BEST OF

10 Best Online Checking Accounts of 2022

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

May 26, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence 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.

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

2.50%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$250

Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Learn more

at SoFi, Member FDIC


Bonus

$250

Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Why we like it

Monthly fee: None.

Special features: A strong 2.50% 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
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

$150

Earn $150 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Learn more

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC


Bonus

$150

Earn $150 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

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

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

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

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

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

3.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$250

Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

at SoFi, Member FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

3.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

LendingClub High-Yield Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
LendingClub High-Yield Savings

APY

3.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

at LendingClub 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