U.S. Bank Checking and Savings Account Review
Today, there are more checking and savings account options out there than ever before. Thanks to digital expansion and the introduction of online banking, you have a large selection of options about where to bank. Still, finding the right fit for your budget and lifestyle is important — especially if you’re looking for a checking and savings account.
U.S. Bank, a member FDIC, is one of the premier banking institutions in the country and can be found across more than 26 states. Although they’re one of the top names in banking, I’ll help you decide in this U.S. Bank review if they’re the best bank for you by running you through their checking and savings account options, costs, pros, cons, and alternatives.
- What is U.S. Bank?
- U.S. Bank Fees
- Bottom line
What is U.S. Bank?
U.S. Bank dates back to 1863, where it first opened in Ohio as the National Bank of Cincinnati. After changing names and merging several times, U.S. Bank became the bank you see today in the early 2000s. It is now headquartered in Minneapolis, MN.
Currently, U.S. Bank is the 5th largest bank in the world. They have over 70,000 employees, 2,700 branches, and more than $495 billion in assets. They offer personal banking services (checking and savings), business banking, CDs, loans, mortgages, investing, and personal wealth management services.
How do U.S. Bank checking and savings accounts work?
U.S. Bank offers five main types of checking accounts and five savings accounts. They also provide access to one of the largest U.S. bank ATM networks, which is helpful, particularly if you don’t live in a state with a brick and mortar U.S. Bank location.
You can open an account in-person if you live near a U.S. bank branch or sign up for services online. Like all banks in the U.S., you’ll need to provide standard personal information when applying for a U.S. Bank account and they will look at credit score.
U.S. Bank checking accounts
- Easy Checking Account - The most basic checking account; best for anyone looking for basic checking services. You’ll save money on monthly maintenance fees if you enroll in mobile banking.
- Gold Checking Account - Best for anyone looking for checking services who already have a U.S. Bank loan or credit card.
- Platinum Checking Account - Best for anyone looking for a higher-tier checking account with higher APY rates.
- Student Checking - Best for students who want to avoid a monthly fee and are looking for additional perks and benefits.
- Safe Debit Account - Best for anyone who does not need paper checks who’s looking for overdraft protection.
I love that there are many ways to waive the monthly fees U.S. Bank charges, and that there is a free student option. While I wish U.S. Bank had more locations across the country, knowing that ATM access is convenient is a big help.
U.S. Bank savings accounts:
- Standard Savings Account - Best for new savers and anyone just starting to get smart about their finances. This account can be linked to your U.S. Bank standard savings account and has a monthly fee of $4.
- Platinum Select Money Market Savings - Exclusive for Platinum Checking package customers. You’ll gain access to higher rates and the monthly fee is automatically waived.
- Package Money Market Savings - Exclusive for Gold Checking package customers. You’ll gain access to higher rates and the monthly fee is automatically waived.
- Elite Money Market Account - Best for anyone looking to earn higher interest on larger deposits. There is a minimum monthly fee of $10.
- Retirement Money Market Savings - Best for anyone looking to further diversify their investment portfolio and gain access to tax advantages.
I like that U.S. Bank offers many tiers of savings accounts, however many of them require access to a higher tier checking account for service. Their basic savings account offers standard features and does not require signing up for a U.S. Bank checking account.
Additional savings can be found through U.S. Bancorp Investments, which can set up IRAs, bank CDs, and much more through personal trust relationships.
Of course, each account type comes along with its own fees and monthly charges, which I’ll explain further, next.
U.S. Bank Fees
The only completely charge-free account U.S. Bank offers is a student checking account. However, many of the monthly fees for both checking and savings can be waived.
