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25 Best Checking Accounts of 2021

If your checking account isn’t serving your needs anymore, you have plenty of other places to turn.

Big banks, small banks, online banks, app-based banks, credit unions of all kinds — each category features standouts that go above and beyond to keep deposit account holders happy.

Stop settling. Peruse this up-to-the-minute list of the best checking accounts in the United States, including some of the top high-interest accounts on the market — and get ready for a better way to bank.

Best Bank and Credit Union Checking Accounts for U.S. Customers

These are among the best checking accounts for U.S.-based customers at popular banks and credit unions (members FDIC and NCUA unless noted otherwise).

Many qualify for inclusion on our list of the best free checking accounts, while others appear on our best bank account promotions page.

Each listing includes key details about the account, such as deposit and balance minimums, yield, credit card availability, and possible fees.

1. HSBC Premier Checking

Generous Account Opening Bonus Opportunities for Accounts Opened Through Aug. 31, 2021

HSBC Premier CheckingHsbc Logo is HSBC’s premium checking account. For those able to meet the relatively strict maintenance fee waiver requirements, HSBC Premier is a great match.

Among the many benefits of HSBC Premier Checking are:

  • Priority service in-branch and over the phone
  • Special services for international account holders
  • Most HSBC ATM withdrawal fees waived at machines around the world
  • Access to a professional relationship manager authorized to address all aspects of your relationship with HSBC
  • No foreign transaction fees on debit transactions
  • Preferred rates on HSBC mortgage products

Don’t miss the excellent account opening bonus opportunities on accounts opened by Aug. 31, 2021. Choose whichever one fits your cash flow better.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: None, but a $50 monthly maintenance fee applies in statement cycles when you don’t achieve all qualifying goals (see possible fees below).
  • Account Opening Bonus #1: Open your new Premier Checking account by Aug. 31, 2021, and set up Qualifying Direct Deposits into your new HSBC Premier checking account and enjoy a 3% Cash Bonus, up to $600, on Qualifying Direct Deposits up to $100 per month, during the first six calendar months after account opening. You will automatically receive the 3% Cash Bonus in your new HSBC Premier checking account approximately eight weeks after completing that month’s qualifying activities.
  • Account Opening Bonus #2: Open your new Premier Checking account by Aug. 31, 2021, and make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account(s) for three consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening. You will automatically receive the $450 Welcome Deposit in your new HSBC Premier checking account within eight weeks after completing all qualifying activities.
  • Yield: None, but account holders enjoy access to HSBC Premier Savings, one of the bank’s highest-yielding savings accounts.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy priority service and emergency financial support at HSBC branches, special global services for international accounts, and a wide range of home financing products and services.
  • Possible Fees: Avoid the $50 monthly maintenance fee by doing one of the following: maintain $75,000 in combined U.S. Dollar personal deposit accounts and investment balances OR recurring direct deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to an HSBC Premier checking account(s) per calendar month OR an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan with an original loan amount of at least $500,000.

Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A., member FDIC.

Learn More


2. Chase Total Checking®

chase bank logoChase Total Checking® is a convenient checking account backed by Chase’s nationwide branch and ATM network.

It also has one of the best bank account bonuses around, worth $225 with qualifying activities. To earn it, simply open your account using the links above or below, or enter your email here and take the coupon to a local Chase branch.

Then, set up direct deposit within 90 days of coupon enrollment. You’ll receive a $225 bonus within 15 business days. But you must apply by Oct. 18, 2021.

Chase has ATMs and branches in the following states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MI, NV, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA, WV, WI. This offer is available online nationwide, except for residents of AK, HI, and Puerto Rico.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: None, but a $12 monthly maintenance fee applies in statement cycles when you don’t meet direct deposit or balance requirements (see possible fees below).
  • Account Opening Bonus: Open your new Chase Total Checking account by Oct. 18, 2021, and set up direct deposit within 90 days of coupon enrollment. If you complete these qualifying activities, you’ll receive a $225 bonus within 15 business days.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy the convenience of more than 16,000 ATMs and 4,700 branch locations.
  • Possible Fees: Avoid the $12 monthly maintenance fee by doing one of the following in a statement period: have direct deposits made into this account totaling $500 or more; OR keep a balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more in your checking account; OR keep an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings, and other eligible balances; OR pay at least $25 or more in qualifying checking-related services or fees.

