2. Open a Checking Account Online

Features by Bank and Account Type

Checking accounts at traditional and online-only banks are deposit accounts that let you withdraw funds for any purpose. Most also allow direct deposit, offer debit cards, and feature online billpay, electronic funds transfer (EFT), mobile banking, and overdraft protection.

The table below lists popular checking account features and the type of bank where that feature is most often found. When choosing the bank where you want to open your checking account, make sure it has the features you want and need

Direct depositXX
Debit cardXX
Free in-network ATMsX 
Free out-of-network ATMs X
Online bill payXX
Electronic funds transfer (EFT)XX
Mobile bankingXX
Overdraft protectionXX
Ability to deposit cashX 
Paper checksX 
Face-to-face customer serviceX 
High-yield checking X
High account maintenance feesX 
Low or no fees X

Once you know the features you want, search online for banks that offer them. Be aware of the limitations of one type of account compared to another. If you can’t live without paper checks, for example, your best option will likely be a traditional bank. If you want high-yield checking, your best bet is an online-only bank.

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