Sun. Jan 29th, 2023
US Bank personal checking accounts review: Over 4,000 ATMs across the nation, but be mindful of ATM charges

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The bottom line: US Bank could be a good option if you live in the Midwest or West Coast and want to open a checking account at a national bank. But keep in mind the US Bank Safe Debit account doesn’t waive monthly service fees, and US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only has a monthly service fee if you do not meet certain requirements.

US Bank personal checking account features

US Bank has over robust national presence, with over 2,000 branches in 26 states and 4,000 ATMs throughout the US. It’s also featured in our national banks guide as the best national bank in the Midwest and West Coast. 

The bank has two checking accounts: US Bank Safe Debit account – Product Name Only and US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only. See how the two accounts compare below.

 US Bank Safe Debit account – Product Name OnlyUS Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name OnlyMinimum opening depositUS Bank Safe Debit account – Minimum DepositUS Bank Smartly™ Checking – Minimum DepositInterest rateUS Bank Safe Debit account – APYUS Bank Smartly™ Checking – APYMonthly service feeUS Bank Safe Debit account – Fees Display (cannot be waived)US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Fees Display

How to waive the monthly service fee

Not eligible to waive monthly service fees

No monthly service fee if you:

Are a member of the militaryAre age 24 or youngerAre age 65 or older

If you aren’t part of these groups, you must do one of the following each month to avoid the fee:

Make combined direct deposits totaling $1,000 or moreMaintain an average account balance of $1,500 or moreOwn an eligible US Bank credit cardOut-of-network ATM fee$2.50 per transaction$2.50 per transactionOverdraft feeNo overdraft fees$36How to avoid overdraft fees

Can’t overdraw from account (may deny debit card usage or withdrawals)

If you overdraw your account by $50.01 or more, you are eligible for US Bank Overdraft Fee Forgiven Program, which refunds overdraft fees if you restore your account balance by 11 p.m. ET the day you were charged an overdraft feeOverdraft protection that lets you transfer money from a linked savings account or apply for a line of credit Additional features to noteNo paper checksDiscounts on money orders$12.50 overdraft protection transfer fee (no fee if you transfer money from a linked bank account with overdraft protection)Eligible for US Bank Smart RewardsSign-up bonusUS Bank Safe Debit account – Intro BonusUS Bank Smartly™ Checking – Intro Bonus US Bank Safe Debit accountUS Bank Smartly™ Checking – CTA Text

US Bank Safe Debit account – Product Name Only review

The US Bank Safe Debit account – Editorial Name Only might be a decent option if you prioritize avoiding overdraft fees and don’t need paper checks. However, there’s a US Bank Safe Debit account – Fees Display that can’t be waived.

US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only review

You might prefer US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only if you want access to paper checks or would like a checking account that makes it possible to waive monthly service fees and overdraft fees.

US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only automatically waives the monthly service fee if you’re a member of the military, under the age of 24, or over the age of 65. You can also waive the monthly service fee if you meet certain requirements each month. US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only notably has several ways to avoid overdraft fees, including free overdraft protection that lets you link your checking account to a savings account. 

US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only offers a cash bonus of up to $400 for new US Bank customers. To get the cash bonus, you’ll have to open an account by February 7, 2023, with the promo code “2023JAN” and a minimum opening deposit of US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Minimum Deposit. Within the first 90 days, you’ll need to enroll in online or mobile banking and make two or more direct deposits. 

The total amount of your direct deposits will determine the value of your bonus. You’ll earn a $200 cash bonus if your direct deposits total $3,000 to $5,999.99. If your direct deposits total $6,000 or more, you’ll earn a bonus of $400. 

Is US Bank trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau rates businesses on how they handle customer issues and whether they have transparent business practices. A good BBB rating doesn’t necessarily mean that your relationship with a business will be perfect. If you have friends or family that have used US Bank, chat with them about their perspectives. Online customer reviews are another option. 

The BBB gives US Bank a B+ rating due to government action against the bank. 

In 2022, US Bank paid $37.5 million in a settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB accused the bank of obtaining customers’ credit reports and opening checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and lines of credit without their knowledge. 

In 2020, US Bank, Nationstar Mortgage, and PNC Bank paid $74 million in an agreement with the Department of Justice. According to the press release, the Department of Justice said the three mortgage services didn’t follow bankruptcy regulations and had service errors that impacted borrowers.

US Bank checking accounts vs. Chase checking accounts

Chase offers a greater variety of options, including checking accounts specifically suited for teens and college students. Meanwhile, US Bank only has two checking accounts options, but the fees can be waived if you meet certain age requirements.

If you compare Chase Total Checking® – Editorial Name Only with US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only, minute differences between these accounts may help determine which one is a better option for you.

Chase Total Checking® – Editorial Name Only has a Chase Total Checking® – Fees Display, while US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only has a US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Fees Display.

To waive the monthly service fee for Chase Total Checking® – Editorial Name Only, you must receive $500 or more in direct deposits each month, have a daily account balance of $1,500 or more, or an average account balance of $5,000 or more between your checking accounts and any linked Chase accounts.

Meanwhile, US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only waives the monthly service fee if you meet certain group requirements, make combined direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more each month, maintain an average account balance of $1,500 or more each month, or own an eligible US Bank credit card.

US Bank checking accounts vs. Wells Fargo checking accounts

Wells Fargo has four types of checking accounts, including a checkless bank account similar to the US Bank Safe Debit account – Editorial Name Only.

When looking at each bank’s standard checking account options — US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only and the Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account – Editorial Name Only — you’ll want to pay close attention to how you can avoid monthly service fees and overdraft fees. This could help with narrowing down the more appealing option.

The US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only has a lower monthly service fee than the Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account – Editorial Name Only. However, it’s slightly easier to waive monthly service fees on  Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account – Editorial Name Only than US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only.

To waive the fee at Wells Fargo, you need to maintain a $500 minimum daily balance, receive a total of $500 or more in direct deposits, or have a linked Wells Fargo Campus ATM card or Debit Card. If you’re between the age of 17 and 24 you’ll also be able to automatically waive monthly service fees on Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account – Editorial Name Only.

Frequently asked questions

Does US Bank offer free checking?

US Bank does not have a free checking account, but you can waive monthly service fees on US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Product Name Only.

The monthly service fee is automatically waived if you’re a member of the military, under the age of 24, or over the age of 65. If you aren’t part of one of these groups, you can waive the fee by making combined direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more each month, maintaining an average account balance of $1,500 or more each month, or owning an eligible US Bank credit card.

What is the minimum opening deposit for a US Bank checking account?

You’ll need at least US Bank Smartly™ Checking – Minimum Deposit to open a checking account at US Bank.

Does US Bank charge ATM fees?

If you use an out-of-network ATM, US Bank generally charges $2.50 per transaction.

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