Best Online Banks

Bank online and you can avoid the fees and even earn a little interest.

Recent consumer-friendly credit-card legislation limiting pesky fees and new rules that put a lid on overdraft charges have put a damper on banks' bottom lines. The downside: Banks used those revenues from fees to subsidize free checking. Now when you open a checking account, you'll likely pay a monthly service charge unless you keep a minimum balance, use your debit card a certain number of times each month or meet some other condition.

One way to avoid a service charge -- and the hassle of keeping close tabs on your account -- is to bank online. Because online banks don't have the expense of maintaining brick-and-mortar branches, they can offer lower fees and higher interest rates on your cash. And you can usually use any ATM free because most online banks rebate the fees.

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Senior Reporter, Kiplinger's Personal Finance