Best Checking Account for High Interest

How we picked the companies to evaluate:

NerdWallet reviewed the top 25 financial institutions by domestic deposit assets, the top 25 by number of branches, the top 20 by search volume, the top 10 credit unions by membership, the top 10 credit unions by deposits, and emerging and notable players.

How we chose the winner:

When a financial institution offers multiple checking accounts, NerdWallet based its evaluation on the account that makes the most sense for the most consumers, primarily based on cost. The winning bank or credit union was the one with the highest annual percentage yield for a checking account, given the following hypothetical monthly user behavior: $1,000 direct deposit, $2,500 minimum balance, 12 debit card transactions that total at least $100. To qualify for this award, a financial institution must not charge fees for online transactions and must have fee-free membership available to all consumers.

In case of a tie, financial institutions were compared by category in the following order until one institution remained:

  • Maximum balance limit.
  • Best overdraft policy (based on fees, maximums and availability of overdraft lines of credit and overdraft protection transfers).
  • Banking experience.
  • Best branch availability, based on number of branches.
  • Monthly fee.
  • Best ATM access (based on number of ATMs, out-of-network fees and reimbursements).

How we verified our data:

NerdWallet writers and editors confirmed fees, rates, policies and other key features on each financial institution’s website. If an institution’s website was missing information, we contacted a representative directly for confirmation.