The Best Checking Accounts in New York for 2024

Are you looking for the best checking accounts in New York? State and local banks have a lot to offer, but you might consider an online checking account if you're looking for an escape from high fees.
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Written by Rebecca Lake
Financial Expert
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Managing Editor

A checking account makes it easy and convenient to deposit your paychecks, pay bills, and spend or withdraw cash using your debit card. If you’re looking for a new checking account option, you might start your search with what’s available at local and state banks.

New York is home to many banks, both large and small. We’ve selected some of the best New York checking accounts to consider.

Compare New York and Online Checking Accounts

Should you choose a New York checking account or try online banking? The answer depends on what you need. When comparing either option, ask yourself:

  • How much am I willing to pay in banking fees?
  • Do I need to be able to visit a branch?
  • How often will I visit ATMs?
  • Will I need to be able to deposit cash?
  • What kind of online and mobile banking features would be nice to have?
  • What kind of customer service experience is preferred?
  • Am I interested in earning rewards or interest?

Best Checking Accounts in New York

When choosing a checking account option, it’s helpful to think about what kind of branch or ATM access you might need and the fees. The New York banks listed below offer the best banking experience overall when cost and convenience are factored in.

Dime Community Bank Basic Checking

Dime Community Bank’s Basic Checking account could be a good fit for people who want to avoid overdraft fees. There’s no minimum to open this account and no overdraft or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees.

This account does charge a $5 monthly maintenance fee, which can’t be waived. If you’re looking for more than just basic checking, Dime Community Bank also offers Aspire Checking and Aspire Interest Checking. All checking accounts include online and mobile banking access, fraud protection, and access to Zelle money transfer services.

Empire State Bank Personal Checking

Empire State Bank offers a personal checking account with no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance requirement, and unlimited check-writing. You can also make unlimited withdrawals and manage your accounts through online and mobile banking.

You won’t be charged a fee for using another bank’s ATM, and you can enroll in direct deposit, but it’s not required. If you want to earn interest on balances, you could open a VIP Interest Checking account instead.

This account has a $10 monthly service charge, which you can waive by meeting a minimum balance requirement.

Webster Bank Premium Checking

Webster Bank Premium Checking allows you to write unlimited checks monthly with no maintenance fee when you meet a minimum balance requirement. You can use any ATM, and Webster Bank won’t charge a foreign ATM fee.

This account comes with a premium companion savings account with no monthly maintenance fee. In addition to the New York metro area, Webster Bank also has branches in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Find the Best Checking Accounts

Hundreds of banks offer checking accounts, and there’s fierce competition among them to offer the best perks and the lowest fees.

Use the list below to sort through the list to find a checking account that fits your financial goals.

Pros & Cons of Local Banks

Choosing a local bank over a national or online bank has advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Personalized banking and customer service.
  • Potentially lower fees than bigger banks.
  • Convenient branch and ATM access within the state.

Cons

  • Not all local checking accounts are fee-free, and some banks may have a much smaller footprint than others.

Online Checking for New York Residents

Online banks have grown in popularity, and many offer checking accounts in New York State. We’ve selected some of the most popular online checking accounts available in New York.

SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi Checking and Savings offers an alternative to traditional banking with competitive interest rates and minimal fees, catering to those comfortable with electronic banking.

With early paycheck access and a vast network of fee-free ATMs, it prioritizes convenience. However, lacking branch banking and separate savings accounts may deter some. Compared to other platforms like Wealthfront Cash and Copper Banking, SoFi stands out for its comprehensive money management tools and educational resources.

With no monthly fees and features like fee-free overdraft coverage, SoFi Checking and Savings presents a compelling option for those seeking a seamless online banking experience with added benefits and flexibility.

Chime

Chime stands out as a technology-driven financial service, offering innovative features like early paycheck access and overdraft protection.

With no hidden fees and access to a vast network of fee-free ATMs, Chime prioritizes convenience and affordability. Its state-of-the-art mobile app enhances user experience, while offerings like second chance banking and credit builder cards cater to diverse financial needs.

While lacking branch banking, Chime’s partnership with established banks ensures legitimacy and reliability. With competitive interest rates and a user-friendly interface, Chime appeals to those seeking a seamless blend of technology and banking services, particularly for digital-savvy individuals and those starting out on their financial journey.

Pros & Cons of Online Checking Accounts

Online checking accounts are a wonderful addition to the banking world, but they may not be suitable for everyone. Looking at the benefits and potential downsides is helpful. Here’s how online checking accounts stack up.

Pros

  • Online banks typically charge fewer fees than traditional local banks, with some charging no fees.
  • Interest checking accounts and savings accounts may earn higher rates.
  • Many online banks have sizable ATM networks.

Cons

  • You won’t have branch banking access with most online checking accounts, but this is not always the case. Capital One, which has a select number of branch and cafe locations in different states, is considered an online bank.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account in New York

It’s essential to shop around and compare different banks to find the correct checking account for you. The New York checking accounts listed above are a good place to start, but you may also want to look at other banks. As you carry out your search, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Monthly Fees

Checking account fees can vary from one bank to the next, with some banks charging no monthly maintenance fee and others charging $5, $10, or more.

You might assume the best checking accounts have no fees, but consider the bigger picture. For example, if a checking account charges a $25 fee but gives you multiple opportunities to waive it and gives you access to premium benefits like rewards, interest, free checks, or unlimited ATM fee refunds then it could be worth it.

Other Fees

A good checking account keeps fees as low as possible, which is a plus if you want to hang on to more of your money. When comparing New York banks, remember to consider:

  • Overdraft fees
  • Non-sufficient funds fees
  • Wire transfer fees
  • Foreign ATM fees (and foreign ATM fee rebates or refunds)

ATM and Branch Access

The whole point of a checking account is to be able to access your money when you need it. If looking specifically at New York state and local banks, factor in how many branches there are and where ATMs are located.

Also, consider which ATM network the bank belongs to. The more extensive the ATM network, the more flexibility you have when it comes to withdrawing cash.

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking apps let you manage your money on the go, but they aren’t all alike. Some banks may offer more features or functionality in their apps than others.

Reviewing different New York banking apps in the Google Play Store or App Store can significantly help. You can see what app users have to say about how easy it is to navigate and whether it has any buggy or annoying features.

What to Know About New York Checking Accounts

State law governs certain practices when it comes to banks and checking accounts. Here are three key points to know:

  • Banks must offer a basic banking account with a minimum opening deposit of no more than $25 and a monthly maintenance fee of no more than $3.
  • Checking account balances are protected up to certain limits if a lien is placed on your account resulting from a civil judgment, with some exceptions. 
  • Basic banking accounts are required to permit a minimum of eight monthly fee-free withdrawals. 
About Author
Rebecca Lake
Rebecca Lake, a valued contributor at MoneyRates, unravels the intricacies of personal finance with her expertise in areas spanning from banking to homebuying and investing to small business strategies. Rebecca seamlessly bridges the gap between complex financial concepts and readers, demystifying them with her clear and insightful narratives. She has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, among numerous other publications. With Rebecca’s guidance, financial clarity is just an article away.
Our reviews are unbiased and thorough, focusing on consumer needs. For details, see our Editorial Policy & Methodology.