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14 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.

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

These are among the best rewards checking accounts from U.S.-based financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and online brokerages.

1. TD Bank Beyond Checking

$300 Account Opening Bonus With Qualifying Activities

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. TD Bank also boasts a nice lineup of low-fee credit card options.

Learn More


2. Chase Total Checking

$200 Account Opening Bonus With Qualifying Activities

Chase Bank LogoThe Chase Total Checking account is an excellent alternative to pricier options — one with an attractive account opening bonus worth $200 cash.

Simply open a new Chase Total Checking account and make a qualifying direct deposit within 90 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 Jan. 20, 2021. 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 90 days. Open your account by Jan. 20, 2021, to qualify.
  • 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. Don’t miss Chase’s extensive credit card lineup either.

Learn More


3. TD Bank Convenience Checking

$150 Account Opening Bonus With Qualifying Activities

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: Receive direct deposits of more than $500 within 60 days to qualify for a $150 account opening bonus.
  • Yield: See disclosures for current yield information.
  • 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 $100.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Enjoy unlimited ATM fee waivers at TD ATMs, plus the opportunity to apply for a low-cost TD credit card.

Learn More


4. Citi Elevate Checking

Earn Up to 0.40% APY, Depending on Balance

Citibank LogoCiti Elevate checking is an online checking account with a no-nonsense “reward”: an impressive yield on high balances (several 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: 0.10% APY on balances up to $9,999.99, 0.20% APY on balances from $10,000 to $24,999.99, and 0.40% 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.


5. Varo Bank Account

Earn Up to 2.80% APY With Qualifying Activities, Depending on Balance

Varo Bank LogoThe Varo Bank Accounts 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.

Learn More

* Varo APY is accurate as of October 1, 2020. 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. Level

Earn 0.50% APY and Up to 1.5% Cash Back

Level Bank LogoLevel offers a checking account with a return of up to 1.5% on debit card spending, plus the opportunity to earn up to 10% cash back with select Level partners. All balances held with Level earn 0.50% APY too, though that yield is subject to change with prevailing rates. Additional perks include up to five monthly ATM fee reimbursements and direct deposit up to two days early for those whose employers qualify.

  • Yield: Currently 0.50% APY on all balances.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Level Plus members pay $5 per month; Level Premium members pay $15 per month. There’s no minimum deposit or ongoing balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Level Plus members earn 1% cash back on online and signature-based debit card purchases. Level Premium members earn 1.5% cash back on online and signature-based debit card purchases. Customers in both tiers enjoy opportunities to earn up to 10% cash back. Those whose employers qualify can get paid up to two days early after setting up direct deposit.

Learn More


7. Radius Bank Rewards Checking

Earn Up to 0.15% APY, Depending on Balance, and 1% Cash Back (1.5% Cash Back With Select Merchants)

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 1.5% cash-back with select merchants in categories such as health and food delivery. 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 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) and 1.5% cash back with select merchants in categories such as food delivery and health. 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


8. Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Earn Up to 1.25% APY With Qualifying Activities

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 above this interest rate 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


9. Axos Bank CashBack Checking

Earn Up to 1% Cash Back, Depending on Balance

Axos Bank LogoAxos Bank has another checking account offering a different sort of reward: up to 1% cash-back on all eligible signature-based debit card purchases. Aptly known as Axos Bank CashBack Checking, account holders earn cash back on eligible purchases as follows:

  • 0.50% cash-back in months when the account’s average daily collected balance is less than $1,500
  • 1% cash-back in months when the account’s average daily collected balance is $1,500 or greater

Cash-back earnings are capped at $2,000 per month. Other account benefits include rapid P2P payments, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, and unlimited check-writing privileges.

  • Yield: This account does not have an interest rate. However, eligible signature-based debit card transactions earn up to 1% cash-back.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum daily balance requirement to keep your account open and in good standing.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Earn up to 1% cash-back on eligible signature-based debit card transactions. Plus, enjoy unlimited reimbursements for all U.S. ATM fees and unlimited check-writing privileges.

Learn More


10. Nationwide Advantage Checking

Earn Up to 0.90% APY With Qualifying Activities

nationwide bankNationwide Advantage Checking is a high-yield checking account that looks a lot like Axos Bank Rewards Checking, complete with tiered yields and low minimums. Meet all tier requirements to earn up to 0.90% APY (variable with prevailing rates) and enjoy access to more than 80,000 in-network ATMs no matter how you manage your account.

  • Yield: The base yield on the Nationwide Advantage Checking account is 0%. To earn interest in any given month, do one or both of the following: receive direct deposits (not including intra-bank transfers from another account) totaling $1,000 or more each to earn 0.45% interest and/or complete at least 10 point-of-sale transactions using your debit card (minimum $3 per transaction) to earn 0.45% interest. Do both in the same month to earn 0.90% interest.
  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum account opening deposit is $50. There’s no minimum daily balance requirement.
  • Account Opening Bonus: None.
  • Rewards and Incentives: This account has no monthly maintenance fees or NSF transaction fees.

Learn More


11. Stash Online Banking

Earn Up to 5% Stock-Back Rewards

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: Get a $5 bonus when you open your account and deposit at least $5 to begin investing.

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.


12. FNBO Direct Online Checking

Earn Up to 0.25% APY, Depending on Balance

fnbo direct logoThe FNBO Direct Online Checking account yields 0.25% 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 0.25% 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. Separately, FNBO Direct has a nice high-yield savings account.

Learn More


13. M1 Spend

Earn 1% APY and 1% Cash Back With M1 Plus

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


14. Empower

Earn 0.25% APY

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 bill pay and budgeting tools.

After the first 30 days, the value-added feature lineup costs $8 per month — a great deal for what you get. You can try out the full suite free for 14 days with no obligation.

  • Yield: 0.25% APY* on all checking balances. AutoSave balances also earn 0.25% APY* if you have an Empower checking account.
  • 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 provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC. 0.25% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) may change at any time. APY as of Sep 7, 2020. Empower charges an auto-recurring monthly subscription fee of $8 for access to the full suite of money management features offered on the platform after your first 14 days. Reimbursement for up to 3 ATM fees per month, with a maximum reimbursement of $10 per ATM withdrawal.

^ 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.

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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