I’ll walk you through the different monthly charges, waiver criteria, and minimum deposit requirements for each checking account below:
|Checking Account Type||Monthly Fee||Fees are waived if||Minimum Opening Deposit|
|Easy||$8.95||Direct deposits of $1,000 or more each month, OR average account balance of $1,500, OR 65+ older||$25|
|Gold||$14.95||You have an existing U.S. Bank loan, mortgage, personal line of credit, or credit card||$25|
|Platinum||$24.95||Have $25,000 in U.S. Bank account, OR have a personal trust with U.S. Bank Wealth Management Services||$25|
|SafeDebit||SafeDebit||Cannot be waived||$25|
Next, let’s look at the savings account requirements of U.S. Bank:
|Savings Account Type||Monthly Fee||Fees are waived if||Minimum Deposit Amount|
|Standard||$4||$300 minimum ledger balance OR $1,000 average monthly balance OR under 18||$25|
|Elite Money Market||$10||$10,000 minimum daily ledger balance||$100|
|Retirement Money Market||$0||N/A||$100|
Non-U.S. Bank ATM fees are $2.50 per transaction. (Pre-paid debit account holders can waive these surcharges by using the MoneyPass ATMs.)
U.S. Bank Features
Next, I want to take you through some key features U.S. Bank offers that help it stand out from its competitors. Here are some of the bank’s best features:
Free Account Options
While not everyone will qualify for a free checking or savings account at U.S. Bank, I do like that they offer very realistic account options for students and seniors, who may not be able to afford monthly fees.
As an online bank, U.S. Bank has made it easy to go cardless. Use a U.S. Bank ATM without using your debit card or add your account to your digital wallet or wave your smartphone over the reader. (Of course, this doesn't work for non-U.S. bank ATM transactions.)
Great selection of account types
I like U.S. Bank’s tiered and specific needs-based approach to banking accounts. I also like that they offer a checking and savings account geared towards existing personal loan and credit card customers, that can help these individuals save on monthly fees.
While some banks offer accounts that are pretty confusing to contrast or may require you to meet different requirements, U.S. Bank’s account options are well laid out and easy to understand.
Free savings accounts for minors
Another top feature that sets U.S. Bank apart from competitors is its free banking services for anyone under 18. This service is perfect for parents looking to accrue interest for their kids while they’re still minors. While you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of $25 to get this opened, you won’t have to worry about paying a monthly fee.
Location services safety features
Security is also a top priority for U.S. Bank. If you’re worried about someone getting a hold of your U.S. Bank card, you can enroll in their location services program via their mobile app. This allows you to set up location services on your phone, so if anyone tries to use your card in another area, U.S. Bank will be alerted about potential fraud and keep your account protected.
Who is U.S. Bank best for?
University students and seniors
There’s no sense in paying for checking account services when you’re in school, so I like that U.S. Bank makes opening a free student account easy and hassle-free. I’m also glad they extend this same courtesy to seniors who may be unable to afford monthly fees.
Existing U.S. Bank customers
U.S. Bank provides better rates and features for existing credit card, loan, and investment customers, which are well worth considering. I like that U.S. Bank rewards customer loyalty and offers bundled accounts and services to its existing customer base.
Anyone looking for low-cost, basic checking
The requirements to waive the monthly fees at U.S. Bank are very clear and can make it easy for many to avoid. While I’d prefer if there was a basic option for non-students and seniors, I do like that the monthly charges are low and there are easy ways to eliminate these money fees.
Who shouldn’t use U.S. Bank?
Some individuals located out of U.S. Bank’s 26 serviced states.
I don’t believe you have to live in a state where your bank has a branch location, but I can’t deny it sure is convenient sometimes. While anyone out of range of U.S. Bank’s branches can still receive excellent services and benefits through digital banking, some people might prefer having an in-person option nearby. If that’s the case for you, exploring local options might prove more beneficial.
Anyone looking for high-interest savings
Where U.S. Bank really falls short is its savings accounts’ interest rates. While the basic features of their accounts may seem attractive, their interest rates are not impressive, or even competitive, as they are much lower than national competitors and many local or online options.
U.S. Bank Pros and Cons
To help you better determine if U.S. Bank might be the right choice for your banking services, I’ll run you through a few pros and cons.
Access to 3,000+ branches and 5,300+ ATMs
Even though U.S. Bank doesn’t have branches in all 50 states, it does offer a large number of in-person branches throughout the country. If you do live in a state without a branch, they also offer access to over 5,300 ATMs where you can conduct most banking transactions.
Minimum Deposits Required
U.S. Bank does not require minimum deposits for all checking accounts, but does have monthly direct deposit requirements for savings accounts. Although the deposit requirement is quite low for 4 out of 5 savings plans ($10 - $25), I’d like to see a standard option without a deposit requirement.
