My Favorite Bank Accounts

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Discover Checking
I originally signed up for Discover Checking because they had a $50 sign-on bonus. Even though that offer has expired, Discover Checking is still a great account to have.

What I Like

  • Rewards! You get $0.10 for every debit card transaction, bill payment, and check written. That doesn’t sound like much, but if you use this account for manufactured spending the rewards definitely add up.
  • A great mobile app: I am surprised by how important this is. I have used all the major bank’s mobile apps and this is one of the best.
  • Free checks: I rarely write checks, however when I do I don’t want to pay for them.
  • Free ATM withdrawals
  • No fees

How I Utilize This Account
I primarily use this account for manufactured spending, because the mobile app works great and the bill pay system is just as good as Bluebird’s. So, if you are looking for an account to deposit money orders into, this is it. I deposit anywhere from $500-$4,000 a week into my Discover Checking account with no issues.

Notes

  • Discover uses a soft pull, so signing up will not hurt your credit.
  • I ran into an error on the mobile app when trying to deposit a Moneygram money order. I primarily use Western Union, so this has not been a big issue for me.
  • You need a Discover account to sign-up for Discover Checking.

Capital One 360
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I signed up for this account for a few reasons. First, they offer a $50 sign-on bonus which is great since they have virtually no fees. I also signed up to have a checking account linked to my ShareBuilder account.

What I Like

  • $50 sign-on bonus: What’s there not to like about a free $50. All you have to do is make 3 debit card purchases in 45 days and you will get a free $50.
  • Interest Bearing: Only 0.20% APY, but at least it is something.
  • Links With ShareBuilder: I love that I can link it with ShareBuilder, so i can easily invest my money.
  • Free checks: Capital One 360 also offers free checks.
  • Free ATM withdrawals
  • No fees

How I Utilize This Account
I primarily use this account with ShareBuilder. ShareBuilder is a stock marketplace that offers you the ability to invest, very affordably. Since Capital One 360 and ShareBuilder connect, I deposit money orders, that I want to use for investments, into my Capital One 360. Then from there I transfer it to my ShareBuilder account. That way I can make some points and miles on my investments!

Notes

  • Capital One 360 uses a soft pull, so signing up will not hurt your credit.
  • You have to make 3 debit card transactions in 45 days to get your $50 sign-on bonus. I bought three packs of gum in separate transactions.
  • You do not need a Capital One credit card to sign-up.

Simple
Simple is a new type of banking system that is a hybrid between a checking account and a budget. I haven’t used Simple very long, however my experience has been nothing but positive.

What I Like

  • A Built In Budget: Budgeting is one of the most important things you can do to stay financially healthy. I love the idea that Simple has a built-in budget, so I do not need to do it separately.
  • A Great Mobile App
  • Free ATM withdrawals
  • Great Customer Service
  • No Fees

How I Utilize This Account
I use my account as another way to deposit money orders. I really like their budgeting system, however I love the perks my credit union offers, so I did not switch.

Notes

  • Simple is currently invite only, so my sign-up link is only good for ten people. So, if you want to try it out, sign-up quick.
  • They offer amazing customer service!
  • The one thing I don’t like about Simple is that they are affiliated with the Bancorp bank.

Lake Michigan Credit Union
This is my main bank account, because they offer 3% APY interest. That is the highest interest earning checking account I have ever seen and I love it.

What I Like

  • 3% APY Interest: The 3% interest can only be earned on up to $15,000. So, if you kept that amount in your account for a year, you would make $450 in free money! The only requirement is that you make 10 debit card transactions a month and login to your account at least 4 times a month. If you are in Michigan, I would highly suggest signing up for an account from LMCU.
  • Links With My Mortgage: I got a great mortgage rate through LMCU, so it is very nice to have my accounts connected
  • Free ATM withdrawals (LMCU Only)
  • No fees:  This account does have more opportunities for fees than the other accounts I mentioned in this post, however I have never encountered any.

How I Utilize This Account
I try to keep my everyday banking and my manufactured spending seperate, so I use LMCU as a checking and savings account is intended to be used.

Notes

  • The mobile app is atrocious. If you can avoid using it, do.
  • Try to put all of your money into the checking account, so you earn the most interest.

There are many bank accounts that I have not used, so this is by no means an exhaustive list. This is simply a list of bank accounts I would recommend. If I had to recommend only one, it would be LMCU since they offer 3% APY interest. I would suggest trying them all out for yourself and see what fits you best. None of them have inactivity fees or monthly fees, so there is no commitment.


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