U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking Account Review

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking logo

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking


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Expert Take

U.S. Bank Smartly Checking® earns variable interest and comes with a wealth of benefits to help you manage, move, and spend your money wisely.


  • Earns interest
  • Online bill pay
  • Large ATM network
  • Link all accounts in one place
  • Online and in-person support


  • Requires high balance for higher APY
  • Rewards depend on your account balance

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking logo

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at U.S. Bank

Finding the best checking account can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. They all provide different benefits and have different requirements and fees. A popular checking account that people come across is held at U.S. Bank.

Here is a U.S. Bank Smartly® checking account review to help you determine if it’s right for you.

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking Account Overview

The U.S. Bank Smartly® checking account offers many benefits and features and only requires $25 to open.

However, to waive the monthly fee, you must have at least $1,000 direct deposited monthly or carry an average $1,500 balance.

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking Account Features

The U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking Account offers many features to help you manage your money, including the following.

Waived Monthly Maintenance Fees

No one likes paying monthly maintenance fees on checking accounts, but the Smartly checking account offers several ways to waive them.

First, if you’re a military member or are between the ages of 18 and 24 or over 65, you’ll never pay a monthly maintenance fee. Customers in these categories also don’t have to meet specific minimum balance requirements.

All others can waive the fee with $1,000 or more in monthly direct deposits or a minimum average balance of $1,500. You can also waive the fee with an active U.S. Bank credit card.

Automated Financial Tools

The U.S. Bank Smartly Checking account includes automated budgeting tools that help you stay on track to reach your financial goals.

The U.S. Bank mobile app automatically tracks spending categories and sends custom alerts as you set up. You can also opt-in to receive market insights to help you make more advanced financial decisions.

Goal Planner

Automatically track your goals with the U.S. Bank goal planner feature. You set the goal and then track your progress to see how close (or far) you are from reaching your goals.

Fraud Protection

U.S. Bank offers zero fraud liability coverage for unauthorized transactions you report

immediately. They also use the highest level of bank security and encryption, allowing you to set up the threshold for account alerts to know immediately if your account was compromised.

Overdraft Protection

U.S. Bank provides three ways to help you avoid overdraft charges:

  1. First are the account alerts that tell you immediately when you’ve gone over your balance.
  2. Next, you can link an external bank account to your U.S. Bank account to automatically cover the amount overdrawn on your U.S. bank account.
  3. Finally, U.S. Bank offers an Overdraft Fee Forgiven program that waives the overdraft fee incurred if you cover the overdraft by 11 PM ET.

Smart Rewards

All U.S. Bank Smartly Checking account holders are eligible for Smart Rewards, a four-tier program that provides more rewards and benefits as you move up the tiers. To begin moving up the tiers, you must have a balance of $20,000 or more.

However, you automatically become a Primary member when you have a U.S. bank mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, or personal loan.

Otherwise, you must meet the minimum balance requirements to climb the tiers.

Each tier provides benefits such as:

  • Waived monthly maintenance fees
  • Non-network ATM fee reimbursement
  • Boosted APYs
  • Up to 100 free trades through U.S. Bancorp Investments
  • Mortgage loan closing credits
  • Complimentary investment consultations
  • Fee waivers


Many checking accounts don’t pay interest.

The U.S. Bank Smartly Checking account does; however, it’s minimal.

On balances up to $24,999.99, the APY is 0.001%, and it doesn’t increase to 0.005% until you have over $25,000 deposited.

Pros and Cons

All checking accounts have good and bad sides.

Understanding how the U.S. Bank Smartly checking account works, including its downsides, can help you determine if it’s right for you.


  • Large ATM network – U.S. Bank is a part of the MoneyPass ATM network, which has 40,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Earns interest – Even though it’s low, any interest is better than no interest, and most banks don’t pay interest on checking accounts.
  • Link all accounts in one place – You can link all bank accounts, including external accounts, to your U.S. Bank mobile app to get personalized insights.
  • Online bill pay – You can set up automatic bill pay in the mobile app and never miss a payment again
  • Online and in-person support – U.S. Bank has over 2,000 locations in 26 states for in-person support


  • Potential to pay $6.95 monthly – If you aren’t eligible to waive the monthly fee, you’ll pay $6.95 per month.
  • Requires high balance for higher APY – You must have over $25,000 invested to have an increased interest rate.
  • Rewards depend on your account balance – The only way to get rewarded with the U.S. Bank Smartly checking account is to have high balances.


Besides the $6.95 monthly maintenance fee you can waive by meeting specific requirements, the U.S. Bank Smartly Checking account has the following fees.

  • $2.00 per statement fee
  • $30 account charge-off processing fee
  • $2.50 per non-U.S. Bank ATM fee
  • $1.00 for a mini ATM statement
  • $1.50 for a full statement at a U.S. Bank ATM
  • 3% international processing fee per transaction
  • $2.00 debit card advance fee
  • $2.00 per check at the U.S. Bank counter
  • $5 dormant account fee where allowed by law
  • $36 per item for overdrafts over $5
  • $2 for photo-copied checks
  • $6 for photo-copied statements
  • $19 for returned deposits or cashed checks

Customer Service

You can get customer service in several ways with U.S. Bank, including:

  • Making an appointment at a local branch
  • Calling 1-800-USBANKS
  • Email customer.support@usbank.com

How to Access Your Smartly Account

U.S. Bank offers several ways to access your Smartly account, including:

  • Visiting a U.S. Bank branch in person
  • Using a MoneyPass or U.S. Bank ATM
  • Using the U.S. Bank mobile app
  • Banking online on the U.S. Bank website

You can also access Zelle to send and receive payments from your Smartly checking account.

You can also deposit checks using the mobile app.

How to Open a U.S. Bank Smartly Checking Account

To open a U.S. Bank Smartly checking account, you’ll need the following:

  • To be at least 18 years old
  • Have a government-issued ID
  • Provide your birthdate and social security number
  • Provide your address and phone number
  • Provide your email address

You’ll also need at least $25 to open the account and the information for the bank you’re transferring the funds from to link it to your U.S. Bank account.

Safety & Security

Most importantly, the U.S. Bank Smartly checking account is FDIC insured, so your funds are safe even if the bank closes.

In addition, U.S. Bank uses bank-level security to protect your information as well as fraud protection should you get hacked.

Alternatives to the U.S. Bank Smartly Checking Account

It’s always a good idea to compare your alternatives before settling on a checking account.

Here are the top alternatives to the Smartly account:

CIT Bank

If you don’t mind banking online, CIT Bank offers an eChecking account. You need $100 to open the account and earn 0.10% on balances under $25,000 and 0.25% on balances over $25,000. They don’t charge any ATM fees, and all banking occurs on the mobile app.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank is another online bank option that offers free checking. Ally Bank has 43,000 fee-free ATMs with the Allpoint network, provides 2-day early access to direct deposits, and charges no monthly maintenance fees. They also offer overdraft protection to help you stick to your goals.

Should You Open a Smartly Checking Account?

The U.S. Bank Smartly checking account is best for someone with direct deposits over $1,000 per month, so you automatically avoid the monthly maintenance fee.

If U.S. Bank is in your area, you can get the best of both worlds with great online banking services but in-person options as needed.

If you’re looking for a checking account strictly for spending and aren’t keeping large amounts in there to earn interest, you can take advantage of the many benefits the account offers.

However, if you want to earn interest on your balance, consider online bank alternatives.

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