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E*TRADE Review

E*TRADE Max-Rate Checking
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Michael Graw
Jan. 15, 2024
3 min read
Michael Graw
E*TRADE Max-Rate Checking Summary
E*TRADE is an online broker that offers two checking accounts through Morgan Stanley Private Bank. The Max-Rate Checking account provides up to 3.00% annual percentage yield (APY) and unlimited ATM refunds worldwide for a $15 waivable monthly fee. Its Checking account offers up to 1.50% APY and unlimited ATM refunds in the U.S. with no monthly fee. These accounts are a good option if you use E*TRADE to invest.

Pros

  • Use ATMs fee-free
  • Earn up to 3.00% APY
  • Manage all your E*TRADE accounts in one place

Cons

  • The $15 monthly fee is expensive (but can be waived)
  • No physical bank branches

E*TRADE Max-Rate Checking at a glance

9.6
Editorial score

Fees?

Checking: None Max-Rate Checking: $15 per month (waived if you meet certain conditions)
10.0

Security

FDIC-insured with SSL encryption, two-factor authentication, and biometric authentication
10.0

Customer service

24/5 customer support by phone; no dedicated fraud team
8.0

Online experience

User-friendly site with full banking capabilities; transparent rates and fees
10.0

Mobile experience

iOS and Android; includes account balances, online transfers, and mobile check deposits
10.0

E*TRADE Max-Rate Checking E*TRADE Max-Rate Checking Visit Site

Advantages Over Traditional Banks

E*TRADE’s Max-Rate Checking from Morgan Stanley Private Bank offers interest up to 3.00% APY on all balances. E*TRADE’s Checking account offers 1.50% APY with no monthly fee.

These rates are much higher than the current national average. As of December 2023, the average checking account interest rate is 0.07%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Another benefit to E*TRADE’s checking accounts is that you can use any ATM in the U.S. fee-free. E*TRADE will automatically refund you for any ATM fees you pay. With the Max-Rate Checking account from Morgan Stanley Private Bank, this benefit expands to cover any ATM worldwide.

The Max-Rate Checking account from Morgan Stanley Private Bank has a $15 monthly fee, but E*TRADE waives this charge if you meet certain conditions. For instance, you won’t pay a monthly fee if you keep an average monthly balance of $5,000 or make at least $200 in direct deposits to your account each month. 

Neither the Checking nor Max-Rate Checking accounts require a minimum deposit.

Cutting-Edge Banking Services

E*TRADE’s online dashboard and mobile app allow you to view all your E*TRADE accounts—including brokerage accounts—in one place. You can instantly transfer money between your checking and investment accounts, which is helpful for active investors who want to quickly jump into the market when opportunities arise.

E*TRADE makes setting up online transfers to outside accounts easy with no fees. You can also pay bills online and deposit checks using the mobile app. 

Traditional Banking Services

E*TRADE offers a wide range of brokerage accounts, including individual brokerage accounts, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), education savings accounts, and more. You can get access to financial advisers from Morgan Stanley. E*TRADE also has a fee-free savings account that offers up to 4.25% APY. 

E*TRADE doesn’t offer access to physical bank branches. However, you can deposit and withdraw cash at any ATM fee-free.

Interest Rates and Fees

E*TRADE’s Checking account is free and requires no minimum deposit. It offers up to 1.50% APY on all balances. There are no fees for most banking activities, including online transfers and incoming wires. The most notable fee is a $25 charge for outgoing wire transfers, which also applies to the Max-Rate Checking account from Morgan Stanley Private Bank.

The Max-Rate Checking account from Morgan Stanley Private Bank offers up to 3.00% APY on all balances with no minimum deposit. It costs $15 per month, but E*TRADE will waive this fee if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • Maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000 or more.
  • Make at least $200 in direct deposits to your account each month.
  • Maintain a monthly average balance of $50,000 or more across Morgan Stanley Private Bank accounts (including E*TRADE’s Checking and Savings accounts).
  • Have a balance of $50,000 or more in linked E*TRADE brokerage accounts on the date the fee would be charged.
  • Execute at least 30 stock or options trades with E*TRADE in the previous calendar quarter.
AccountInmterest RateMonthly FeeMinimum DepositMinimum Balance

Checking

1.50% APY

None

None

None

Max-Rate Checking from Morgan Stanley Private Bank

3.00% APY

$15 (can be waived)

None

None ($5,000 to waive monthly fee)

Customer Service and Online Experience

E*TRADE’s customer service team is available by phone 24/5, from 12 a.m. ET on Monday to 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday. 

Additionally, the E*TRADE website has an FAQ page that explains how to use the checking account to deposit checks and make transfers. There’s also an online rate sheet that clearly explains all fees associated with your account.

Signing up for an E*TRADE checking account is easy and takes only a few minutes. Existing E*TRADE customers can log in to open a checking account with a few clicks. If you’re new to E*TRADE, you’ll need to provide contact information and upload a copy of your ID to verify your identity. 

The E*TRADE dashboard gives you an overview of all your accounts, including your E*TRADE brokerage and savings accounts, if you have any. You can see your balance and all transactions, transfer money, and pay bills online.

Mobile App

E*TRADE’s free mobile app for iOS and Android allows you to manage your checking account alongside your brokerage accounts. You can view your transaction history, initiate transfers, set up bill pay, and deposit checks with a photo.

The E*TRADE app is especially suitable for active investors and traders. You can use the app to instantly transfer money from your checking account to your brokerage account and then place a stock or options trade in seconds.

Security

E*TRADE’s checking accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.

E*TRADE uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, two-factor authentication, and biometric authentication to keep your account secure. You can also set up text and email alerts for new transactions in your checking account. 

However, E*TRADE doesn’t have a dedicated fraud team you can call for help.

Conclusion

E*TRADE offers two interest-earning checking accounts through Morgan Stanley Private Bank. The Checking account is free and offers up to 1.50% APY and fee-free transactions at any ATM in the U.S. The Max-Rate Checking account from Morgan Stanley Private Bank costs $15 per month and offers up to 3.00% APY and fee-free transactions at any ATM worldwide. You can have the $15 fee waived by maintaining a $5,000 monthly balance, making $200 in monthly direct deposits, or meeting other conditions.

Overall, E*TRADE’s checking accounts offer attractive interest rates and low fees. These accounts are especially suitable if you invest with an E*TRADE brokerage account since you can manage all your accounts in one place and instantly move money between them.

E*TRADE Max-Rate Checking E*TRADE Max-Rate Checking Visit Site

Methodology

This review was created using information from the E*TRADE website.

Michael Graw
Written by
Michael Graw
Michael Graw is a Bellingham, Washington-based writer focusing on finance, tech, and science. His work has been featured in print magazines and high-impact websites. He writes for BestMoney and enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market.‎
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