Best Checking Accounts in Kentucky for 2024

Explore the best checking accounts in Kentucky for 2024. Compare local and online options, considering fees, ATM access, customer service, and interest rates to find your ideal account.
Written by Shannon Lee
Financial Expert
Managing Editor
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Opening a new checking account can require a great deal of research.

When you have a wide variety of banks to choose from, how do you know which options are the best for you?

We looked at many Kentucky checking accounts to find local and online banks that meet your financial needs.

Compare Kentucky and Online Checking Accounts

When you compare online banks to local banks, there are several questions you should ask. Here are some of them.

  • Do I feel more comfortable banking with a teller?
  • Would I be comfortable using a mobile app for a bank with no branches?
  • Is ATM usage a common part of my financial life?
  • How much am I willing to pay in bank fees?
  • Will I ever need to deposit cash into my checking account?
  • What sort of customer service experience do I want?
  • Do I need a checking account that earns interest? 

Compare In-Person Branch and Online Checking Accounts

Best Checking Accounts in Kentucky

Local banks in Kentucky offer a full suite of services, including savings, CDs, and checking accounts.

Here are some of the most prominent banks in the state.

Republic Bank

This Louisville-based bank has been named one of the best places to work in Kentucky for several years, so it makes sense that the customers are also happy. 

Republic Bank offers over 90,000 fee-free ATMs. The Simple Access account requires a $10 opening deposit, and the Easy Checking and Flex Checking accounts require $50.

There are fees but simple ways to waive them. The Pinnacle Checking is interest-bearing for those with higher balances and comes with a free safe deposit box.

The Military Checking offers no fees, no minimums, and even more perks.

Citizens Bank of Kentucky

With four checking account options, Citizens Bank of Kentucky has something for every financial need. Breeze Checking, with no minimum and no fees, is the best option for those just starting out.

Freedom Checking has a monthly fee but easy ways to waive it, and it allows for earning interest.

Empire50 Checking is designed for those over 50, while Liberty Checking offers all sorts of perks for those who want to invest higher amounts. In most cases, the higher your balance, the higher your interest rate. 

Fifth Third Bank

When you choose a checking account at Fifth Third Bank, you can go with the Momentum Checking for no monthly fee or minimum balance.

The other two accounts, the Preferred and the Express, do require a minimum deposit, and the Express requires you to hold a minimum balance. But all come with perks, such as identity theft protection and over 40,000 fee-free ATMs.

Student and Military checking accounts are available to those who qualify. This bank’s special feature is the ABLE checking account, which allows families who receive state or federal benefits to have a checking account that doesn’t jeopardize their benefits. 

Where Can You Find the Lowest Checking Account Fees?

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 Local Banks

Local banks bring many advantages, including the ability to bank in person with someone at your local branch or even at the headquarters.

Here’s what to expect when you choose to go with a local bank in Kentucky.


  • Community banks often have a solid local presence, with tellers and executives who live and work in the area. This helps ensure a small hometown feel you can’t get with a larger bank.
  • Bank branches and customer service phone lines are the norm.
  • You can get a full suite of services, from auto loans to home mortgages and checking accounts.
  • Strong ATM networks allow you to access your money with no fees.
  • If you have a problem, you can simply walk into the bank and solve it—no chat or long wait times on the phone required.


  • Branches are only open during regular banking hours, which might not work well for some.
  • Local banks might not have robust mobile apps, making it difficult for those who want to bank online.
  • Interest rates might be competitive but are often less than what you get with an online bank.

Online Checking for Kentucky Residents

When a checking account is excellent, word gets around. These reviews of online checking accounts available in Kentucky can help you make an informed decision.


Current Spend offers a straightforward checking account with several features for convenience and savings. It provides early access to direct deposits, allowing users to receive their paychecks up to two days in advance.

There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees. Overdraft protection is available without fees, provided you receive $500 in qualifying deposits over 30 days.

Users can earn points on purchases at participating merchants, which can be redeemed for cash back. Additional benefits include access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs, spending insights, and mobile check deposits.

Chase Checking

Chase offers a variety of checking accounts to suit different needs.

Chase Total Checking is the most popular, with a $12 monthly fee that can be waived with direct deposits or a minimum balance.

The Chase Secure Banking account charges a flat $4.95 monthly fee with no overdraft fees.

Chase Premier Plus Checking offers perks like no fees on non-Chase ATMs up to four times per statement and no fees on money orders and cashier’s checks. It has a $25 monthly fee that can be waived with a qualifying balance.

