Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account Review

Kailey is an industry specialist covering bank accounts, credit cards, and all things personal finance. Her work has appeared on USA Today, CNN Money, Fox Business, and MSN Money.

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The Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account grabs your attention quickly with its 1.25% APY and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, but only those who use their debit cards often and deposit $1,000 or more per month will fully realize the benefits of this account. Others can still earn an above-average interest rate, but they may also do better elsewhere, depending on their monthly deposits and debit card usage.

Top perks

Earn up to 1.25% APY: The Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account's 1.25% APY makes it one of the most lucrative checking accounts available today. Interest-bearing checking accounts are still relatively rare and those that exist usually have APYs that fall far short of those of savings accounts. You may earn interest on balances up to $150,000. Balances greater than this will not earn interest.

You can qualify for the highest APY if meeting the following criteria:

  • Monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more
  • Use your Axos Bank debit card for 15 transactions per month (minimum $3 per transaction).

Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements: Axos Bank doesn't have a network of fee-free ATMs, but this shouldn't concern you because it does offer unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements. Few banks do this and it's a nice option if you don't want to worry about finding a fee-free ATM near you. You should note that your ATM may still charge you a fee that could temporarily reduce your balance until Axos Bank reimburses you for it. You could also get slapped with ATM fees if you take your Axos Bank debit card abroad, so plan accordingly.

No minimum balance requirements: You need at least $50 to open your Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account, but after it's open, it doesn't matter how much you keep there. You're still eligible to earn interest on your purchases and you don't have to worry about monthly maintenance fees if your balance drops too low.

Unlimited free mobile deposits: Axos Bank doesn't charge you fees for mobile deposits or restrict how many mobile deposits you can make in a month. This is ideal for people who still get paid with physical checks and don't want to run to a branch location or incur extra fees for doing what's most convenient.

What could be improved

Not everyone will qualify for the highest APY: The Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account employs a tiered system where the highest APY is only available when meeting the deposits and transactions monthly requirements.

Fees

Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account Monthly Maintenance ATM Withdrawal Overdraft Stop Payment Insufficient Funds
Fees $0 $0 after Axos Bank reimbursement $0 $10 if you make your request online, or $35 if you require assistance from an Axos Bank representative $0 for items generating a negative balance of less than $25, otherwise $25 per item with a maximum $75 per day

How to access your money

Axos Bank gives you several ways to access your funds. Here's a closer look at how to deposit and withdraw money from your Rewards Checking Account.

Deposit options

You can deposit money into your Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account in any of the following ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Wire transfer
  • Mailed checks

You'll need $50 to open your account and Axos Bank will prompt you to fund your Rewards Checking Account in one of these ways when you sign up. Axos Bank does not charge fees for incoming wire transfers, but the bank you're transferring the money from may charge you an outgoing wire transfer fee if you're funding your account in this way. Use one of the other methods if you don't want to worry about running into extra costs.

Withdrawal options

You can withdraw money from your Axos Bank Rewards Checking account in any of these ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Requesting a mailed check
  • ATM withdrawal
  • Point-of-sale cash withdrawal

Note that with any method other than an ATM withdrawal, it could take a little while to receive your funds. Plan accordingly by withdrawing the money in advance to avoid running into problems.

Online checking account comparison

If the Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account doesn't appeal to you, check out the Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account instead. Its competitive APY isn't nearly as high as that of the Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account, but it makes earning interest a lot simpler. As long as you have at least $100 in your account, you're earning interest. There's no need to worry about tiered systems or making a certain number of transactions per month. It's really simple.

You could actually earn more with Bank5 Connect than you could with Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account if you don't think you'll use your debit card enough or have enough monthly deposits to hit the highest Axos APY tier.

This checking account is right for you if:

The account's main drawback is that its tiered interest model disadvantages those with small balances and those who rarely use their debit cards. If either of these apply to you, there are better checking accounts out there that offer a high interest rate with fewer strings.

The Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account is a great option for those who deposit more than $1,000 to their account every month and use their debit cards frequently. Its APY bests most savings accounts, and even those who don't qualify for this rate can still earn an APY that's far above average. The account's unlimited ATM fee reimbursements also makes it a good fit for those who don't want to go out of their way to get their cash for free.

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