Vendor Reviews

HSBCDirect.com

Reviewed Plan
  Online Payment Account
Min. Opening Balance
  $1.00
Minimum Balance
  $0.00
Free ATMs
 
Yes
ATM Rebates
 
Yes
Check Card
  Mastercard
Telephone Banking
  No
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
  None
Monthly Fee
  None
Fraud Protection
 
Yes
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  455
Interest
  2.25%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
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Plan Reviewed: Online Payment Account

Pros

  • High interest rate checking account
  • ATM rebates
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • $1 minimum opening balance

Cons

  • No overdraft protection
  • Lack of locations

Conclusion
HSBC Direct's Online Payment Account is a high interest earning internet checking account. The amount of interest one gains on a normal checking account tends to stay far below 1%, but with HSBCDirect's online payment account it is possible to earn 2.25%. The online payment account is a good service outside of it lacking overdraft protection.

The minimum opening balance for a HSBC Direct checking account is $1. The checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. HSBC Direct's account allows you to use all their ATMs for free. You will also get rebated up to 3 times if you are charged something at another bank's ATM. The online payment account comes with a MasterCard debit card. Fraud protection is included with every checking account, but overdraft protection is not available. Overdraft protection is something that should be included with every checking plan, so it is regrettable that HSBC Direct does not include it with the online payment account. In the end, if you are looking for a high interest checking account and feel that you can do without overdraft protection then HSBC Direct's online payment account is a great choice.

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Compass Bank

Reviewed Plan
  Build-to-Order Checking
Min. Opening Balance
  $25.00
Minimum Balance
  $0.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
 
Yes
Check Card
  Visa
Telephone Banking
  Yes
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
 
Yes
Monthly Fee
  None
Fraud Protection
 
Yes
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  420
Interest
  0% - 1.65%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
sign up now

Plan Reviewed: Build to Order

Pros

  • ATM Rebates
  • Free ATM USage for all ATMs
  • Interest earning checking account

Cons

  • Limited number of locations
  • Limit of 2 free premium features, any additional chosen features are an extra $2 every month

Conclusion
Compass Bank's build-to-order free checking is fairly customizable, allowing you to choose the features that you want. The first two features you choose are free, but any additional features beyond that will cost $2 each per month. Since you have the ability to choose what your checking account is like, it is hard to say what exactly you will get with a Compass Bank checking account.

The minimum opening balance for the build-to-order free checking account is $25. The checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement, as long as you do not get additional features. Compass bank checking account comes with a Visa debit card. Your account is accessible online and by phone. Overdraft protection comes with every plan, as you are forgiven for one overdraft charge a year. Fraud protection comes with every account and gives you the assurance that if your identity ever gets stolen Compass will assist you in getting your money back. Compass Bank's build-to-order free checking account is one of a kind, as it gives you the freedom to choose the features you want. Regardless of what you are looking for you will be able to get a checking account that fits you with the build-to-order free checking.

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Comerica

Reviewed Plan
  Access Checking
Min. Opening Balance
  $50.00
Minimum Balance
  $800.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
  No
Check Card
  Visa
Telephone Banking
  Yes
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
  None
Monthly Fee
 
None, if...
Fraud Protection
  No
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  395
Interest
  0%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
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Plan Reviewed: Access

Pros

  • 50 minimum opening balance

Cons

  • No monthly fees only if certain requirements are met
  • No overdraft protection
  • No fraud protection
  • No ATM rebates
  • Limited banking locations nationwide

Conclusion
Comerica's Access Checking is a decent combination of banking services. An Access Checking account provides you with some features that you would expect and it leaves out some features you would definitely want. Comerica's free checking account lacks a few important features, so we recommend you look at other checking account services.

