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Best High-Yield Checking Accounts

Review Updated
David Chang, ChFC®, CLU®
By: David Chang, ChFC®, CLU®

Our Banking Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield

A high-yield checking account offers a high annual percentage yield (APY), like a savings account combined with the convenient access of a standard checking account. We have researched the banking industry to find our picks of the best high-yield checking accounts using our methodology below.

More details of the best high-yield checking accounts

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Ratings Methodology
Rates as of Apr 21, 2024
Award Icon 2024 Award Winner
Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.25 out of 5 stars.
4.25/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
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Rating image, 4.25 out of 5 stars.
4.25/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
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offer alert

Use promo code AXOS300 and apply by June 30th, to earn up to a $300 bonus!
APY
0.40% (up to 3.30%) Rate info Circle with letter I in it. To earn the full APY, account holders must do all of the following: Receive monthly direct deposits totaling more than $1,500; make 10 transactions a month with your Axos debit card, or sign up for Axos's Personal Finance Manager; maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Self Directed Trading Account; and use your Rewards Checking account to make your full monthly Axos Bank consumer mortgage, personal, or auto loan payment.
Min. To Earn APY
Monthly direct deposits totaling at least $1,500
  • High checking account APY
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
  • No monthly maintenance, NSF, or overdraft fees
  • No monthly balance requirements
  • Cash back checking option
  • ATM card for high-yield savings account
  • Must meet certain requirements to earn the highest interest tier
  • Higher savings and CD APYs available at other financial institutions
  • No physical branches

Axos is an online-only bank, and it offers unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements.There are zero monthly maintenance fees, zero overdraft or NSF fees, and zero monthly balance requirements.

To be eligible to earn all or a portion of the cash incentive as part of the "AXOS300" $300 promotion, an Axos Bank Rewards Checking account that includes the promotional code "AXOS300" must be opened between November 1, 2023, at 12:00 am PST and June 30, 2024, at 11:59 pm PST. Axos Bank reserves the right to limit each primary account holder to one (1) checking account promotional offer per year, and customers who have held primary ownership of an Axos Bank or Axos Bank for Nationwide checking account at any time in the past 12 months may be disqualified from the "AXOS300" offer. Promotional terms and conditions are subject to change or removal without notice. Bonus cash may be taxable and reported on IRS Form 1099-MISC. Consult your tax advisor. After meeting the initial requirements mentioned above, the amount of cash bonus earned will depend on meeting the additional requirements outlined below:

To earn up to a $300 bonus, you must be approved for your new Axos Bank Rewards Checking account, fund it within 30 days of account opening, and have qualifying direct deposits that total at least $5,000.00 each calendar month during the first seven (7) calendar months your account is open as well as maintain a minimum average daily balance of $7,000. The minimum balance must be achieved and maintained through the first seven (7) calendar months your account is open including the month in which your account was opened. A cash bonus of up to $300 can be earned in the following manner during the first seven (7) statement cycles. A statement cycle is a calendar month consisting of the days your account was open during that month. A maximum of six (6) payouts of $50 for each calendar month that the Rewards Checking account is receiving the direct deposit and maintain a minimum average daily balance of $7,000 can be earned during the seven (7) statement cycles, and the bonus will be deposited into your Axos Bank Rewards Checking account within 10 business days following the end of the statement cycle in which the direct deposit requirement was met. Your Axos Bank Rewards Checking account must be open and in good standing at the time the bonus is paid to be eligible to receive the bonus, and your Axos Bank Rewards Checking account must remain open for 210 days, or an early closure fee of up to $300 may apply, equal to the amount of the total bonus earned up to $300.

A direct deposit is an electronic deposit of your paycheck or government benefits, such as Social Security, Disability etc. Other deposits (i.e., online banking transfers, ATM and mobile check deposits, etc.) or person-to-person payments are not considered a direct deposit.

A statement cycle is defined as a period of time that starts on the first day of the calendar month and ends on the last day of the calendar month.

Wealthfront Cash Account

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
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APY
5.00%
Min. To Earn APY
$0
  • High APY
  • Fee-free cash withdrawals at 19,000 ATMs
  • Two-day early direct deposit for paychecks
  • Automated saving and investing tools
  • Complimentary debit card
  • No transaction limits
  • FDIC protection
  • No branches
  • No ATM fee reimbursement

Wealthfront is a robo-advisor that has partnered with other banks to offer banking services and offers up to $1 million in FDIC insurance. There are no account fees or overdraft fees, and you can get instant transfers to your investment portfolio.

