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11 Best Online Checking Accounts of 2022

The best online checking accounts offer special features and good remote customer service.

May 26, 2022

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The best online banks, nonbank financial institutions and credit unions offer checking accounts with fewer fees and higher interest rates than traditional banks do, in part because of the money they save by not operating branches.

These accounts are secure, backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or the National Credit Union Administration. (Although they are not technically banks, nonbanks offer most of the same services that traditional institutions do.)

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.

Here are our favorite online checking accounts.

Best Online Checking Accounts

SoFi Checking and Savings
Learn more

at SoFi, Member FDIC

SoFi Checking and Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Checking and Savings

Monthly fee

$0

APY

1.80%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$300

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

Learn more

at SoFi, Member FDIC


Bonus

$300

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

Why we like it

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: A strong 1.80% APY on all balances and an opportunity to earn a bonus between $50 and $300 depending on your direct deposit total in your first 30 days.

Other pros: Customers can also earn up to 15% cash back when they make purchases with their SoFiI debit card, and they can use more than 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs.

What you should know: SoFi’s account is a combination of checking and savings features, so you can’t open an individual checking account or individual savings account with SoFi. However, the checking and savings balances can be separated, and customers can create subaccounts called Vaults.

Read Full Review
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking
Learn more

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by NCUA

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A
Learn more

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by NCUA


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Unlike most credit unions, Alliant makes it easy to apply for membership to take advantage of its interest checking and high-quality digital tools. If you don’t meet its other eligibility requirements, you can qualify by supporting an Alliant-affiliated nonprofit at no cost to you.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: 0.25% APY. To be eligible for this rate, you must opt out of paper statements and make at least one electronic deposit to your account each month.

Other pros: You’ll have access to over 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs and up to $20 monthly in out-of-network ATM fee refunds.

What you should know:  Alliant doesn’t have any branches, so you’ll have to take care of most tasks online. That may not be an issue, though, because Alliant’s digital tools are better than those offered by most other credit unions. (Alliant also has a great high-yield savings account.)

Read Full Review
Axos Bank® Rewards Checking
Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Axos Bank® Rewards Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Bank® Rewards Checking

Monthly fee

$0

APY

1.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$100

Requirements to qualify

Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC


Bonus

$100

Requirements to qualify

Why we like it

Like some other Axos Bank checking accounts, the Rewards Checking has great perks: no overdraft fees and no monthly fees, plus domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: With Rewards Checking, you also can earn up to 1.25% APY on balances up to $50,000, but you'll have to jump through some hoops.

Other pros: Axos also has a CashBack Checking rewards program that gives you 1% cash back on debit card transactions that require your signature, if you keep at least $1,500 as the average daily balance. If your account falls below that, you earn 0.50% cash back instead.

What you should know: To begin earning interest, the bank requires at least $1,500 in monthly direct deposits. That earns 0.40%. Once you meet that requirement, you can earn an additional 0.30% if you make 10 debit card purchases — with a minimum of $3 per transaction — or sign up for the Account Aggregation/Personal Finance Manager tool. You can also earn an additional 0.20% for each of the following: having average daily balance of $2,500 in a managed investment portfolio and having an average daily balance of $2,500 in a self-directed portfolio. You'll earn another 0.15% for making a monthly Axos consumer loan payment from Rewards Checking.

Read Full Review

Quontic Cash Rewards Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Quontic Cash Rewards Checking

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Quontic Bank has three checking account options, each with its own benefit: Cash Rewards, High Interest and Bitcoin Rewards.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: With Cash Rewards Checking, customers can earn 1.50% cash back on debit card purchases. The High Interest Checking account has a rate of 1.10% APY on all balances for customers who make 10 debit card purchases of $10 or more monthly. The Bitcoin Rewards option earns 1.50% on qualifying debit card purchases, with rewards you can convert to bitcoin.

Other pros: Quontic gives customers free access to more than 90,000 ATMs in the U.S.

What you should know: There’s a monthly inactivity fee of $5 that begins after a year if you don’t make any transactions with your account. Also, there is only one way to deposit cash in a Quontic account: by visiting the Quontic branch and ATM in New York. Otherwise, customers will need to make online transfers, direct deposits or mobile check deposit to fund their accounts.

Read Full Review

nbkc bank Everything Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
nbkc bank Everything Account

Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.50%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

NBKC offers a solid 0.50% APY on its Everything Account, which combines checking and savings features in one account.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: The Everything Account has a feature called Goals. Goals are subaccounts that allow you to put money away for different purposes, such as a down payment for a house, an emergency fund or a vacation. A minimum balance of $0.01 is required to earn interest. Customers also have access to a financial snapshot, which can aggregate NBKC and external account activity to give users a look at their spending and help them set budgets for different categories.

Other pros: NBKC is part of the MoneyPass network, which gives customers access to 37,000 fee-free ATMs, and customers receive up to $12 per month in reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees.

What you should know: NBKC provides account support only via phone on weekdays.

Read Full Review

LendingClub Rewards Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
LendingClub Rewards Checking

Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.10%

With $2,500 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

LendingClub offers a Rewards Checking account that combines a competitive interest rate and cash-back rewards. It also has unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, a rare perk, and up to two-day early direct deposit.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: You get an unlimited 1% cash back on spending with your debit card. And the interest rate has two tiers, 0.10% and 0.15% annual percentage yield, depending on your account balance.

