The Best Checking Accounts in Idaho for 2024

Explore the best checking accounts in Idaho. Find the best options with high interest rates, low fees, and excellent customer service. Make an informed choice.
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The winter in Boise Idaho

Are you looking for a home for your money but don’t want to choose just any checking account? Not all banks suit everyone, and some people prefer to do business with companies with strong ties to their communities. If you’re looking for the best savings or best checking accounts in Idaho, we’re here to help.

Continue reading to find out what local banks offer so you can make an informed choice. You’ll also find information about online checking accounts to compare them to brick-and-mortar options.

Compare Idaho Checking Accounts with Online Checking Accounts

Physical banks have always been a tried-and-true option for consumers, but online banks are gaining popularity.

Which option is better? It depends on your financial needs and preferences.

Are you concerned about how easy it is to access your money? Do you need to speak to customer service from time to time? Is doing business online something you’re comfortable with?

Thinking about what online and traditional banks offer is essential when making a checking account decision.

Main Differences Between In-Person and Online Banks

Best Checking Accounts in Idaho for 2024

If you’re interested in doing business with a local bank in Idaho but are unsure what checking accounts are available, continue reading.

Below, we provide information on some of the best checking accounts in Idaho.

First Federal Bank

First Federal Bank has checking accounts for specific demographics in the community. For example, the bank’s 50 Plus Checking account is free for customers over age 50, while the Student Checking account allows young people to become accustomed to banking for free.

First Federal Bank’s checking accounts include free access to online and mobile banking services, an ATM network of 32,000 machines, an identity theft recovery program, and a debit card.

Bank of Idaho

The Bank of Idaho has several checking accounts, including regular and interest-bearing options. For example, the bank’s Lifestyle Checking account allows consumers to earn interest on their balance and take advantage of unlimited check writing. This account can be opened with a $100 deposit, and customers must maintain a $500 average daily balance to avoid the $5 monthly maintenance fee.

The bank’s Fresh Start Checking account, which can be opened with a $25 minimum deposit, is for people who had problems with checking accounts in the past and are starting over to develop better financial habits. This account has no minimum balance requirement but does charge $2 for paper monthly statements.

Farmers Bank

Farmers Bank offers regular and interest-bearing accounts to provide checking for people with various needs. For example, the eChecking account is a low-cost option that requires no minimum balance and minimal fees for mailed statements and writing more than 15 checks during a monthly cycle.

The Tradition Checking account, which can be opened with a $100 deposit, allows consumers to earn interest on their balance and receive their first order of checks for free.

Find the Best Checking Accounts in Idaho

Most financial institutions offer checking accounts in Idaho, and there’s strong competition among them to offer the lowest fees and best rewards. Use our listing to find the best checking account to fit your financial goals.

Pros & Cons of Idaho Local Banks

Although doing business with a local bank in Idaho may seem like a great choice, it’s essential to remember that there are good and bad sides to doing business with any financial institution.

The following are some pros and cons of working with local banks.

Pros

  • Local banks are deeply involved and invested in the community, so they understand the needs of residents.
  • Community banks often charge lower fees than big banks.
  • Local banks provide personalized services, so you can more easily form a relationship with them.

Cons

  • Local banks may only offer some of the services you find at national banks.
  • Smaller, local banks may have a small network of ATMs, so you may be charged withdrawal fees.
  • Local banks may not offer access to digital services, such as banking apps.

Online Checking for Idaho Residents

Now that you know about local banks, you may be wondering how online banks measure up. The following are some online checking options for Idaho residents to consider.

Ally Bank

Ally’s online checking account offers no monthly maintenance or overdraft fees, access to over 43,000 no-fee ATMs, and up to $10 per statement cycle in other ATM fee reimbursements.

It features spending buckets to manage expenses, early direct deposit to get paid sooner, and CoverDraft for overdraft protection.

The account includes FDIC insurance, mobile check deposit, Zelle for payments, and clear disclosure of the few applicable fees.

Interest rates vary with balance, promoting a straightforward and functional banking experience.

SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi’s checking and savings account offers a high-yield APY for savings with direct deposit and a respectable APY for checking.

There is no minimum balance requirement, and interest rates are variable. Features include no account fees, overdraft coverage for qualified members, and free ATM access within the Allpoint network.

The bank also provides early access to direct deposit funds, with eligibility and rates assessed during a 30-day evaluation period. Additional details and conditions apply to these offerings.

American Express®, Member FDIC, Checking

The American Express checking account stands out for its competitive interest rate and absence of monthly fees.

It offers rewards on debit purchases and requires no minimum deposit. The account is accessible through American Express’s online platform or app, providing features like fee-free ATM withdrawals and mobile check deposit. However, only American Express credit card holders can apply.

This account is ideal for those preferring online banking and seeking to earn rewards on their checking account balance.

Pros and Cons of Online Checking Accounts

Are you curious about opening an online checking account but unsure if virtual banking is right for you?

The following pros and cons will give you a realistic glimpse of what doing business with these companies is like.

Pros

  • When you open an online checking account, your money is FDIC-insured, so your deposits are protected up to $250,000, just as with a traditional bank.
  • Virtual banks provide many online amenities, so you will have access to robust apps and website services.
  • Online banks generally charge lower account fees.

Cons

  • Online banks have no or limited physical branches, so if you need to do any banking in person, such as to make cash deposits, you won’t be able to.
  • Not all online banks have their own ATMs, so fees can add up quickly if you make a lot of withdrawals and use a bank that charges for them.
  • Online banks do not offer the personal relationships that people may enjoy with face-to-face banking.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in Idaho

Not all checking accounts in Idaho are the same, and that’s a good thing because you can look at the different features banks offer and decide which accounts are right for you.

Let’s take a look at some of these features.

Monthly Fees

Banks may charge a range of monthly fees for maintaining a checking account, but the best ones will have no fees. Finding a checking account in Idaho with no fees is possible, but you’ll need to shop around until you find the lowest available.

Other Fees

Some checking accounts may be subject to ATM, overdraft, insufficient funds, and monthly fees. The best checking accounts in Idaho have no fees, but they can’t be avoided in some cases.

ATM and Branch Access

Access to your money is essential, so pay attention to how many ATMs and branches a bank has. The best checking accounts will give you as much access to your money as possible, whether you want to withdraw without being charged ATM fees or do your banking at a branch.

Interest Rates or Bonuses

The best checking accounts will bear interest since this is not common with these types of accounts. Also, some accounts may have certain bonuses, such as perks earned for qualified purchases made with your debit card.

Mobile Banking Apps

If you’re already comfortable with online banking, chances are you want access to a mobile app that will allow you to check your balance, make deposits, or send peer-to-peer transfers.

The best checking accounts will have a robust mobile app that allows you to do your banking anywhere.

What to Know About Idaho Checking Accounts

  • When people make opening deposits into a checking account, they may not have access to their funds right away. Idaho banks can hold some of their customers’ funds. However, this hold cannot last longer than two business days.
  • When a checking account holder in Idaho bounces a check, banks may handle it differently. Some banks may return the check unpaid and charge a fee, while others pay the check and require the customer to make a deposit covering the check amount and a fee or penalty.
  • Consumers can get overdraft protection to have their purchases paid for if they are more than their account balance. People with this feature may be charged overdraft fees for each purchase and a daily fee when the account is overdrawn.
About Author
Kenya McCullum
Kenya McCullum is a freelance writer with expertise in personal finance. She writes about personal finance, education, and other topics that are important to consumers.
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