Apply Now


3. GO2bank

Go2bank LogoEarn Up to 7% Cash Back When You Buy eGift Cards in the App1; 1% APY2 paid quarterly on Savings Up to $5,000

GO2bank offers a user-friendly online bank account with a strong yield on savings: 1% APY2 on savings up to $5,000. The account also earns up to 7% cash back on eligible electronic gift card purchases in the app.

To avoid the $5 monthly fee, set up eligible direct deposit. Plus, enjoy the opportunity to:

  • Get paid up to two days early with ASAP Direct DepositTM 3
  • Deposit cash at participating retail stores, subject to fees and deposit limits that may apply
  • Enjoy up to $200 in overdraft protection with opt in and eligible direct deposit

Overdrafts are paid at GO2bank’s discretion. Terms and conditions apply.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: GO2bank has no minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirements.
  • Yield: Earn 1% APY2 on savings up to $5,000.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Get paid up to two days early with ASAP Direct DepositTM 3 and earn up to 7% cash back on eGift Card purchases made in the app (3% cash back on Amazon gift card purchases).
  • Possible Fees: Set up eligible direct deposit to avoid the $5 monthly fee. A $15 fee may apply to each overdraft transaction not repaid within 24 hours of authorization of the first transaction that overdrafts the account. See other simple fees at GO2bank.com.

Learn More

1Active GO2bank account required to receive an eGift Card. eGift Card merchants subject to change
2GO2bank, Member FDIC. Interest paid quarterly on the average daily balance of savings during the quarter up to a $5,000 balance and if the account is in good standing. 1% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of January 2021. APY may change before or after you open an account. The average national savings account interest rate of 0.05% is determined by the FDIC as of 12/14/20. Visit https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/ to learn more. Fees on your primary deposit account may reduce earnings on your savings account.
3Direct deposit early availability depends on timing of payor’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period. The name and Social Security number on file with your employer or benefits provider must match your GO2bank account exactly or we will decline your deposit.


 

4. Citi Elevate Checking

Earn Up to 0.25% APY, Depending on Balance Tier

Citibank LogoCiti Elevate Checking is an interest checking account with unlimited waived and reimbursed ATM fees and a yield that’s 20 times the national average on checking balances.

There’s no minimum to open, no monthly fees when you meet the minimum balance requirement, and a host of online banking tools that let you manage your money from just about anywhere.

Mobile check deposits, bill pay capabilities, fast peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, and a handy Spending Insights tool sweeten the deal.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit, but you need to maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000 to waive the $15 monthly maintenance fee.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: Earn up to 0.25% APY, depending on balance tier.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy unlimited ATM fee waivers and reimbursements worldwide.
  • Possible Fees: See account disclosures for more details about possible fees on this account.




5. Varo Bank Account

Earn Up to 3.00% APY on Balances of $5,000 or Less With Qualifying Activities

Varo Bank LogoThe Varo Bank Account is an easy-to-use online checking account with no monthly banking fees and no minimum deposit or balance requirements.

When you open a Varo Savings Account and meet Varo’s three easy requirements, you can earn 3.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)* on balances of $5,000 or less. That’s one of the best yields in the business.

Varo also offers early direct deposit for account holders whose employers or government benefits providers file to the Federal Reserve to start the direct deposit process.^

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum deposit
  • Account Opening Bonus: None at the moment.
  • Annual Percentage Yield: The Varo Bank Account does not pay interest. However, when you open one and then open a Varo Savings Account, you can earn up to 3.00% APY* on your savings account balance. To earn 3.00% APY, you must meet all of the following requirements each qualifying period**: Make at least five qualifying Varo Bank Visa® Debit Card purchases and receive qualifying total direct deposits of $1,000 or more. Additionally, you will need to meet these daily balance requirements at close of business during the calendar month: Do not exceed a daily savings balance of $5,000 for the entire calendar month and keep your bank and savings account balances greater than or equal to $0.00. Otherwise, you earn 0.20% APY* on your Varo Savings Account balance.
  • Possible Fees: Varo has no minimum balance, funds transfer, foreign transaction, or monthly maintenance fees. Varo charges an out-of-network ATM Withdrawal Fee of $2.50.

Learn More

* Varo APY is accurate as of March 23, 2021. This rate is variable and may change. No minimum balance required to open an account. Balance in the savings account must be at least $0.01 to earn interest.

