Best Checking Accounts in Maryland 2024

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You don’t want to open just any checking account, and if you’re thinking about keeping your money in the community, then finding one of the best checking accounts in Maryland may be your priority.

We can help you do it. This page provides information about local banks in the state, including what the best ones offer.

Also, if you’re curious about online banking, you’ll find a comparison of local and online checking accounts to see how they measure up.

Compare Maryland and Online Checking Accounts

While online and physical banks both offer standard checking accounts, there are notable distinctions between these two kinds of financial institutions.

Which type of bank is best? It depends on what you’re looking for.

Let’s examine the differences so you can weigh the evidence for yourself.

Online and Brick-and-Mortar Banks: What’s the Difference?

Best Checking Accounts in Maryland

Various financial institutions can provide the services needed for people who prefer to do their banking in their local community. Let’s take a look at some of the best checking accounts in Maryland.

Middletown Valley Bank

To support military families and other local heroes—police officers, nurses, firefighters, teachers, and EMS workers—Middletown Valley Bank‘s Hero Checking provides cash back for every signature-based debit card transaction.

Additionally, account holders are not required to have a minimum balance, and they’re not charged for withdrawals made at out-of-network ATMs.

The bank also offers an account for senior citizens and people who have had challenges developing sound banking habits in the past.

Taylor Bank

For consumers who want to help the community while doing their banking, Taylor Bank offers its For Good Checking account.

Whenever account holders make purchases on their debit cards, the bank donates to a local nonprofit at no charge to the consumer.

The account accrues interest and provides refunds for the first five ATM fees charged each month.

In addition, the bank offers a free checking account without monthly fees or a minimum balance requirement.

The Harbor Bank of Maryland

The Harbor Bank of Maryland‘s NOW and Gold Plus checking accounts accrue interest when consumers have at least a $1,000 daily balance.

Both of these accounts provide a debit card and access to telephone and Internet banking and bill pay services. However, there are some differences:

The NOW account is for all consumers and can be opened with a $1,000 initial deposit, while the Gold Plus account is for those at least 55 years old and only requires $100 to open an account.

Which Banks Have the Lowest Checking Account Fees?

Are you paying too much in checking account fees each month? Plenty of checking accounts have no fees, but if you use a traditional, big-name bank, you might be paying too much.

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

Pros & Cons of Local Banks

All companies have benefits and drawbacks, and local banks are no exception.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of local banks in Maryland so you can get a clear picture of what it’s like to do business with them.


  • Local banks tend to charge lower fees than national banks. 
  • Local banks are more community-minded, so they’re familiar with the area’s history and the needs of its residents.
  • Local banks provide financial opportunities to small businesses and individuals, which national banks may not offer.


  • Local banks may have hours of operation that are only convenient for some consumers.
  • There may not be many ATMs available, which means account holders who make withdrawals may be charged out-of-network fees.
  • Those who want to use a banking app may not be able to access one from a local bank.

Online Checking for Maryland Residents

As online banking becomes increasingly common, you should learn what these companies are all about.

To explore what online checking accounts for Maryland residents have to offer, review the options below.

Discover® Cashback Checking

The Discover Cashback Checking account offers several appealing features for those comfortable with online banking.

It has no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements.

Users can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in monthly debit card purchases. The account provides access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs and includes free overdraft protection options.

However, it lacks branch access and the ability to deposit cash via ATMs.

It’s a robust option for those seeking a fee-free, rewards-based checking account. 

Mercury Business Checking

The Mercury checking and savings accounts offer a range of features tailored for businesses.

These accounts have no monthly fees, overdraft fees, or account minimums, providing a cost-effective banking solution.

Users can access free domestic and international wire transfers in USD, ACH transfers, and a flat 1% currency exchange fee for other transactions.

The platform supports seamless payments with ACH, wire, or check options and integrates with financial tools like QuickBooks and Xero.

The accounts are FDIC insured up to $5 million through partner banks, enhancing security.

Mercury also offers advanced user-level permissions and controls for managing team spending.

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

The Alliant Credit Union high-rate checking account offers several benefits for members.

