For many seniors, good money management is a priority, especially once they have reached retirement. Ensuring that your money is working for you is key when living on a fixed income.
As a result, it’s important to know that your checking account is optimized to suit your particular needs and situation.
It can pay to choose a senior-friendly bank account, many of which offer perks like high rates on savings or waived monthly service fees, for example. You may also prefer to use a bank that offers great customer service, or one that has a nearby branch you can visit.
Consumers have more options for competitive checking accounts today than ever before, thanks to online banking. With so many choices, seniors can consider bank accounts that aren’t strictly designed for their age group as well as those that are.
8 Best Checking Accounts for Seniors
To help you find the best checking account for you, we’ve compiled a list of the most competitive checking accounts available today. Some of these are dedicated senior checking accounts, while others are simply standard checking accounts with strong features.
1. U.S. Bank Smartly Checking Account
U.S. Bank Smartly Checking isn’t specific to seniors. However, there is a Smart Rewards program that can benefit those over the age of 65.
For example, the monthly fee of $6.95 is waived for account holders over 65, and overdraft protection is free of charge when linking to an eligible U.S. Bank deposit account such as a savings account or money market accounts.
There is also no minimum account balance requirement for those over the age of 65, and the minimum opening deposit is only $25. Fees for paper statements are also waived for senior account holders.
Although there are no higher interest rates to help build your savings, U.S. Bank’s Smartly Checking Account is a great low-fee option for seniors 65 or over.
2. Citigold Checking Account
Citigold provides a checking account that will suit seniors looking to manage their various accounts with one bank. While the account requirements are high, Citigold’s Checking Account provides several perks, including top quality financial planning and wealth management.
To be eligible for this account, you must maintain a minimum average monthly balance of $200,000 combined across your banking, retirement, and investment accounts. Doing so means you will avoid a monthly service fee. You’ll also get access to Citigold’s suite of investment resources.
Another perk of this account is that it comes with up to $200 of annual rebates on various subscriptions and memberships.
If you’re looking for a high-end checking account that links with investment, savings, and retirement accounts, then Citigold is a fantastic option.
3. Axos Bank Golden Checking Account
Axos Bank’s dedicated senior checking account is available for those aged 55 and above. Their Golden Checking requires a minimum deposit of $250.00 to open, with no minimum monthly balance to maintain. Conveniently, this account does not carry a monthly service fee at all.
Other common fees, such as overdraft or NSF fees, are also waived. It also comes with free personal checks. There are ATM fees, but Axos offers customers up to $8 per month in ATM fee reimbursements.
When it comes to savings, Axos Bank’s Golden Checking Account bears an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.10%, which is a fairly competitive interest rate.
Axos also has a strong mobile app with several useful features, including debit card management and automated bill pay to help you manage your personal finance.
4. Chase Total Checking
The Chase Total Checking account has several strong features that make it a popular checking account across the board. While it isn’t strictly a senior account, it could definitely appeal to many seniors looking for a new checking account.
The Chase Total Checking account has a useful overdraft assistance program, and also guarantees zero liability protection in the event your card is used fraudulently. In addition, there is the option of setting your Social Security checks up for direct deposit. If you do so, you’ll be eligible for a $200 bonus.
Chase also has an excellent, easy to use website and app. These make paying bills, making deposits and transfers convenient and quick. Their app also provides access to free credit monitoring and account alerts for extra security.
Finally, banking with Chase means you’ve got access to the nation’s largest ATM network. Chase Bank owns more than 16,000 ATMs so you can easily withdraw money almost wherever you are.
5. Charles Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking
Charles Schwab is a financial services company renowned for its investment offerings. However, in addition to investments, it also offers banking services. Among these, the Charles Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account stands out for its attractive interest rate of 0.45% APY on your checking account balance.
There is no minimum balance requirement or monthly maintenance fee, and you receive an unlimited number of ATM fee rebates. This is particularly noteworthy given that Charles Schwab has no ATMs of its own.
Opening a Charles Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account also grants you a brokerage account for your investments. The brokerage account has no minimum deposit requirement or maintenance fees. However, keep in mind that there are transaction fees for some securities purchases and sales, although online trades of U.S. exchange-listed securities come with no fee.
6. TD Bank 60 Plus Checking
TD Bank 60 Plus Checking is one of the most popular checking accounts for seniors over the age of 60.
Among the primary benefits of this account are a nominal yield on all balances, free personal checks, and further discounts on various TD Bank lending products. There are no minimum balance requirements, and the $10 monthly service fee can be waived by maintaining at least $250 in your account.
ATM withdrawals are also free when made from TD Bank ATMs.
Ally Bank’s Interest Checking is open to adults of all ages, and is another popular checking account all round.
This account is among the best interest bearing checking accounts on our list, with an enticing yield on all balances. It pays interest at 0.10% APY on balances below $15,000 and 0.25% on balances above that.
This Ally account comes with some other interesting features, such as their “Round-Up” feature. This automatically rounds up all checking account transactions to the nearest dollar, and deposits your spare change directly to your Ally savings account.
As an online bank, both Ally’s checking and savings accounts are free to open and low-fee across the board. There are no opening deposit requirements, no overdraft fees and no monthly maintenance fee.
Couple Ally’s low-fee structure with high interest rates across both account types, and you’ve got a very competitive checking account.