The minimum opening balance for a Comerica checking account is $50. It requires you to maintain an $800 minimum balance or meet other requirements to avoid monthly service charges. The other methods of avoiding the monthly service charge are setting up a direct deposit with the checking account, owning a house, or being a full time college student. Having the customer meet certain requirements in order to have no monthly service fee is not typical of free checking accounts. Another potential problem is that Comerica's online web bill is only a free feature if there is a monthly direct deposit into the account. These possible issues with the checking account will be avoided by most customers, and this fact makes it a viable choice when compared to other banks.

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Schwab

Reviewed Plan
  High Yield Investor Checking
Min. Opening Balance
  $1.00
Minimum Balance
  $0.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
  Yes
Check Card
  Visa
Telephone Banking
  No
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
 
Yes
Monthly Fee
  None
Fraud Protection
 
Yes
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  270
Interest
  2.01%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
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Plan Reviewed: High Yield Investor Checking

Pros

  • High interest checking account
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly service charges

Cons

  • Limited number of locations

Conclusion

Schwab's High Yield Investor Checking is an account that earns a 3.01% interest rate regardless of the accounts balance. The Schwab checking account provides the customer with free access to any ATM and extensive online banking. Typically to earn a high interest rate on a checking account one has to have a lot of money in the account. With Schwab's High Yield Investor Checking every account earns the same amount of interest no matter what the balance is. Schwab's checking account service is a great choice for anyone looking for a high interest checking account, regardless of the size of their account.

The minimum opening balance for a Schwab checking account is $1. Schwab's checking account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. Schwab also does not may you pay for any ATM charges you encounter, since they reimburse you for any ATM fee you are charged. Overdraft protection is available for those that qualify. Fraud protection comes with every account and gives you the assurance that if your identity ever gets stolen Schwab will assist you in getting your money back. Schwab's high yield investor checking account is a good choice for those looking to earn interest and have free ATMs. The absence of fees and the additional features really make Schwab's checking account almost too good to be true.

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Trustmark

Reviewed Plan
  Positively Free Checking
Min. Opening Balance
  $50.00
Minimum Balance
  $0.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
  No
Check Card
  Visa or Mastercard
Telephone Banking
  Yes
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
  None
Monthly Fee
  None
Fraud Protection
 
Yes
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  395
Interest
  0%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
sign up now

Plan Reviewed: Positively Free

Pros

  • No monthly service fee
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Fraud protection provides $5000 in identity theft insurance

Cons

  • Limited Banking locations nationwide
  • $5.00 for Checkmate Membership
  • No overdraft protection

Conclusion
Trustmark's Positively Free Checking is free if you avoid getting any of the optional features. There are no monthly service charges and no balance requirements with a positively free checking account. There are also a few features missing from the positively free checking service. If you want certain features like fraud protection you have to pay $5.00 to get a Checkmate Membership. The features that come with a Checkmate Membership are nice but should come included with the checking account. The positively free checking service is a good service that suffers from a lack of included features.

The minimum opening balance for a Trustmark checking account is $50. The checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. Your account is accessible online and by phone. Fraud protection, something that should always come free with any checking account, is not included with the checking account. You can get fraud protects and a wide range of other features with the positively free checking service if you are willing to pay $5.00 a month. You should not have to pay an extra fee for features that are normally included for free. Trustmark provides a good service but asks for you to pay a little to much for a few features that come included with other checking services.

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Etrade

Reviewed Plan
  Max-Rate Checking
Min. Opening Balance
  $100.00
Minimum Balance
 
$5,000.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
  Yes
Check Card
  Visa
Telephone Banking
  Yes
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
 
Yes
Monthly Fee
 
None, if...
Fraud Protection
 
Yes
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  27
Interest
  0.5%-3.01%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
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Plan Reviewed: Max-Rate Checking

Pros

  • High-interest checking account
  • ATM rebates
  • Overdraft protection for $5 per occurrence

Cons

  • Minimum opening balance $100
  • Minimum balance of $5,000 required to avoid monthly service fees!!!
  • $15 monthly fee if requirements are not met
  • Limited number of locations