It features a competitive interest rate on balances, no monthly maintenance fees, and no minimum balance requirements.

Members must opt for eStatements and have at least one monthly electronic deposit to qualify for the high interest. 

The account provides access to over 80,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide and up to $20 per month in ATM fee rebates for out-of-network ATMs. Alliant Credit Union also offers savings and CD accounts.

Additionally, Alliant’s mobile app supports mobile check deposits, bill pay, and account management, ensuring a convenient banking experience.

Pros & Cons of Online Checking Accounts

As online banking becomes increasingly popular, you may wonder how it compares to local options. Here are some pros and cons of online checking accounts.


  • Customers who want to do mobile banking have access to robust apps.
  • Accounts are FDIC-insured, just as with checking accounts at traditional banks.
  • Online banks charge lower fees and offer higher rates for interest-bearing checking accounts.


  • Face-to-face banking is not available. 
  • Consumers with complicated financial needs will not get them met at online banks. 
  • Taking out withdrawals from ATMs will result in fees since online banks don’t have their own machines.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in Maryland

The best checking accounts in Maryland depend on a customer’s individual needs.

Although consumers may have similar needs, what works for one may not work for another.

As a result, it’s essential to look at the distinct features of each checking account and weigh them against what you want.

The following are some considerations to keep in mind when evaluating banks.

Monthly Fees

Many banks charge monthly fees to maintain checking accounts, but they may vary.

In some cases, fees may be waived if you keep a certain amount in your account monthly.

However, the best checking accounts in Maryland will have no monthly payment or at least a low one.

Other Fees

In addition to monthly fees, banks may charge fees for insufficient funds, ATM withdrawals, and overdrawing.

However, account holders can mitigate these charges by monitoring account activities.

ATM and Branch Access

You want access to your money when needed, so the best checking accounts will give you the most access to your funds.

Look for banks that have convenient branches and an extensive network of ATMs. If a bank doesn’t have many network ATMs, make sure you won’t incur a lot of fees. 

In some cases, banks may actually waive a certain number of out-of-network ATM fees.

Interest Rates or Bonuses

Perks like interest and bonuses are usually unavailable to those with checking accounts.

However, some banks will provide these benefits. Some of the best checking accounts incur interest and offer rewards for debit card purchases.

Since some companies offer these features to attract new customers, it’s worth searching for them.

Mobile Banking Apps

If you want to do banking from your mobile device, the best banks will have a mobile app with multiple features.

In addition to checking account balances and making transfers, some apps may give you access to peer-to-peer transfers and financial management tools.

Overdraft Protection

Look for checking accounts that offer overdraft protection options.

Some banks may provide free overdraft transfers from a linked savings account, while others might charge a fee.

Understanding the bank’s policies on overdrafts can help you avoid unexpected charges.

Customer Service

Quality customer service is crucial, especially if you encounter issues with your account.

Check if the bank offers 24/7 support through various channels such as phone, chat, or email.

Reading reviews can give you an idea of the bank’s responsiveness and helpfulness.

Account Features and Services

Different banks offer various features and services that can simplify managing your finances.

These might include online bill pay, automatic savings programs, or integration with budgeting software.

Evaluate what additional features are important to you and if the bank offers them.

Security Measures

Ensuring your financial information is secure is paramount.

The best banks employ robust security measures, including two-factor authentication, fraud detection systems, and account alerts.

Confirm that the bank has comprehensive security protocols to protect your data and funds.

By thoroughly researching and comparing these aspects, you can find a checking account in Maryland that best fits your financial needs and lifestyle.

Vital Information About Maryland Checking Accounts

  • When you open a checking account in Maryland, the financial institution is required to disclose the fees and charges that the account may incur.

  • A checking account in Maryland is considered abandoned if a consumer has not made a deposit or withdrawal or expressed interest in keeping the account open for five years. When this happens, customers may be subject to service charges.

  • Maryland banks require that everyone authorized to write checks or make changes to an account sign a signature card, which can be paper or electronic, to identify who should have access to a checking account.
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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