Best Checking Accounts in Michigan for 2024

Compare the best checking accounts in Michigan for 2024. Discover top local and online banks and understand fees, interest rates, customer service, and convenience to make the right choice.
Written by Shannon Lee
Financial Expert
Managing Editor
twitter facebook

Choosing a checking account in Michigan is both easy and difficult – easy because there are so many options, but difficult because it’s tough to narrow them down when there are so many good ones.

Let’s look at Michigan checking accounts to help you choose the right one.

Compare Michigan and Online Checking Accounts

Do you want a local bank or one that is entirely online? To answer that question, consider these:

  • Does it matter to me to be able to bank face-to-face?
  • Can I use a mobile app or website to handle my banking?
  • Do I need an ATM card, and how often will I use it?
  • How much am I willing to pay in bank fees (if anything at all)?
  • Will I ever need to deposit cash?
  • Will I need robust customer service?
  • Does earning interest on my checking account money matter to me?

Best Checking Accounts in Michigan

Michigan is home to many large banks, all vying for your business.

Here’s what to expect from the checking accounts at some of the most popular banks in the state.

First National Bank of America

Serving the areas of Traverse City, Grand Rapids, and East Lansing, First National Bank of America offers three checking accounts to choose from.

Personal Checking requires only $100 to open and a $100 minimum daily balance or an average of $350 per statement cycle to avoid a monthly charge.

You can open a Simple Checking account with $100, but it requires a $500 minimum balance to avoid charges.

The biggest account is the HomeTowne Checking, which includes interest-bearing and total convenience for a $1,000 opening deposit and a $1,000 daily minimum.

Mercantile Bank

All three of Mercantile Bank’s checking account options offer overdraft protection, mobile banking, and budgeting tools to make managing your finances more manageable. Each requires only $25 to open.

The MercStart Account and the Community Checking offer ways to waive the monthly fees and use the widespread MoneyPass network of ATMs.

The MercPerks Checking is a different beast, requiring a monthly fee that cannot be waived and an interest-bearing account that offers loan discounts and significant benefits for those who hold more than $250,000 with the bank.

Independent Bank

There are two options available for checking accounts through Independent Bank.

The One Account is an interest-bearing account that requires no monthly fee and offers the opportunity to bundle various options.

New account holders are eligible for a $200 bonus and more throughout the year.

The Opportunity One account requires no minimum to open and works well for students or those trying to jump-start their financial lives.

Bonuses are also available through this account.

Online and mobile banking are robust at this bank, as are the perks of using the included debit card.

Which Banks Have the Lowest Checking Account Fees?

Are your checking account fees too high? Plenty of standard 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 to save on checking account fees and enjoy the convenience of online banking.

Pros and Cons of Local Banks

Going to a local institution will be your best bet if you want to bank in person.

But before diving in, consider the pros and cons you might face when dealing with the local folks.


  • Local banks tend to have a strong community presence. If you want to give back to your community, they will offer many options.
  • Local banks have branches where you can bank in person, and they usually have 24/7 automated customer service via phone.
  • You can get things other than checking accounts, such as auto loans and mortgages, through local banks.
  • Strong ATM networks or tapping into broader networks are a staple of local banks.


  • You might see lower interest rates from local banks than from the online options.
  • Many local banks focus on branches and don’t put much effort into their mobile apps or websites.
  • Branches are often open only during regular banking hours, making it challenging for those with busy schedules.

Online Checking for Michigan Residents

When you’re looking for the best bank, it pays to check out the opinions of those who have already tried it. These reviews can help you get started.

Quontic Bank

The Quontic Bank checking and savings accounts offer several noteworthy features for customers.

The checking accounts include options like Cash Rewards Checking, which provides 1% cashback on eligible debit card purchases, and High-Interest Checking, which offers a competitive APY on balances up to $150,000.

Both accounts have no monthly or overdraft fees and require a minimum deposit of $100. S

avings accounts, including High Yield Savings, Money Market, and CDs, also offer competitive interest rates.

Quontic provides access to over 90,000 surcharge-free ATMs but lacks in-person branch banking.

