Top Checking Accounts in the Evergreen State of Washington in 2023

In terms of money, your checking account is the nerve center of your entire existence. The checking account is the most common type of bank account in the United States, and most Americans have one.

As you can probably guess,

When you have a checking account, it's simple to have your paycheck deposited there and to use that money to pay your bills.

Because of their widespread appeal, financial institutions compete for new checking account holders.

Getting new checking account customers is especially important for banks because people who open a checking account with a bank are more likely to use that bank for other services.

This article will discuss some of the best checking account options available to Washington State residents.

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The Embark Checking account from Umpqua Bank is a simple checking account that is suitable for most people.

The low opening deposit of $25 makes this account convenient. When you sign up for electronic statements, you won't have to pay a monthly fee either. Paper statements are available, but there is a monthly fee of $3 if you choose that option.

If your average monthly balance is over $2,500, you will receive a $10 rebate on ATM fees, and you can open one fee-free Grow Savings Account.

Capital Federal

What you see is what you get with the Washington Federal Free Checking Account.

You can get a free checking account with all the essential features when you sign up for electronic statements and direct deposit.

The fact that you don't need to deposit anything to open an account is yet another perk; this one's great for people who aren't quite ready to commit any money to an account just yet.

Additionally, there are 32,000 fee-free ATMs, online bill pay, and simple peer-to-peer payments.

Bank Banner

If you frequently use ATMs, you should open a Connected Checking Account with Banner Bank.

The account has a higher minimum deposit requirement than the other banks on this list, at $50. As a trade-off, this account is 100% free of charges. There are no charges incurred on a regular basis.

The reimbursement policy for ATM fees is the account's shining feature. There is no minimum balance requirement for this service, and the bank will reimburse you for up to four monthly ATM fees anywhere in the United States.

In addition to the aforementioned features, this account also offers overdraft security, P2P payments, and a convenient bill-paying portal.

The process by which we chose

MyBankTracker followed a specific set of criteria when selecting the top Washington checking accounts. Based on an in-depth evaluation of checking accounts provided by the 50 largest Washington banks (as measured by deposit market share, according to FDIC June 2022 data) — covering major cities like Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Bellevue — we have compiled a list of our top recommendations.

We chose accounts based on their low monthly maintenance fees, ease of meeting fee-waiver requirements, availability of the bank's ATM network, and other features designed to make customers' banking experiences more pleasant.

Everywhere in the Country You Can Open a Checking Account

After looking into both regional and national banks, if you still can't find a checking account that suits your needs, you're not out of options.

Cost-Effective with Lots of Extras

Most online checking accounts provide all the features you require, and more, without charging you a fortune.

The operational costs of online banks are significantly lower than those of their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

There are many expenses that come along with running a brick-and-mortar bank, such as rent, insurance, utilities, and salaries for tellers and other employees.

Unlike traditional banks, which often need to maintain dozens or even hundreds of branches across the country, online banks can run their operations from a single location. In other words, they cut their costs significantly.

Financial institutions that operate solely online are able to save money, which they subsequently pass on to their clients.

There is no minimum balance required and no monthly fees for most online checking accounts. Many of those that do not have any minimums higher than $25

Additionally, unlike at most banks, many online checking accounts actually pay interest.

Assured by the FDIC

There's no need to worry about giving your money to an online bank if you're hesitant to do so.

While it is understandably easier to put one's trust in a bank one can physically visit, the security of online banks is on par with that of their brick and mortar counterparts.

Online banking is risk-free because it shares a common characteristic with virtually all other banking institutions in the United States. S , which the FDIC will back if something goes wrong Deposits in any bank, whether traditional or online, are insured by the FDIC.

The FDIC will pay up to $250,000 per depositor, per account type if the bank fails and you can't get your money back.

Reasons to Use a Washington-Based Financial Institution

The best way to save money on your checking account is to work with a bank in Washington State.

Working with a national bank can have its drawbacks, as they typically provide the same accounts to customers all over the country. They can't personalize their services to meet the demands of each region.

Meanwhile:

Due to focusing on a limited geographic area, local and regional banks are able to better understand the needs of their clientele.

That allows them to tailor their services to the specific requirements of local residents.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Regional Bank

You should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of dealing with each local bank thoroughly before deciding which one to open an account with.

Examining the Pros and Cons of a Local Bank Savings Account

Benefits Drawbacks
  • The fees are usually much lower than those at a national bank.
  • Management of client accounts with a personal touch
  • Less extensive banking and ATM systems
  • The current interest rates are not the highest on the market.

Though local banks often outshine their national counterparts in areas such as responsiveness to customer needs and tailoring products to neighborhoods, they aren't perfect.

Working with a local bank has its benefits, but using it on the road can present some challenges.

When you're away from home, you may have to use the ATMs of other banks, which may subject you to ATM surcharges.

In contrast, if you go with a national bank chain, you'll always have easy access to a fee-free ATM or branch location.

Which Bank Account Is Best for Me?

For many people, online banks are the best option, but that doesn't make them flawless. Think about the following points if you're on the fence about opening an online checking account:

Would you rather talk on the phone, or use email and chat?

The most significant drawback of using an online bank:

You can only contact customer service by phone, email, or live chat. It's not like going into a brick-and-mortar bank and having a conversation with a teller.

In the event of any problems with your account, you will have to deal with a representative over the phone or via email, which may be a source of anxiety for some people.

Is stopping by your neighborhood bank on a regular basis a habit for you?

You should probably rethink opening an online bank account if that's the case. Rather than physically going to a bank, customers of online banks only need to use their website.

I'm curious how well you adapt to new technologies.

While online banking services do their best to be intuitive, there is still some training required for first-time users.

The last thing you want to do is mess up your finances because you don't understand how to use your bank's app or website.

While most people born in the digital era should have no trouble using an online bank, those who have a history of technological anxiety may want to stick with a traditional financial institution.

What You Need to Know About a Checking Account

These are the most essential aspects to look for when comparing checking accounts.

Fees

Bank fees are a pain, and maintenance fees in particular are universally reviled.

Why give the bank your money if they're just going to sit on it?

The account with the lowest monthly fees is the one you should choose.

Automatic Teller Machine/Bank Branch Access

If you rely on cash on a regular basis, it's important that you can quickly withdraw funds when you need them and deposit surplus funds when you have them.

Consider whether or not your preferred bank has ATMs or physical locations in the places you frequently visit.

Rates of Interest

A small minority of brick-and-mortar banks do pay interest on checking accounts, while the majority of online banks do.

Finding an account that pays interest is like getting money for nothing.

Using Your Mobile Device For Banking

The quality of mobile banking apps provided by banks varies widely.

Check that your bank's mobile app has all the features you need, such as bill pay and mobile deposit, and that it is simple to use.

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