Robust digital services and mobile app
Since U.S. Bank is scattered primarily across the West Coast and Midwestern states, I was glad to see that their digital technology is top-of-the-line. You can conduct nearly any type of transaction from your phone including bill pay, money transfers, mobile check deposits, and activating bank cards.
High Overdraft Fees
If you tend to go over your account balance, U.S. Bank’s overdraft policy is fairly strict. They can charge a $35 overdraft fee up to four times a day and even charge an additional fee if your account remains in the negative for over a week. (If you have multiple accounts, automatic overdraft protection transfers could save you from this fee but does charge up to $12.50 for the transfer fee.)
Access to Zelle
If you need to send money to family or friends in a hurry, U.S. Bank allows you access to Zelle, which will let you transfer money using only a phone number or email address. Best of all, this feature is free.
High minimums to waive monthly fees
Unless you luck into a free account, you’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 to avoid monthly fees. While there are other ways around this monthly fee, I wish this minimum requirement was closer to $500.
U.S. Bank vs. competitors
Now that I’ve taken you through some key benefits and disadvantages of U.S. Bank, let’s see how this financial institutions stacks up against competitors.
U.S. Bank vs. Citibank
Both U.S. Bank and Citibank are top financial institutions for United States customers, but have a few key distinctions.
Citibank offers more checking accounts than U.S. Bank, but to be honest, the different options are pretty confusing to understand and often cater to higher-earning individuals. I do like that Citibank had no minimum deposit requirements, though both banks have monthly fees.
Citibank and U.S. Bank both charge similar overdraft charges, and neither bank has locations in all 50 states. However, U.S. Bank does offer in-person services in more states.
Depending on which state you live in, you might be eligible for Citibank’s high-yield savings account, which has one of the highest APY’s on the market. On the downside, you’ll also have to enroll in a checking account to take advantage of their high APY savings.
U.S. Bank vs. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is another major competitor of U.S. Bank. Both banks offer similar services, but have a few different features worth noting.
I like that both U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo waive monthly fees for college students and seniors, a feature not all competitors offer. They do both have overdraft charges and require minimum deposits.
On the other hand, Wells Fargo has more locations across the country than U.S. Bank which might be beneficial for anyone looking for in-person service. Their savings rates are also both very similar, and frankly, unimpressive.
Here’s a closer look at how these three banks stack up against one another:
|Bank||Minimum Deposit||Monthly Fee||Savings APY||Overdraft Fee||Number of Branches|
|U.S. Bank||$25||$0 - $24.95||0.01%||$35 per transaction (4 per day); additional fees after overdraft for more than 7 days||2,700|
|Citibank||$0||$4.50 - $30||0.04% - 0.70%||$34 per transaction (4 per day)||700|
|Wells Fargo||$25||$10||0.01%||$35 per transaction (3 per day)||5,400|
How much does it cost to open a bank account at U.S. Bank?
U.S. Bank does not have minimum deposit requirements on all accounts, but will require a $25 deposit on most standard accounts.
Can I open a U.S. Bank account online?
Yes, you can open a U.S. Bank account online by visiting USbank.com. You’ll need to be over 18, have a driver’s license, and $25 minimum deposit ready.
What is the best U.S. Bank account?
U.S. Bank offers a large selection of checking and savings accounts. The best one for you will depend on a variety of factors. Students, for instance, can enjoy free checking, while existing U.S. Bank loan and credit card customers might opt for the Gold account which unlocks better rates and features.
Does U.S. Bank have free checking for seniors?
Yes. U.S. Bank waives its monthly fee on a few of its checking and savings account plans for anyone over 55 years of age.
U.S. Bank has a proud history in the United States and is one of the most widely regarded banks today. I like that they offer more bank locations than some top banks in the country, as well as access to a wide variety of ATMs. Their digital services are also top-notch and free checking for students and seniors is a big win in my book/
If you don’t live in a state serviced by U.S. Bank, you can still unlock the same features and benefits by enrolling online. However, if you’d prefer a bank you can visit in-person, you might want to look elsewhere. Additionally, U.S. Bank’s savings rates are not competitive, so if savings is a major focus, you can easily find a higher rate at another institution.
You can learn more information at usbank.com.