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13 Best Rewards Checking Accounts of 2020

How does your bank or credit union checking account stack up to the most generous rewards checking accounts on the market?

If you can’t find your account on this list, it might be time to shop around for one that makes it worthwhile to park your walking-around money in. You have plenty of options, from checking accounts with impressive yields to accounts with eye-popping account opening bonuses to accounts with debit cards that earn rewards on every dollar spent.

Sign up for a BBVA Online Checking account by 8/21/2020 and get up to a $250 bonus and no monthly fees.

Many of these accounts also appear on our roundups of the best free checking accounts and best checking accounts with monthly maintenance fees (which you can generally avoid with minimum balances or transaction volumes). Others appear on our list of the best new bank account promotions. Because account opening promotions, yields, and rewards programs are all subject to change without notice, check back here frequently for the latest information and confirm specific details with the relevant banks or credit unions themselves.

Best Rewards Checking Accounts

1. TD Bank Beyond Checking

td bankThe $300 account opening bonus for the TD Bank Beyond Checking account isn’t quite as generous as some other new bank account promotions. But it’s definitely worth the effort to obtain.

Here’s what you need to know about it. First, open a new Beyond Checking account and set up direct deposit. Then, receive direct deposits of more than $2,500 into your new account within 60 days. That’s all you need to do to receive a $300 cash bonus.

To qualify for this offer, you must be a U.S. resident and apply for the offer online. The Beyond Checking account includes a $25 monthly maintenance fee. But TD Bank waives it for customers with 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.

This offer isn’t available everywhere. You only qualify if you live in one of the following states or districts: Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylavania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Vermont; Virginia; or Washington, D.C.

  • Account Opening Bonus: Earn a $300 cash bonus when you open a new account and receive direct deposits of more than $2,500 into the account within 60 days.
  • Yield: None.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: TD waives the $25 monthly maintenance fee with 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.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Get overdraft fees automatically reimbursed twice per year. Plus, TD Bank waives its ATM fees and reimburses non-TD ATM fees when you keep at least a $2,500 daily balance in your account.

Learn More


2. Chase Premier Plus Checking

Chase Bank LogoIf you’d prefer not to be held to a specific direct deposit amount, consider opening a new Chase Premier Plus Checking account instead. Open your account by October 14, 2020, and have a direct deposit (electronic transfer for paychecks, pensions, or government benefits) made to the account within 60 days to earn a $300 cash bonus in your account. Once you’ve done this, you should receive the bonus in your account within 10 business days.

Beyond the account opening bonus, Chase Premier Plus Checking has some substantial benefits, including about 16,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide, mobile check deposit, and free person-to-person (P2P) payments.

This offer is available nationwide, except in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Chase has ATMs and branches in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The Premier Plus account has a monthly service fee of $25. However, Chase waives the fee if you keep an average daily balance of at least $15,000 between all your Chase accounts (checking, savings, and other balances) or you set up automatic payments to your qualifying Chase mortgage. There’s no minimum required opening deposit. Interest rates are variable and subject to change.

  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: This account has a nominal yield.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Chase waives the $25 monthly service charge when you do one of the following: keep an average daily balance of at least $15,000 between all your Chase accounts (checking, savings, and other balances) or you set up automatic payments to your qualifying Chase mortgage.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy fee-free withdrawals at about 16,000 Chase ATMs nationwide.

Learn More


3. Chase Total Checking

Chase Bank LogoIf you’re not sure you need the Chase Premier Plus Checking account’s full firepower, the Chase Total Checking account is an excellent alternative — one that comes with its own account opening bonus worth $200 cash.

Simply open a new Chase Total Checking account and make a qualifying direct deposit within 60 days. Then receive the $200 bonus within 10 business days.

Apply online using the link above, or enter your email here and take the coupon to a local Chase branch. In either case, you must apply by October 14, 2020. Other benefits of the Chase Total Checking account include a powerful mobile app armed with free mobile check deposit and P2P payment capabilities and a network of about 16,000 fee-free ATMs.

