The Best Checking Accounts in Iowa for 2024

Explore the best checking accounts in Iowa and compare the offerings of local banks and online banking options. Learn about benefits, fees, and customer service.
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The skyline at dusk in Des Moines, Iowa.

Are you looking for the best checking accounts in Iowa? If so, look no further.

This page provides information about the best local banks in the state and the types of checking accounts they offer.

You’ll also discover the benefits and drawbacks of doing business with local banks and the services you can receive from online banks if you want to explore virtual companies.

Compare Iowa Checking Accounts with Online Checking Accounts

Physical and online banks each have benefits, so they may both be right for some consumers but wrong for others.

You should weigh the features you care about most—whether it be convenience, customer service, fees, or how easy it is to make deposits and withdrawals.

Best Checking Accounts in Iowa for 2024

Local Iowa banks have much to offer with checking and savings accounts, but not every bank has suitable options for every consumer.

Let’s examine some of the best checking accounts in Iowa to get a glimpse of the possibilities.

Libertyville Savings Bank

Libertyville Savings Bank has checking accounts you can open with initial deposits ranging from $50 to $2,500.

These accounts include debit cards and bill pay services, and in some cases, consumers can receive rewards. For example, the bank’s LSB E-Rewards Checking account offers 3% cash back for qualified debit purchases and provides interest.

Peoples Bank

Checking accounts at Peoples Bank provide free bill pay, online banking, mobile banking services, and electronic statements with check images.

Interest-bearing checking accounts with competitive rates are available to consumers who receive direct deposits or automatic payments, are at least 50 years old, or maintain a $1,500 balance.

There is also a free checking account with no monthly service charges or minimum balance requirement.

Midwest Heritage 

Premier checking offered by Midwest Heritage is an interest-bearing account that requires a $500 initial balance and a $500 daily minimum balance.

The bank’s non-interest accounts can be opened with a $100 deposit, and customers are charged $5 to receive paper statements.

Those who open an E-Checking account are not required to maintain a minimum balance and are charged a $1 fee for having a debit card, while the E-Plus Checking account has a $100 minimum balance and provides a debit card for free.

Which Banks Have the Best Checking Accounts Rates?

Plenty of checking accounts have no fees, but if you use a traditional, big-name bank, you could be paying too much.

Here are our top checking account picks for those who want to save on checking account fees and enjoy the convenience of online banking.

Pros and Cons of Iowa Local Banks

Now that you have learned about some checking accounts in Iowa, you may wonder if opening one is a good idea.

Depending on your needs, there may be better choices. That’s why we have put together the following pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Pros

  • Since local banks understand their communities’ needs, they may customize their services and products.
  • Local banks support businesses in the area, thus helping make the communities stronger.
  • Local banks often have low employee turnover, so customers can build relationships with those working at their financial institutions.

Cons

  • Local banks may not be up-to-date with the cutting-edge online services you seek.
  • Local banks may have a limited variety of financial products available.
  • Local banks may not have many locations, so in-person banking may be time-consuming.

Online Checking for Iowa Residents

As online banks have become more common, you may have considered opening a virtual checking account to take advantage of their services.

Continue reading to find out what online checking accounts are available to those in Iowa.

Quontic Bank

Quontic Bank offers a variety of checking accounts tailored to different needs, including high-interest, cash rewards, and wearable checking options, all without monthly fees.

The High-Interest Checking Account rewards users with a competitive APY if they meet specific activity requirements, such as a minimum number of debit card transactions.

If you’re looking for returns on everyday spending, the Cash Rewards Checking Account will provide you cash back on eligible debit card purchases.

Quontic also offers an innovative Wearable Checking Account, which integrates banking with wearable technology, allowing for convenient and secure transactions.

These accounts offer accessibility through an advanced mobile app, an extensive network of fee-free ATMs, and the absence of standard banking fees, making them a practical choice for digitally savvy consumers.

However, potential users should know about the specific activity requirements needed to get the most benefits from these accounts.

Chime Checking

Chime offers a digital approach to banking with no monthly fees for its checking and savings accounts and a competitive APY above the national average.

