Best of

7 Best Rewards Checking Accounts

Chanelle BessetteJanuary 27, 2020

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Rewards usually are associated with credit cards, but some checking accounts have them, too. Perks include high interest rates, cash back and one-time sign-up bonuses.

Here’s a list of our favorite rewards checking accounts.

Summary of Best Rewards Checking Accounts

Our pick for

Cash-Back Rewards

Radius Bank Radius Bank Rewards Checking

at Radius Bank,

Member FDIC

Radius Bank Rewards Checking

Radius Bank Radius Bank Rewards Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.10%

With $2,500 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Radius Bank,

Member FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Radius Rewards Checking has a cash back feature that allows customers to earn unlimited 1% back on signature-based debit card transactions in stores and online. In stores, a customer must select “credit” instead of “debit” for the purchase to qualify.

Through September 30, 2020, Radius Rewards Checking customers can earn an additional 0.5% cash back on special bonus categories. These categories include pharmacies, medical services, groceries, convenience stores, restaurants, cable services, computer software services, bookstores and charitable organizations. All other rewards requirements apply in order to get the bonus rewards.

To get the cash back, customers must receive at least $2,500 in direct deposit from their employer or keep an average of $2,500 or more in their Rewards Checking account monthly.

Radius Rewards Checking also offers interest. Balances from $2,500 to $99,999 earn 0.10%, and balances of $100,000 or more earn 0.15%. The account has no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement after the $100 deposit required to open the account.

Customers get unlimited automatic ATM fee reimbursements worldwide (though an international exchange fee may still apply), and they can also get free ATM access at MoneyPass and SUM-branded ATMs.

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Our pick for

Interest Checking Rate for Banks

Axos Bank® Axos Bank® Rewards Checking

at Axos Bank®,

Member FDIC

Axos Bank® Rewards Checking

Axos Bank® Axos Bank® Rewards Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

1.25%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Axos Bank®,

Member FDIC


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Axos Bank’s Rewards Checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements. It reimburses an unlimited number of domestic ATM fees.

But the account’s biggest perk is its annual percentage yield, or APY, of up to 1.25%. To get the full rate, you need to have monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more and make at least 15 debit card purchases monthly. Falling short of those requirements can reduce the APY. You can earn interest on balances of up to $150,000, which is an unusually high limit for a rewards checking rate.

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Our pick for

Sign-Up Bonus

Chase Chase Total Checking®

at Chase,

Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking®

Chase Chase Total Checking®

Monthly Fee

$12.00

Waived with direct deposit or $1,500 minimum balance

APY

N/A

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Chase,

Member FDIC


Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

Why we like it

New Chase checking customers who open a Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit can earn a sign-up bonus of $200 (expires 1/20/2021). The $12 monthly maintenance fee can be avoided by keeping a minimum balance of $1,500, signing up for monthly direct deposits of at least $500, or having an average beginning day balance of at least $5,000 across linked qualifying accounts and investments.

Chase has nearly 4,900 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs, as well as a range of checking and savings accounts. That makes it ideal for people looking to join a national bank.

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Our pick for

Interest Checking Rate for Credit Unions

Consumers Credit Union Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking

at Consumers Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking

Consumers Credit Union Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

2.09%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Consumers Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Consumers Credit Union’s Free Rewards Checking offers easy-to-join nationwide membership, a big ATM network and no monthly fees or minimum balances, but the most impressive feature is the APY: up to 4.09%.

The rate breaks down into three separate tiers — 2.09%, 3.09% and 4.09% — with more monthly requirements for the higher two. To achieve the first tier on balances of up to $10,000, you need to do three things: Complete at least 12 monthly debit card purchases, have online transactions (direct deposits, ACH transfers or mobile check deposits) to the account worth at least $500 each month, and enroll in electronic documents. For the month of May 2020, the minimum number of debit card purchases required has dropped from 12 to 6.

The second tier, 3.09%, applies to balances of up to $10,000 and requires the activities above as well as making at least $500 in purchases with a Consumers Credit Union credit card. The highest tier, 4.09%, is for balances of up to $10,000 and requires the activities from the first tier along with $1,000 in credit card purchases. Not meeting the requirements drops your rate down to a much lower APY.

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Our picks for

Cash-Back Rewards

Axos Bank® CashBack Checking

Axos Bank® Axos Bank® CashBack Checking

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

1.00%

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Axos Bank's CashBack Checking offers up to 1% cash back to earn a possible $2,000 monthly. To get the full 1%, you must maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500, or the rate drops to 0.50%. The checking account also has unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements and no monthly fees.

This account restricts eligible debit transactions to purchases that require a signature. Transactions also can’t be purchases at supermarkets, wholesale stores, discount stores or money transfer or financial institutions, plus a couple of others.

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Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Discover Bank Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

N/A

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

You can get 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in qualifying debit card purchases each month on Discover’s one and only checking account.

Discover gives access to over 60,000 free ATMs and doesn’t charge a monthly fee or have balance requirements.

Cashback Debit details from Discover:

“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.

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Our pick for

Interest Checking Rate for Banks

Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin' Account

Redneck Bank Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin' Account

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

1.00%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A


Bonus

N/A

Why we like it

Despite its offbeat marketing, Redneck Bank’s high rates are legit. The online division of Oklahoma-based All America Bank offers a 1.00% APY on up to $10,000, which means you could rake in $225 in interest in one year. Amounts above $10,000 earn 0.50% APY. You must make 10 debit card purchases per month and receive e-statements to earn the rates. Otherwise, the APY drops to 0.25%. The account has a minimum opening deposit requirement of $500, and no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

Read Full Review

» Want to explore one-time bonuses? Browse our monthly roundup of best bank account bonuses Chasing the best rewards and sign-up bonuses in the world can’t make up for having a checking account that lacks features you need or that charges you high fees to access your money. But it’s worth looking for a financial institution that offers you a little extra incentive to bank with it.

Last updated on January 27, 2020

Methodology

We took a close look at over 70 financial institutions, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume, Internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on deposits as well as broad-based membership requirements; 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 surveyed include: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express, Aspiration, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, BB&T, BBVA, Boeing Employees Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIT, Citibank, Citizens Access, Citizens Bank, Comerica Bank, Commerce Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Discover Bank, E-Trade, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bank, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, GoBank, Golden 1 Credit Union, GS Bank, HSBC Bank USA, Huntington Bank, KeyBank, MetaBank, M&T Bank, Moven, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Radius Bank, Redneck Bank, Regions Bank, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, Simple, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, State Farm Bank, Suncoast Credit Union, SunTrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TCF Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Union Bank, UFB Direct, USAA, U.S. Bank, Varo, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.

How we rate banks and credit unions

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Rewards Checking Accounts