Chase has ATMs and branches in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

However, this offer is available online nationwide, except for residents of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

  • Account Opening Bonus: Earn a $200 cash bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and make a qualifying direct deposit within 60 days.
  • Yield: None.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Avoid the $12 monthly service charge when you do one of the following: execute direct deposits totaling $500 or more made to the account, maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, maintain an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in qualifying linked deposits or investments, pay at least $25 or more in qualifying checking-related services or fees.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy fee-free withdrawals at about 16,000 Chase ATMs nationwide.

Learn More


4. TD Bank Convenience Checking

td bankAs an alternative to the TD Bank Beyond Checking account, you can apply online for a new TD Bank Convenience checking account, which has a much lower minimum balance requirement. You get a $150 cash bonus once you receive direct deposits of more than $500 within 60 days.

To qualify for this offer, you must be a U.S. resident and apply for the offer online. The Convenience Checking account typically includes a $15 monthly maintenance fee, but TD Bank waives it if you keep a low minimum daily balance of at least $100. Students and young adults ages 17 through 23 qualify for additional perks, such as no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirements.

This offer is available to residents of the following states: Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Maine, Maryland; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Vermont; Virginia; and Washington, D.C.

  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: 0.20% annual percentage yield (APY) on balances up to $9,999, 0.40% APY on balances from $10,000 to $24,999, and 1.01% APY on balances above $25,000.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit. To waive the $15 monthly maintenance fee, you need to maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy unlimited ATM fee waivers and reimbursements worldwide.

Learn More


5. BBVA Online Checking

BBVA Online CheckingBbva Logo is a free checking account available nationwide, except in Alaska and Hawaii. For a limited time, it also has a great account opening bonus. Here’s how it works:

  • Open an Online Checking account by Aug. 21, 2020.
  • Receive a qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more by Oct. 31, 2020, to earn a $200 bonus.
  • Add an Online Savings account and have a savings balance of at least $1,000 on Oct. 31, 2020, to increase your bonus to $250.

Additional account highlights include a low $25 minimum opening deposit requirement and complements fee-free ATM use at more than 64,000 in-network ATMs. BBVA’s free Simple Cash Back program promises earn cash back on purchases made with dozens of participating BBVA partners, and the BBVA ClearBenefits program ($4 per month) offers potentially valuable services like cellphone protection and identity theft restoration.

  • Account Opening Bonus: Open an Online Checking account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more by Oct. 31, 2020, and you could earn a $200 bonus. Add an Online Savings account and have a savings balance of at least $1,000 on Oct. 31, 2020, to increase your bonus to $250. This offer is valid for accounts opened by Aug. 21, 2020.
  • Yield: None.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum opening deposit is $25.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enroll in the free Simple Cash Back program to earn cash back at dozens of participating merchants. Offers are tailored based on your spending behaviors.

Learn More


6. Citi Elevate Checking

Citibank LogoCiti Elevate checking is an online checking account with a no-nonsense “reward”: an impressive yield on high balances (currently 20 times the national average for checking accounts). Unlimited waived and reimbursed ATM fees, nonexistent minimums, mobile check deposits, and fast P2P payments further sweeten the deal. Use the Spending Insights tool to drill down on your spending patterns and find opportunities to right-size your budget.

  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Yield: 0.20% APY on balances up to $9,999, 0.40% APY on balances from $10,000 to $24,999, and 1.01% APY on balances above $25,000.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: To waive the $15 monthly maintenance fee, you need to maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000. There’s no minimum account opening deposit, however.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy unlimited ATM fee waivers and reimbursements worldwide.



7. Varo Bank Account

Varo Bank LogoThe Varo Bank Account’s savings component has one of the highest bank account yields on the market. To earn 2.80% APY* on balances up to $10,000 in a Varo savings account linked to the Varo checking account, you just need to meet Varo’s three easy requirements:

  • Complete at least five Varo Visa debit card purchases in each calendar month
  • Receive at least $1,000 in total direct deposits into your account in the same calendar month
  • Keep a savings account balance up to $10,000 (the maximum to earn 2.80% APY).

