Best Checking Accounts in Montana for 2024

Discover the best checking accounts in Montana for 2024, including local and online options. Learn about fees, interest rates, customer service, and convenience to find the right account for you.
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You don’t want to entrust just any bank with your money. If you’re looking for a checking account, you want the best one to suit your financial needs and goals.

In many cases, those accounts can be found locally. Local banks offer many benefits, which are outlined on this page. You’ll learn about specific checking accounts and Montana banking laws that may impact your experience.

Additionally, if you’re curious about online banking, we include an overview of what you can expect from virtual banks.

Compare Montana and Online Checking Accounts

Online and local banking can both be beneficial in unique ways.

Let’s compare and contrast the benefits of these types of banks to give you a clear picture of what each has to offer.

Best Checking Accounts in Montana

Not all checking accounts are suitable for you, so you need to know what different banks offer. Below, we discuss some of the best checking accounts in Montana to help you choose.

Farmers State Bank

Customers can open Farmers State Bank’s checking accounts with a $25 initial deposit and take advantage of internet banking, bill pay, and direct deposit services.

The FSB E-Checking account doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, and there is no monthly balance requirement. Customers can also take advantage of unlimited check writing.

Farmers State Bank offers the FSB Advantage Secure Checking account, which offers personal and cell phone protection services if you want extra protection for your account.

A $7 monthly maintenance fee can be reduced if you maintain a $1,500 daily balance and receive electronic statements.

TrailWest Bank

If you’re looking for a little bit more than the ability to write checks, TrailWest Bank offers accounts that fit the bill.

The bank’s Liquid Rewards account, which requires a $25 opening deposit, provides $.10 in rewards for every purchase you make on your debit card and access to digital banking tools.

The Liquid Silver account also offers rewards and a competitive interest rate. This account can be opened with $2,500, and customers must maintain this balance to avoid a $7 monthly fee.

Opportunity Bank of Montana

Opportunity Bank of Montana offers personal checking accounts with free debit cards, eStatements, unlimited check writing, and access to mobile banking services.

Opportunity Reward Checking provides unlimited 1% cash back on qualifying purchases and reimbursement on ATM fees of up to $12 monthly.

This account has a minimum $100 opening deposit requirement.

The bank’s Opportunity Interest Checking offers a competitive interest rate and the first order of standard checks for free. This account requires a $1,000 minimum opening deposit and balance.

Pros & Cons of Local Banks

Before you choose any checking account, it’s essential to understand the benefits and drawbacks of local banks. Explore some of the pros and cons of local banks below for a realistic view of what to expect.

Pros

  • If you care about having a long-term relationship with your financial institution, local banks are a good choice. They’re community-minded and pride themselves on the personalized service they provide.
  • Local banks understand the communities they do business in, so they can create services that are best for the consumers in that area.
  • Local banks often have lower fees than national banks.

Cons

  • Local banks may not be convenient to get to because of their short hours of operation.
  • Banking apps may not be available through a local bank.
  • The types of checking accounts offered by local banks may be limited.

Online Checking for Montana Residents

You’re in the right place if you’re curious about online banks.

Depending on your needs, virtual banking can be as beneficial as doing business with a local bank.

The following is a look at some of the online checking accounts you may want to consider.

One Finance Mobile Banking

One Finance Mobile Banking provides a digital-first banking experience tailored for modern users.

The platform offers a decent high-yield savings APY and no monthly maintenance fees, making it attractive for those seeking cost-effective banking solutions.

The “pockets” system is the standout feature, which allows users to organize their funds into various categories for better budgeting and financial management.

Additionally, users can earn a competitive APY on auto-save balances, which are automatically set aside from direct deposits.

The app supports early direct deposits, fee-free overdraft protection, and cash-back on debit card purchases.

However, lacking physical branches might disadvantage those who prefer in-person banking services.

While the app is comprehensive, it may require some acclimation for users new to digital banking.

Overall, One Finance Mobile Banking is an excellent choice for tech-savvy individuals looking for high-interest savings and efficient budgeting tools.

