The company says: "Earn cash back. And we'll match it. To qualify for Debit Cashback Match, you must apply for your first Discover Cashback Debit account online by 12/31/18 and enter Offer Code NCB1218 at the time of your application. We will then match all of the Cashback Bonus rewards you earn each month through 6/28/19. Cashback Match bonus will be applied to your account by 9/1/19. Account must be open at the time the rewards are applied. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice."
“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.
Axos Bank CashBack Checking
CashBack Checking from Axos Bank, formerly Bank of Internet, 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.
» Looking for a rewarding savings account? Browse NerdWallet’s roundup of best high yield online savings accounts
Best sign-up bonus
Chase Total Checking®
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 1/14/2019). 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 about 5,100 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. (See our Chase review for more details.)
Best interest checking rate for banks
Redneck Bank’s Rewards Checkin’
Despite its offbeat marketing, Redneck Bank’s high rates are legit. The online division of Oklahoma-based All America Bank offers a 2.75% APY on up to $10,000, which means you could rake in $275 in interest in one year. Amounts above $10,000 earn 0.50% APY. You must make 10 debit card purchases per month to earn the rates. Otherwise, the APY drops to 0.50%. The account has a minimum opening deposit requirement of $500, and no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
Axos Bank rewards checking
Axos Bank’s Rewards Checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements. It reimburses an unlimited number of domestic ATM fees and offers cash-back purchase rewards at certain stores.
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. (Read more about Axos Bank in our review.)
Best interest checking rate for credit unions
Consumers Credit Union free rewards checking
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 5.09%.
The rate breaks down into three separate tiers — 3.09%, 4.09% and 5.09% — 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 totaling at least $100, have direct deposits or ACH transfers worth at least $500 each month, and enroll in electronic documents.
The second tier, 4.09%, 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, 5.09%, 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. (Check out more accounts on our Consumers Credit Union review.)
Best miles rewards
UFB Direct’s Airline Rewards Checking
UFB Direct, a division of Axos Bank, offers an Airline Rewards Checking that gives you a mile or a point for every $3 you spend from debit card purchases. The maximum is 120,000 miles or points a year. The account also has unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements and offers purchase rewards. There aren’t any monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, but you’ll need $100 as your opening balance.
Note that the bank’s partner airline for the program is American Airlines, so that’s the carrier this checking account is good for. Eligible transactions can’t be purchases from grocery stores, wholesale stores, discount stores or money transfer businesses or financial institutions, as well as a couple of others. (See our UFB Direct review for more details.)
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.
Best rewards checking account
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 Compass, 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