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The Best High-Interest Checking Accounts

Source:theStreet.com Author:Simone Baribeau Date:03/25/14 Click:

You're not going to make a mint.

But unless you have a compelling reason to keep your on-demand cash parked elsewhere, you might as well earn something off the money in your checking account.

Believe it or not, it's possible.

Some banking institutions offer high-interest checking accounts.

High interest, of course, is all relative.

The amount of money you keep in your checking account is probably small compared with your overall portfolio. And rates are relatively modest, and, with the Federal Reserve slashing away at interest rates, likely falling.

So before you leap into the world of high interest checking, consider:

    * The minimum balances may be high and better invested elsewhere. An extra $2,500 hanging out in your checking account might not be the best way to earn interest on the funds. Especially when dropping below the minimum balance might open you up to fees. And speaking of fees...
    * Fees can eat into interest earnings. Be sure to understand all the fees involved with a high interest checking account. If they're higher than fees at your current institution, be wary of opening the account.
    * Online banks -- which often offer among the highest interest-checking rates -- may not be as convenient as banks with branch locations. After all, it's nice to speak to someone in person, rather than spending 20 minutes going through an automated voice mail system, only to find yourself disconnected.
    * High-interest checking accounts can come with other caveats. Be sure they're worth the interest you're earning.

But for those of you interested in earning money on your checking accounts, looking for rates with your local credit union is a good place to start. We also searched around for the best rates on BankingMyWay.com. All rates are annual percentage yield and have been updated in the past week. Geographic and other limitations may apply. Check with the institution for terms and conditions.

Here's what we found:

EverBank offers FreeNet checking with a minimum $1 balance at 3.01%.

ING Bank's Electric Orange offers a no minimum checking account at 2.25%.

First Internet Bank of Indiana offers an interest checking account with a $500 minimum balance at 1.26%.

In California, Sterling Bank & Trust, Federal Savings Bank offers Sterling Platinum NOW with a $5,000 minimum balance at 3.0%.

In Texas, Trinity Bank, National Association offers an interest checking account with a $1 minimum balance at 2.01%.

In New York, Trustco Bank offers an interest checking account with a $250 minimum balance at 1.5%.

In Illinois, Heartland Bank & Trust Company has a capital interest checking account at 1.38% with a minimum balance of $2,500.

In Florida, First Bank offers first plus checking with a minimum $1 balance at 2.0%.

Elsewhere, here's a look at the national averages for loan rates on interest checking accounts, money-market and savings accounts, and certificates of deposit.

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