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Standout checking accounts

There are a lot of checking accounts out there. So many, in fact, it can be overwhelming to weed through all the options — good and bad — and then confidently choose one. Social scientists call this “information overload”. We call it inconvenient.

To get the most from your checking account, you need low fees, good customer support and free ATMs nearby. If you earn interest on your cash, even better. Compare standout checking accounts from our partners below.

Monthly feeOut-of-Network ATM FeeDetails
Radius Bank Rewards Checking's logo

at Radius Bank,

Member, FDIC

$0

$0

Why we like it

The new Rewards Checking, launched in September 2019, combines the features of two previous accounts, Hybrid and Rewards Checking. You can earn 1% cash back on signature-based purchases in stores and online (at store checkouts, you select “credit” instead of “debit”). If your balance hits $2,500, a 1.00% annual percentage yield kicks in. If you have $100,000 or more, the rate becomes 1.20% APY.

 

Radius has only one full-service branch, in Boston, so you’ll have to be comfortable banking online.

 

For more details on Radius Bank, read our full review.

Axos Bank™ Rewards Checking's logo

at Axos Bank™,

Member, FDIC

$0

$0

Why we like it

Rewards Checking has no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance, overdraft or nonsufficient-funds fees. The account also has an annual percentage yield as high as 1.25%, depending on your account activity. To earn maximum interest, you’d need to have monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more and use your debit card at least 15 times a month, with a minimum $3 purchase.

 

In addition, Axos Bank (formerly Bank of Internet) offers unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements on several of its checking accounts, including this one.

 

For more details on Axos, read our full review.

Chime Spending Account's logo

at Chime,

Member, FDIC

$0

$2.50

Why we like it

Chime is a mobile bank account that has no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees, and you have access to more than 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs. Through Chime’s early direct deposit service, customers can get their paychecks up to two days earlier than if they cashed their checks at a bank.

 

This account works best for people who don’t write many checks or make cash deposits. If you need to write a check, Chime has an online feature that creates and mails one on your behalf. For cash deposits, you’ll need to use a third-party service.

 

For more details on Chime, read our full review.

Want to earn a high APY on your money?

A cash management account, or CMA, is a cash account that combines services and features that are similar to checking, savings and/or investment accounts under one product with reasonable or no fees.

BankAPYMonthly FeeDetails
Wealthfront Cash Account's logo

at Wealthfront

1.82%

With $1 minimum balance

$0

Pros

  • Offers up to $1 million in FDIC coverage through affiliated partner banks
  • Can pair with Wealthfront investment account to keep money under one roof
  • Stellar interest rate, competitive with online banks
  • No fees

Cons

  • No branches
  • No mobile check deposit currently
SoFI Money®'s logo

at SoFi

1.60%

With $0 minimum balance

$0

Pros

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
  • No monthly fees
  • No overdraft fees

Cons

  • No branches or CDs
  • No cash deposits accepted

More about checking accounts

A checking account is a bank account that is typically used for everyday expenses. It tends to have a lower interest rate than a savings or money market account, but unlike those accounts, there's no limit to how often you can access your money.

Why online checking accounts dominate the list

Some important factors for virtually every bank-shopper are monthly fees, ATM access and interest rates (since they have the biggest impact on your bottom line). And, as it happens, online banks typically offer higher interest rates.

A little about us
At NerdWallet, we offer straightforward info and tools to help you make the best possible financial decisions. All for free. So how do we make money? In most cases, when someone applies or gets approved for a financial product we get paid. But that doesn’t sway our opinions.