan Credit Union

3%

$0

- High yield checking account

Refunds up to $15 per month in ATM fees

Earn 3% APY on balances ($0.1 to $15,000)

Account is available to everyone, but if you are not a resident of Michigan's lower peninsulayou 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

- 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

Everbank1.01%$1,500
- High yield money market account
 
- $0 to $50,000 (APY: 1.01%) - New clients
 
- $0 to $10,000,000 (APY: 0.61%) - Existing clients
Ally Bank0.99%$0

AMT fee refunds - nationwide

- 24/7 customer service

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

CIT Bank

0.95%

$100

Interest rate compounds daily - this gives you a higher return on your money

- Premium rate for accounts with a daily balance of $25,000 or more

- Does not refund ATM fees

American Express

0.90%

$0

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- No need to change bank - you can link the savings account to any existing checking account you have at a different bank

- Does not refund ATM fees

SallieMae

0.90%

Varies

Interest rate compounds daily - this gives you a higher return on your money

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- Does not refund ATM fees

Discover Bank

0.90%

$500

- Highly rated bank

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- 24/7 customer service

- Does not refund ATM fees

EverBank

0.85%

$1,500

High Yield Checking

- 1.40% APY bonus rate for the first 6 months (Up to $100K for 1st time money market clients)

- $0 - $9,999.99 (APY: 0.85% - new clients, 0.30% existing clients)
- $10,000 - $24,999.99 (APY: 0.91% - new clients, 0.41% existing clients)
- $25,000 - $49,999.99 (APY: 0.93% - new clients, 0.46% existing clients)
- $50,000 - $99,999.99 (APY: 0.98% - new clients, 0.56% existing clients)

- 24/7 live EverBank specialists

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

- Does not refund ATM fees

FNBO Direct

0.75%

$1

- Online Savings

- Does not refund ATM fees, but, it has a national network of free ATMs

- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements

Capital One

0.75%

$0

- 360 Savings Account

- No fees, no minimums, earn interest: Max out your savings with a variable 0.75% Annual Percentage Yield (effective 1/26/2015). 

- Tools to track your savings goals

FNBO Direct0.65%$1
Checking account with no fees
- No Monthly Service Fees
- Free Debit Card Fraud Monitoring
- Free Incoming Wires
- Free Stop Payments
- Free Person-to-Person payments with Popmoney®**

Bank of Internet USA

0.41%

$100

- Overdraft or non-sufficient funds fee

- No fees

- Free account features

- You can earn up to 1.25% APY (Direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more will earn .4166% - at least ten (10) debit card purchases will earn .4166%)

- Fifteen (15) or more debit card purchases will earn an additional .4166%

- Does not refund ATM fees

Capital One Essential Savings

0.40%

$5

- This account cannot be opened online. You are required to visit a branch

- 0.10% APY: $0.01 - $10,000  

1.25% APY: $10,000.01 - $1,000,000

- 0.40% APY: $1,000,000.01 and Greater          

Rates are as of 1/26/2015

Note:

** USAA is a popular bank serving our military and veterans. However, it did not make it to our top list of best banks offering high APYs 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 banks' websites for the most updated information. 

 

Key Variables Used in our Selection of the Top Rate 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 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

    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

     
    Checklist - selecting a top bank
    FDIC Insured

    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.

    Tip:

    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:

    Best Banks
    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

    Bank Definition.

    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

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