8. PNC Virtual Wallet
PNC’s Virtual Wallet is a comprehensive checking and savings account that’s designed for easy management. With an initial deposit of just $25, you can open a Virtual Wallet account and enjoy a range of benefits. For customers aged 62 or older, the $7 monthly service fee is waived, making this account an even more attractive option.
You’ll have access to over 60,000 ATMs across the country, and the first two non-PNC ATM fees are waived each statement cycle. One of the most appealing aspects of Virtual Wallet is that you’ll earn interest on both the checking and savings accounts. And to sweeten the deal, PNC offers a $50 bonus to customers who open a new Virtual Wallet account.
While many checking accounts can cost you very little, avoiding the most typical fees isn’t always easy. And if you’re seeking perks such as high APY or big sign up bonuses, you may have to navigate certain fees to get the most out of your checking account.
Below we’ll run through the most typical fees associated with checking accounts. Knowing what fees to expect, and how to potentially avoid them, can help you make your money work harder.
For many banks, monthly fees are their bread and butter. Known as a monthly service or monthly maintenance fee, this fee is charged once a month to cover basic operating costs of your account. The more advanced your account is, the higher your monthly maintenance fee will be. However, a great checking account allows you to avoid this fee, usually under certain circumstances.
How to avoid monthly fees: With many accounts, monthly maintenance fees can be avoided by keeping a certain amount in your account on average. You might also be able to avoid this fee by reaching a certain value of direct deposits each month.
Many online banks charge no monthly service fee at all.
Another typical fee, this is charged whenever your account goes into the red. Overdraft fees can be costly. Overdraft protection is a popular feature which some checking accounts will come with. Typically, this allows you to automatically dip into your savings to cover any negative balances in your checking account.
How to avoid overdraft fees: The simplest way to avoid this fee is to regularly check your account balance and avoid overspending. You can use banking alerts to keep on top of your account.
Alternatively, you might seek a checking account that carries a competitive overdraft protection, or lower overdraft fees.
Non-Sufficient Fund fees, or NSF fees, are similar to overdraft fees. Every time you try to complete a transaction that your balance can’t afford, instead of going through and carrying into overdraft, it will be blocked and you will be charged an NSF fee.
How to avoid NSF fees: Primarily, keep on top of your account balance and avoid spending more than you currently have. NSF fees are also typically removed when using the best online banks.
One of the most attractive and potentially important features for a senior checking account is a competitive interest yield. Taking the time to search for an account that offers a high annual percentage yield can pay off in the long term.
While only savings accounts typically earn interest, there are interest bearing checking accounts available to help consumers maximize their savings.
Although many seniors may prefer to use a brick-and-mortar bank, online banks generally offer higher APY rates. In some cases, the difference can be quite stark, so online accounts are worth consideration.
Don’t forget to consider credit unions. In comparison to most banks, a credit union will often offer better rates on savings too.
Another key feature of the best senior checking accounts is no minimum account balances. If you need to compromise here, look for an account that has a minimum balance which you can comfortably meet.
Reducing your banking expenses can help you get more out of your retirement funds. For that reason, look for a senior account with no monthly maintenance fees. If there are monthly fees, you may still be able to have them waived quite easily.
If you prefer to do your banking in person, then you’ll want to find a checking account from a bank with a local branch you can visit. In addition, it helps to research which banks are providing the best customer service.
Having a brick-and-mortar branch you can visit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be getting the best service.
A senior checking account is one that is specifically made for seniors, typically age 55 and over. In some cases, the accounts are age restricted, but sometimes they are accounts open to all ages that simply carry perks for seniors customers.
Dedicated senior checking accounts will usually come with more perks and benefits, especially when it comes to APY and fees.
There are a lot of good options for senior checking accounts, and knowing which one is best for you depends on how well you understand your own banking needs. Some accounts, such as Axos Bank’s Golden Checking Account, carry great interest rates. Others are better when it comes to fees and bonuses.
Consider your own unique preferences and needs before looking for a checking account that is perfect for you.
Checking accounts can be extremely varied, especially since the rise of online banking. However, there are typically four main types of checking accounts:
- Regular checking accounts
- Interest checking accounts
- Senior checking accounts
- Second chance checking accounts
Each category of checking account is designed to serve a different consumer base. If you’re not sure which kind of account suits you best, you can always visit a local bank and ask them for advice.
Yes. TD offers senior customers the Plan 60 Checking Account. This is a low fee bank account available to customers who are 60 or older. Minimum balance requirements are low and for those already banking with TD, switching over will be seamless.
Chase Bank doesn’t offer a dedicated senior checking account. That said, their Total Checking Account could be a great option for seniors. In addition to competitive fee structures and overdraft protection, Chase Bank has a strong reputation for protecting against financial abuse of seniors.
Bank of America does not currently have a free checking account for seniors. However, if you hold a Bank of America checking account you can avoid the monthly fees through several waivers.
Specifically, enrolling in their Preferred Rewards program, holding a daily balance of at least $1500, or having at least $250 in direct deposit each month can remove the monthly fee.
Making sure that your checking account is optimized for retirement is smart, and can save you significantly each year. On top of that, it can also reduce the stress that financial management sometimes brings. Knowing that you’ve found the best deal for you and your money can really take a weight off.
While some of the best perks come from high end, dedicated senior accounts, don’t be too quick to rule out switching to an online bank. As you’ll see above, some of the best no-fee accounts around are from online banks.
Whether you’re looking to eliminate the dreaded monthly fee, interested in boosting your savings or simply linking your various accounts under one bank, you’ll find the right choice in our list above.