Conclusion
ETrade's max-rate checking is a high interest earning account that targets individuals able to maintain a high balance in their account. The main draw of Etrade's checking account is the 0.5%-3.01% interest it earns. The main drawback of Etrade's checking account is the minimum balance requirement. If you do not have at least $5,000 in your checking account at all times you will be charged a $15 monthly fee. There are a few other ways to avoid the monthly fee. You can set up a direct deposit of $200 or more per month to avoid a monthly fee. You can also maintain a $50,000 balance in your other Etrade accounts and that will keep you from having to pay a monthly fee for your checking account. If you can manage to maintain at avoid the $15 monthly fee, then ETrade's max rate checking is a good high interest checking account that provides you with a high level of service.

The minimum opening balance for a ETrade checking account is $100. The max-rate checking account has more than the usual features included. Completely free ATMs, free online bill pay, free fraud protection, and overdraft protection are all included with the max-rate Checking account. In addition, the 3.01% interest rate is highly competitive with other high interest checking accounts. In order to get the highest possible interest rate you do have to maintain a balance larger than $5,000. In the end, ETrade's max-rate service is a great choice if you can maintain a $5,000 balance, but should be avoided if you have trouble keeping that amount of money in a checking account.

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ING Direct

Reviewed Plan
  Electric Orange
Min. Opening Balance
  $1.00
Minimum Balance
  $0.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
  No
Check Card
  Mastercard
Telephone Banking
  Yes
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
  Yes
Monthly Fee
  None
Fraud Protection
 
Yes
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  1
Interest
  1.74%-3.35%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
sign up now

Plan Reviewed: Electric Orange

Pros

  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • $1 minimum opening balance
  • Online and telephone banking
  • High interest checking account

Cons

  • No ATM rebates
  • Lack of locations

Conclusion
ING Direct's Electric Orange account is a step above the average checking account service. The Electric Orange checking account earns at least 1.74% interest, and it does not cost you any more than a regular checking account would. ING gives you a checking account with no fees, no minimum balance, and free ING ATMs. The Electric Orange checking account is a great option for anyone, as it pays you interest and does not cost you anything extra. The only issue with ING is that it lacks physical bank locations. If you are someone who prefers handling your transactions with a person at a bank then you should not get an ING checking account. If you are fine with doing your banking at ATMs, over the internet, and by phone then ING is still perfect for you.

The minimum opening balance for an ING checking account is $1. With ING's free checking you do not have a monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. ING's Free Checking account allows you to use all their ATMs for free. If you use an ATM that is associated with another bank then you will pay that bank's ATM service fees. The Free Checking account comes with a MasterCard debit card. Your account is accessible online and by phone. Overdraft protection is available for those that qualify. Fraud protection comes with every account and gives you the assurance that if your identity ever gets stolen ING will assist you in getting your money back. The Electric Orange checking account is one of the best checking accounts available, since it earns interest and does not stick you with a bunch of fees.

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USAA

Reviewed Plan
  No-Fee Checking
Min. Opening Balance
  $1.00
Minimum Balance
  $0.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
  Yes
Check Card
  Mastercard
Telephone Banking
  Yes
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
  Yes
Monthly Fee
  None
Fraud Protection
 
Yes
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  1
Interest
 
0%-?%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
sign up now

Plan Reviewed: No-Fee Checking

Pros

  • Interest earning checking account
  • All ATM fees reimbursed
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Free overdraft protection

Cons

  • Available only to active military personnel, children of military personnel, or military reservists
  • Only one physical location in San Antonio, Texas

Conclusion
USAA's no-fee checking is a superior service that has more features than most other services at no additional cost. The only problem is that USAA's services are only available to those that are in the military, military reservists, or children of those currently in the military. USAA's checking account provides the customer with free ATMs, free online banking, free overdraft protection, no monthly fees, and no minimum balance requirements. USAA's no-fee checking account is one of the best checking accounts available, but if you do not meet the requirements to sign up for an account you next best bet is a WaMu checking account.

