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credit & debt

Best Deals in Banking of 2015

Our top picks in everything from savings accounts to mobile banks.

With interest rates at the bottom of the barrel and ATM fees hitting record highs--an average $4.52 for a customer who uses an out-of-network ATM, according to Bankrate.com--finding a great bank is trickier than ever. But some credit unions and online banks still offer standout deals, including checking accounts that reimburse fees that other institutions charge when you use their ATMs and savings accounts with relatively high yields. Whether you're looking for a single account or the full banking package, check out these options.

If you need a savings account: The MySavingsDirect online savings account recently paid a 1.1% interest rate. There's no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement, making it a prime place to stash an emergency fund.

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If you're interested in a high-yield checking account: You can earn up to 5.1% interest on up to $20,000 with the Consumers Credit Union (Illinois) Free Rewards Checking account by meeting certain conditions, such as using your debit card 12 times monthly, signing up for direct deposit and using one of the credit union’s Visa credit cards. Out-of-network ATM fees levied by other institutions are reimbursed.

If you're interested in a no-strings checking account: The Bank5 Connect High Interest Checking account requires a balance of only $100 to earn a 0.76% interest rate. Out-of-network fees incurred at other banks' ATMs are refunded up to $15 a month.

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If you're considering an online bank: Ally Bank's free checking account reimburses $10 worth of out-of-network ATM fees a month and yields up to 0.6%. The bank's savings account, money market deposit account and CDs also pay healthy rates. Among credit unions, Alliant offers a free, no-minimum checking account that reimburses up to $20 in monthly out-of-network ATM fees; with electronic statements and one monthly direct deposit, you'll earn 0.65% interest. The savings account pays 1% on balances of $100 or more.

If you're considering a mobile bank: The Simple checking account, which operates primarily through a mobile app, recently removed all fees. Use its budgeting tool to create savings goals and monitor spending.

See Our Kip Tips Column: Best Credit Cards of 2015

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