Are you tired of dealing with hidden fees and lackluster interest rates on your checking account? It might be time to upgrade to a premium checking account.
These premium accounts come loaded with perks like higher interest rates, free ATM transactions, and even added bonuses like credit score monitoring.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about premium checking accounts, so you can decide if one of these fancy accounts is the right fit for you.
What is a premium checking account?
A premium checking account is a type of bank account that offers additional benefits and features compared to a standard checking account. These benefits may include higher interest rates, no or low monthly fees, free or discounted ATM transactions, and additional perks such as free checks or credit score monitoring.
Pros and Cons of a Premium Bank Account
When it comes to premium bank accounts, it’s not all champagne and caviar. There are some great perks to consider, but also some downsides to keep in mind before you make the switch.
Some features and benefits of a premium checking account include:
- Higher interest rates: Say goodbye to measly interest rates on your checking account. Premium checking accounts typically offer higher interest rates, which means your money can grow faster.
- No or low monthly fees: Monthly fees can add up quickly and eat into your hard-earned cash. With a premium checking account, you can say goodbye to those pesky fees or have them greatly reduced.
- Free or discounted ATM transactions: We all know how ATM fees can add up. With a premium account, you can enjoy free or discounted ATM transactions, saving you some serious dough.
- Free checks or credit score monitoring: Some premium checking accounts come with bonus perks like free checks or credit score monitoring. These added features can provide extra value for your money.
- Concierge services or travel insurance: Some premium accounts also offer special benefits like concierge services or travel insurance, providing added convenience and protection for account holders.
- Rewards: Premium checking accounts may also provide a rewards program that allows customers to redeem cash back, gift cards, or other perks.
- Qualifications required: Many premium bank accounts have minimum balance requirements, direct deposit requirements, and credit score requirements, which can make it difficult for some individuals to open one.
- Higher fees for certain services: Some premium bank accounts may have higher fees for certain services like wire transfer or paper statement, which can negate some of the savings from the low monthly fee.
- Not suitable for everyone: Premium bank accounts may not be suitable for everyone, as they may not meet their financial needs or goals.
How to Qualify for a Premium Checking Account
If you’re looking to get a premium checking account, there are several qualifications you’ll need to meet to be approved. Many banks require a minimum balance to be kept in the account at all times, usually ranging from $10,000-$50,000 or more.
You may also need to set up a direct deposit, and your credit score may come into play. Moreover, you might need to be a member of a specific organization or make a certain number of transactions each month.
To make sure you meet all the requirements, it’s recommended to check with the bank before you apply. This will ensure you’re able to reap all the benefits that come with a premium checking account.
9 Best Premium Checking Accounts
The following premium checking accounts all come with great perks. However, you should always check with the bank or credit union to see what qualifications you must meet and which one fits your needs best.
1. HSBC Premier Checking
The HSBC Premier Checking account offers a variety of relationship perks and privileges including exclusive member benefits and international banking advantages. It also gives you the ability to open an HSBC Premier Savings Account. This is a premier relationship savings account that pays an APY of 3.00% on the Premier Relationship Savings account.
To qualify for a Premier relationship, you need to have a Premier checking account and meet one of the following requirements:
- Maintain a balance of at least $75,000 across qualifying accounts
- Receive at least $5,000 in qualifying direct deposits each month
- Have an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan with a value of $500,000 or more when you opened it
- Maintain Private Bank status
2. Chase Sapphire Checking
Chase Sapphire Banking is a premium checking account option from Chase bank. It carries a $25 monthly fee. However, it can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $75,000 across linked Chase accounts, including savings accounts and investments.
Benefits of this account include access to free ATMs worldwide and automatic refund of ATM fees charged by other banks. Additionally, there are no fees for wire transfers or stop payment requests.
Customers with selected linked accounts may also qualify for improved interest rates. Finally, customers will also receive the first four overdrafts at no cost, within the current and prior 12 statement periods.
3. Bank of America Preferred Rewards
If you’re a Bank of America customer with a decent chunk of cash in your accounts, you should check out their Preferred Rewards program. You’ll get access to exclusive discounts and offers, waived fees and higher interest rates.
