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What Are the Best Checking and Savings Accounts

Are you using the bank accounts that are best for you?

Unfortunately, most folks aren’t.

It seems like most of us settle for the accounts we’ve always had and never really look into optimizing our banking, which means we miss out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.

There are so many different banks and various types of accounts that it can be a headache to know which is best for us.

Well, hopefully this post will help.

Here are the bank accounts I personally use and recommend.

What Is the Best Checking Account?

I use two different checking accounts.

My Favorite Checking Account

My favorite checking account is MyStyle Checking from Mountain America Credit Union. Here’s why:

  1. Extensive rewards program including travel rebates, cash back, gift cards, and more
  2. Free online and mobile banking
  3. Visa® Debit Card included
  4. Easy access to cash
  5. NCUA Insured (similar to FDIC insured but NCUA’s for credit unions)
  6. Ability to build banking and business relationships
  7. $100 sign up bonus
  8. No minimum to open an account

The rewards program and sign up bonus are what really set this checking account apart from others. The rewards program is generous and easy to use, and getting extra cash for simply opening an account is always a plus.

Now there is a four dollar maintenance fee, but it can easily be avoided. In order to bypass the fee you just need to take one of three different actions: 1) have direct deposit, 2) perform 10 credit and/or debit transactions a month, or 3) maintain an average minimum balance of $2,500 in the account. Most folks make much more than 10 transactions a month, so the fee is normally not a factor.

We’ve had a MyStyle checking account for a long time and have never had to pay the fee. In addition, the rewards we accumulate through using the account more than compensates for the potential fee.

Use this link to open an account with Mountain America and get $100 bonus today! If you use this link, it helps me out too 🙂 Thanks!

My Other Favorite Checking Account

My second favorite checking account is our Capital One 360 Checking account, but we don’t use it much (I’ll explain why later). We primarily opened the account to take advantage of a cash bonus for signing up. Here are the reasons we still have the account open and why I recommend it for most people:

  1. No fees or minimums
  2. Free online and mobile banking
  3. Easy access to cash—over 40,000 fee-free Allpoint® ATMs
  4. $25 sign up bonus
  5. FDIC Insured
  6. 0.2% annual percentage yield

Most checking accounts don’t offer interest, or the rates are so poor you’ll never notice. 0.2% might not seem like anything to get excited about, but it’s about three times as much as the average savings account. That’s pretty darn good—especially for a checking account that’s meant to aid cash operations rather than interest accumulation like savings accounts.

Use this link to get $25 for free when you open a Capital One 360 account today! If you use this link to open an account it helps me too 🙂 Thanks!

What Is the Best Savings Account?

My favorite savings account is our Capital One 360 Savings account. Here’s why:

  1. No fees or minimums
  2. Ability to use sub-savings accounts
  3. Great interest rates. I get 1.00% compared to the 0.06% most other places are offering. That’s about 17 times better than the average savings account.
  4. Links directly to my Mountain America MyStyle checking account
  5. You can do everything online with an ultra-simple interface
  6. FDIC Insured
  7. Great customer service
  8. $25 sign up bonus

Capital One 360 is an online bank with a lower cost structure than most brick and mortar banks, which is why it can offer interest rates about 17 times better than the average savings accounts.

This is primarily why it’s my savings bank of choice. I generate a heck of a lot more interest saving money here than I would most other places.

In addition, Capital One 360 lets me create a lot of sub savings accounts, which helps me better reach each of my short-term savings goals. For example, my family has an emergency fund, a vacation fund, a boat fund, and 7 other “funds.” Each “fund” is a separate savings account under the umbrella of our Capital One 360 account. Using the accounts like this is a way to effectively earmark our dollars and ensure they get used in the ways my family sees fit.

Each of these different accounts bear high interest, which helps us achieve our savings goals that much faster.

I’ve used Capital One 360 since 2012 (previously ING Direct) and have only had positive experiences.

Use this link to get $25 for free when you open a Capital One 360 account today! If you use this link to open an account it will help me too 🙂 Thanks!



Why I Recommend Using Two Different Banks

You’ll notice that my favorite checking account is held with a completely different bank than my favorite savings account. That’s by design.

I use Mountain America as my operating bank—where I run all of my in and outflows of cash. I use Capital One 360 as my holding bank—where I hold money for my short-term savings goals.

I completely separate my operating cash from my savings money to ensure my savings actually gets used how it’s supposed to be. That’s why my 360 Checking account is essential dormant.

Most folks only have an operating bank, which is why so many people fail to save for their financial goals. When your “savings” is sitting right next to your spending money, then your spendings will almost always swallow your savings. That’s primarily why I completely segregate the two.

Now there are many other advantages like earning much higher interest, decreasing impulsive spending, and earning cash bonuses by opening accounts, but ensuring my money does what I want it to do is my favorite benefit of all.

Check out Bank Like A Boss: 3 Simple, Unconventional Strategies to Get the Most Out of Your Banking for more details regarding making the most of your banking.

But Doesn’t Having Two Banks Complicate Your Finances

This is one of the biggest apprehensions I run into when I recommend that others should use two different banks.

Most folks think that doing this will add all sorts of complexity to their financial life. Don’t worry, it doesn’t. Yes, you may need to remember an additional login and password, but beyond that, technology makes it easy.

With the help of Mint and Personal Capital, with just a few clicks of a button, I can see how much money is in each of my different accounts, where all my money is going, and how well it’s growing over time. Mint and Personal Capital sync with all of my bank accounts and pull the information all together into one place. 

In addition, transferring money between the two banks is no problem. Each month, money is automatically pulled from my Mountain America checking account into my various savings accounts held with Capital One 360.

The benefits of having two separate banks far outweigh the costs. It’s been well worth it for my family.

Conclusion – What Are the Best Checking and Savings Accounts

There you have it. MyStyle Checking with Mountain America and Capital One’s 360 Savings are my favorite bank accounts. I recommend using both as it helps you save more money, spend your money more intentionally, and maximize the benefits of your banking.

I personally use and recommend both accounts.

Action Steps

Knowing what accounts you should be using is different than actually using those accounts. Take Action!

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