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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High APY when you complete 10 or more qualifying debit card purchases each month
APY
up to 1.10%
Min. To Earn APY
$1
  • High checking APY
  • One of the highest APY for CDs and savings account
  • No monthly fees, overdraft, or NSF fees
  • Comes with a debit card
  • Large fee-free ATM network
  • Quontic Pay Ring: the nation's first wearable payment ring
  • Must meet monthly transaction requirements to earn higher interest tier 
  • Limited CD terms
  • No physical branches

Quontic is an online bank with over 90,000 fee-free ATM locations. There are no monthly or overdraft fees. Interest is compounded daily and deposited into your account each month based on your account daily balance and satisfying the point-of-sale eligible transactions requirements per statement cycle.

10 debit card point of sale transactions of $10 or more per statement cycle required to earn the maximum APY. If the qualifying activity requirement is not fulfilled, the interest rate paid on the entire balance will be 0.01% APY.

Alliant High Rate Checking

Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
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Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
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APY
0.25%
Min. To Earn APY
$1
  • No monthly fees or overdraft fees
  • No monthly minimum balance requirements
  • Network of 80,000 ATMs
  • Reimburses up to $20 ATM fees
  • No monthly fees, overdraft fees, and no monthly minimum balance requirements
  • No physical branches
  • Higher APY available at other financial institutions
  • Need to meet certain requirements to receive the dividend

Alliant is an online-only credit union based out of Chicago; however, anyone can qualify for membership. There is no monthly maintenance fee, no overdraft fees, and no monthly minimum balance requirement. To qualify for the high-yield account, you only need to meet two monthly requirements.

Ally Spending Account

Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
up to 0.25%
Min. To Earn APY
$1
  • Strong online and mobile tools
  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Monthly ATM fee reimbursements
  • Competitive APY
  • Early direct deposit
  • Higher APY available at other financial institutions
  • No physical locations
  • No cash deposits

Ally is an online-only bank with a top-rated mobile app. While it has no physical locations, it has over 43,000 fee-free Allpoint ATM locations and reimburses ATM fees up to $10 per statement cycle. Ally also offers free standard and official checks, as well as free domestic and international wire transfers.

Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
Up to 5.00%
Min. To Earn APY
Varies
  • Above-average APY
  • Unlimited reimbursement for any and all ATM fees
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Early direct deposit
  • Online and mobile banking tools
  • High APY comes with strings attached
  • Only balances up to $10,000 earn high APY
  • Need to be a member

Consumers Credit Union is a credit union based out of Chicago; however, anyone can qualify for membership. The bank offers unlimited reimbursement for all ATM fees. There are no monthly fees, no minimum deposit and balance requirements, and customers can get paid two days early with early direct deposit.

Liberty Federal Credit Union Vertical Checking

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
Up to 3.45%
Min. To Earn APY
Varies
  • High APY
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • $15 reimbursement for ATM fees
  • No APY paid out over $20,000
  • $25 minimum deposit required to open an account.

There are thousands of ways to be eligible for Liberty Federal Credit Union. The credit union offers a high APY that is compounded monthly.

Connexus Credit Union Teen Checking

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
APY
2.00%
Min. To Earn APY
Varies
  • High APY
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum opening deposit
  • Out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed
  • High overdraft fees
  • Interest compounded monthly
  • 1.75% APY on balances up to $25,000 and 0.25% on any amount over.

Members age 10 to 17 are eligible for a Teen Checking Account. When members turn 18, the Teen account will automatically transition into an Innovative Checking Account. There are no minimum requirements to earn the APY, and teens will receive a free debit card with access to over 54,000 fee-free ATMs.

What is a high-yield checking account?

A high-yield checking account offers a higher APY than a standard checking account. High-yield checking accounts typically require a higher minimum balance, certain transaction volume, direct deposit, and other requirements to qualify for the higher rates. They offer a similar APY to a savings account but are designed for everyday use.

Some banks and credit unions call a high-yield checking account a rewards or high-interest checking account. A rewards checking account is a standard checking account that offers rewards such as high APY, cash back on debit card purchases, or sign-on bonuses for new customers.

What is the difference between a high-yield checking account and a high-yield savings account?

Both types of accounts offer higher APYs, but a savings account typically has transaction limits. Savings accounts tend to have higher interest rates. Another difference between checking and savings accounts is that savings accounts don't have debit/ATM cards or checks.

While a checking account is for daily use and for spending money, savings accounts are for saving and growing money. Many savings accounts do not have a minimum balance requirement to earn the high APY; Checking accounts often do. Checking accounts are used for regular transactions, paying bills, and ATM withdrawals.

How to choose the best high-yield checking account

In exchange for the high APY and rewards, many high-yield checking accounts charge a monthly fee or require a minimum deposit, high minimum balance, or have other requirements. The fee may outweigh the rewards or the minimum requirements may be difficult to meet. It is important to check to see if it is worth signing up for a high-yield checking account. Here are other factors to consider.

High APY, cash back rewards, or other additional perks

When looking for the best high-yield checking account, look at the rate and rewards offered. Is the APY large enough that makes it worth it to open the account? If the rate difference is minimal, then it may make sense to stick with a standard account that has no requirements.

