J.P.Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citi Bank are the top 4 banks in America. Together they have over 40% of all bank holdings in America (over $9.25 trillion dollars). Because of their market position and brand ubiquity, they know that they do not need to offer competitive banking interest rates and can charge you more fees. The first three pay just 0.01% or 0.02% on their normal consumer checking and savings accounts (Citi pays slightly higher, but is subject to more fees). Don't bank with the big 4 banks!
Avoid Fees. Work with a bank that offers competitive rates and low or no fees. If your bank charges a monthly fee to maintain a bank account with them, or requires you to meet certain requirements to avoid a monthly maintenance fee, don't use them. There are many amazing banks out there that never charge unnecessary, unfair fees to their customers.
Earn Interest. With the recent Fed interest rate hikes, many banks that actually compete for their customers are offering extremely attractive checking and savings account rates. Most people don't even know their savings account's interest rate or don't believe it switching would make much of a difference. However, if you upgrade from a bank that pays 0.01% interest to one that pays 2.50% interest you would be saving:
$5,000 $10/month in lost interest earnings
$10,000 $21/month in lost interest earnings
$25,000 $52/month in lost interest earnings
$50,000 $104/month in lost interest earnings
Are you needlessly paying your bank the equivalent of a Netflix subscription each month?
Best Checking & Savings Accounts
As of October 2022
Checking: 0.10% APY
Savings: 2.15% APY
I personally use Capital One and love it. Their app is beautiful and easy to use. They pay a fair interest rate and have no monthly or overdraft fees (and low fees for wires and such). They are the only bank on this list that have physical branch locations you can visit. Their virtual customer service is acceptable, but not amazing. Capital One makes most of its money from its sub-par credit card offerings (their SavorOne card is its only exceptional credit card), but their banking offering is great!
Checking: 0.25% APY
Savings: 2.25% APY
Ally Bank historically pays slightly higher rates than Capital One. I have never personally used it, but I have heard that they have a solid app and their customer service is exceptional. They are a virtual, no/low fee bank and have no branch locations to visit. A solid option.
Checking: 0.60% APY
Savings: 2.00% APY
Debit Card: 0.5x Amex points
I have used Amex for their credit card products in the past and their customer service is unmatched. They are a virtual, no/low fee bank and have no branch locations to visit, but have a solid app to make up for it. Their savings rate is currently below other offerings, however, their checking rate is the second highest on the list. They also offer many great credit cards; check out my best credit cards of 2022 to learn more.
Savings: 2.15% APY
Debit Card: 1% cashback
I have used Discover for their credit card product in the past and they have a solid app and great customer service. Discover usually matches Capital One's savings rates and offers 1% cashback on debit card transactions in lieu of earning interest on checking balances. They are a virtual, no/low fee bank and have no branch locations to visit. Their Discover it Credit Card is also a proven rewards credit card.
Checking: 2.50% APY
Savings: 2.50% APY
They require that you set up Direct Deposit into your SoFi account to earn the 2.50% APY, but you earn that on both your checking and savings accounts. They are trying to become a one-app-for-everything finance solution. They are a virtual, low/no fee bank and have no branch locations to visit. I have never personally used it, but if you are looking to do your investing in the same app as your banking, SoFi may be right for you.
Silverstone gets no compensation from any of the links you find in this post. This "Best of" list is based primarily on these banks' advertised interest rates and fees; however, my opinions and personal experience with their apps and their customer service also was considered. This list is not exhaustive and focused mostly on larger banks, but there are plenty of great banks not included on this list. Please do your own research before opening any bank account. The rates and bonuses quoted in this post are subject to change at the discretion of the issuing companies. All offers and links are as of October 2022; please see their respective websites for current offers.
DISCLOSURE: Silverstone Financial LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Please see our disclosures page for additional information.