Students can opt for Chase College Checking, which has no monthly fee for up to five years while in school.

Each Chase account includes access to over 15,000 ATMs, online and mobile banking, and features like Zelle for quick transfers.

While Chase banking is available as an online bank, there are many branches throughout the country, giving you the best of both worlds.

Capital One 360 Checking

Capital One’s 360 Checking account offers a no-fee, no-minimum-balance checking option with several features designed for convenience.

Users benefit from over 70,000 fee-free ATMs, early direct deposit access for up to two days, and a variety of overdraft protection options without fees.

The account can be managed entirely online or via a mobile app, providing 24/7 access to banking services, including mobile check deposits, instant transaction alerts, and the ability to lock/unlock the debit card.

Additionally, you can add cash to your account at CVS, Walgreens, or Duane Reade locations. Very few online checking accounts offer the ability to make cash deposits.

Pros and Cons of Online Checking Accounts

Though local checking accounts offer many services, online checking accounts can be fiercely competitive.

Here’s what you can expect when you choose the online route.


  • Online banks often offer higher interest rates than the norm, especially since they have less overhead than local banks.
  • Many online banks provide significant perks with their checking accounts.
  • Robust websites and mobile apps are a must for online banks, so expect virtual banking to be easy.
  • Customer service is often solid and available 24/7 through chat, email, and phone.
  • Some larger banks do have branches in major metro areas.


  • No branches mean you must be comfortable with banking online for all your financial needs.
  • Online banks might not offer a full suite of services. While you can undoubtedly get a checking account, banking products are usually limited at online banks.
  • Depositing cash can be a hassle since there are no branches, and many banks don’t accept cash through ATMs.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in Kentucky

When looking for a checking account in Kentucky, several factors can help you choose among the banks vying for your business.

Consider which of these matters most to you before making the leap.

Monthly Fees

Many banks realize customers don’t like to keep up with potential fees, so they are moving to a fee-free model. This allows you to find a truly free checking account with no maintenance or overdraft fees.

Those with fees often provide easy ways to waive the fee each month.

Other Fees

Even when a bank adopts a fee-free model, there are still some fees to contend with. For instance, some will charge for wire transfers or paper statements.

If you don’t use these services, you never have to worry about the fee, but if you do, you might want to consider how much the fee is and if you are willing to pay it.

ATMs and Branches

Many banks will have branded ATMs, which you can use at no cost, no matter where you are.

Others tap into ATM networks that are over 40,000 locations strong, which allows you to withdraw your money free of charge.

Some banks will reimburse you up to a certain amount each month if there are fees. If you’re okay with online banking, an ATM will work just fine, but if you need to do more than an ATM can offer, you need a bank with branches.

Interest Rates and Bonuses   

Interest-bearing checking accounts often have a higher fee, which can be waived in most cases. You might find a higher level of interest in online accounts rather than in local banks.

Some banks will also offer bonuses to get you in the door, and some can be substantial. However, even the best bonuses might not compensate for a high, non-waivable monthly fee in the long run.

Mobile Banking Apps

If you prefer to handle your money on the go with a mobile app, look for a bank that offers a strong option.

You are likelier to find this with online banks, as their apps and websites must be top-notch to compete with similar banks.

If you care little for mobile banking, you might do better with a bank with branches.

What to Know About Kentucky Checking Accounts

Here are some other interesting points you might like to know about banks in Kentucky:

There Is No State-Mandated Maximum in a Kentucky Bank Account

However, the bank itself might limit how much you can deposit. Remember that the FDIC protects your money only up to $250,000 per account, per depositor.

In Kentucky, You Can Choose to Create a POD Designation

This stands for “payable on death” and allows you to transfer your money seamlessly to a person you designate.

The person will then have access to your account after you pass away. This can help you avoid probate and the lengthy process of going through the court to get the funds.

Large Deposits Are Scrutinized

As with other states, depositing more than $10,000 at a time might trigger a report to the federal government.

In most cases, this will be entirely innocent and will clear very quickly. For instance, you might deposit a large check following the sale of the property. Though a report is generated, there will be no questions about what you deposited the money for.

However, if you routinely deposit large sums, talk to your bank about the situation to ensure you don’t run into legal trouble or the bank holding onto your funds while it gets sorted out.

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.
Our reviews are unbiased and thorough, focusing on consumer needs. For details, see our Editorial Policy & Methodology.