**The qualifying period begins the first calendar day of the month and ends at close of business on the last business day of the month.

^ Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the payer’s submission of deposits. Varo generally posts such deposits on the day they’re received, which may be up to two days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.

Bank Account Services provided by Varo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visa® Debit Card is issued by Varo Bank, N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.


6. TD Bank Beyond Checking

Enjoy a Generous Account Opening Bonus Worth $300

TD Bank Beyond Checkingtd bank is a powerful checking solution for anyone able to clear TD’s monthly maintenance fee waiver thresholds. That entails doing one of the following:

  • Receiving monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more
  • Maintaining a minimum daily balance of $2,500
  • Maintaining a combined balance of $25,000 or more across all eligible TD accounts

Throw in a $300 account opening bonus when you receive at least $2,500 in direct deposits within 60 days, and you’ve got a powerful incentive to bank with TD.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: None, but a $25 monthly maintenance fee applies to accounts with minimum daily balances under $2,500.
  • Account Opening Bonus: Apply online for your new account and receive at least $2,500 in direct deposits within 60 days to earn a $300 cash bonus. This offer is open to U.S. residents only.
  • Yield: Yes, tiered yields depending on balance.
  • Rewards and Incentives: TD Beyond Checking customers may qualify for a rate discount of 0.25% on home equity lines of credit and unsecured personal loans originated by TD Bank. All customers with daily account balances above $2,500 enjoy free access to TD Bank ATMs.
  • Possible Fees: TD waives the $25 monthly maintenance fee for customers who meet one of the following minimums: monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more, a minimum daily balance of $2,500, or a combined balance of $25,000 across your eligible TD accounts.

Be aware that this account is only available to residents of the following states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

Learn More


7. TD Bank Convenience Checking

Enjoy a Generous Account Opening Bonus Worth $150

td bankIf you’re not able to swing $5,000 in monthly direct deposits or consistently meet a $2,500 minimum balance requirement, opt for TD Bank Convenience Checking instead.

The minimum balance required to waive the $100 monthly maintenance fee is just $15.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: You need to maintain a $100 minimum daily balance to avoid the $15 monthly maintenance fee.
  • Account Opening Bonus: Earn $150 when you receive direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 60 days.
  • Yield: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: TD Convenience Checking customers enjoy the same rate discount opportunities as TD Beyond Checking customers. Likewise, they always waive the monthly maintenance fee for students ages 17 to 23, regardless of account balance, and TD ATM access is free.
  • Possible Fees: Check TD Bank’s account guide for a full, up-to-date list of potential account fees.

Like Beyond Checking, this account is available to residents of the following states only:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

Learn More


8. SoFi Money

Virtually No Fees; FDIC Insurance on Balances Up to $1.5 Million

SoFi ReviewSoFi Money is a virtually fee-free checking account (actually, a cash management account with FDIC insurance on balances up to $1.5 million). Its account opening bonus earns its keep as one of the best new bank promotions around.

And, if you have good credit and you’re shopping around for an affordable loan, don’t miss SoFi’s extensive credit product lineup: student loan refinancingpersonal loans, home loans, and more.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: None.
  • Account Opening Bonus: Get a $25 account opening bonus when you sign up for SoFi Money and add $100 to your account. Get another $75 bonus (terms apply) when you set up a direct deposit of at least $500 into your new account.
  • Yield: See SoFi’s website for the latest yields.
  • Rewards and Incentives: SoFi members enjoy rate discounts on SoFi loans, free P2P transfers, customized financial planning, and exclusive offers from SoFi partners. SoFi also has a referral program that pays up to $310 per successful referral.
  • Possible Fees: Virtually none. See SoFi Money’s account disclosures for more details.

Learn More


9. Wealthfront Cash Account

Earn Up to 0.10% APY, Depending on Balance Tier

Wealthfront LogoWealthfront bolsters its highly regarded investment management services with a best-in-class checking account known as the Cash Account.