If you don’t meet these requirements, you earn 1.41% APY* on your Varo savings account balance.

Beyond the excellent yield, Varo has some notable benefits, including an early direct deposit option that could get you your paycheck up to two days early^ if your employer or government benefits provider files to the Federal Reserve to start the direct deposit process.

You can also count on no-fee overdrafts up to $50 when you qualify for and enroll in the no-fee overdraft program. Qualify by completing at least five Varo Visa debit card purchases in each calendar month and receiving at least $1,000 in total direct deposits into your account in the same calendar month.

  • Yield: Open a Varo Bank Account, then open a Varo savings account to earn up to 2.80% APY on your savings account balance. To earn 2.80% APY, you must meet all the following three requirements during a statement cycle: complete at least five Varo Visa debit card purchases in each calendar month, receive at least $1,000 in total direct deposits into your account in the same calendar month, and keep a savings account balance up to $10,000 (the maximum to earn 2.80% APY). Otherwise, you earn 1.41% APY* on your Varo savings account balance.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum deposit or ongoing balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: There’s currently no account opening bonus. Check back for the latest offers.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Pay no overdraft fees or interest on overdrafts up to $50 when you qualify and enroll in the program. To qualify, complete at least five Varo Visa® debit card purchases in each calendar month and receive at least $1,000 in total direct deposits into your account in the same calendar month. Plus, enjoy direct deposited paychecks up to two days early^ when your employer files to the Federal Reserve to start the direct deposit process. Terms apply.

* Varo APY is accurate as of May 15, 2020. This rate is variable and may change. No minimum balance required to open an account. The balance in the savings account must be at least $0.01 to earn interest.

^ 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 are received, which may be up to two days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.

Learn More


8. Radius Bank Rewards Checking

Radius Bank Rewards CheckingThe Radius Bank Rewards Checking account has a nice perk for debit card users: an unlimited 1% cash-back reward on online and signature-based debit card transactions. Plus, all balances above $2,500 earn at least 0.10% APY. The yield rises to 0.15% APY for high-balance accounts.

On both fronts, there’s a bit of a catch. To earn 1% cash back and 0.10% APY on balances, you must maintain a minimum account balance of $2,500 or receive at least $2,500 in qualifying direct deposits each month. On the bright side, Rewards Checking offers the opportunity to receive direct deposits up to two days early.

  • Yield: Earn 0.10% APY on balances between $2,500 and $99,999. Earn 0.15% APY on balances above $100,000.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum opening deposit is $100, but there’s no minimum daily balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: You can earn unlimited 1% cash back on online and signature-based debit card transactions (transactions for which you select “credit” at the point of sale). You earn rewards in statement cycles when you do at least one of the following: receive total monthly direct deposits into your account from a qualifying source of income (generally, an employer or government benefits provider) of $2,500 or more or maintain an average balance of $2,500 or more in your Rewards Checking account.

Learn More


9. Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Axos Bank LogoThe Axos Bank Rewards Checking account has one of the best yields around for account holders able to meet its qualifying activity requirements: up to 1.25% on balances up to $150,000 with all three qualifying activities. With unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, free checks on request, and reasonable minimums, this account has a lot going for it.

  • Yield: The base yield on the Rewards Checking account is 0%. To earn interest in any given month, you can do any or all the following during that month: receive a $1,000 direct deposit or use your card between 10 and 14 times in a given month to earn 0.4166% on all balances, use your card 15 times or more to earn 0.8333% on all balances, receive a $1,000 deposit and use your card at least 10 times to earn 0.8333%, or receive a $1,000 deposit and use your card at least 15 times to earn 1.25%. All qualifying debit transactions must be $3 or greater. Balances above $150,000 don’t earn interest.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum account opening deposit is $50, but there’s no minimum daily balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy unlimited reimbursements for all U.S. ATM fees and get 50 checks free at account opening (upon request).