Partnered with The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank for banking services, Chime emphasizes its easy online access and financial tools that aid money management.

However, it lacks physical branches and direct savings deposits. Features include early payday through direct deposit and a credit builder program.

Varo Bank

Varo Bank offers a digital-only checking account that stands out for its lack of monthly and hidden fees and is suitable for consumers who prefer online banking.

Key features include early direct deposit, the ability to earn cash back on debit card purchases, and access to an extensive ATM network.

However, there are limits on cash deposits and fees for using out-of-network ATMs. Varo’s mobile app facilitates easy account management, although it lacks branch services and live chat support.

Varo Bank is best for users comfortable with digital banking and looking to avoid traditional banking fees.

Pros and Cons of Online Checking Accounts

Are you considering opening an online checking account but don’t know whether it’s the best choice?

If you’re on the fence about online banks, consider the pros and cons to get a sense of the customer experience.

Pros

  • Online banks tend to offer higher interest rates on savings accounts since they have lower overhead than traditional banks.
  • Online banks generally charge lower fees to account holders.
  • Online banks can be convenient for consumers who don’t have time to travel to brick-and-mortar locations to make transactions.

Cons

  • Fees may add up quickly if you make a lot of withdrawals since online banks don’t have their own ATMs.
  • Depositing cash into an online bank account can be difficult.
  • Online banks may not have a variety of accounts you can open. As a result, some companies may have checking accounts, but you may need to patronize a different one for savings accounts.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in Iowa

What are you looking for in a checking account in Iowa?

If you make a lot of withdrawals, you may be concerned about being charged ATM fees. If you prefer to do your banking online, you may be interested in a company with a robust mobile app.

The following are some checking account features to think about.

Monthly Fees

In some cases, checking accounts may charge monthly fees based on the amount of your balance. In other instances, your bank may charge you a uniform monthly maintenance fee, regardless of how much you have in your account. However, some banks don’t charge monthly fees, making them the best option for most people.

Other Fees

Checking account fees can really add up and show up in ways you may not even expect. Aside from monthly maintenance fees, other bank fees you may encounter include:

  • Overdrafts
  • ATM
  • Returned deposit item 
  • Stop payment
  • Check printing
  • Cashier’s check
  • Wire transfer
  • Early account closing

The best way to avoid fees is by finding a checking account that doesn’t charge any. However, if that’s not possible, you can keep fees to a minimum by avoiding things like withdrawing money from ATMs that aren’t in your bank’s network.

ATM and Branch Access

When investigating different checking accounts, find out how easy it is to access your money.

For example, a bank with few ATMs in its network may charge you fees when you withdraw, thus making access to your funds more costly.

When you use an out-of-network ATM, you’ll not only get charged by the owner of that ATM, but your own bank may charge you as well.

Look for checking accounts that give you free out-of-network withdrawals every month or reimburse you for them.

Interest Rates or Bonuses

While standard checking accounts offer a solid option for consumers who don’t need a lot of frills with their checking accounts, some of the best checking accounts will provide something extra.

In some cases, you can earn interest on your checking account, even though those accounts can be harder to find.

Also, some accounts, like the Discover® checking account, allow you to earn bonuses on debit card purchases to get cash back.

Be sure to look around for companies willing to sweeten the deal on their checking accounts so you get more bang for your buck.

Mobile Banking Apps

Although having access to a mobile app for your banking needs is better than not having one, not all banking apps are created equally.

You may love your local bank, but the app it offers may be lacking in basic features, or your bank may not offer an app at all.

The best checking accounts will give you access to several features, so if you want to transfer funds, check your balance, or make deposits, you can easily do it through the app.

What to Know About Iowa Checking Accounts

  • Iowa banks are required to provide account terms and conditions when consumers open them. If the terms change, banks must give account holders reasonable notice outlining the updates.
  • When a deposit is made in an Iowa bank in the name of two or more people, the funds can be paid to any listed people.
  • Banks in Iowa are prohibited from making false published or advertised claims about the terms, conditions, and rates of deposits received.
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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