With a very low minimum opening deposit, a high yield on all balances, no account fees, and lots of value-added features — including Self-Driving Money™, one of the most powerful money management automation tools available to U.S. consumers — it’s an ideal choice for your everyday money management needs.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum opening deposit is $1. There’s no ongoing maintenance fee.
  • Yield: Currently 0.10% APY on all balances.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit and use the handy mobile check deposit feature for paper checks. Plus, put deposits to work in the market within minutes when you use your Cash Account to invest in a Wealthfront Investment Account. Enjoy FDIC insurance on balances up to $1 million (compared with standard coverage that tops out at $250,000) and free in-network ATM access. You can pay friends with apps like Cash App, Venmo, PayPal, and others too.
  • Possible Fees: Wealthfront is known for low fees. Notably, it doesn’t charge any account fees or overdraft fees. See disclosures for a complete accounting of possible fees.

Learn More


10. Lili

Totally Free Checking With Automatic Tax Savings and Financial Insights

Lili LogoThe Lili Account is a free checking account designed for freelancers, side hustlers, and solo professionals.

It features tools that simplify tax management, early payday for qualifying account holders with direct deposit (up to two days early), real-time activity alerts, instant expense categorization, automatic savings in an “emergency bucket” (as little as $1 a day), cash deposit at 90,000 locations around the U.S., and tons of other value-added feature.

In other words, it’s the only bank account you’ll need as a one-person operation — no more separate accounts for business and personal needs.

That’s a rare find in a banking industry rife with mediocrity.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Lili doesn’t impose minimum balance or deposit requirements and charges no account fees.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: Lili doesn’t pay interest. Check back often for the latest offers.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Lili’s referral program pays $25 per successful referral. Plus, Lili makes it easy to set aside funds earmarked for tax payments, has helpful expense management and categorization tools (like quarterly expense reports), promises an early payday for account holders with direct deposit (up to two days early), and delivers real-time alerts about transactions and other account activities.
  • Possible Fees: Lili does not charge account fees.

Learn More


11. Aspiration Spend & Save

Earn Up to 1.00% APY With Aspiration Plus

AspirationAspiration Logo offers an innovative cash management account known as the Aspiration Spend & Save Account. Spend & Save Account deposits are always fossil-fuel-free, meaning they won’t go to fund oil pipelines or drilling.

And they’re FDIC-insured up to $2 million per depositor when swept to FDIC member institutions (for details on FDIC insurance with Aspiration, see Aspiration’s FAQ and visit the FDIC’s website).

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: None
  • Account Opening Bonus: When you spend at least $1,000 in cumulative debit card transactions within 60 days of opening your Aspiration Spend & Save Account, you’ll earn a $100 bonus. Terms apply.
  • Yield: Earn up to 1.00% APY* on Save account balance after you upgrade to Aspiration Plus ($7.99 per month or $5.99 per month when paid annually).
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy free ATM withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint Network. Earn up to 5% cash back at Conscience Coalition merchants (up to 10% after you upgrade to Aspiration Plus). Get carbon offsets for all your gas purchases when you upgrade to Aspiration Plus.
  • Possible Fees: You choose your account maintenance fee with Aspiration’s standard plan, even if it’s zero. See Aspiration’s website for a complete list of possible fees and expenses.

Learn More

* The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) associated with the Aspiration Spend & Save Account is available only to customers enrolled in Aspiration Plus. APY is variable and accurate as of [current date]. Rates may be changed from time to time without notice. To earn 1.00% APY interest on Aspiration Save Account balances up to and including $10,000.00 in any calendar month, customer must be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and spend $1,000 or more, monthly, with their Aspiration debit card. Balances over $10,000.00 will earn 0.10% APY. If the requirements are not met each month, the APY will be 0.25% on Save Account balances up to and including $10,000.00. Balances over $10,000.00 will earn 0.10% APY. Minimum deposit required to open an Aspiration Save Account is $10.00. Enrollment fee and Pay What Is Fair fees debited directly from the Aspiration Save Account could reduce earnings. Customers not enrolled in Aspiration Plus will not earn interest.  For more information, click here


12. Chime Deposit Account

Get Paid Up to Two Days Early

ChimeChime Bank Account also offers early direct deposit for qualifying customers subject to the policies of payers and payers’ banks — up to two days early, bumping the standard Friday payday up to Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Chime charges virtually no banking fees other than a $2.50 over-the-counter cash withdrawal charge that’s easy to avoid when you use one of the bank’s 38,000 fee-free ATMs.

Don’t miss Chime’s automatic savings option, which rounds up the change on each debit card transaction and deposits it into a savings account that earns 1.60% APY on all balances above $0.01.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit and no minimum daily balance.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: None, but Chime’s high-yield savings account may earn a yield on all balances above $0.01 with no minimum deposit or balance requirements.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Chime charges virtually no fees. Under normal circumstances, you won’t pay a dime to use your account.
  • Possible Fees: Over-the-counter cash withdrawal.

