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5 Best Bank Accounts for 2014

Find out which bank accounts pay high interest, have no fees, provide better service, and offer cutting-edge technology that makes managing your finances a breeze.

By
Laura Adams, MBA,
January 1, 2014
Episode #339

Page 1 of 2

5 Best Bank Accounts for 2014One of the best ways to streamline your finances, save time, and save money is to switch to a better bank. But with thousands of different banks, accounts, and interest rates to choose from, where do you start?

In this episode I’ve done the heavy lifting for you by researching the best bank accounts for 2014. Find out which ones pay high interest, have no fees, provide better service, and offer cutting-edge technology that makes managing your finances a breeze.

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Bank #1: Money One Federal Credit Union

You might be surprised that my first recommendation actually isn’t a bank, but a credit union. Money One Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, full service financial institution that’s been around since 1951.

Although credit unions offer services to members only, some make membership really simple. For instance, if you don’t have a relationship to Money One through an employer or other organization, you can join by simply making a one-time donation to a charity.

Money One offers the free Kasasa Cash rewards checking account that pays an impressive 3.1% annual percentage yield (APY) on balances up to $10,000. Any amount above $10,000 earns at least 0.51% APY.

There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance required to get this great rate. Plus, you get refunds on automatic teller machine (ATM) fees nationwide, free online banking, and free bill pay. Although Money One doesn’t have a mobile app, you can scan paper checks and deposit them remotely, even if you don’t live near one of their Maryland branches.

The only trick on most rewards accounts is that you must qualify. Don’t worry; it’s so easy that you’re probably already doing it! Every month you must:

  • make at least 10 debit card purchases

  • have at least one direct deposit or automatic payment

  • receive e-statements

  • log onto online banking at least once

Read Bank or Credit Union—Which Is Better? to learn more about the differences between banks and credit  unions.

Although credit unions offer services to members only, some make membership really simple.

Bank #2: USAA

If you’re in the military or have a family member who is, be sure to check out USAA. They’ve been offering banking and financial services to military members for decades and are known for superior customer service.

USAA offers a free online Secure Checking account that doesn’t pay interest, but comes with some really nice features. If you like to bank on the go, their mobile app is one of the best I’ve ever used. It allows you to:

  • deposit checks by snapping a photo with your iPhone, iPad, or Android device

  • manage, view, and pay your bills

  • send money to anyone from your phone using email or a mobile number

  • create a budget and track your spending

  • receive customized alerts by email or text

There’s no monthly fee, no minimum balance, and no usage requirement—plus, you get refunds for ATM fees nationwide. Your USAA debit card comes with zero liability, which means you’re protected from any unauthorized charges on your account.

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