10 Best High-Yield Checking Accounts of February 2024

Banking

Are you tired of earning minimal interest on your checking account? Look no further than high-yield checking accounts. These accounts offer higher interest rates than traditional checking accounts, allowing you to earn more on your money.

10 Best High-Yield Checking Accounts

1. SoFi: Checking and Savings

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The SoFi Checking and Savings account offers a high APY of up to 4.60% on savings and 0.50% APY on checking. It also offers a $300 sign-up bonus when you set up direct deposit of $5,000 or more, or a $50 bonus with direct deposit of $1,000 to $4,999.

With this account, you can get paid up to 2 days early and enjoy no account fees, no minimum balance fees, and no monthly fee.

The account also provides access to 55,000+ fee-free ATMs within the Allpoint Network. You also get unlimited withdrawals, up to $50 in overdraft protection, and free transfers between accounts.

With no hidden fees and a high APY, the SoFi Checking and Savings account is a great option for those looking to maximize their savings.

2. Axos Bank: Rewards Checking

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Axos is an online-only bank that offers a variety of checking account options to choose from. Their high-yield account is the Rewards Checking option, which offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of up to 3.30%.

With this account, you will have access to a debit card, online banking, and a mobile app.

Additionally, the Rewards Checking account has several features such as no monthly fee, no overdraft or NSF fees, no minimum balance requirements, and unlimited reimbursements for domestic ATM fees.

Opening an account is easy and only requires $50, a valid ID, your Social Security number, and 15 minutes. As a special promotion, if you apply by March 31st, you can earn a $100 new account bonus.

3. Quontic Bank: High-interest Checking

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Quontic High Interest Checking is an easy and convenient way to manage your finances. The process of applying online only takes 3 minutes and has no impact on your credit score.

To open an account, you’ll need to provide basic contact information, your Social Security number, and date of birth. You’ll also need a minimum deposit of $100.

Once the account is open, you can earn 1.10% APY on all balance tiers when you make at least 10 qualifying debit card point of sale transactions of $10 or more per statement cycle. However, if you fail to make qualifying transactions, the interest and APY will be 0.01%.

There are no monthly fees and you won’t be charged an overdraft fee if your account goes negative. Additionally, all eligible accounts are FDIC insured and include advanced security monitoring. With 90,000+ ATMs across the nation, customers can access their funds easily.

Quontic High Interest Checking also offers mobile banking options such as mobile check deposits, bill pay, account transfers, and receipt tracking to make managing your finances easy.

4. CIT Bank: eChecking

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CIT Bank offers an eChecking account that can be opened with as little as $100. The account has a tiered interest rate with an APY of 0.25% for account balances over $25,000 and 0.10% APY on balances under $25,000.

One of the benefits of being a CIT Bank customer is that they do not charge ATM fees, and they will reimburse up to $30 in other bank’s ATM fees per month.

Additionally, the account comes with a free debit card and the ability to deposit checks and make unlimited withdrawal and disbursements with the CIT Bank mobile app.

The account also has no fees to open, no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, no fees for online transfers, and no fees for incoming wire transfers.

5. T-Mobile MONEY

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T-Mobile MONEY is a great option for those looking for a checking account with a high APY. All customers earn 2.50% APY on all checking and savings balances, with no account fees.

However, T-Mobile and Metro customers can earn an even higher APY of 4.00% on checking balances up to $3,000, and T-Mobile will spot you up to $50 if you overdraft.

Signing up is easy and takes only minutes. Customers will receive a Mastercard debit card, and have access to over 55,000 no-fee ATMs.

Plus, with T-Mobile Money, you can get your paycheck up to two days sooner with direct deposit, pay friends instantly with no fees, and even get your tax refund up to 3 days early.

You can also instantly send money to other T-Mobile MONEY customers with no payment fees. Open your online checking account in minutes and start earning a higher APY today.

6. Consumers Credit Union: Rewards Checking

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Consumers Credit Union offers a great opportunity for those looking for a high-yield checking account. With an APY of 3% on balances up to $10,000, you can earn 80 times the national average rate.

The free checking account also comes with a Visa debit card and unlimited reimbursement for any ATM fees and access to over 30,000 ATMs and 5,000 shared branches.

Online and mobile banking options make it easy to manage your account, and you can even get paid up to two faster with early direct deposit.

You can write unlimited checks, all with no monthly fees or a minimum balance requirement.

