Best Checking Accounts in Louisiana for 2024

Discover the best checking accounts in Louisiana for 2024. Compare local banks from New Orleans to Shreveport and online options. Learn about fees, interest rates, and mobile banking.
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Written by Shannon Lee
Financial Expert
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Managing Editor
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From New Orleans to Shreveport, Louisiana has numerous banks that allow you to handle your financial affairs in person.

The state also has several online banks that give you the financial freedom you want.

Here’s what you need to know about the banks in the Bayou State.

Compare Louisiana and Online Checking Accounts

When choosing between an online bank and a local one, it pays to do your homework. Start with a list of questions, such as:

  • Do you prefer to bank in person or online? 
  • Are you comfortable using a mobile app for your banking needs?
  • How often will you use ATMs?
  • Will you need to deposit cash often?
  • Are you willing to pay bank fees? If so, how much?
  • How much customer service do you need?
  • Do you want to earn interest?

Compare Brick-and-Mortar and Online Checking Accounts

Best Checking Accounts in Louisiana

Local banks in Louisiana offer various services, and their checking accounts compete hard for your business.

Here are some of the biggest banks in the state that carry checking accounts.

Origin Bank

With four checking account options, Origin Bank has something for everyone.

This includes Simple Checking, where the $8 fee can be waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance of at least $500.

Other options include Impact Checking, which eliminates fees based on your acceptance of e-statements; Connect Checking, which bears interest; and Performance Checking, which can earn even higher interest rates on amounts up to $40,000.

Getting in touch with a banker is essential, as you can’t apply for these accounts online.

Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company

With a strong presence around New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Gulf Coast Bank and Trust is home to seven checking accounts, each designed to serve a different need.

There are accounts for students, seniors, educators, and those with high balances.

The most popular accounts include Easy Checking, which is free of all fees; Rewards Checking, which allows you to waive the service fees; and Interest Checking, which provides interest and $25 in reimbursement for ATM usage.

First Guaranty Bank

At First Guaranty Bank, choosing a checking account is easy. Clear comparisons outline what to expect from each option.

All accounts, including those for seniors and children, require an opening deposit of $25.

The only exception is the Advantage Club Checking, which is meant for high earners with a starting minimum deposit of $5,000.

Most accounts clearly state how to waive the monthly fees. Expect online and mobile banking, robust customer support, and customized notifications.

Need Help Finding the Lowest Checking Account Fees?

It’s easy to find checking accounts without fees, but if you use a traditional, big-name bank, you may still be paying fees.

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

Going with a local bank might feel like a perfect choice. You are probably quite familiar with them and notice branches all over your local area.

Here are other things you need to know.

Pros

  • Local banks offer customer service at branches and over the phone via email, chat, and even text.
  • Local banks offer a full suite of services, including mortgages, auto loans, CDs, and more.
  • Local banks have strong ATM networks in the area, and many tap into more extensive networks that allow access to up to 90,000 fee-free ATMs worldwide.

Cons

  • Since local banks have a higher overhead than online banks, you might find that the interest rates aren’t nearly as good.
  • Local banks might rely heavily on branches and won’t have a robust mobile app or an easy-to-navigate website.
  • Branches are open during regular banking hours, making it inconvenient to bank on your own schedule.

Online Checking for Louisiana Residents

Some of the best checking accounts in Louisiana are online and accessible from just about anywhere.

Here are some of the banks competing for your business.

Varo Bank

The Varo Money checking account offers several key features designed for convenience and cost-efficiency.

It has no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements, making it an attractive option for those looking to avoid common banking fees.

The account provides early direct deposit, allowing users to access their paychecks up to two days before their scheduled payday.

Varo also offers access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs and integrates Zelle for easy money transfers.

The mobile app supports check deposits, account linking, and spending tracking, enhancing user accessibility and financial management. FDIC insurance up to $250,000 adds a layer of security for account holders.

Quontic Bank

The Quontic checking account offers several distinct options tailored to different financial needs.

The High-Interest checking account provides a competitive APY if you meet the requirement of 10 qualifying debit card transactions per statement cycle. Otherwise, the rate drops to 0.01%.

