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Best Checking Accounts

A checking account is one of the most important elements of individual finances. It is the method used for making payments for all needs of daily life. However, checking accounts usually offer really low rate of interest which can be a big disadvantage.

Provided below is a list of the best checking accounts. The list has been prepared after sorting through over 3450 credit unions insured by the National Credit Union Administration and banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, located all across the country, so as to help you take a decision about the best checking account for you. As checking accounts work on an every basis, different criteria have been used for different types of checking accounts.

  • Rewards checking accounts: The best rewards checking accounts mentioned at this website have been selected on the basis of their health rating, i.e., it should a B or higher than B health rating. Also, the membership criteria for credit unions should not be excessively restrictive. These checking accounts that met these criteria were sorted and selected on the basis of the maximum rewards amount offered on a deposit of $100.
  • Online checking accounts: The best online checking accounts listed here were sorted from a lot of thousands of online checking accounts offering nationwide access and facilities. The health rating of the institutions had to be above a B. Then those accounts with no requirements for minimum balance and the highest interest rates were selected.
  • Business checking accounts: The best business checking accounts were narrowed down and selected on the basis of their health rating; it had to be above a rating of B. Other criteria that were taken into account include no requirements of minimum balance, i.e., it should not be over $0. Credit unions that placed excessively restrictive criteria for membership were also not included.
  • Free checking accounts: The best free checking accounts were sorted and selected on the basis of the below listed criteria:
    • The balance in the checking account was set from $0 to $10,000. It was also supposed that customers would be using the ATMs of other banks, on average, around 4 times every month.
    • Free checking accounts that charged service fees every month; levied fees for use of third-party ATM; and had requirements of a minimum balance were weeded out.
    • Credit unions with excessive restrictions on membership and institutions with health rating of below a B were not included.

It is important to remember that checking accounts cannot be used an investment option due to their very low interest rates. If money is kept idle in checking accounts for a long period of time, then its value actually tends to erode due the effect of inflation. It may be noted that inflation generally increases at around 2 percent annually, while interest earnings for checking accounts is around 0.158 percent APY. It is therefore advisable to keep as less money in checking accounts as possible. It is best to park your cash over the long-term in investment instruments and accounts that offer increased earning potential.