Finding the best online bank checking account can be harder than many people realize. Now that banking is online you are not limited to what the banks in your local neighborhoods are offering. You could deposit your money anywhere you choose so basically the world of banking is a close as your fingertips. That however, opens up tons of options for you that you may have never considered before.

Banks Have Become More Sophisticated:

In addition, banks are now more sophisticated than they used to be. With the Internet as a useful tool for just about anything, it's much easier to find free checking accounts almost every place you go. However, you must be careful because these "free" accounts usually come with some requirements that must be met. You must either maintain a minimum balance or make a certain number of deposits every month, or meet some other expectation. If you fail to do so, the bank will charge you a fee for using the account.

It's important to note that the government has a mandate that states that no checking account can be marketed as "free" if the consumer can incur maintenance fees. So, always take the time to learn the fee structure of the bank and what's expected of you. Otherwise you could be blindsided by a host of hidden fees you didn't expect.

What Does "Free Checking" Actually Mean?

When a bank says their account is free, it always needs clarification. Since most banks reserve the right to charge fees for different services, you need to know under what circumstances will your bank allow you to skirt around those fees. All banks have fees and the best online bank checking account will have a way for you to avoid paying those fees if they come up. Some banks may also have free bonuses for maintaining a minimum balance or just for signing up. Free could also mean free and unlimited access to ATMs or no charge for the extras.

What To Expect From A Checking Account:

A checking account should perform four different functions for the consumer. They should serve first as a clearinghouse for depositing money, then for paying bills, saving money, and as a place to access cash when it is needed. By taking advantage of the free direct deposit, your checking account will save you from taking a trip to the branch to perform transactions. The bank should also issue you a card you can use to pay bills and make everyday purchases so you don't need to carry around a lot of cash. These cards can earn you rewards that allow you to save even more money when you make purchases.

The best online bank checking account should also be interest bearing so that when you deposit money that isn't going to be paid out right away you can earn interest. That way your money is working for you. Finding the right online bank for you requires that you look carefully at everything the banks offer and see how they will benefit you financially.