Learn More

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.


13. M1 Spend

Earn Up to 1.00% APY and Get 1% Cash Back With M1 Plus

M1 SpendM1 Finance Logo is a free cash management account from M1 Finance, a digital banking, investing, and lending platform.

With a debit card that’s accepted by millions of merchants worldwide and zero account minimums, it’s a fine substitute for a traditional checking account, especially if you don’t need lots of bells and whistles.

M1 Spend is free to use, with no monthly maintenance fees — though a $125 annual payment gets you an upgrade to M1 Plus, which earns 1.0% APY on all M1 Spend balances, 1% cash back on debit card purchases, and up to four ATM fee reimbursements each month.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit and no minimum daily balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: Transfer an existing investment account to your new M1 Finance (M1 Invest) account to earn a bonus worth up to $3,500. Terms apply.
  • Yield: Upgrade to M1 Plus to earn 1.0% APY on all account balances and 1% cash back on all debit card purchases.
  • Rewards and Incentives: M1 Plus members get four ATM fee reimbursements per month — three more than standard M1 members.
  • Possible Fees: Third-party ATM fees, subject to ATM owner’s discretion.

Learn More


14. Stash Online Banking

Earn Stock-Back Rewards on Select Purchases

4799 957609Stash Online Banking is a mobile-friendly checking account1 from Stash, a leading low-cost all-in-one financial platform for hands-off investors.

With no hidden banking fees2, no minimum deposit or balance requirements3, and no in-network ATM fees4, Stash Online Banking is a strong choice for consumers who prefer to do their banking and investing all through the same platform7.

Plus, you’ll earn Stock-Back Rewards® at places like Walmart and Amazon, when you make qualified purchases with your debit card5.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit and no minimum daily balance requirement, but you do need to open a Stash Invest account to use your Stash Online Banking account3.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None at the moment, but check back for the latest offers.
  • Yield: None, but you’ll earn Stock-Back® rewards on every eligible debit card purchase.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Earn Stock-Back® rewards on every eligible debit card purchase. Earn 0.125% Stock-Back rewards on everyday purchases and up to 5% Stock-Back rewards on purchases with certain merchants offering Stock-Back bonuses5. Plus, get paid up to two days early6 and enjoy access to thousands of fee-free ATMs.
  • Possible Fees: Fees for use of third-party ATMs4.

Learn More

1 Debit Account Services provided by and Stash Visa Debit Card issued by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC, not Green Dot Bank, and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value. In order for a user to be eligible for a Stash debit account, they must also have opened a taxable brokerage account on Stash. Account opening of the debit account is subject to Green Dot Bank approval.

2 Other fees apply to the bank account. Please see Deposit Account Agreement for details. If applicable, your Stash banking account is a funding account for purposes of the Advisory Agreement. Your Stash subscription fee may be deducted from your Stash banking account balance.

3 Other fees apply to the debit account. Please see Deposit Account Agreement for details.

4 Fee-free ATM access applied to in-network ATMs only. For out-of-network ATMs and bank tellers a $2.50 fee will apply, plus any additional fee that the ATM owner or bank may charge.

5 Stash Stock-Back® is not sponsored or endorsed by Green Dot Bank, Green Dot Corporation, Visa U.S.A., or any of their respective affiliates, and none of the foregoing has any responsibility to fulfill any stock rewards earned through this program.

6 Early access to your direct deposit depends on deposit verification and when Green Dot Bank gets notice from your employer, and may vary from pay period to pay period.

7 Stash offers access to investment and banking accounts under each subscription plan. Each type of account is subject to different regulations and limitations. See the Advisory Agreement for more information.


15. Betterment Checking Account

Betterment Logo

Earn 0.30% APY (Variable) With Betterment Cash Reserve

Backed by Betterment, a pioneering robo-advisor and leading innovator in the digital investing space, Betterment Checking is a mobile-first banking experience with no account minimums and virtually no fees.

As an account holder, you enjoy access to a potentially generous rewards program (Betterment Cash Back Rewards) and unlimited automatic ATM fee reimbursements at all Visa-accepting machines worldwide.

