Best Checking Account for 2014

Finding the right checking account can be a challenge. There are so many different options with so many different features, and so many different deals at so many different banks. It can quickly start to make one’s head spin. We’ve made it easier by narrowing down four of the best checking accounts for 2014. Whether you’re interested in internet checking accounts, interest-bearing checking or just basic checking, we have a recommendation on this comprehensive list. Here’s a guide to the best 4 checking accounts for 2014:

Ally Bank Checking Account

Ally’s Interest Checking Account has no monthly fees, no ATM fees and no fees for closing the account early. In addition, there is no charge for providing paper statements or replacing a lost or stolen debit card. There are overdraft fees of $9 per transaction, but it seriously beats other accounts that charge up to $35 when you go over. If a check needs to be canceled, the stop payment fee is only $15. The account is free, and it does pay some interest. Any ATM can be used and mobile apps are available. One downside: there is no grace period before they start charging overdraft fees. While the lack of a physical branch to visit may be a turn-off for some people, this online bank can offer some pretty deep discounts.

Citibank Checking

best checking account 2014Citibank’s basic checking offers convenience, rewards and no monthly service fees — as long as you make one direct deposit and pay one bill each month. If you don’t have any direct deposits coming in, this is not going to be the right account for you. Most people do have at least one direct deposit that could be routed to their checking account, though. If you’re able and willing to do that, this is an excellent basic checking account. With the Citibank debit card, you can get online access, phone access and ATM access. There are 1,000 branch locations around the U.S. and you can get access to ATMs for free at 29,000 locations. This is a good, but very basic checking account. Another option through this bank is the Citibank Account, a better choice if you keep a balance of at least $15,000.

Bank of America Checking

The Tiered Interest Checking account has no monthly maintenance fee if you meet balance qualifications. If you don’t, this one costs $25 per month. For this reason, this account is only worthwhile if you do meet that criteria, which includes maintaining a daily average balance of at least $5,000, maintaining a combined deposits balance of $10,000 or more in linked accounts, or having a $15,000 or more outstanding balance on a Bank of America installment loan or line of credit. If you meet those qualifications, there is no fee for checks. There is also no charge a standard-sized safe deposit box, overdraft protection, online, mobile and text banking. The associated debit card comes with a zero-liability guarantee. Most banks don’t offer that kind of guarantee, which is why debit cards sometimes carry more risks than credit cards. For someone who’s ever had to deal with liability issues after losing or having a debit card lost or stolen, this one might provide just the right amount of reassurance.

Regions Checking

The LifeGreen eAccess Account is Regions’ newest offering. It has some great features that include online banking with bill pay options, mobile banking, and access to 2,100 ATMs. There is no additional charge for the Regions Visa check card or their banking apps. Installment loan discounts are offered if the accountholder auto-debits payments from your Regions account. It also offers a relationship rate on select CDs. This account is not free, though: it costs $8 per month. Because of the limited number of areas that this bank services, it may not be a good option for everyone. But for someone who lives in an area that has a Regions bank, this account offers everything a person could want from a checking account. And even with the fee of $8 per month, it is still a huge discount when compared the $25 or more some other banks charge for accounts that don’t meet minimum qualifications.

A Brief Recap

For someone with a small monthly account balance, Citibank checking is probably the way to go. The three other accounts require a high monthly balance in order to avoid the account fees. The Regions LifeGreen eAccess account is great for someone who already has an installment loan through Regions Bank or who is interested in buying CDs. Ally Checking is an excellent choice for someone who is comfortable with internet banking, as long as they aren’t bothered by the fact that there are no bank branches to visit. The Bank of America account is the best choice for someone who is interested in perks like the free deposit box and the zero-liability guarantee.

Finding the right checking account can save a lot of time and money. The best checking account in 2014 provide a combination of service, perks and online features, along with physical rewards like no-cost deposit boxes. For anyone looking to open a new account in 2014, there are some great options available.