While often the default response online to people looking for something other than a big retail bank to stash their cash is to shout, “Credit union! Credit union!”, they’re not the only game in town.
Lifehacker points out two options that aren’t talked about as much but still can be great alternatives: brokerage firms and high yield checking accounts.
Brokerage firms will give you all sorts of perks for setting up checking accounts with them. Things like checkwriting, ATM refunds, and a little bit of interest. Charles Schwab and Fidelity are two places that are well-known for offering checking services. Of course, they do it because it makes it easier to transfer your money in to go and make more investments they can profit off of.
High yield checking accounts don’t have fees and will pay you interest. However, they usually have a number of requirements you have to meet. They may want you to have a certain minimum number of credit card transactions and bill payments, for example. Like brokerage firms, the goal is to get you to stick around and leverage your business into other kinds of accounts and transactions with the company.