Other pros: LendingClub belongs to the surcharge-free NYCE and MoneyPass ATM networks, and it doesn’t charge out-of-network ATM fees.

What you should know: You need at least $2,500 in your account or receive at least $2,500 in direct deposits to take advantage of earning interest or cash back. The interest rate of 0.10% APY applies to balances from $2,500 to $99,999; 0.15% APY applies to balances above that, but if you have that much cash on hand, consider investing it instead.

Read Full Review

One Spend

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
One Spend

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Customers of One, a nonbank financial institution, can organize money in linked subaccounts called Pockets, whether for paying bills or saving toward goals. One also gives customers access to a large ATM network.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: Customers start with three Pockets: Spend, Save and Auto-Save and can create more to customize their experience. Save and Auto-Save Pockets earn interest. Save Pockets earn 1.00% APY on up to $5,000 in balances or up to $25,000 with paycheck direct deposit. The Auto-Save pocket earns 3.00% APY. When you use your debit card, purchases are rounded up to the next dollar, and the difference is deposited in Auto-Save. Customers can also have a portion of their direct deposit paycheck dropped into Auto-Save.

Other pros: One is part of the Allpoint network, which gives customers access to more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs.

What you should know: One Finance doesn’t offer certificates of deposit, and phone customer service and chat are available only on weekdays.

Read Full Review

American Express Rewards Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
American Express Rewards Checking

Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.50%

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: American Express’ Rewards Checking account earns a strong 0.50% APY and Membership Rewards points on debit card purchases that can be redeemed for deposits or other options such as gift cards or travel.

Other pros: Customers can access more than 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs to withdraw cash with no fees.

What you should know: There isn’t a way to deposit cash into your Rewards Checking account. If you want to fund your account, you’ll have to use an electronic transfer from another account or mail a check.

Read Full Review

Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.10%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Ally is an online-only bank with a no-fee checking account with a notable rate and a high-yield savings account. And Ally reimburses up to $10 in out-of-network ATM fees monthly.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: Ally’s Interest Checking has a rate of 0.10% APY for balances below $15,000; 0.25% APY for balances of $15,000 and above.

Other pros: Ally has more than 43,000 surcharge-free Allpoint ATMs, solid mobile apps and exceptional customer service. You can contact Ally via phone, real-time chat, messaging and Twitter. You can pair your Ally checking with its savings account, which has a competitive high-yield interest rate.

What you should know: There isn’t a way to deposit cash into an Ally account. Customers must either choose a direct deposit, online transfer or wire transfer or buy a money order and do a mobile check deposit.

Read Full Review

Capital One 360 Checking

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Capital One 360 Checking

Monthly fee

$0

APY

0.10%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Capital One’s checking account earns interest and has no minimum balance.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: The checking rate is 0.10% APY for any balance.

Other pros: 360 Checking account holders have free access to over 75,000 Capital One, Allpoint® and MoneyPass® ATMs nationwide, and a handful of Capital One locations. The bank’s mobile app is highly rated as well.

What you should know: Capital One offers a feature that can give you access to your direct-deposited paycheck up to two days early.

Read Full Review

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Discover Bank’s checking account lets you earn cash back on certain purchases, and you’ll also have access to 60,000 free ATMs.

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: With Discover’s Cashback Debit account, you’ll get 1% cash back on qualifying debit card purchases of up to $3,000 a month.

Other pros: Discover also has free overdraft protection transfers and no insufficient funds fee.

You can get your paycheck up to two days early when you set up direct deposit with this account.

What you should know: There is only one physical branch location, in Greenwood, Delaware, so national customers have to be OK with not having face-to-face customer service.

The company says: “ATM transactions, the purchase of money orders or other cash equivalents, cash over portions of point-of-sale transactions, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash), and loan payments or account funding made with your debit card are not eligible for cash back rewards. In addition, purchases made using third-party payment accounts (services such as Venmo® and PayPal™, which also provide P2P payments) may not be eligible for cash back rewards. Apple, the Apple logo and Apple Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries."

See Discover's website for more details.

Read Full Review

The pros of online checking accounts

  • 24/7 access. With online banking, you can access your account securely anytime.

  • Fewer fees. Online checking accounts tend to charge fewer fees than traditional banks since online providers have lower overhead.

  • User-friendly technology. Online providers typically have well-designed websites and mobile apps for doing your banking, including tasks such as depositing checks and paying bills.

» Looking for online banks with top overall ratings? Check out NerdWallet's list of Best Online Banks

The cons of online checking accounts

  • No in-person customer service. Online institutions typically don’t have branches, which may be a deal-breaker for customers who prefer face-to-face assistance.

  • Cash deposits can sometimes be difficult. Some online banks and nonbanks work with ATM networks to allow cash deposits, but others allow only mobile check deposits, direct deposit or electronic transfer from other banking accounts.

How do I deposit cash with an online checking account?

Options for depositing cash at an online provider usually include using a deposit-accepting ATM or putting cash into a traditional bank account and transferring that money to your online account. You could also convert the cash into a money order, which you might be able to deposit electronically using your online provider's mobile app.

Last updated on May 26, 2022

You may also like these

People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

SoFi Checking and Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Checking and Savings

APY

1.80%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$300

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

at SoFi, Member FDIC

LendingClub High-Yield Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
LendingClub High-Yield Savings

APY

2.07%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

1.50%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

Methodology

We took a close look at over 80 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.

Frequently asked questions