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10 Best Rewards Checking Accounts of March 2024


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 (high-interest payouts) 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 hardest part is finding the best rewards checking accounts, but I’ve done the hard work for you. Check out the list below to see which account is right for you.

Top 10 Best Rewards Checking Accounts

Here are the best rewards checking accounts you can open today:


1. SoFi Checking and Savings

  • Best Overall
  • APY: 0.5% (with at least $5,000 in monthly direct deposit)
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0

SoFi offers 7x the national average APY on its checking account for members with at least $5,000 directly deposited monthly. With the same application, you can also open a savings account and earn 4.6% APY on balances you’re saving for later. 

There are no account fees or minimum balance requirements. This includes overdraft coverage of up to $50. Plus, your direct deposit amount can be between your checking and savings accounts to qualify for both APYs.

New members can also earn up to a $300 bonus when opening an account. The amount you earn depends on the amount of your direct deposit. Up to $4,999 in direct deposit earns a $50 bonus and $5,000 or more earns $500.

Additional features:

  • Access to direct deposit up to 2 days early
  • Automatic roundups on debit card purchases that are transferred to your savings account
  • Up to 15% cash back on purchases made with your debit card on local purchases
  • Robust mobile app with remote deposit and the ability to send money

Read our full SoFi Checking & Saving review for more details.

Open an Account


2. Chase Total Checking®

  • Best for In-Person Banking
  • APY: 0%
  • Monthly fee: $12 (waivable)
  • Minimum deposit: $0

Chase Total Checking® is a super convenient checking account with one of the biggest networks of branches and ATMs, making Chase Total Checking one of the best checking accounts for people who prefer in-person banking.

To top it off, Chase Total Checking® offers an unusually generous account opening bonus, which makes it the absolute best rewards checking account for the brick-and-mortar set.

To earn the $200 account opening bonus, simply open your account using the links above or below. If you prefer, you can enter your email here and take the coupon to your local Chase branch.

Then, once your account is open, set up a direct deposit of $500 or more within 90 days of coupon enrollment. You’ll receive a $200 bonus within 15 business days. You must apply by April 17, 2024, to qualify.

Additional features:

  • Zelle
  • Online bill pay
  • Account alerts
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ (no overdraft fee if it’s less than $500)

Read our full Chase Total Checking® review for more details.

Open an Account


3. Rewards Checking Plus via Upgrade

  • Best for Everyday Spending
  • APY: 0%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0

Rewards Checking Plus via Upgrade has one of the best cash-back programs of any free checking account. It’s perfect for everyday spending as you can earn 2% cash back2 on all everyday purchases and 1%2 on everything else. The 2% cash back2 applies to convenience stores, drugstores, restaurants, bars (including delivery), utility bills, and certain monthly subscriptions.

If you combine your Rewards Checking Plus with a Performance Savings account and have a $1,000 minimum monthly direct deposit, you can earn up to a 5.07% APY³ on your savings. 

Additional features:

  • Early access⁴ to direct deposit
  • No overdraft fees⁵
  • ATM reimbursements with active account

Read our full Rewards Checking Plus from Upgrade review for more details.

Open an Account


4. Axos Bank Basic Business Checking

  • Best for Freelancers and Solopreneurs
  • APY: 1.01%
  • Monthly fee: $10 (waivable)
  • Minimum deposit: $100

Axos Bank Basic Business Checking is the best rewards checking account for folks in business for themselves. If you have fewer than 50 transactions per month (credits, debits, and deposits), your transactions are free, plus you get up to 60 free remote deposit items.

The account has tiered interest rates, paying its highest rates on balances up to $49,999.99. From there, the rate drops to 0.10% – 0.20% depending on your balance.

New customers can also earn up to a $400 bonus if you fund it within 30 days. The bonus is earned through the first five monthly cycles with four payouts total. You can earn $75 per month each month you have a balance of $25,000 – $49,999 and $150 per month each month you have a balance over $50,000, make at least 10 point-of-sale transactions with your debit card monthly, and set up and use online bill pay.

Additional features:

  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements in the U.S.
  • Free debit card
  • Remote deposit 
  • Online bill pay

Read our full Axos Bank Business Checking review for more details.

Open an Account


5. TD Bank Beyond Checking

  • Best Account Opening Bonus
  • APY: 0.01%
  • Monthly fee: $25 (waivable)
  • Minimum deposit: $0

TD Bank Beyond Checking has 1,100 branches and offers many benefits, including an overdraft grace period, giving you until 11 P.M. the next business day to deposit enough funds to cover the overdraft. You can also waive the monthly fee with $5,000 in direct deposits, a $2,500 average daily balance, or a $25,000 combined balance across all TD Bank accounts.