Greenlight

Greenlight is designed with families in mind, offering features that help parents teach children about financial responsibility.

The account includes tools for managing allowances, setting savings goals, and monitoring spending.

Parents can control the account through a comprehensive app to set spending limits, automate allowance payments, and receive real-time notifications of their child’s transactions.

The account has no minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees, making it a low-risk option for young users.

Greenlight checking also offers a debit card for kids, which can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

The account provides robust security features, including the ability to lock and unlock the card via the app.

However, the service does charge a monthly fee, which may be a consideration for some families.

Overall, Greenlight Checking is a valuable tool for parents aiming to instill financial literacy and responsibility in their children through a practical, hands-on approach.

Chime

Chime offers a straightforward, fee-free online banking experience with its checking and savings accounts.

The Chime checking account features no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, or overdraft fees. Additionally, users benefit from access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.

One of Chime’s standout features is its early direct deposit, which allows users to receive their paychecks up to two days early.

The Chime savings account provides an attractive APY with an automatic savings option that rounds up transactions to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference to savings. Another feature, “save when I get paid,” automatically transfers 10% of direct deposits of $500 or more into the savings account.

Chime’s mobile app offers comprehensive banking services, including mobile check deposits, bill pay, and instant transaction alerts.

However, Chime lacks physical branches, which might be a drawback for those preferring in-person banking.

Chime is ideal for those seeking a convenient, digital-first banking experience with no fees and robust savings features.

Pros & Cons of Online Checking Accounts

Online banking has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone.

Take a look at the pros and cons of online banking below to determine if it’s best for you.

Pros

  • Customer service may be more convenient because some online banks have representatives available up to 24 hours a day.
  • You may be charged lower fees than you would at traditional banks. Sometimes, online banks don’t charge fees at all.
  • If you can find an interest-bearing checking account, chances are an online bank will offer higher rates.

Cons

  • If you have complex needs, online banks may be unable to accommodate you.
  • While online banks may charge lower fees than traditional ones, ATM fees may add up quickly if you make a lot of withdrawals.
  • While you can easily make transfers to your checking account online, if you want to deposit cash, you probably won’t be able to do so with a virtual bank.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in Montana

You’ve gotten a lot of information about what banks in Montana offer.

Obviously, you want the best checking account for your financial needs, but it’s also essential to take stock and consider what matters most.

Below, we look at standard features to help you weigh your options.

Fees

The best option would be to find a checking account in Montana that does not charge fees.

However, this best-case scenario may be hard to find, so you can look around for banks that charge the least amount of fees. For example, checking accounts may not incur monthly maintenance fees in some cases.

Other banks charge ATM fees for withdrawals made out of network, but you may be able to avoid that if the fees are waived.

You can also prevent insufficient funds and overdraft fees by closely monitoring your account every month.

ATM and Branch Access

The more ATMs that a bank offers, the better.

When considering opening a checking account, determine how many ATMs are in the bank’s network to minimize fees.

Also, if you prefer face-to-face transactions, you’ll want to find a bank with convenient branches.

Interest Rates or Bonuses

Certain perks have not been traditionally offered with checking accounts, but that is changing.

Banks are increasingly offering interest checking accounts and various perks, including cash-back bonuses for qualified debit card purchases.

Also, you may be able to receive a sign-up bonus when you open an account at certain banks or referral bonuses when you refer new customers.

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking is more than just a way to check your account balance. Some apps allow you to transfer funds from one account to another, set up automatic bill payments, or create security alerts.

They may also provide access to financial management tools.

What to Know About Montana Checking Accounts

  • Missouri banks are prohibited from advertising their business without permission from the state.

  • A levy allows money to be withdrawn from someone’s account to pay a debt. Usually, a creditor must take someone to court to receive a levy. However, federal agencies like the IRS are not required to get a court order before levying an account.

  • Banks are required to let consumers know how they will collect, use, and protect personal information. For example, information like a customer’s account history, credit scores, and Social Security number may be used to maintain an account. However, banks in Montana do not share information to market products and services to customers.
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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