Boost your return on excess cash by linking your Betterment Checking account to an interest-bearing Betterment Cash Reserve cash management account and utilizing Betterment’s Two Way Sweep feature to execute transfers without even thinking about them.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit and no minimum daily balance.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: None, but the Betterment Cash Reserve cash management account earns 0.30% APY (variable) on all balances (subject to the $10 minimum deposit requirement).
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy potentially generous rewards with select partner merchants through Betterment Cash Back Rewards. Plus, get automatic ATM transaction fee reimbursements at nearly 3 million Visa-accepting machines worldwide, plus unlimited reimbursement of Visa’s 1% foreign transaction fee on all international transactions and purchases.
  • Possible Fees: See Betterment’s website for a complete list of possible fees.

Learn More


16. Acorns Spend

Acorns LogoAcorns Spend is merely one feature of the broader Acorns ecosystem, which also offers a beginner-friendly investing platform that features taxable investment accounts, tax-advantaged retirement investing accounts, and an investment solution for parents and kids.

Acorns Spend makes it easy to save more of what you earn and fund the future you want. For a limited time, it also has an enticing bonus opportunity for new and existing account holders. To qualify, do the following:

  • Set up your Acorns Spend account using the link on this page.
  • Make Acorns Spend your default direct deposit method with your employer.
  • Receive 2 direct deposits of at least $250 per deposit by Sept. 30, 2021.

Complete these activities and you should receive your $75 bonus in your account within 45 days.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no official minimum deposit requirement, but you do need a balance of at least $5 to begin investing.
  • Account Opening Bonus: For a limited time, earn a $75 bonus when you open an Acorns Spend account and set up direct deposit or set up direct deposit on an existing Acorns Spend account for the first time.
  • Yield: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy no fees at more than 55,000 ATMs in the U.S. and worldwide. Plus, earn up to 10% bonus investments (see terms).
  • Possible Fees: Acorns users must enroll in one of three paid plans: Acorns Lite ($1 per month), Acorns Personal ($3 per month), or Acorns Family ($5 per month).

Learn More


17. Umpqua Bank Embark Checking

Get Up to $10 in ATM Fee Reimbursements Each Cycle

Umpqua BankThe Embark Checking account from Umpqua Bank offers a potentially valuable two-for-one deal.

Make at least one transfer from your Embark Checking account into your Grow Savings account in a statement cycle to waive the savings account’s maintenance fee while growing your money much faster than a traditional checking account can.

In the meantime, enjoy no monthly maintenance fees and very low initial deposit requirements. Keep at least $2,500 in your account to qualify for $10 in monthly ATM rebates.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: You need $25 to open an Embark Checking account. There’s no minimum daily balance requirement thereafter, but you must maintain an average daily balance of at least $2,500 to qualify for $10 in ATM reimbursements each month.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Umpqua Bank reimburses the first $10 in ATM fees each month when you maintain an average minimum daily balance of $2,500 during the period. The Go-To app provides on-the-go financial advice from your mobile device and offers unlimited reimbursements for all U.S. ATM fees. And you enjoy a complimentary Grow Savings account (with no monthly maintenance charge) when you complete at least one qualifying monthly transfer from your Embark Checking account.
  • Possible Fees: Stop payment, paper statements, dormant account.

Learn More


18. LendingClub Bank Rewards Checking

Earn Unlimited 1% Cash Back

Lending ClubThe Rewards Checking account from LendingClub Bank offers an unlimited 1% cash-back reward on online and signature-based debit card transactions and yields up to 0.15% APY for high-balance accounts.

The catch: LendingClub Bank requires a minimum account balance of $2,500 or at least $2,500 in qualifying direct deposits each month to be eligible for cash back.

But Rewards Checking has no hidden fees and offers the opportunity to receive direct deposits up to two days early (depending on the policies of your payer and their bank).

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: After the $100 minimum opening deposit, there’s no minimum daily balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: Earn 0.10% APY on balances between $2,500 and $99,999, and 0.15% APY on balances above $100,000.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Earn unlimited 1% cash back on online and signature-based debit card transactions (when you select “credit” at the point of sale). Through Dec. 31, 2020, 0.50% bonus cash back may apply on purchases in certain rewards categories. To qualify for rewards, you must do one of the following: receive direct deposit into your account from a qualifying source of income (usually an employer or government benefits provider) totaling $2,500 or more or maintain an average balance of $2,500 or more in your Rewards Checking account. Separately, you can receive direct deposits up to two days early.
  • Possible Fees: See LendingClub Bank’s terms and conditions for details about possible account fees.