If you’re looking to take advantage of even higher rates, you can earn 4% APY by meeting additional requirements, such as making at least 12 debit card purchases each month and having direct deposits or ACH credits totaling $500 or more.

For those who want the highest rate possible, you can earn 5% APY by spending $1000 or more on CCU Visa Credit Card purchases each month.

With 0% intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, now is the perfect time to open a CCU Visa and take advantage of these great rates.

7. Ally Bank: Interest Checking

Ally Bank: Interest Checking logo
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Ally Bank offers an interest checking account with a competitive APY of 0.25%. This account gives you access to your paycheck up to two days earlier with early direct deposit, and allows you to deposit checks remotely.

There are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balances.

The account also comes with an Ally Bank Debit Mastercard, which gives you access to over 43,000 no-fee Allpoint ATMs and reimburses up to $10 per statement cycle for fees charged at other ATMs nationwide.

Additionally, Ally Bank offers no-fee overdraft coverage, which means you don’t have to worry about any extra charges when you accidentally spend more than you have.

With so many convenient features and no fees, the Ally Bank Interest Checking account is a solid choice for anyone looking for a simple and easy-to-use checking account.

8. NBKC: Everything Account

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The NBKC Everything Account offers a competitive APY of 1.50%, along with a range of convenient banking options.

With mobile banking available 24/7, you can access your bank account and manage your money on the go.

You can use your debit card anywhere Mastercard is accepted, and enjoy free online banking with bill pay and mobile deposit.

The account also provides free access to all NBKC ATMs and 37,000+ MoneyPass ATMs nationwide, with reimbursement up to $12/month for fees charged at other ATMs.

Additionally, you can set up auto pay for your bills, making it easy to stay on top of your payments and avoid late fees.

With a high APY and a range of features to make banking easy, the NBKC Everything Account is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-yield account with convenient banking options.

9. Alliant Credit Union: High-Rate Checking

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The Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account offers a competitive APY of 0.25% and comes with a range of benefits to make banking easy and convenient.

There are no monthly service fees and no monthly minimum balance requirement. Customers have access to over 80,000 fee-free ATMs and receive $20/month in ATM fee rebates.

The account also comes with a free Visa debit card, and mobile deposit feature, which allows you to deposit checks anytime, from virtually anywhere with the mobile app.

Additionally, the account includes free overdraft protection to help avoid accidental fees.

Alliant debit cards are also compatible with digital wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, and other payment apps like PayPal, Venmo and Cash App, so you can pay with your smartphone.

10. Lake Michigan Credit Union: Max Checking

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Lake Michigan Credit Union offers a competitive APY of 3.00% on its Max Checking account. The maximum balance earning the top APY is 3.00% up to $15,000, with no interest paid on balance amounts above that.

To earn the top APY, members must make at least 10 debit card transactions per month, have at least one direct deposit per month, make at least four online or mobile banking logins per month, and be enrolled in e-statements.

Additionally, members receive up to $10 in ATM fee reimbursements per month and there is no monthly maintenance fee.

Eligibility for LMCU membership is automatically open to residents of Michigan’s lower peninsula and all Florida residents.

However, anyone else can join by donating $5 to the ALS Foundation and maintaining $5 or more in a member savings account.

What is a high-yield checking account?

A high-yield checking account is a type of checking account that offers a higher interest rate than a traditional checking account. These interest bearing checking accounts typically offer annual percentage yields that range from 0.25% to 3% APY or more. In comparison, traditional checking accounts often have an APY of 0.01% or less.

Benefits of High-Yield Checking Accounts

One of the main benefits of high-yield checking accounts is the ability to earn interest on your money. This can add up to significant savings over time, especially for those with larger balances.

Additionally, many high interest checking accounts come with a variety of perks such as free online bill pay, ATM fee reimbursements, and even cashback rewards. It’s important to note that the interest rate is not the only factor to consider when choosing a high interest checking account.