Are the requirements easy to meet? Do you use direct deposit? Some banks and credit unions require you to open a credit card with the bank as well. Check to see how much you keep in your checking account on average and the number of transactions you make. Then compare it to the minimum requirements.

Fees and minimum requirements

There are many other checking account fees that a bank or a credit union can charge. These fees can eat into any gain in high interest. Some banks also require a high minimum balance to qualify for the account. Customers who don't meet the minimum requirements will often have to pay the monthly service fee.

Customer service

It is important to find a bank that offers easily accessible customer service. Online-only banks do not have any branches so the only way to contact the bank is through online chat, email, or phone support. If you still prefer face-to-face customer service, you may want a bank with a physical branch.

Nationwide availability (Physical locations or mobile access)

You should choose a bank based on your preference and what is important to you. Some large banks have branches nationwide. Online banks don't have physical branches but they tend to have lower fees and offer a higher APY. Check to see if their online banking and mobile apps are robust and meet your needs.

ATM network or generous ATM fee reimbursement program

Some banks have a limited number of fee-free ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM, you will be charged a fee. Look for banks with a large number of fee-free ATMs or banks that offer generous ATM fee reimbursements.

How much money should you keep in checking vs. savings?

Typically, you should keep your emergency savings (three to six months' worth of expenses) in your savings account since it offers more interest. Your checking account is for everyday use, so based on your monthly budget, you should have enough cash to pay your bills so you don't have to worry about an overdraft. You should also keep enough money in your checking account to avoid fees and to qualify for a high-yield checking account.

Because interest rates are so low and inflation is currently at an all-time high, you are actually losing money if you keep too much cash in your checking and savings accounts. You will want to put additional cash in accounts where you can earn higher returns.

Pros and cons of high-yield checking accounts

A high-yield checking account may be worth it if you can easily meet the minimum requirements. This account is best if you keep high balances of cash in your account and want to conduct everyday transactions. Standard checking accounts offer very little interest, so a high-yield checking account can help you earn more money while having easy access to your money.

While the best high-yield checking accounts generally offer higher earning potential, they require a high minimum balance, a minimum number of transactions, and they may charge higher fees. If it is difficult to meet the requirements, it may make sense to use a high-yield savings account to get a high APY and use a standard checking account for everyday transactions. In today's low interest environment, a high-yield account will beat a regular checking account, but it isn't right for everyone.

Keep browsing our checking account top picks

Methodology

Checking accounts are rated on a scale of one to five stars, primarily focusing on annual percentage yield (APY) and fees. Our highest-rated banking products generally include competitive APYs without complex qualification tiers, low to no fees, and ease of use. See our full Ratings Methodology here.

Banks we monitor

Here are the financial institutions we've evaluated in our research:

Alliant, Ally, All America Bank, American First Credit Union, American Express® National Bank, Arvest Bank, Aspiration, Axos Bank, B2 Bank, Bank of America, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Barclays, Bask Bank, Betterment, Bluevine, BMO, Bread Financial, Capital One, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIT, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Citizens Savings Bank, Columbia Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Copper, Cross River Bank, Customers Bank, Discover® Bank, E*TRADEEdward Jones, EverBank, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First Foundation Bank, First Internet Bank of Indiana, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Flushing Bank, Freedom Bank, Generations Bank, GN Bank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Greenlight, Harborstone Credit Union, HSBC, Huntington Bank, Ivella, Kabbage by American Express, KeyBank, Laurel Road, LendingClub, Liberty Bank, Liberty Federal Credit Union, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Mercury, Municipal Credit Union, Mutual of Omaha, NASA Federal Credit Union, Nationwide Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, New York Community Bank, Northpointe Bank, Novo, OceanFirst Bank, Old National Bank, ONE Finance, OneUnited Bank, Oxygen, Pacific Western Bank, PNC Bank, Ponce Bank, Popular Direct, Presidential Bank, Prime Alliance Bank, Quontic, Radius, Raisin, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Relay, Republic Bank of Chicago, Revolut, Salem Five Bank, Sallie Mae, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Simple, SoFi, Synchrony Bank, Tab Bank, TD Bank, Third Federal, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB, Upgrade, USAA, Valley Bank, Vanguard, Varo Bank, Vio Bank, Wealthfront, Wells Fargo, Western Alliance Bank, and Zeta.

FAQs

  • The national average interest rate for a checking account is currently 0.03% and a savings account is currently 0.07%. This is the average of rates paid by all insured depository institutions and credit unions for which data is available. Any account that pays more than this would be considered above average or high.

  • Online banks typically pay more interest than brick-and-mortar banks. This is because they have fewer overhead costs. In addition, they need higher rates in order to attract more customers.

  • Debit cards generally do not earn rewards like a credit card. There are banks and credit unions however that provide cash back on certain debit cards. Terms depend on the bank and debit card program. Quontic offers Bitcoin rewards for debit card transactions.

Our Banking Expert