The opening bonus for the TD Bank Beyond Checking account is a massive $300. New customers who apply online for a TD Beyond Checking account can earn a $300 cash bonus after receiving direct deposits of $2,500 or more within 60 days. To qualify for this offer, you must be a U.S. resident and apply for the offer online. Offer is available in these states: CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, ME, MA, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VT, and VA.

Additional features:

  • Reimbursed non-TD Bank ATM fees with at least a $2,500 daily balance
  • Mobile deposit
  • Instant-issue debit card for lost or stolen cards (visit your local branch)
  • Live customer service 24/7
  • Online bill pay
  • Reverses up to two overdraft fees annually

Open an Account


6. Juno

  • Best for Cash Back
  • APY: 0%
  • Monthly fee: $12 (waivable)
  • Minimum deposit: $0

The Juno Save and Spend account allows you to do more with your paycheck. Set up direct deposit, and either save the funds, earning up to a 5% bonus on your balance, or use it to pay your bills and spend with your debit card and earn 5% cashback.  

The bonus depends on your balance. You can earn 5% on balances up to $250,000 and 3% on balances below $20,000. Your account must be in good standing to earn the bonus each month.

The account also offers automated bill payments to eliminate late fees and the ability to send money online to friends or family. 

Additional features:

  • Offers chat support in real time
  • Has automated tax reporting to make tax time easier
  • Uses 2-step verification and has automatic debit card controls

Open an Account


7. Aspiration Debit

  • Best for Helping the Planet
  • APY: 1% – 3%
  • Monthly fee: Pay what is fair (even $0)
  • Minimum deposit: $10

Aspiration offers a rewards checking account that helps you do right by the planet while earning serious rewards on everyday purchases. With Aspiration Plus ($7.99 per month), you can earn up to 10% back on spending with Aspiration’s Conscience Coalition partners, a group of forward-thinking companies that care about more than just the bottom line.

Don’t want to upgrade quite yet? Pay what you think is fair (even if it’s $0) for a standard Aspiration account and earn 3% to 5% on eligible Conscience Coalition purchases.

Conscience Coalition partners include:

  • Allbirds
  • Imperfect Foods
  • Blue Apron
  • Warby Parker
  • Toms
  • And many more

In addition, you can earn 3% interest on the first $10,000 with Aspiration Plus or 1% APY with a standard account. 

Additional features:

  • Deposits never fund fossil fuels
  • Option to plant a tree each time you swipe your card
  • Enjoy fee-free transactions at more than 55,000 ATMs
  • Early access to direct deposit
  • One non-network ATM reimbursement monthly
  • Access to your personal impact score to match your shopping habits with your beliefs

Read our full Aspiration Spend & Save Account review for more details.

Open an Account

The Aspiration Save Account’s up to 3.00% Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) s variable, subject to change, and only available to customers enrolled in Aspiration Plus after conditions are met. Customers not enrolled in Aspiration Plus receive 1.00% APY after conditions are met. Terms & FAQ. The Aspiration Spend & Save Accounts are cash management accounts offered through Aspiration Financial, LLC, a registered broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Aspiration Partners, Inc. (“Aspiration”). Aspiration is not a bank.


8. LendingClub Rewards Checking

  • Best for Faster Loan Payoff
  • APY: Up to 0.15%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0

If you have loans with Lending Club, consider opening a LendingClub Rewards Checking account to earn 1% cash back each time you use your LendingClub debit card and have the cashback credited to your loan. You can also have the funds sent to your checking account, but why not pay your loan off faster with ‘free money’?

The LendingClub Rewards Checking account pays 0.10% APY on balances of $2,500 – $99,999.99 and 0.15% on balances over $100,000. Your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Additional features:

  • Unlimited ATM rebates
  • Early access to direct deposit funds
  • Mobile deposit
  • Online bill pay
  • Budget and expense tracking tools

9. Quontic Cash Rewards Checking

  • Best for No Fees
  • APY: 0%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $100

Finding cash rewards checking without fees is rare, but Quontic Cash Rewards Checking offers it. There’s no minimum balance to worry about, nor do you have to have a certain amount of direct deposits or number of debit card transactions.

You can earn 1% cashback on most purchases up to $50 total monthly. You’ll see your reward added to your account at the start of each new cycle. While you won’t find Quontic Banks in your area since it’s an online-only bank, you won’t pay ATM fees if you use any Allpoint®, Moneypass®, or SUM® network ATM. You can also use Citibank ATMs located inside Target, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS, and Safeway.

Additional features:

  • FDIC-insured
  • Zelle
  • Mobile wallet
  • Remote check deposit
  • Online bill pay
  • Financial tools to track spending and monitor your credit score

10. Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking

  • Best for High Interest
  • APY: Up to 5%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $5

Checking accounts aren’t known for their high interest rates, but Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking pays as much as 5% interest, depending on your balance and banking habits.