Learn More


19. Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Earn Up to 1.25% APY With Qualifying Activities

Axos Bank LogoThe Axos Bank Rewards Checking account is a free checking account that yields up to 1.25% on balances up to $150,000 when you complete certain qualifying activities each statement cycle, such as using your debit card 10 times per month and accepting a monthly direct deposit of at least $1,000.

The more you use your Rewards Checking account, the higher your earning potential.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: After the $50 needed to open a Rewards Checking account, there’s no minimum daily balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: Rewards Checking accounts come with a base yield of 0%. However, you can earn interest on balances of any amount in several ways. If you only receive a $1,000 direct deposit or use your card at least 10 times (but less than 15 times) in a given month, your annual interest rate for that month is 0.4166%. If you use your card at least 15 times, it’s 0.8333%. If you both receive a $1,000 deposit and use your card at least 10 times, your rate for that month is also 0.8333%. If you receive a $1,000 deposit and use your card at least 15 times, you earn 1.25%. Qualifying transactions must be $3 or greater. Balances greater than $150,000 don’t earn interest.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Axos Bank offers unlimited reimbursements for all U.S. ATM fees. You also get your first 50 checks free with a Rewards Checking account if you ask for them at account opening.
  • Possible Fees: Debit card replacement, cashier’s checks, stop payment.

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20. Nationwide Advantage Checking

Earn Up to 0.90% APY With Qualifying Activities

nationwide bankNationwide Advantage Checking yields up to 0.90% when you complete qualifying activities. That’s a nice boost for a maintenance-fee-free account with an expansive ATM network and a host of additional value-added perks.

The requirements to earn interest aren’t onerous, either: meeting a modest direct deposit quota and completing 10 monthly debit card transactions is enough for the upper tier.

  • Yield: The default yield on this account is 0%. Complete one or both qualifying activities to earn interest in any given month: receive direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more (not including intra-bank transfers) to earn 0.45% interest and complete 10 point-of-sale debit card transactions (minimum $3 per transaction) to earn an additional 0.45% interest (or vice versa). Meet both requirements in the same month to earn 0.90% interest.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no ongoing minimum daily balance requirement, but the minimum account opening deposit is $50.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy fee-free access to more than 80,000 ATMs.
  • Mobile Features: Mobile-friendly account features include check deposits, bill pay, P2P transfers, and more.
  • Possible Fees: This account has no NSF transaction fees or monthly maintenance fees.

Learn More


21. Empower Interest Checking

Access Cash Advance (up to $250^); Get Paid Up to 2 Days Faster*; Earn Up to 10% Cash Back** 

Empower Black Transparent@12xEmpower is a user-friendly mobile banking app designed for today’s generation. With it, you can qualify for a cash advance of up to $250^ with no interest, no late fees, and no credit checks through Empower Cash Advance.

And Empower users rest easy with no overdraft fees, no insufficient funds fees, and no account minimums.

Beyond Cash Advance, Empower offers a comprehensive lineup of useful personal finance features, including:

  • Get paid up to 2 days faster*
  • Get up to 10% cash back** when you activate and use your Empower Card at qualifying merchants — restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations — that refresh every week
  • Get free unlimited access to over 37,000 ATMs across the US
  • Automatic Savings
  • Budgeting and spend tracking tools
  • Savings recommendations

With all these great features, Empower’s popularity comes as no surprise. And at $8 per month after the first 14 days, its value-added feature lineup is a steal.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance required.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: 0.05% APY* on all Checking balances. AutoSave balances also earn 0.05% APY* if you have an Empower Checking Account.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Get free unlimited access to over 37,000 ATMs across the US. Plus, get cashback of up to 10%** on places and things you spend money on already.
  • Possible Fees: Empower is free for the first 14 days for first-time customers. After 14 days, Empower charges $8 per month for continued access to its full suite of money management tools.

Learn More

^ Eligibility requirements apply. Free instant delivery is available for eligible Empower Checking Account customers with an activated debit card.