The minimum opening balance for a USAA checking account is $1. The checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. There are no requirements you have to meet in order to avoid monthly fees or to be excluded from online banking charges. These services are simply free with USAA. The no-fee checking account comes with a Visa debit card. Your account is accessible online and by phone. Overdraft protection is available, and Fraud protection comes with every account. USAA's no-fee checking also earns interest which is not typical of most free checking accounts. The level of customer service that comes with a USAA is also a good deal beyond what one usually experiences with other banks. Overall, if one meets the requirements to be a USAA member then USAA's no-fee checking account is a great choice.

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Everbank

Reviewed Plan
  FreeNet Checking
Min. Opening Balance
  $1,500.00
Minimum Balance
  $0.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
 
Yes
Check Card
  Visa
Telephone Banking
  Yes
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
 
Yes
Monthly Fee
 
None, if...
Fraud Protection
  No
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  None
Interest
  2.23%-4.65%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
sign up now

Plan Reviewed: FreeNet Checking Account

Pros

  • High interest checking account
  • ATM rebates

Cons

  • Minimum opening deposit of $1,500
  • Must meet certain requirements to avoid monthly fee
  • High account balance requirements for upper-tier interest rates
  • No physical locations

Conclusion
Everbank's FreeNet Checking Account is a good option for those with a significant amount of money looking for a high interest checking account. The typical services, such as free ATMs and free online banking, are provided with the FreeNet Checking Account. Everbank's checking account is nothing special outside of its high interest rate, so if you are not looking to earn interest on your checking it is recommended that you look at other checking account services.

The requirement of a minimum $1,500 opening deposit is high. In fact, to avoid a $4.95 monthly fee you have to have at least $1,500 in your account at all times. The FreeNet checking account comes with a Mastercard or Visa debit card. Your account is accessible online and by phone. Overdraft protection is available for those that qualify. Fraud protection comes with every account and gives you the assurance that if your identity ever gets stolen Everbank will assist you in getting your money back. The FreeNet Checking Account is aimed those who have a large amount of money in their checking and want to make the highest percent interest rate possible. To benefit from Everbank's checking account one does not need to put in a large amount of money to get 3% interest, as even accounts with less then $10,000 will earn 3% interest. Those who want to get the most out of Everbank's Freenet Checking Account will need to have at least 100,000 to get 3.5% interest on the money in their account.

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Bank of Internet

Reviewed Plan
  Freedom Checking
Min. Opening Balance
  $500.00
Minimum Balance
 
$0.00
Free ATMs
  Yes
ATM Rebates
  $8 per month
Check Card
  Visa
Telephone Banking
  Yes
Online Banking
  Yes
Overdraft Protection
  Yes
Monthly Fee
 
None
Fraud Protection
 
Yes
Direct Deposit
  Yes
Number of Branches
  None
Interest
  3.40%
FDIC Protection
  Yes
sign up now

Plan Reviewed: Freedom Checking

Pros

  • High interest rate checking account
  • ATM rebates

Cons

  • $5,000 minimum balance to avoid $7.95 monthly service charge
  • No ATM locator
  • Only one physical location in San Diego, California

Conclusion
BankofInternet's Freedom Checking account is an online checking account that earns a high interest rate. Freedom checking includes the standard package of online banking features with a detailed online interface. You get everything with BankonInternet's Freedom Checking you would with a normal checking account.

The minimum opening balance for a BankofInternet checking account is $500. The checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. BankofInternet does require you to maintain a $5000 minimum balance to avoid monthly service charges. The freedom checking account comes with bod fraud and overdraft protections. Your account is accessible online and by phone. BankofInternet's site lacks an ATM locator which is a typical feature of most banking websites. While the best feature of the freedom checking account is the 3.4% interest rate, the most significant drawback is the minimum balance requirement of $5000 to avoid a monthly fee. Ultimately, the potential account earnings make the freedom checking account a reasonable choice for someone looking for a high interest internet checking account.

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