In today’s highly competitive financial climate, with thousands of banks and neobanks nationwide, rewards checking accounts are growing more common.
If you have to keep your money someplace, you may as well earn cash back rewards on debit card purchases or a high interest rate.
Best of all, most rewards checking accounts have no overdraft or monthly service fees. After all, if you have to pay any monthly fees or maintenance fees, it will reduce the overall amount you can earn in cash back.
Rewards checking accounts come in two forms: Those that offer cash back rewards and those that let you earn interest on your money, even if it’s in your checking rather than savings.
Regardless of what you’re looking for in a financial institution, you can find it in one of these rewards checking accounts.
11 Best Rewards Checking Accounts
We’ve read consumer reviews, evaluated bonus offers, and read all the fine print to find 11 of the best rewards checking accounts available online or at local branches today.
SoFi is an online only bank offering cash management accounts providing you with easy access to your money and generous rewards.
Upgrade’s Rewards Checking Plus is an online banking solution designed to offer you more control over your money while reaping generous rewards.
LendingClub offers an online Rewards Checking account with a straightforward 1% cash back on all signature-based debit card purchases. Ranked on Newsweek’s America’s Best Banks list in 2022, the checking account has many desirable features.
Axos Bank is a nationally chartered online bank in business since 2000. The bank offers three checking accounts, all with no monthly maintenance fees, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements domestically, and no overdraft fees.
If you are looking for the convenience of a traditional bank and the money-saving benefits of online banking, a TD Bank Beyond Checking account could be the best rewards checking account for you.
Consumers Credit Union is one of two excellent credit unions on our list offering checking accounts with rewards or high yield interest rates.
Discover Bank has a cashback debit account with no monthly fees and a host of other benefits. The program is straightforward and there are no minimum deposit requirements or other qualification requirements to earn cash back.
It’s not always easy to find a rewards checking account with no fees and a high yield on your checking account balance. The Schwab Bank Investor Checking account was rated highest in customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and Associates for four years running.
Quontic offers three choices of the best rewards checking accounts, all with no monthly maintenance fees:
- High Interest checking with an interest rate of 1.10% APY
- Cash Rewards checking
- Bitcoin Rewards checking
Connexus is one of two credit unions on our list of best rewards checking accounts. The Connexus Xtraordinary account offers a 1.75% APY when you meet certain requirements, which include signing up for e-statements and making 15 qualifying debit card purchases or spending $400 in debit card transactions monthly.
In May 2022, Truist Bank acquired Long Game, an award-winning gamification savings app. The partnership gives Truist bank account holders access to one of the most unique rewards programs in personal finance.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Rewards Checking Accounts
When we evaluated the best rewards checking accounts, we took many features, benefits, and costs into consideration. We also recognized that people’s needs vary. Some may want an online only bank, while others prefer a credit union or even a traditional, brick-and-mortar financial institution.
Rewards on Debit Card Purchases
When most people think of a rewards checking account, they imagine receiving cash back on debit card purchases. Banks that offer cash back on everyday purchases gained favor and a spot on our list.
Some rewards come in the form of a high interest rate on money held in a checking account. Several interest bearing checking accounts with an interest rate of 1% or higher made our list. It is even better if you don’t have to maintain a minimum account balance to receive the highest interest rate.
On our list of the best rewards checking accounts, we gave preference to accounts with no monthly fees. We also considered other fees, such as overdraft fees, transfer fees, and ATM fees. Banks that offer unlimited ATM fee rebates or even some ATM fee reimbursements each statement cycle were considered favorably.
You should be rewarded by your bank whether you have a large balance or small. For that reason, we gave preference to banks with no minimum deposit requirements and no minimum balance requirements to earn rewards. In some cases, you may need to receive a direct deposit each statement cycle to earn rewards or to receive the highest annual percentage yield APY.
Account Opening Bonus
Some banks offer a generous account opening bonus or even referral rewards when you share your referral link with friends who open an account. It’s nice to start your new bank account with a cash back from a sign-up bonus.
Bank accounts that offer overdraft protection, either through linked savings accounts or by providing a grace period to bring your account back into the positive, earned points on our list.
One way to avoid fees is to find a bank with a large ATM network. Many of the banks on this list use the Allpoint or MoneyPass ATM network with more than 60,000 machines nationwide. We also looked for banks that provide ATM fee reimbursements for using teller machines out of the bank’s ATM network.
We made sure that consumers nationwide could open an account online or in person. We didn’t choose regional banks or credit unions with limited availability, although a small, local bank might meet your needs.
One credit union that made our list, Consumers Credit Union, is available to anyone over the age of 18 willing to pay a $5 membership fee to join the Consumers Cooperative Association. The other credit union we chose also has similarly broad membership requirements. Anyone can join if they make a $5 donation to the Connexus Association or meet certain membership requirements based on city of residence or occupation.
Whether you choose an online only bank or one of the traditional financial institutions on this list, you want to make sure you have access to the best customer service. We chose banks that generally received high marks for customer service on consumer review websites and offered multiple ways to reach customer service reps by phone, email, or online chat.
Tips for Finding the Best Rewards Checking Account
Before you open a rewards account, ask about minimum deposit requirements. Also find out if you need to maintain a minimum balance or set up direct deposits to avoid fees. Look for a bank with a large ATM network and ATM fee reimbursements for using machines outside the network.
Rewards Checking FAQs
Find out what people are asking about the best rewards checking accounts.
How does a rewards checking account work?
Rewards checking accounts pay you money for banking with them. In some cases, you will receive cash back on debit card purchases. Other rewards checking accounts pay interest on your balance. Some also offer additional perks, such as loan rate discounts, access to special events, ATM fee reimbursements and money management tools.
Should you apply for a rewards checking account?
If you are looking to put extra cash in your pocket, a rewards bank account is one way to do so. Most rewards checking accounts do not require a credit check or an application fee to apply. If you are opening a new bank account or considering switching banks, it’s worth considering how you can earn checking account rewards for things you do daily, such as using your debit card or depositing money.
How much does rewards checking cost?
Most of the top rewards checking accounts have no monthly fee, fee-free ATMs, and at least some ATM fee refunds each statement cycle.