Lending Club

The LendingClub Rewards Checking account features several benefits tailored to modern banking needs.

It offers 1% cash back on eligible debit card purchases for accounts that meet certain direct deposit or balance requirements.

The account provides tiered interest rates: 0.10% APY for balances between $2,500 and $99,999.99 and 0.15% APY for balances over $100,000.

Additionally, there are no monthly maintenance fees and access to over 20,000 fee-free ATMs. Customers can benefit from early direct deposit access and manage their accounts through a comprehensive mobile app.


The SoFi Checking and Savings account combines checking and savings features, 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 can work well for those who don’t need bank branches. Here’s what to expect from these banks:


  • Expect a competitive rate on interest-bearing accounts since online banks have lower overhead costs.
  • Online banks offer perks and options for checking accounts that local banks might be unable to match.
  • You’ll find a comprehensive website and mobile app with banks that are online only.
  • Customer service is often available around the clock via text, phone, chat, and email.


  • There are usually no branches, so banking in person becomes almost impossible.
  • Online banks might not have a full suite of services, such as loans or mortgages.
  • Getting in touch with a real person rather than an automated system can take time and effort.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in Michigan

There are some essential points to consider when looking for the best Michigan checking accounts.

Monthly Fees

Many banks still charge monthly fees, but some recognize that customers want free checking.

Therefore, if the account has a fee, the bank often gives you ample opportunities to waive it.

The exception might be an interest-bearing account that requires a high daily balance.

Other Fees

Every bank will charge a fee for something, but you might not use the feature they charge for.

A wire transfer fee is a good example.

If you never use wire transfers, you can safely ignore that fee, but you might want to consider how high the fee is and whether you are willing to pay it.

ATM and Branch Access

Most banks have branded ATMs, and even online banks will tap into a massive network of fee-free ATMs.

Some banks will reimburse you every month for any ATM fees incurred at other ATMs.

Keep in mind that you often can’t deposit cash into online banks via ATM, so online banking might be tricky if you make cash transactions.

Interest Rates and Bonuses

Many banks offer bonuses to entice you to sign up.

Read the fine print to ensure you aren’t locking yourself into something that will eventually result in fees.

Look at the interest rates, and remember that tiered rates could mean depositing large sums of money to get the best benefits.

Mobile Banking Apps

This is a must if you prefer to bank on the go. But if you prefer branches, perhaps you don’t mind if a mobile app or website isn’t easy to use.

Decide which matters most to you, and if you want a mobile app, make sure the bank has one that is intuitive and easy to understand.

Customer Service

Quality customer service can make a big difference in your banking experience.

Look for banks that offer multiple support channels, such as in-person service, phone support, and live chat.

Research customer reviews to get a sense of how responsive and helpful the bank’s support team is.

Overdraft Protection

Overdraft fees can add up quickly, so it’s essential to understand the bank’s policy on overdrafts.

Some banks offer free overdraft protection transfers from a linked savings account, while others might have different programs that could save you money in the long run.

Account Features and Services

Different banks offer various features that can make managing your money easier.

These might include online bill pay, automatic savings programs, and the ability to link multiple accounts for easier transfers.

Consider the features most important to you and whether the bank offers them.

Reputation and Stability

Consider the bank’s reputation and financial stability.

Research the bank’s history, read customer reviews, and check its ratings with financial watchdogs.

A bank with a strong reputation will likely provide reliable service and protect your money.

By evaluating these factors, you can find a checking account in Michigan that meets your needs and helps you manage your finances effectively.

What to Know About Michigan Checking Accounts

Here are some facts about checking accounts in Michigan:

  • In 1837, Michigan became the first state to create a free banking system, where the banks made their own rules untethered by the federal government’s regulations.

  • Studies have found that Michigan residents without a checking or savings account spend approximately $3,000 in fees to cash checks and perform other activities.

  • For most banks in Michigan, enrolling in e-statements can waive the monthly fee you might find with a checking 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.
Our reviews are unbiased and thorough, focusing on consumer needs. For details, see our Editorial Policy & Methodology.