U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking
U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking
U.S Bank is one of the largest banks in the country, so it stands to reason that this financial institution would have several checking account options, but one of the most popular is the Smartly Checking account.
This is an interest bearing account that offers many of the standard features of checking accounts from traditional banks with a few innovative features that may make managing your day to day expenses a little easier.
This account can be opened online and you can manage your account via your local branch or using the internet platform or mobile app.
U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking: Account Features
Here are the main features to know about the U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking:
The account has a monthly maintenance fee currently set at $6.95.
However, U.S. Bank fees can be waived if you meet certain criteria. This includes having monthly direct deposits of at least $1,000, maintaining an average account balance of at least $1,500 or holding an eligible U.S Bank credit card.
The fees are also waived if you’re aged under 24 or over 65, or you’re a member of the military.
The Smartly Checking package includes a number of tools to help you to move your money safely. This includes Zelle fast payments, automatic bill payments, contactless payments and mobile check deposit.
This makes it easier to not only move your money, but also keep your finances organized with the minimum of fuss.
The Smartly Checking is a reward checking, offering interest bearing on balance This is becoming a more unusual feature with full service checking accounts, so it is nice that U.S Bank offers this option.
U.S Bank has its own network, so you don’t need to worry about ATM fees if you use a network machine. One of the challenges of this is that it can be difficult to find a machine where you’ll not incur a surcharge or transaction fee.
However, the account management platform has a built in ATM finder which shows the nearest network ATM in your area, wherever you are.
While this doesn’t enhance the functionality of the Smartly Checking account, U.S Bank does offer a variety of debit card designs so you can add a little personality to your wallet.
Is U.S Bank Smartly Checking Account Good?
As with any financial product, there is no clear cut answer to whether it is good or bad, as it will depend on your circumstances, requirements and preferences. So, here we’ll highlight some pros and cons, so you can assess whether the account would be a good fit for you.
Account Management via an Excellent App
Overdraft Protection Tools
Limited Savings Account Options
Various Monthly Fee Waiver Possibilities
May Count Towards Smart Rewards
Although it is fairly common to have an app to manage your bank account, the app used for Smartly Checking is award winning and easy to use.
This app has been praised for its functionality including tools such as the mobile check deposit and its customer service features.
U.S. Bank offers overdraft protection and prevention tools with the Smartly Checking account.
This includes no fee overdraft protection transfers if you have a linked deposit account, the Overdraft Fee Forgiven program and a $50 overdrawn safety threshold.
These tools can help you to avoid potentially costly overdraft fees and charges.
Unlike other popular checking accounts that require a specific minimum balance to have an account monthly fee waived, there are several different waiver criteria that can be applied.
This includes holding an eligible U.S Bank credit card or receiving a minimum amount in direct deposits. This means that even if you don’t have a large balance, you can still avoid the monthly charges.
The Smart Rewards program from U.S Bank offers different tiers of benefits according to which U.S Bank products you hold.
Depending on your other U.S Bank accounts, your Smartly Checking balance may be added to your qualifying balance with this program.
Smartly Checking also provides access to budgeting and financial goal setting tools which can help you to get your finances on track and effectively manage your money.
Although getting paid interest on your checking account balance is great, the rates for Smartly Checking are very low. The current range is 0.001% – 0.005% and the maximum rate is only available for balances over $25k.
Overall, the rates are not competitive compared to other interest bearing checking accounts.
If you want to take advantage of the free overdraft protection transfers you’ll need a linked savings account, but there are few available options.
The standard savings account has a monthly maintenance fee, with its own waiver criteria to consider and the APY is low compared to many other savings products in the market.
Which Type of Customer is Best Suited to the U.S Bank Smartly Checking Account?
As we’ve highlighted, there are both pros and cons associated with Smartly Checking, which will influence the type of customer that is best suited to this account. Smartly Checking may be a good fit for you if:
- You already hold a U.S Bank credit card: If you already have a U.S Bank credit card, such as the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect or Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite, you are more able to access the Smart Reward tiers and you could possibly have your monthly maintenance fee for the account waived automatically.
- You tend to slip overdrawn: If you tend to get a little distracted and your account slips into the red, you should find the overdraft protection and prevention tools helpful to avoid those costly fees which can cause your finances to spiral out of control.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to get the highest rates on your checking account balance and any linked savings accounts, U.S Bank and the Smartly Checking account are not the best option for you. You would be better to investigate the products available from online banks.
Is U.S Bank a Good Bank to Work With?
U.S. Bank has streamlined its product line in recent years, so unlike many traditional banks, it does not have a large choice of account options.
There are only two checking accounts, one basic savings account, various CD options, and two money market accounts. So, if you’re the type of person who likes a choice of several account options, you’re likely to find U.S Bank a little lacking.
Another potential red flag about U.S. Bank is that it has bad consumer review ratings. For example, on Trustpilot, U.S Bank’s current rating is just 1.3 out of 5.
While it isn’t unusual for banks and financial institutions to have a low rating, it does highlight some customer service issues including poor support, credit card problems and unexplained account locks. However, some comments do praise the bank for its service, so you’ll need to assess potential red flags for yourself.
On the positive side, U.S Bank does have strong online and app platforms, with over 3,000 branches and a large ATM network. So, if you do run into any issues, you shouldn’t have problems locating a branch in your area to speak to a representative.
How to Open a U.S Bank Smartly Checking Account?
Although you can visit a local branch, U.S Bank makes it easy to open accounts online including Smartly Checking. You can complete the process in a few simple steps.
- Find the Smartly Checking Product Page: The first thing you’ll need to do is navigate to the Smartly Checking product page on the official U.S Bank website. You’ll find Smartly Checking under the “Bank Accounts” tab from the “Personal” link on the bar at the top of the main webpage. From there, you’ll see all the account details and you can click the blue “Open an Account” button.
- Confirm Your Zip Code:You’ll be directed to a screen to enter your Zip Code. This is crucial as U.S Bank needs to ensure that any quoted rates and products are appropriate to your home state.
- Complete the Application Form: This is fairly standard for any online bank account application. You’ll need to provide your full name, address, contact details, date of birth, Social Security Number and other personal details. This should take approximately five minutes, but you can save at the end of each page to continue later if necessary.
- Verify Your ID: U.S Bank will need to verify your identity to comply with federal regulations. You can do this by submitting a picture of your valid driver’s license, passport or other government issued photo ID.
Yes, Smartly Checking is interest bearing, so you will earn interest on any balance in this checking account. However, the interest is very low and not competitive.
U.S Bank does periodically run promotions for new customers. As of November 2023, new customers can earn up to Up to $500.
The best way to close a Smartly Checking account is to call the customer support helpline or visit your local branch. A U.S Bank representative can walk you through the closure process and confirm your request.