Best Brokerages With Checking Account


Below we list online stock brokerage firms with best checking accounts (ATM, debit cards and check writing privileges) in 2018. As you can see, TD Ameritrade and Firstrade offer the most appealing combination of a free checking account with linked brokerage investment service.



best brokerage checking account

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade Checking Account Details


  • No monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balance requirements
  • Unlimited check writing and free standard 100 checks re-orders
  • Free online bill pay
  • Avoid debit card ATM fees — you get reimbursed for any ATM charges nationwide
  • Easily move money between TD Ameritrade accounts
  • Cash earns 0.01% APY


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TD Ameritrade rating

TD Ameritrade checking review and brokerage review


Open TD Ameritrade Brokerage and Checking Account

Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Open TD Ameritrade Account






Firstrade


Firstrade Checking Account Details


  • Firstrade customers can open a hybrid investment-cash management account
  • $25,000 account balance required
  • Checks and a free Visa debit card provided by UMB Bank
  • No charge for these banking tools
  • No annual fee for the account
  • Stocks, ETFs and mutual funds can be traded in this account
  • Lowest pricing on stock, ETFs and mutual funds trades
  • No liability for unauthorized transactions
  • No additional cost when you charge transportation tickets on a licensed common carrier to your Visa debit card


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Firstrade rating

Firstrade brokerage review


Open Firstrade Brokerage and Checking Account

Up to $300 Cash Rewards + 500 Free Trades.

Open Firstrade Account




broker with free checking account

E*trade

Etrade Brokerage Checking Details


  • Free online bill pay services
  • Free, unlimited ATM fee refunds
  • Free ATM/VISA debit card
  • Online images of cleared and deposited checks
  • 0.05% APY on accounts with $5,000 or more; 0.01% for $0 - $5,000
  • Move money between accounts at E*TRADE and elsewhere in seconds with our free, cash transfer service
  • $100 minimum initial deposit required
  • $5,000 average monthly balance in the account required to avoid a $15 monthly fee


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Etrade rating

Etrade checking review and Etrade brokerage review


Open Etrade Brokerage and Checking Account

At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.

Open Etrade Account




brokerage checking accounts

USAA

USAA Brokerage Checking Account Details


  • Use 60,000 USAA-preferred ATMs for free. Plus, if you have to use another bank's ATM USAA will refund bank fees
  • Qualified members can deposit checks with their smartphone
  • Pay, manage and view all your bills in one place with Web BillPay
  • Send money to anyone from your phone using an email or mobile number
  • Create a budget and track your spending with USAA MoneyManager
  • Free unlimited funds transfers to and from any bank nationwide
  • Receive alerts when there's suspicious activity on your USAA account
  • Zero liability for unauthorized debit card charges


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USAA rating

USAA brokerage review


Open USAA Brokerage and Checking Account

ATM Rebates. No monthly service Fees. USAA Classic Checking.

Open USAA Account




brokerage checking accounts

Wellstrade

Wells Fargo Brokerage Checking Details


  • Platinum debit card
  • Two months of free Online Bill Pay, after that Bill Pay is $3 per month Monthly service fee
  • $7 monthly service fee with online-only statements ($9 with paper statements) or waived when requirements are met
  • The monthly service fee is waived on the Wells Fargo Value Checking account with one of the following:
    • $1,500 minimum daily balance, or
    • Qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more each statement cycle


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Wellstrade rating

Wells Fargo checking review and Wells Fargo brokerage review


Open Wellstrade Brokerage and Checking Account

Open Wellstrade Account







Overview of Using a Checking Account with a Brokerage Firm


Having a checking account at a bank is so 20th century. Today, many brokerage firms provide cash management tools, and they often include some really nice benefits that most brick-and-mortar banks don’t provide. This article will explore the advantages of using a broker for banking services, and it will compare the services to traditional bank products.


Cash Management Tools at Broker-Dealers


At the turn of the 21st century, many brokerage firms began offering cash management tools to their clients as a service. This made sense because customers would always deposit cash before buying securities. When stocks and bonds paid dividends, these would typically go into the core position of the trading account. So brokerage firms started to develop methods to allow their customers to tap into these cash balances.

Today, many brokers, including both traditional firms and on-line discount brokers, provide a host of cash management tools. The features themselves vary widely from broker to broker, as do the costs.

The most common banking tools available at broker-dealers today are checks and a debit or ATM card. Some brokerage firms go further by providing services like bill pay, credit cards, and on-line wires.

The checks and debit card can function with an independent and separate account, which can be an actual checking account or a securities account that operates as a checking account. Or, the cash management tools can be attached to a brokerage account. Debits made with a check or ATM card come out of the account’s core position, which could be cash or a money market mutual fund.


Benefits of Using a Brokerage Account as a Checking Account


Brokerage houses have made sure that their banking features are competitive with traditional banks. In fact, sometimes it is actually better to use a broker’s cash management tools as a checking account. For example, some brokers now provide ATM rebates whenever their debit cards are used to make withdrawals. Most traditional banks don’t offer this lucrative service.

Another nice feature that some brokers offer is the ability to move cash to multiple banks, which increases the standard $250,000 FDIC insurance. Regular banks of course don’t want to move funds to rival companies, so this really nice feature probably isn’t available at your local bank.

Rates on deposits of cash are usually competitive with interest rates offered on bank accounts. In fact, some cash yields at several broker-dealers now exceed rates that are available on traditional bank products.

Another advantage to having a checking account at a brokerage firm is that you can quickly and easily access needed cash when you’re ready to place a securities order. If you have to pull funds from an external bank account, it may be several days before the transfer can be used for trading purposes.

Let’s take a look at some specific brokerage firms and compare their cash management services to what is available at some traditional banks.


Brokerage Checking Accounts Summary


Brokerage houses are doing a better job of providing their clients with checking account tools. Many services are now competitive with traditional banks, and in fact, some of them surpass what brick-and-mortar banks currently offer.


Updated on 3/1/2018.