There’s a Bank Account for Every Stage in Life. Here’s How to Find Yours

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What do you want out of your bank? Really?

The 21-year-old working her way through college has different needs from the 33-year-old whose career is taking off — or the 40-something who’s really settling in financially.

Luckily, it’s 2019, and banking is a whole new ballgame. A bank isn’t just a bank anymore. There’s a bank out there to fit every lifestyle, financial situation and age. These are a few of our favorites — we bet we can find one that’s perfect for you.

Earn 31 Times Interest on Your Money

There’s no law that requires you to bank the old-fashioned way — at a brick-and-mortar bank with a low interest rate on your savings.

It’s time to move your money into the 21st century. An iOS app called Varo Money combines traditional banking tools with modern technology to help its customers become financially healthy.

Here’s the best part: Pair your Bank Account with a Varo Savings Account where you’ll earn 2.12% annual percentage yield with the opportunity to earn up to 2.80% APY on up to $50,000 in savings. To qualify for the 2.80% rate, you’ll need to have payroll or government direct deposits of $1,000 or more and authorize at least five purchases with your Varo debit card each month.* That’s 31 times — repeat, 31 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.09% average reported by the FDIC.

Varo goes easy on the fees, too. As long as you use one of its 55,000 ATMs across the world, you’ll never pay fees.

Additionally, you’ll pay no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, no foreign transaction fees and no cash replacement fees. You’ll just pay any fees charged by out-of-network ATMs and cash deposit fees if you deposit cash in-store through Green Dot.

Perfect for: You’re in your 30s or 40s. Your career is moving along nicely. You’re probably not living paycheck to paycheck, and now you want your money to work for you. You want it to be earning interest and getting you closer to that nicer car, first house or dream vacation.

*Varo disclosure: APY is accurate as of January 29, 2019. This rate is variable and may change. No minimum balance required to open account. Balance in savings must be at least $0.01 to earn interest. Deposits are FDIC insured to at least $250,000 through The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.

Have Your Soup, but No Fees for You!

Nothing ruins your banking experience like getting pegged repeatedly with fees.

To put it simply, online accounts are easier to use than the traditional banks. They’re cheaper and more accessible.

One of our favorite companies, Aspiration, works on a pay-what-is-fair model. You choose to set a monthly tip, up to $10 or as low as $0, and you can change it anytime.

You won’t get hit with overdraft fees, either. Instead of forking over $30 a month for an overdraft accident, you actually have a chance to earn money on the balance of your account.

Want more? Fine. You got it.

ATM fees, be gone!

With Aspiration, you’ll face no ATM fees — domestic or international. ATMs in-network are free, and Aspiration will reimburse you the fees for out-of-network ATMs monthly.

Yup. It’s that simple to start living a fee-free life, thanks to Aspiration.

Perfect For: The 20-something crowd. Hey, whether you’re working your way through college or putting in your time at that first big boy/girl job, you can’t afford to have a bank that nickels and dimes you to death with unnecessary fees.

Make Payday Come to You

Want to get a jump on payday? Let Chime be your secret weapon.

Unlike most financial institutions, this online bank account doesn’t wait until your pay date to give you access to your money. As soon as it receives notification of a direct deposit from your employer, it immediately posts those funds to your account.

That means you’ll get your paycheck early — like Samuel Demeny, who recently switched to Chime. He uses direct deposit. His company technically pays everyone on Fridays, but Chime gets him access to that cash two days earlier than his co-workers.

“The fact that I’m paid on Wednesday versus Friday… helps me budget before the weekend even starts,” Demeny told The Penny Hoarder.

Not everyone is guaranteed the two-day head start Demeny has. That depends on your employer and its financial institution. We talked to another Chime account holder, Lee Best, who gets his paycheck one day ahead of his co-workers — on Wednesday instead of Thursday.

Who doesn’t want to get paid early?

Opening an account with Chime is free and only takes about five minutes.

Perfect For: The early-20-something who is living paycheck to paycheck. Do you get paid on the 15th but your rent and phone bills are also due that day? Chime can help you out by making your paycheck available a little ahead of time.

Cash In With Big-Time Sign-up Bonuses

If a bank wants your business, what’s in it for you? How about a little love up front? A sign-up bonus is a great way for a bank to get your business and an even better way for you to earn some extra money.

Chase gets it.

Visit this Chase Total Checking® page* to apply online, or enter your email address to get a unique coupon to take with you to open your account at any Chase branch.

This coupon expires on May 1, 2019, so you’ll need to complete the application before then.

  • Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit.
  • Get a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings℠ account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 20 days, and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days. You’re not required to open the savings account to earn the $200 Chase checking bonus.
  • This offer is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Perfect for: Those of you who are in your 40s and starting to get ahead. You may have built up a little nest egg or emergency savings. Hey, we get it. Not everyone has $10,000 sitting around right now. But you will, someday. You will.

Get Paid Ahead of the Game

Life doesn’t always wait for payday.

Your car breaks down. You have a sudden dentist bill (don’t ask). Your toilet… ew! Don’t talk about it. Just get it fixed. Fast!

When you can’t wait for payday, wouldn’t it be nice if your bank would give you a little advance?

MoneyLion does just that. If you sign up for a free MoneyLion Core membership, you’ll get a zero-fee checking account — no minimum balance, monthly service or overdraft fees. And sure, it’s an all-digital bank, but you’ll have free access to more than 55,000 IRL ATMs.

When you set up direct deposit, you can tap into up to $250 of your paycheck before payday with 0% interest.

Perfect for: Anyone in your 20s or early 30s. Even if you’re doing OK, you may not have emergency savings stashed away yet. It’s OK. You’ll work on it. In the meantime, wouldn’t it be nice to have a bank that has your back in a pinch?

*Checking offer is not available to existing Chase checking customers, those with fiduciary accounts, or those whose accounts have been closed within 90 days or closed with a negative balance. To receive the $200 checking bonus: 1) Open a new Chase Total Checking account, which is subject to approval; 2) Deposit $25 or more at account opening; AND 3) Have your direct deposit made to this account within 60 days of account opening.  Your direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government. After you have completed all the above requirements, we’ll deposit the bonus in your new account within 10 business days. You can only receive one new checking account-related bonus per calendar year. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT.

Account Closing: If your checking account is closed within six months after opening, we will deduct the bonus amount at closing.

Editorial Disclosure

This content is not provided by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Pro.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. He likes banks that have cookies, but that means something different for online banks. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.