* Banking services provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC. 0.05% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) may change at any time. APY as of April 19, 2021. Empower charges an auto-recurring monthly subscription fee of $8 for access to the full suite of money management features offered on the platform. The subscription fee will apply (a) after the 14-day free trial concludes for first-time customers, and (b) immediately for customers returning for a second or subsequent subscription. Early access to paycheck deposit funds depends on the timing of the employer’s submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the employer’s scheduled payment date.

** Cashback deals on Empower Card purchases, including categories, merchants, and percentages, will vary and must be selected in the app. Cashback will be applied automatically when the final transaction posts, which may be up to a week after the qualifying purchase.


22. Ally Bank Interest Checking

Earn Up to 0.25% APY on Qualifying Balances

ally bank logoThe Ally Bank Interest Checking account is a fee-free online checking account with no minimums, no maintenance fee, and solid yields on all balances.

An unusually customer-friendly mix of account features, including the option to open accounts in the name of a trust, no overdraft fees (ever), and an automatic round-up feature that can increase your savings rate with no action required, makes this one of the better checking accounts around.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Ally Bank does not require a minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: Earn 0.10% APY on balances up to $15,000 and 0.25% APY on balances above $15,000. Ally Bank uses the minimum daily balance method to calculate account balances.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Ally Interest Checking boasts fee-free mobile check deposits, fee-free access to more than 40,000 Allpoint ATMs, and a free feature that automatically rounds checking transactions to the next dollar and deposits the difference in your savings account. Ally Bank also issues a credit card that may be of interest to customers looking for better rewards than a debit card can provide (assuming their credit scores qualify).
  • Possible Fees: Ally Bank charges few fees and never levies a monthly maintenance fee or fee for ACH transfers (wire transfers may incur fees). See terms and conditions for a full accounting of possible fees.

Learn More


23. Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

Up to 0.25% APY on Qualifying Balances

Alliant Credit UnionThe Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account is another maintenance-fee-free online checking account with an above-average yield and a slew of customer-friendly benefits, including up to $20 in monthly ATM rebates, 80,000 fee-free ATMs, mobile check deposit, and free optional overdraft protection.

Alliant accounts are compatible with major mobile payment apps (including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo) and come with a contactless Visa debit card too.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Alliant doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None, though the Alliant Ultimate Opportunity Savings account may offer bonus opportunities to new customers.
  • Yield: Earn 0.25% APY on eligible balances when you opt in to eStatements and make at least one deposit per month.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy fee-free mobile check deposits, fee-free access to more than 80,000 ATMs, and fee-free overdraft protection when you opt in.
  • Possible Fees: There’s a $25 fee for each NSF transaction or a $28 fee per occurrence if Alliant chooses to honor the charge (Courtesy Pay).

Learn More


24. Discover Bank Cashback Debit Account

1% Cash Back on Up to $3,000 in Debit Card Purchases Each Month 

discover logoThe Discover Bank Cashback Debit account is one of the few online checking accounts that deliver cash back on eligible purchases — specifically, 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in eligible purchases each month.

Discover Cashback Debit is also very light on fees, with no monthly maintenance fee (no strings attached) and no fees for insufficient funds, bank checks, or debit card replacement.

And Discover Bank boasts a network of around 60,000 fee-free ATMs.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no ongoing balance or transaction requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: There’s no yield, but eligible purchases earn 1% cash back (up to $3,000 in purchases each month).
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy fee-free access to more than 60,000 ATMs, easy debit card freeze if your card is lost or stolen, and no fees for insufficient funds.
  • Possible Fees: See terms for a complete list of possible fees.

Learn More


25. Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking (Charles Schwab)

Earn Interest on All Balances

charles schwabWith only a nominal yield, it’s a bit of a stretch to call the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking product a true high-yield checking account.

Then again, something is better than nothing, and Schwab does pay interest on all High Yield Investor Checking balances with no minimum balance or transaction requirements.

This account has some additional perks for travelers that deserve mention. Account holders enjoy unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide and never pay foreign transaction fees, for example, though currency exchange costs still apply.

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no ongoing balance or transaction requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: This account offers a nominal yield on all balances.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Possible Fees: See terms for a complete list of possible fees.

Learn More


Final Word

There’s no law against having two checking accounts (or more) at more than one bank or credit union. If you simply can’t choose between the options on this list, why not spread your liquid funds among those that seem best suited to your needs?

Use a free or low-cost budgeting tool like Tiller or Personal Capital to stay on top of each account — or choose accounts with built-in budgeting tools, like Chime.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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