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12 Best Checking Accounts for May 24, 2024

Chanelle Bessette
By Chanelle Bessette 
Edited by Sara Clarke

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

To get the most from your checking account, you need low fees, good customer support and free ATMs nearby. If you earn interest on your cash, even better.

Why trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage to help you choose the financial accounts that work best for you. See our criteria for evaluating banks and credit unions.

NerdWallet staff analyzed, compared and rated dozens of institutions, including banks, nonbanks and credit unions, before selecting the checking accounts that offer the best combination of consumer-friendly features. (Nonbanks provide many of the same services that traditional institutions offer, but are not technically banks.) Some of these providers are NerdWallet partners, which was not a factor in our evaluations.

» Looking for higher rates? See our list of the best cash management accounts

APYs shown are current as of May 24, 2024. All other information is current as of Apr. 28, 2024.

🤓Nerdy Tip

When shopping for a checking account, consider factors such as monthly fees, interest rates, overdraft policies, ATM fees and access to customer service. Make sure that you’re getting the features and services you want from your bank.

Best Checking Accounts for May 24, 2024

ELIGIBLE FOR REWARD

Our pick for

Checking Accounts

ELIGIBLE FOR $100 IN REWARDS
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
SoFi Checking and Savings
Learn more

at SoFi Bank, N.A., Member FDIC

APY

0.50%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$300

Earn up to $300 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

5.0/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Axos Bank® Rewards Checking
Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

APY

3.30%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$300

Earn $300 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.5/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Discover® Cashback Debit
Learn more

at Discover® Bank, Member FDIC

APY

N/A

Bonus

$360

Up to $360 per year. See website for details.

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.5/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
nbkc bank Everything Account
Learn more

at nbkc bank, Member FDIC

APY

1.75%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.0/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Schwab Bank Investor Checking™
APY

0.45%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.5/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
American Express Rewards Checking
APY

1.00%

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

3.5/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
ZYNLO Bank More Spending Account
APY

2.00%

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.0/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
PNC Virtual Wallet® Checking Pro - Spend
APY

N/A

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.0/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Upgrade - Rewards Checking Plus
APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.0/5

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Laurel Road Loyalty Checking
APY

0.01%

With $0.01 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$100

Requirements to qualify

Monthly fee

$0

Overdraft star rating

4.0/5

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Features of checking accounts

Do checking accounts pay interest?

Sometimes; typically minimal.

Common fees

  • Monthly maintenance fee (with ways to waive it).

  • Overdraft fee.

  • Out-of-network ATM fee.

  • Foreign transaction fee.

  • You can find some checking accounts that don't have all these fees.

Typical features

  • Debit card.

  • Paper checks.

  • Direct deposit.

  • Overdraft protection.

  • Online and mobile banking services (bill pay, balance inquiries, transfers, account alerts, mobile check deposit).

Other benefits

  • Bill pay.

  • Access to cash through ATMs.

Here is more information about checking accounts.

What's the best checking account for me?

When choosing a new checking account, take a close look at fees, branch and ATM accessibility, and interest rate. Also consider perks such as early access to direct deposits. People who do online banking should select an institution that offers a good website along with a mobile app that lets them deposit checks remotely.

As a rule, it’s a good idea to avoid checking accounts that charge — and don’t allow you to waive — fees. The rule remains true whether choosing a teen checking account, a college bank account or any checking account.

» Looking for somewhere to stash your savings? Check out NerdWallet's picks for best savings accounts

Should I have more than one checking account?

Usually there won’t be many downsides to keeping multiple checking accounts open as long as you can meet the requirements of those accounts to avoid fees.

The number of checking accounts you should have is based on your situation. If you’re single, for example, you may be fine with just one checking account. If you’re married, you may want to have a personal account and a joint account that you share with your spouse.

There are also several accounts that offer bonuses and promotions for opening an account, so if you’re able to juggle the requirements, you could make some extra cash by opening multiple accounts. You also may want to consider opening multiple checking accounts at different institutions for different uses, such as keeping an account at a provider that works well for international travel if you go out of the country a lot, or keeping a checking account open with the bank that handles your mortgage for faster payment transfers.

Last updated on May 24, 2024

Methodology

We took a close look at over 90 financial institutions and financial service providers, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on assets and membership; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more.

Financial institutions and providers surveyed are: Affirm, All America Bank, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amalgamated Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Andrews Federal Credit Union, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank of America, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Barclays, Bask Bank, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO, BMO Alto, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Bread Savings, BrioDirect, Capital One, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank, City First Bank, Climate First Bank, Commerce Bank, Community First Credit Union of Florida, ConnectOne Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Current, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover® Bank, E*TRADE, EverBank (formerly TIAA Bank), Fifth Third Bank, First Foundation, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Flagstar Bank, FNBO Direct, Global Credit Union, GO2bank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Greenwood, Hope Credit Union, Huntington Bank, Industrial Bank, Ivy Bank, Jenius Bank, KeyBank, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Laurel Road Bank, LendingClub Bank, Liberty Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, NASA Federal Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC, One, OneUnited Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, Quontic Bank, Regions Bank, Revolut, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Securityplus Federal Credit Union, Self-Help Credit Union, Service Credit Union, SoFi, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, Suncoast Credit Union, Synchrony Bank, TAB Bank, TD Bank, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Upgrade, USAA Bank, Varo, Vio Bank, Wells Fargo and Zynlo Bank.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Checking Accounts for May 24, 2024

Frequently asked questions