The Cash Rewards checking account gives 1% cash back on eligible debit card purchases with no monthly maintenance fees.

Quontic’s unique Wearable checking account includes a free pay ring for contactless payments.

All accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000, ensuring secure banking.

SoFi Money

The SoFi Checking and Savings account combines the features of traditional checking and savings accounts, offering a high-interest rate on balances, no monthly fees, and early direct deposit access.

Users can manage funds easily through a mobile app, benefit from fee-free overdraft protection, and access an extensive network of fee-free ATMs.

However, it lacks branch banking and standalone savings or checking accounts.

The account includes features like automated bill pay and person-to-person transfers, making it suitable for users who are comfortable with digital banking.

Pros and Cons of Online Checking Accounts

Online checking accounts sometimes bring perks you can’t find at local banks. But there could also be downsides.

Consider the following pros and cons.

Pros

  • Online banks often have higher interest rates than what you get from local banks.
  • If you aren’t interested in other banking products, it might pay to go with an online bank that focuses on deposit accounts and uses its expertise to help you move and save money.
  • Strong websites and mobile apps are absolute necessities for a good online bank, as they make banking on the go much more accessible.
  • Customer service is often top-notch and open around the clock.

Cons

  • Online banks might have branches, but they are few and far between and often only in large cities. If you need to bank in person, that’s tough with an online bank.
  • Other services, such as auto loans or money market accounts, might not be available at online banks.
  • Talking to someone in person is virtually impossible with an online bank.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in Louisiana

When exploring the variety of checking accounts available in Louisiana, ask yourself some serious questions about what you need.

Does branch access matter? How about depositing cash?

Let’s look at what to consider when opening up a new account.

Monthly Fees

Many banks recognize that customers don’t want to pay fees, so they are moving to eliminate them.

However, some banks still charge fees. The good news is that, in most cases, they provide easy ways to waive that fee.

If the fee cannot be waived, ask yourself if the benefits you get from that fee are worth the cost.

Other Fees

While monthly fees might be a thing of the past, many banks still charge fees for other things, such as stopping payment on checks, sending or receiving wire transfers, or having paper statements sent to your door.

Look closely at the fine print to see which fees might apply to you and decide if you are willing to pay them.

Remember that some of these fees won’t matter. For instance, you can safely overlook the fee if you never use wire transfers.

ATM and Branch Access

How you want to bank matters.

If you prefer an in-person experience, a local bank might be the best for you, as it allows you to walk in or drive up to meet with a teller or banker.

However, many people never walk into their bank and simply use the ATM, pay bills online, and use debit cards.

An online checking account might be your ideal solution if that’s the case.

When it comes to ATMs, choose carefully — many banks offer fee-free ATMs, but some do not, so check to be sure of what you’re getting before you sign up.

Interest Rates or Bonuses     

Interest-bearing checking accounts might have monthly fees, but these can often be waived, leaving you with pure earning potential on your cash.

However, keep in mind that sometimes tiered interest rates can lure you in. These rates offer the highest interest for the biggest balances, which might not work well for someone who wants an account to pay bills.

Some banks might also offer bonuses to get you to sign up, so make sure that there is no catch to this free money.

Mobile Banking Apps

If you prefer to bank online or via an app, make sure the bank you choose takes mobile abilities very seriously.

Mobile apps that work seamlessly are a must, so look into the app before you decide to go with the bank.

Are you impressed with how intuitive it is?

Does it have all the bells and whistles you need?

Look at customer reviews to see what others say about the app and its functionality.

What to Know About Louisiana Checking Accounts

Still curious about banks in Louisiana? Here are some interesting facts.

  • A minor can open a bank account in Louisiana with the permission of a parent or guardian. At the age of 17, a child can control their own account without worrying about parental consent.

  • If you are overwhelmed by choice, you can narrow the options through the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions. This allows you to look at all the state banks and compare points that matter to you.

  • Louisiana banks offer more than 22,000 jobs for the state economy. There are currently 93 local banks headquartered in the state.
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.
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