Hi everyone, and thank you in advance to any advice that you can give. My wife and I are starting to take security a little more seriously and, after a recent theft of her purse, we’ve decided that a debit card with a lock-function is a must for us. Our current checking account w/debit card doesn’t allow for that. So, here’s what we’re looking for in a checking account:
Free (or easily waived fees)
Free ATM withdrawals (can be a combination of fee reimbursements and/or just a very large network)
Free Cash Deposit (I don’t need physical branches, so long as cash deposit is a thing via other means)
Free checks (at least the first 50, as we only write 3-4 a year, don’t mind paying after that if we stick around that long)
Debit card lock function
Reasonable ACH limits ($10k min)
(Optional, but strongly desired) HYSA offered by the same institution (this can be substituted by offering HYSA-like interest in the checking account, for example, SoFi)
(Optional, but a plus) Fast ACH and early direct deposit
We’ve been with Alliant for 4-5 years now as our primary checking and savings. We had the Alliant Visa Signature and, while we haven’t closed it yet, we have stopped using it. It kept getting used by third parties, even when we’d just activate and sock-drawer it. Between that lax security, the lack of a lock function, and the recent purse theft my wife went through, I REALLY don’t like the idea of someone gaining access to our primary banking accounts. It’s a deal breaker and we’ve decided to move on from Alliant.
I’ve looked at some of the common choices. Ally, Amex, Discover, and SoFi lack cash deposits without some sort of fee. The one that I’ve seen that’s the most appealing is Capital One 360 as it, at least in part, checks every block. No fees, large ATM network (though no reimbursed ATM fees if we have to go outside that network), free cash deposits at CVS (cashier) and Target (ATM) for my area, free first batch of checks, debit card lock, $25k daily ACH limit for same day (higher, variable limit for next-day), respectable HYSA (slightly better than Alliant on this recent upswing), reportedly fast ACH (same day and next day options), up to 2-day early direct deposit.
How I’ll use the account:
I’ve never traveled abroad. I aspire to do so, someday, but it’s never going to be a common thing. Schwab gets recommend a lot due to this, but it won’t suit my needs on this alone.
Multiple direct deposits totaling a minimum of $10k/month (some of these will DD into the HYSA instead)
Monthly mortgage auto withdrawal from (PenFed, ~$2k)
Will be used to pay several credit cards monthly
As noted, 3-4 checks per year
ATM withdrawals about 3-4 times per year
ATM cash deposits about 1-2 times per month
Mobile check deposits every 2-3 weeks
Won’t be used as a hub account unless the HYSA is with a different bank (if this happens, then ACH speed and limits will be more important to me)