Premium Checking Accounts Compared at the Top 10 Banks

Jul 07, 2017 | Be First to Comment!

premium accounts

Premium checking accounts offer various perks that can make your financial life much more rewarding. Depending on where you decide to bank, premium checking accounts come with different fees and rewards.

Consider a premium checking account in the same way you would a new credit card. You have to do your homework to figure out which is going to best match your financial lifestyle. Most premium checking accounts offer interest rates of 0.01 to 0.10 percent, and there are also unique perks such as free money orders and cashier’s checks (depending on the bank).

Find out what the largest banks in America are offering if you sign up for a premium checking account.

Bank of America® Interest Checking

The top-tier checking account from Bank of America® is the Interest Checking account, which may not sound too premium. By itself, the most notable benefits are:

  • Additional checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees
  • Free overdraft protection transfers
  • Earns interest
  • Free incoming domestic wire transfers

The true premium perks come from Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program. Customers get extra benefits based on your combined balances in Bank of Americe® banking and/or Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® investment accounts. There are three different tiers in the program, with upgraded perks as you go up each tier.

Perks include higher money market rates, bonus credit card rewards, waived non-Bank of America® ATM fees, mortgage fee savings, auto loan rate discounts, and more.

BB&T Elite Gold

The Elite Gold account offers interest earnings, fee savings, and bonus rates on CDs and IRAs.

You won't pay fees for money orders, cashier's checks, up to 2 overdraft protection transfers per month, up to 4 non-BB&T ATM transactions per month, a small safe deposit box, and your 2nd Elite Gold checking account.

Chase Premier Platinum Checking Account

The top tier checking account offered by Chase is the Premier Platinum Checking account. In addition to earning interest, you get a long list of benefits. They include no fees for personal checks, overdrafts/returned items, stop payments, incoming wire transfers, money orders, cashier's checks, and linked Chase personal checking accounts.

Citigold Account

The Citigold Account is a premium checking account that is designed for customers who keep large amounts of money with Citi. It offers the option to earn interest, participation in the ThankYou® Rewards program, no non-Citi ATM fees, unlimited ATM fee refunds, free personal checks, waived overdraft transfer fees and stop payment fees.

You get access to a dedicated team that will help you with financial planning and choosing investment products for your portfolio.

PNC Performance Select Checking

PNC Performance Select Checking is the most premium checking account available from the bank. For $25 a month you can open up to eight checking, savings, or money market accounts, have free ATM use around the world and identity theft protection valued up to $10,000, among other benefits.

The ability to access any ATM for free anywhere in the world is an appealing feature. Even more appealing is the ability to receive protection of up to $10,000 in your account, which can protect a portion of your money in the event you become the victim of fraud and do not realize it right away. This account is perfect for frequent international travelers who want to lower their spending on global ATM usage and who want protection in the case of fraud.

SunTrust Signature Advantage®

The Signature Advantage® checking account offers all the same features most other premium accounts offer such as a discount on a safe deposit box, no fee for out-of-network ATM usage and of course, interest. There are no unique features offered from SunTrust that make it more appealing than any other premium account. Consider opening an account at SunTrust if you prefer to visit your bank often and there are multiple locations in your area.

TD Bank Premier Checking account

Premier Checking account has no minimum balance required to open the account. You can also earn interest for their checking, as well as enjoy free incoming wire transfers, unlimited ATM surcharge rebates and the first order of checks for free. There are no features that stand out enough to differentiate this premium account from any others -- it's only worth opening for convenience purposes.

U.S. Bank Premium Checking

Premium Checking account earns interest and you can get 50 percent off on safe deposit box rentals annually. Members also enjoy unlimited free transactions at non-U.S. Bank ATMs, and comes free of charge if you are 65 or older. If you are not 65 or older, or do not maintain at least $5,000 in your account there is a monthly $12.95 fee for paper statements or $10.95 for online statements.

