Managing your personal finances is always important. But as you approach your golden years, your personal finances become increasingly more important. It’s not uncommon for one’s income to decrease when they become a senior citizen.
Perhaps they choose to retire, or scale back their hours so they can enjoy a round of golf, their grandchildren, or just relax throughout the week. As you know, checking accounts are an important piece to personal finance, and we’ll be reviewing five of the best checking accounts for seniors below.
How Do Senior Checking Accounts Work?
A senior checking account functions just like an ordinary checking account, but a bank may offer specific perks/benefits that cater towards what a senior is looking for.
What Makes a Good Senior Checking Account?
When signing up for a senior checking account, it’s important to factor in the important details, such as:
Nobody likes paying for things they don’t have to. Bank fees are no different. Between overdraft fees, minimum account balance fees, and even regular maintenance fees, a bank can make hundreds of dollars on you per year if you are not careful. Be sure to work with a bank that has reasonable, or no, account fees.
You need to find a bank that works for you. Your lifestyle and preference will determine which banking options are best suited for you. For example, if you deposit or withdraw cash, you’ll likely want to set up your checking account at a bank that’s convenient to your home.
Nobody likes paying for fees, but everyone likes free money. The Annual Percentage Yield, or APY, is what percentage a bank gives you each year for having your money with them. For example, if the APY on your senior checking account is 1%, and you have $10,000 in the account, you’ll receive $100 in your account.
Best Senior Checking Accounts
With so many options in the market today, it was hard narrowing the list down to the top 5 senior checking accounts. But we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled the list.
AXOS Golden Checking
AXOS bank was founded in 2000, and has been rising in popularity since. They currently have $10,000,000,000 in assets, which continues to grow each year.
Their Golden Checking Account is gaining a lotion in the senior community, and for good reason. These accounts are created for individuals that are 55 years of age or older, and are comfortable with online banking.
If you are 55 years of age or older, and feel completely comfortable with online banking, you’ll enjoy some excellent benefits. These benefits include:
- ATM fee reimbursement, up to $8 per month
- Free personal checks
- No account fees, including overdraft fees, or minimum monthly balance requirements
- Despite the many benefits the AXOS Golden Checking Account provides, some people are not entirely comfortable banking online.
- If you deposit or withdraw cash often, the online banking experience may present some challenges.
Pricing or Fees
Overall, the fees are minimal. There are no overdraft fees or minimum account balances. All you’ll need to do is deposit $50 when setting up an account.
Overall, the AXOS Golden Checking Account receives a 4 out of 5 star rating.
BBVA Online Checking
Founded in 1999 in Bilbao, Spain, BBVA offers numerous checking account options.
BBVA currently operates in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. If you don’t happen to live in those states, you can enjoy their online banking options.
Their online checking account option is a great option for seniors. Here’s why:
- Their debit card offers cash back rewards
- There are over 64,000 ATM’s scattered throughout the United States that will not charge you an ATM fee
- There is NO monthly service fee
- Although there are branches in a select few states, their online checking account option is designed for online banking.
- If you’re not comfortable taking pictures of checks, transferring money, or banking without speaking with a teller, this option may not be suited for you.
Pricing or Fees
Customers will enjoy minimal account fees. There is no monthly service fee and many ATM fees are 100% covered. Overdraft fees are present, but can easily be avoided.
Overall, BBVA receives a 4 out of 5 star rating.
TD Bank 60 Plus Checking
TD bank is a well known and respected bank. They service the Connecticut, Delaware, FLorida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington DC communities.
TD Banks 60 Plus Checking Account is a common option amongst individuals who are 60 years of age or older.
Not only does TD Bank provide plenty of retail locations you can choose from, the 60 plus checking account also has the following benefits:
- Free checks, paper statements and money orders
- Fees that can be waived if certain criteria is met
- Additional discounts on a Home Equity or Personal Loans through TD Bank
- Online and mobile banking options
- The fees are above and beyond what some online banks charge.
Pricing or Fees
Although the fees can be waived, they are still present and above and beyond what they are at various online banks. If you do not maintain a minimum daily balance of $250, you’ll pay a $10 monthly fee.
All in all, considering the retail footprint and ability to have the fees waived, TD Banks 60 Plus Checking Account receives a 4.5 star rating.
Ally Bank Interest Checking
Ally Bank is an online only bank which was founded in 2009. You’ve likely seen their commercials or internet ads!
If you’re looking to maximize your APY, and you’re comfortable banking online, Ally Bank’s High Interest Checking Account may be the perfect option for you.
This checking account has the following key benefits:
- If your account balance is less than $15,000 minimum daily balance, you’ll earn an annual percentage yield of 0.10%
- If your account balance is greater than $15,000 for a minimum daily balance, you’ll earn and APY of 0.25%
- You can contact customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Banking online is not for everyone, especially those depositing or withdrawing cash.
- Additionally, online customer service is improving, but cannot replace that in person connection you can establish with a local branch.
Pricing or Fees
Ally Bank has very flexible fees. There are no; monthly maintenance fees, minimum account balances, or fees for copies of online statements. They will charge an overdraft fee, but limit this fee to one transaction per day and cap it out at $25. They also charge for outgoing domestic wire transfers.
All in all, Ally Bank receives a 4 star rating.
PNC Virtual Wallet
PNC is a bank that dates back to 1845. In recent years, they have presented various online only options including the Virtual Wallet.
If you’re looking to save money with fees, consider the Virtual Wallet from PNC Bank. You must be comfortable with the online banking experience though.
- No monthly fees
- No minimum deposit to open
- Two layers of overdraft protection
- Digital tools to help you manage your spending
- The typical downsides associated with online banking
- Various other banks offer a greater APY
Pricing or Fees
PNC Virtual Wallet is affordable. There are no monthly fees and no minimum deposit to open. However, overdraft fees are present.
All in all, PNC Virtual Wallet receives a 4 star rating.
Checking accounts are the foundation of your personal finance plan. In your senior years, you’ll want to pay as little amount of fees as possible as you may be on a fixed income. There are specific checking accounts for seniors which can provide numerous additional benefits.
Working with a professional financial advisor is a proven way to hit your financial targets and stay on track. Financial advisors can help you navigate the complexities of investing, and can help you save money by establishing best practices. In your senior years, properly managing your finances becomes increasingly more important.