Learn More


10. Stash Online Banking

Stash Invest LogoStash is best known as a low-cost investing platform for hands-off investors, but its online banking account3 deserves mention too. That’s due in large part to Stock-Back rewards1 program, which earns fractional shares of stock when you make purchases at more than 11 million participating locations. Though most Stock-Back transactions earn 0.125% Stock-Back rewards ($0.125 in stock per $100 spent), purchases with select merchants earn up to 5% Stock-Back rewards ($5 in stock per $100 spent). Because Stock-Back isn’t a cash-back program, it’s best for those who already invest with Stash and those looking for an all-in-one financial app.

  • Rewards and Incentives: Earn 0.125% Stock-Back rewards on all everyday purchases. With Stock-Back bonuses, you can earn up to 5% Stock-Back rewards at certain merchants. Non-qualifying purchases include ATM withdrawals, gift or prepaid cards, and money orders.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no ongoing minimum balance requirement.2
  • Yield: None.
  • Account Opening Bonus: There’s currently no account opening bonus. Check back here for the latest offers.

Learn More

This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value.

1 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.

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 BankDebit 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 banking 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.

Money Crashers is a paid Affiliate/partner of Stash.


11. FNBO Direct Online Checking

fnbo direct logoThe FNBO Direct Online Checking account yields 0.65% APY on all balances between $0.01 and $1 million and has a negligible minimum opening deposit (just $1). It’s also surprisingly mobile-friendly and boasts an excellent P2P money transfer tool. An expansive ATM network ensures you’re rarely far from a fee-free ATM when traveling within the continental United States.

  • Yield: This account yields 0.65% APY on all balances above $0.01, up to $1 million.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum opening deposit is $1, and to earn APY, you must have a minimum balance of $0.01.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: FNBO Direct doesn’t charge its own ATM withdrawal fees (at more than 55,000 ATMs in North America). However, it never reimburses ATM withdrawal fees charged by other banks.

Learn More


12. M1 Spend

M1 SpendM1 Finance Logo is a free cash management account that blends the higher yields of a savings account with the flexibility of a checking account. Upgrade to M1 Plus for $125 per year to earn 1% APY on all M1 Spend balances, 1% cash back on debit card purchases, and up to four ATM fee reimbursements each month.

  • Yield: Upgrade to M1 Plus to earn 1% APY on all account balances and 1% cash back on all debit card purchases.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit and no minimum daily balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None at the moment, but check back for the latest offers.
  • Rewards and Incentives: M1 Plus members get four ATM fee reimbursements per month — three more than standard M1 members.

Learn More


13. Empower

EmpowerEmpower Black Transparent@12x is an easy-to-use money management app with a nice yield (currently 0.25% APY*) on all balances. It comes with a suite of powerful tools to stay on top of your budget and cash flow: automated savings with personalized recommendations for additional opportunities to save, help negotiating bills, and budgeting tools.

After the first 30 days, the value-added feature lineup costs $6 per month — a great deal for what you get. You can try out the full suite free for 30 days with no obligation.

  • Yield: 0.25% APY* on all checking balances. AutoSave balances also earn 0.25% APY.*
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance required.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Get up to three free ATM transactions per month^ and unlimited inbound and outbound transfers.

* Banking services for new accounts provided by NBKC Bank, member FDIC. 0.25% APY may change at any time. APY as of May 1, 2020. Empower charges an auto-recurring subscription fee of $6 for access to the full suite of money management features offered on the platform after your first 30 days.

^ Reimbursement for up to three ATM fees per month with a maximum reimbursement of $10 per ATM withdrawal.

Learn More


Final Word

Individual bank account bonuses and rewards programs come and go. But it’s basically a given that dozens of online banks (and brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions) offer enticements to new and longtime account holders at any given time. The same is true for opportunities to earn high yields and generous rewards on other account types: high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs.

If you’re in the market for a new bank account or expect to be soon, this is all good news. The most vexing part of your search for yield or rewards (or both) is likely to come when you’re finally ready to narrow down your choices and pick a winner.

What’s your favorite rewards checking account? Are you considering making the switch to any of the accounts on this list?

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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