How to Choose a High-Yield Checking Account

A high-yield checking account can serve as a lucrative way to grow your savings. However, with multiple options in the market, it’s essential to select an account that aligns with your financial needs. Here are a few key factors you should consider:

  • Interest rate: This is the primary attraction of a high-yield account. Always compare the interest rate to other offers available. Keep an eye on the annual percentage yield (APY) as it takes into account the compounding effect and offers a true reflection of your earnings. Be cautious though, as promotional rates may expire after a certain period, and rates may not be guaranteed.
  • Fees and charges: Many high-yield accounts offset their generous annual percentage yield with fees. Be wary of monthly maintenance fees, ATM charges, and transaction fees. Some accounts may also have a minimum balance requirement, where falling below can lead to penalties. To truly benefit from the high interest, prioritize accounts with minimal or no fees.
  • Bank or credit union’s reputation: Trustworthiness is crucial. Research the bank or credit union’s customer service reviews, history, and any recent controversies. Positive feedback from current account holders can be an indicator of good service.
  • Financial stability: In uncertain economic times, it’s vital to choose a financially stable institution. A bank or credit union’s financial health can provide peace of mind, knowing that they can withstand economic downturns.
  • Insurance: Ensure that your chosen institution is FDIC-insured (for banks) or NCUA-insured (for credit unions). This insurance protects and reimburses your deposits up to a certain limit, should the institution fail.
  • Account features: Modern accounts come with features like mobile banking, bill pay, free checks, and ATM reimbursements. Depending on your needs, these can be significant deciding factors.
  • Accessibility: Consider how easy it is to access your funds. Is there a wide network of ATMs? Does the institution offer a mobile app? Is customer service readily available?
  • Rewards and bonuses: Some accounts offer cash bonuses for new sign-ups or loyalty rewards. While they shouldn’t be the main deciding factor, they can be a nice perk.
  • Overdraft policies: Understand the institution’s policy on overdrafts. Some banks offer overdraft protection services, while others may charge hefty fees.
  • Adjoining products: Some banks offer better rates or benefits if you use other products, like credit cards or savings accounts, in conjunction with your checking account. This can be an added incentive if you’re looking for multiple financial products.

Alternatives to High-Yield Checking Accounts

While a high-yield checking account is an attractive option for many, it may not be suitable for everyone’s financial needs or preferences. Here are some common alternatives:

  • High-yield savings accounts: Similar to high-yield checking, these savings accounts offer higher-than-average APYs. They may come with some restrictions regarding the number of withdrawals you can make each month.
  • Money market accounts (MMAs): A money market account often blends the features of a checking and savings account. They can offer competitive rates and come with check-writing and debit card privileges, though they might have transaction limits.
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs): CDs are time-deposit accounts where you agree to leave a sum of money untouched for a specified period (like 6 months, 1 year, or more) in exchange for a fixed interest rate. They typically offer higher rates than a standard savings account but impose penalties for early withdrawal.

Conclusion

High-yield checking accounts offer a great way to earn more interest on your money, with many of them coming with added perks. Be sure to compare interest rates, fees, and the reputation of the bank or credit union when choosing a high-yield checking account. By making an informed decision, you can ensure that your hard-earned money is working for you.

High-Yield Checking Accounts FAQs

How does a high-yield checking account work?

A high-yield checking account operates similarly to a traditional checking account. To earn the highest rates, you may have to meet certain criteria.

These criteria may include balance thresholds, mandatory monthly direct deposits, or a specified number of debit card transactions per month. However, not all high interest checking accounts have such requirements.

How does a high-yield checking account differ from a high-yield savings account?

While both types of accounts earn interest, high-yield checking accounts typically offer more flexibility with unlimited transactions, whereas savings accounts might limit the number of withdrawals or transfers you can make each month. However, savings accounts typically offer a higher annual percentage yield (APY).

Do high-yield checking accounts have fees?

Some do. It’s essential to review the terms and conditions of the account to understand any monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, or other associated charges.

Are high-yield checking accounts worth it?

The opportunity to earn extra interest can certainly be appealing, but you also need to consider any account fees or requirements that could offset it. Many online banks that offer high interest accounts have minimal or no fees, making them well worth considering.

Overall, it’s essential to thoroughly evaluate your individual financial needs and goals before making a decision on whether a high-yield checking account is the right choice for you.

Can the interest rate on my high-yield checking account change?

Yes. Interest rates on these accounts can be variable and may change based on market conditions or the bank’s discretion. Always read the terms and conditions to understand the rate’s stability.

Are there any transaction requirements to earn the high interest?

Some banks require a certain number of debit card transactions each month or direct deposit setups to qualify for the higher interest rate. Always check the account details to ensure you can meet these requirements.

Are interest bearing checking accounts FDIC insured?

Yes, interest bearing checking accounts at banks and credit unions are typically FDIC-insured (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) or NCUA-insured (National Credit Union Administration) just like traditional checking accounts. This means that your deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution.

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