Additionally, with $20,000 or more in eligible accounts, you’ll unlock even more perks like bonus credit card rewards, savings on mortgage fees, and discounted auto loan rates. It’s a great way to make your money work harder for you without a lot of hassle.
4. Chase Premier Plus Checking Account
Chase Premier Plus Checking comes with a $25 monthly fee. However, this fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 across linked Chase accounts every month, or if you have a linked first mortgage enrolled in automatic payments.
Benefits of this account include the ability to earn interest, no charges for the first four out-of-network ATM withdrawals, free counter checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks.
Additionally, customers will have service fee waived on a selection of other linked accounts and can also open up to two additional personal checking accounts with no monthly service fee.
5. Citigold by Citibank
The Citigold Account is a premium checking account offered by Citi bank, it is designed for customers who maintain large account balances with the bank.
This account offers an interest-bearing option, no non-Citi ATM fees, unlimited ATM fee refunds, free personal checks, waived overdraft transfer fees and stop payment fees.
Customers also have access to a dedicated team that can assist with financial planning and choosing investment products for their portfolio.
This account is a great option for customers looking for a high balance requirement and access to financial planning services.
6. PNC Performance Select Checking
PNC Performance Select Checking is the top-tier checking account offered by PNC Bank. It carries a $25 monthly fee and offers a range of benefits including:
- Ability to open up to eight checking, savings, or money market accounts
- Free ATM use worldwide
- Identity theft protection up to $10,000
This account is particularly appealing for frequent international travelers who want to save on global ATM usage and who want protection in the case of fraud.
7. Bank of America Advantage Relationship
The Advantage Relationship account from Bank of America offers a range of benefits including:
- Additional checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees
- Free overdraft protection transfers
- Interest-bearing option
- Free incoming domestic wire transfers
However, the true premium perks come from Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. Customers can earn extra benefits based on their combined balances in Bank of America banking or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts. The program has three different tiers, with upgraded perks as customers move up each tier.
Perks include higher money market rates, bonus credit card rewards, waived non-Bank of America ATM fees, savings on mortgage fees, discounted auto loan rates, and more.
The Advantage Relationship account is a great option for customers looking for premium checking account benefits and the added perks of the Preferred Rewards program.
8. Truist Premier Banking
Truist Premier Banking is a premium checking account option offered by Truist Bank. It’s designed for customers who maintain high account balances and want access to a range of special benefits and services.
Benefits of this account include waived fees on certain services, such as wire transfers and paper statements, higher interest rates on deposits, and access to exclusive discounts and offers.
Additionally, Truist Premier Banking customers can enjoy special benefits such as concierge services and travel insurance.
9. U.S. Bank Platinum Checking
U.S. Bank’s Platinum Checking is a premium checking account option that carries a monthly service fee of $24.99. However, this fee can be waived by maintaining a combined balance of $25,000 in personal deposits or credit balances.
One of the major benefits of this account is the ability to avoid ATM transaction fees worldwide, as long as the non-U.S. Banks participate in the MoneyPass Network. Keep in mind that surcharges from other financial institutions may apply, and no rebates will be provided.
In addition to the ATM fee waivers, this account also offers an interest-bearing option, earning an annual percentage yield (APY), and no overdraft charges. Plus, for customers with family members who also have accounts, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived for additional family member accounts.
This account also offers additional perks such as safe deposit box discounts, a U.S. Bank Visa Debit Card included in the package, plus online and mobile banking with mobile deposit and bill pay. You also get access to the Platinum Select Money Market Account, a special savings account with exclusive interest rates.
Overall, this account is a great option for customers who want to make the most of their money and avoid ATM fees worldwide.
Premium Checking Account FAQs
Is a premium checking account worth it?
Whether a premium checking account is worth it depends on your specific financial situation and needs. If you can meet the higher minimum balance requirement and utilize all the benefits, it may be a viable option for you.
What are the differences between premium and regular checking accounts?
Premium checking accounts usually offer higher interest rates, more extensive ATM access, more services (e.g., concierge service), and other additional benefits not offered by regular checking accounts. However, they often come with higher monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, and other conditions.
Regular checking accounts generally offer lower fees, lower interest rates, and fewer services.