All members earn 3% APY on balances up to $10,000 as long as you enroll in eDocuments, have at least $500 in direct deposits, and make 12 debit card transactions per month.

Elevate your rate to 4% by doing all of the above plus spend at least $500 on a CCU credit card, or 5% by doing all of the above but spend at least $1,000 on a CCU credit card monthly.

Additional features:

  • Unlimited ATM reimbursement
  • Online bill pay
  • Early access to direct deposit
  • Unlimited checking writing privileges

Methodology

We use several important factors to assess rewards checking accounts and build our list of the very best. Each relates in some way to these accounts’ overall cost, value, or quality of user experience.

Account Opening Bonus

Some of the best rewards checking accounts offer juicy account opening bonuses. Generally, these bonuses require one or more of the following:

  • A minimum monthly or total direct deposit during the qualification period, which typically runs two to four months
  • A minimum monthly spend or transaction count during the qualification period
  • A minimum daily balance held through the qualification period

To formally qualify for the bonus, the new account holder must keep their account open and in good standing until (and sometimes after) they receive the bonus amount.

We’re big fans of rewards checking accounts that offer account opening bonuses, but it’s not a dealbreaker when they don’t.

Rewards on Debit Card Spending

Cash back on debit card purchases is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when the typical consumer hears the term “rewards checking.” 

Most of the accounts on this list offer some type of rewards on spending, whether it’s straight cash back or a more convoluted points-based system.

Account Yield

“Rewards” and “yield” are all but synonymous. All else being equal, we like checking accounts that pay well above the national savings account average yield. Again, no yield is not a dealbreaker where other types of rewards are present, but interest is certainly a “nice to have.”

Other Account Benefits

The rewards merely scratch the surface. The best rewards checking accounts offer benefits like:

  • Early payday for account holders with qualifying payers
  • Mobile check deposit 
  • Expansive fee-free ATM networks
  • Overdraft protection, free or otherwise
  • Fast funds transfers
  • Zero fraud liability on debit card purchases
  • Travel and purchase benefits backed by Visa or Mastercard

The more benefits, the more compelling the account.

Other Available Account Types

Many banks offer other options in addition to rewards checking including:

  • High-yield savings
  • Money markets
  • CDs
  • Investment accounts
  • Specialized accounts, like HSAs

All else being equal, we prefer comprehensive institutions. But we recognize that the best rewards checking platforms often come courtesy of companies that focus on one thing and do it really well.

Monthly Maintenance Fees

No one likes paying monthly maintenance fees, and we prefer rewards checking accounts that don’t charge them. Failing that, we look to banks that make them as easy as possible to avoid.

Other Possible Fees

Most of the accounts on this list are light on fees. That’s intentional — just as no one likes monthly maintenance fees, no one likes nickel-and-dime bank account fees either.

FAQs

Still have questions about rewards checking accounts? We have answers.

What Is Rewards Checking?

“Rewards checking” describes any checking account offering a direct return on investment (your account balance), spending, or both.

That means, the accounts offer cash or points bonuses for new account holders, the accounts earn interest on held balances, and the accounts earn rewards on eligible debit card transactions. The best rewards checking accounts offer all three. 

How Much Does Rewards Checking Cost?

In a perfect world, nothing. Many rewards checking accounts have no monthly maintenance fees and make it easy to avoid other types of account fees, such as overdraft fees and ATM withdrawal fees.

Before signing up for any bank or investment account, be sure to read the fee disclosure and any associated fine print. You don’t want to find out too late that you’ve signed up for an account that costs more than it rewards you.

How Do You Get Checking Account Rewards?

You generally have to receive direct deposits or spend a certain amount during the qualification period to earn new account bonuses.

What Are the Best Banks for Rewards Checking Accounts?

The short answer: the banks on this list. We’re constantly on the lookout for high-quality rewards checking accounts, and we’re not shy about cutting loose accounts that no longer make the grade.

How to Choose the Best Rewards Checking Account

These are among the best rewards checking accounts from U.S.-based financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and online brokerages. As you narrow down your options, consider:

  • Whether you’re targeting high yield, spending rewards, or both
  • How important an account opening bonus is to you
  • Whether the account has an annual fee, and what, if anything you can do to avoid it
  • The account’s other fees and what, if anything you can do to avoid them
  • Other perks and benefits, such as fee-free ATM access and high-dollar deposit insurance

When you find an account that ticks as many of these boxes as possible, be prepared to pounce.

Be advised that many of these accounts also appear on our roundups of the best free checking accounts, best checking accounts with monthly service fees, and best new bank account promotions. Check those roundups for more great banking ideas.

One last thing. Because account opening promotions, yields, and rewards programs are all subject to change without notice, check back here often — and those other “best of” roundups, too — for the latest information. And always confirm specific details with the relevant banks or credit unions themselves.

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.