Over the weekend, a reader name Patrick e-mailed to ask for my opinion as to the best free checking account. I sent him my thoughts on the issue (below), but thought that it would be good to throw this one out to you guys, as I’ve done in the past when searching for the best online savings account or the best online broker.
So… What your favorite free checking account?
There are a number of online options, including ING Electric Orange (nice APY for higher balances, but there’s no physical checkbook — all check writing is done online) as well as E-Trade’s online checking account (again, nice APY for higher balances). As for us, we have a local checking account with Bank of America, which is where we also have our business checking account. It’s “free, ” but it pays zero interest, so we’re paying for it indirectly.
We mainly have this account because: (1) we have kids and write a lot of random checks for school lunches, fundraisers, etc. (Electric Orange wouldn’t work very well for this), and (2) we frequently have to deposit checks, and Bank of America has ATMs everywhere (at least around here). We have this account hooked up to several online savings accounts, including our current favorite, Everbank. That way we can easily shift money in or out depending on our needs while still earning as much interest as possible.
Do we like Bank of America? Not really. But it’s convenient, and fills a need.