The Best Checking Accounts in Florida for 2024

The best checking accounts in Florida can help you reach your financial goals while protecting your money. Compare rates, fees, rewards, and more.
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Written by Shannon Lee
Financial Expert
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Managing Editor
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If you’re a Floridian looking for a checking account, consider Florida-based banks that serve your community and online banks that serve you wherever you are.

This page explores the best checking accounts in Florida, what to look for in a checking account, and the pros and cons of doing business with local banks. Also, you will find information on online banking and how it compares to banks based in Florida.

Best Checking Accounts in Florida

Local banks have much to offer consumers, so they’re worth considering when looking for a checking account. Here are some of the best checking accounts in Florida to think about.

Brannen Bank

Brannen Bank‘s Simply Free Checking account does not charge fees, so you can keep more money while maintaining your account.

Also, you have access to convenient, free mobile and online banking, so you don’t have to travel to a branch if you don’t want to. When you open an account, you will be required to make an initial deposit of at least $50.

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank

Customers with a personal checking account at Sanibel Captiva Community Bank are not required to have a minimum balance to maintain their account and are not charged a monthly maintenance fee. Consumers can access online and mobile banking and bill pay services for free. There is a $50 opening deposit minimum.

Cogent Bank 

If you want to avoid a minimum balance requirement and monthly service or transaction fees, Cogent Bank‘s personal free checking account is a good choice. Also, you can receive your first order of 50 checks for free. Customers have access to mobile banking. However, if you want to earn interest on a checking account, that is not an option with this banking product.

Easily Compare the Best Checking Accounts Online

Compare rates, fees, accessibility, customer service, and more. Find the best checking account for your needs.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in Florida

Are you concerned about bank fees? Do you make a lot of withdrawals and want to have easy access to ATMs or branches? Would you like the money in your checking account to work for you by earning interest?

Everyone has different needs, so below, we look at the characteristics of checking accounts in Florida to consider.

Checking Account Fees

Since fees banks charge can add up quickly, you want to choose a checking account that keeps these charges as low as possible.

Some fees you can control by paying attention to your habits, such as ATM, overdraft, and non-sufficient funds fees, while other fees, like monthly maintenance and check order fees, can’t be avoided.

ATM and Branch Access

Is being able to do your banking face-to-face vital to you? Then, you want to make sure you have convenient access to branches. Do you make a lot of deposits and withdrawals and need easy access to ATMs in your bank’s network to avoid fees? Then, find out how many available ATMs a bank has before opening an account. These factors can go a long way toward making your experience with a bank much easier and less costly.

Interest Rates or Bonuses

Some banks offer certain perks that make their checking accounts much more attractive. Although most banks don’t provide things like interest on checking accounts or the ability to earn rewards on debit card purchases, banks do add value to your experience.

Mobile Banking 

Banking on the go is essential to many consumers, so having access to a mobile app is becoming increasingly common. To ensure they offer the most convenience, banks may have apps that allow you to check balances, make transfers between accounts, and make deposits, you may also be able to sync the app with financial management tools and peer-to-peer payment apps.

Pros & Cons of Local Banks

Although a checking account in Florida may sound like a good idea, you should remember that there are benefits and drawbacks to doing business with any bank. The following are some pros and cons of local banks:

Pros

  • Providing financial opportunities to people in the local communities, including individuals, families, and businesses
  • Charging competitive fees
  • Providing competitive interest on checking accounts when available
  • Working with banks that understand the financial needs of consumers in a specific geographic location
  • Offering more personalized service to customers

Cons

  • Access to fewer banking products
  • May not have a lot of ATMs available
  • May not offer many digital banking options
  • May not offer services based on the latest banking trends
  • May have limited customer service hours

Online Checking for Florida Residents

An online checking account brings convenience to banking with access anytime, anywhere. It allows users to easily check balances, track transactions, and pay bills through simple digital interfaces. 

Digital statements and notifications replace paper, simplifying record-keeping. Online accounts often offer competitive rates and minimal fees, fostering cost-effective banking. 

The seamless fund transfers and compatibility with various financial tools enhance flexibility. 

In essence, an online checking account provides practical, user-friendly banking, making it a straightforward choice for those seeking efficient and accessible financial management.

Are you considering an online bank? If you don’t need to visit a bank branch for your transactions, you’ll want to explore the following companies for your banking needs.

Chime

Chime Bank’s checking account brings several advantages, such as early access to your salary — enabling you to receive payments up to two days ahead of traditional banks.

Enjoy overdraft protection without fees for overdrawing up to $99.99, contingent on maintaining at least $500 in monthly direct deposits. The account is fee-free, devoid of hidden charges, minimum deposit fees, or monthly fees.

Access over 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs. Benefit from Chime’s advanced mobile banking app, directing you to the nearest fee-free ATM.

The Chime debit card is universally accepted, and the checking account supports second-chance banking with no credit checks.

Additionally, Chime offers a secured credit card to build credit, reporting to major credit bureaus. Opt for Chime’s automatic savings option, rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar or crediting a set sum to your account each payday.

Citi Checking

Citi Priority Checking account offers a substantial bonus, contingent on maintaining a minimum balance and fulfilling specific requirements.

Despite not earning interest, this account stands out for this generous bonus offer. You can access Citi’s physical branches for personalized service from tellers or customer representatives. Expect a $30 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived with a minimum balance of $30,000 across eligible deposit, retirement, and investment Citi accounts.

Enjoy elite benefits, including waived fees, no foreign transaction fees on debit card purchases, and exclusive deals on mortgages and other products. While the bonus is enticing, a substantial initial deposit is necessary to get this offer.

Pros & Cons of Online Checking Accounts

Just as with local options, online checking accounts have their own advantages and disadvantages. The following are some of them:

Pros

  • Money is FDIC-insured, the same as with traditional banks
  • Higher interest rates
  • Lower fees
  • More mobile banking options may be available
  • Longer customer service hours than conventional banks

Cons

  • Consumers can’t form personal relationships with online banks
  • No ability to do face-to-face banking
  • Online banks are not invested in the local community
  • It can be challenging to make cash deposits
  • There are fewer banking solutions offered

How to Choose: Florida vs. Online Checking Account

Online banks have opened up options for consumers, but that doesn’t make them suitable for everyone. If you prefer to keep your money in a bank with brick-and-mortar locations so you can speak to people in person about your account, then a local bank is the best choice.

However, if you don’t need that, you may want to consider an online bank to take advantage of the convenience of handling transactions anywhere.

What to Know About Florida Checking Accounts

Whether you open a checking account at a local Florida bank or an online bank that does business in Florida, there are some rules they must follow. Here are a few of the most important ones you should know about.

Cashing Checks

Banks in Florida are not obligated to pay a check over six months old unless it’s certified.

Stop Payments

Consumers have the right to stop payment on checks drawn on their account by alerting the bank of the situation in writing. This stop-payment order will be effective for six months and can be renewed every six months by written request.

Dormant Accounts

In Florida, a checking account is considered dormant if it hasn’t been used in five years, meaning there have been absolutely no deposits or withdrawals in this period, and the account holder has not communicated with the bank at all. When this occurs, a bank may charge fees to the account.

About Author
Shannon Lee
Shannon Lee, a versatile contributor to MoneyRates, is a freelance writer with a passion that spans over two decades. Her extensive writing portfolio encompasses a myriad of topics, ranging from personal finance and home improvement to education, relationships, and medical and health subjects. In addition to her prolific freelance career, Shannon is also a novelist. Shannon’s dedication to providing insightful and informative content makes her a valued voice in the world of personal finance.