Portfolio by Wells Fargo

Portfolio by Wells Fargo is a checking account that allows you to earn interest as well as receive bonus rates on linked IRAs, mortgages, CDs, and savings accounts. Additionally, you get to receive exclusive credit card benefits with special travel and purchase protection coverage. If you prefer to invest through Wells Fargo, opening this account can both help maximize your savings investments and reduce the amount you pay on loans.

Top 10 Banks Premium Checking Accounts

Bank Monthly Fee Additional Perks
Bank of America: Bank of America Interest Checking $25 (waived if combined balance of $10,000 or more in linked deposits/investments) No-fee services such as standard checks, overdraft protection transfers, and incoming domestic wires
BB&T: BB&T Bank Elite Gold Checking Account $30 (waived if at least $25,000 in combined deposit balances in accounts held or a have BB&T mortgage with an origination amount of $150,00+) Two overdraft protection fees waived per month. $40 annual safe deposit box discount.
Chase: Chase Premier Plus Checking $25, unless you have an average beginning day balance of $15,000+ in linked qualifying deposits/investments or have automatic payments from Chase checking to your first Chase mortgage Fees waived for Chase checks, non-Chase ATM transactions (first 4), small safe deposit box, counter checks, money orders, and cashier's checks
Chase: Chase Premier Platinum Checking $25, unless you have an average beginning day balance of $75,000+ in linked qualifying deposits/investments Same perks as Chase Premium Plus Checking and fee waivers for stop payments, wire transfers, and overdrafts
U.S. Bank: U.S. Bank Platinum Checking $17.95 for online statements and $19.95 for paper statements (waived if you maintain $25,000 or more in combined deposit, investment, and credit balances or have a U.S. Bank Trust relationship) No fees on non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions, overdraft transfers, money orders, cashier's checks, and personal checks and rate discounts on loans
Citibank: Citigold $0 (requires a combined balance of $200,000 or more in linked deposit, retirement, and investment accounts) Safety deposit box fee waived if valued at $125 or less, 50% discount on boxes greater than $125. Quicken software for $9.95 a month or waived if monthly balance requirements are met.
PNC Bank: PNC Performance Select Checking $25 (waived with $5,000 in combined direct deposits per month or average daily balance of $5,000 in checking or $25,000 combined in linked deposits/investments) Get up to 8 free checking, savings or money market accounts. Free global ATM usage, free checks, domestic wire transfers and free identity-theft reimbursement insurance up to $10,000. Earn cash back with PNC purchase payback.
PNC Bank: PNC Performance Checking $15 (waived with $2,000 in combined direct deposits per month or average daily balance of $2,000 in checking or $15,000 combined in linked deposits/investments) Bonus rates on select CDs, one free savings or premium money market account and free identity-theft reimbursement insurance up to $5,000. Earn cashback with PNC purchase payback.
TD Bank: TD Premier Checking $25 (waived if daily balance is at least $2,500) Free cashier's checks, money orders, and stop payments with no fee. Rate discounts on home loans.
SunTrust: SunTrust Signature Advantage $25 (waived with a total of $25,000 in linked balances) Free standard checks, non-SunTrust ATM transactions, small safe deposit box, and more
Wells Fargo: Portfolio by Wells Fargo® $30, unless you have $25,000+ in qualifying linked bank deposits or $50,000+ in qualifying linked bank, brokerage, and credit balances No-fee bank services, interest rate reductions, waived ATM fees, and dedicated customer support.

Interest rates

Most of the premium checking accounts mentioned in this article are interest-bearing accounts, however, big banks don't offer the most competitive rates. If you are mostly concerned about high interest rates, online banks are your best bet.

Compared to Online Banks

Because online banks don't have to pay the costs of maintaining physical branches, they are able to provide significant benefits without the hefty monthly fees and minimum balance requirements that are often found with premium checking accounts.

Online checking accounts usually have high competitive checking accounts, widespread ATM access (some refund all ATM fees), free checks, and low fees.

Here are some of the top online checking accounts available right now:

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