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Banking

Earn up to 5.05% APY with these top interest-bearing checking accounts

Earn a high return on the cash sitting in your checking account with these top picks.

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Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC Select will update as changes are made public.

Almost everyone has a checking account to deposit paychecks and cash for monthly expenses. Checking accounts stand out for being easily accessible, but, unlike savings accounts, checking accounts generally don't accrue interest. It's the most common banking product, yet most account holders don't earn anything on their money.

For this reason, CNBC Select set out to find the few checking accounts that do offer its users a return — and the highest one at that. Typically, high-interest deposit accounts have requirements that account holders must meet to earn the high APY. We selected those that offered the highest APYs, while also considering the accounts' requirements, monthly fees, minimum deposits and minimum balances.

If you want to maximize that money sitting in your checking account, these accounts are for you. (See our methodology for more information on how we chose the best high-yield checking accounts.)

Best high-yield checking accounts

Compare offers to find the best checking account

Best overall

All America Bank® Ultimate Rewards Checking

All America Bank® is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Up to 5.30% APY on up to $15,000 (0.50% APY thereafter); 0.25% APY if don't meet requirements

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $50 if in person; $500 if online

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None (unless you receive paper statements, then $3 per month)

  • Free ATM network

    Yes, 1,000s of ATMs worldwide

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    Up to $25 of foreign ATM fees each monthly statement cycle in one lump sum

  • Overdraft fee

    Fees may apply; Overdraft Privilege is available

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • High APY for a checking account
  • Low minimum deposit required if open account in person
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees for non-paper statements
  • Fee-free ATM network
  • Offers ATM fee reimbursement
  • Overdraft protection available

Cons

  • Requirements to earn high APY
  • $500 minimum deposit if open account online
  • Monthly fee for paper statements
  • Overdraft fee possible

The All America Bank Ultimate Rewards Checking stands out for offering one of the highest returns on your checking balance. Account holders can earn 5.05% APY on up to $15,000 (after, 0.50% APY) by meeting the below two requirements:

  1. Make at least 10 debit card purchases monthly
  2. Receive bank statements electronically

Those who don't meet the above requirements will earn 0.25% APY.

Runner-up

Presidential Bank Advantage Checking

Presidential Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    4.62% APY on up to $25,000 (3.62% APY thereafter); 0.10% APY if don't meet requirements

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $500

  • Minimum balance

    $500

  • Monthly fee

    None if you maintain a $500 minimum balance

  • Free ATM network

    Yes, over 88,000 ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    Domestic ATM surcharge rebates up to $8 per month

  • Overdraft fee

    Fees may apply; overdraft protection is available

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • High APY for a checking account
  • Option to waive monthly fee
  • Fee-free ATM network
  • Offers ATM fee reimbursement
  • Overdraft protection available

Cons

  • Requirements to earn high APY
  • $500 minimum deposit and minimum balance
  • Monthly fee if don't have $500 minimum balance
  • Overdraft fee possible

The Presidential Bank Advantage Checking account is a close runner-up in terms of a high interest rate. Account holders can earn 4.625% APY on up to a $25,000 balance (after, 3.625%) by meeting the below two requirements:

  1. Have a direct deposit of $500 or more each month (from payroll, pension, social security or annuity)
  2. Make at least 7 electronic withdrawals monthly (including ATM, POS, ACH and bill payments)

Those who don't meet the above requirements will earn 0.10% APY.

Best for checking/savings combo

SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi Bank, N.A. is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Members with direct deposit earn 4.60% APY on savings, no minimum balance needed. Members without direct deposit earn 1.20% APY on savings balances, and everyone earns 0.50% APY on checking balances.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $300 welcome bonus when you direct deposit a total of $5,000 or more within 25 days of your first direct deposit. Get a $50 welcome bonus when you direct deposit between $1,000 and $4,999.99 within 25 days of your first direct deposit.

  • Fees

    No monthly fee and no excessive transaction fees.

  • No-fee overdraft protection

    No-fee Overdraft Coverage up to $50 for SoFi members with $1,000 or more in total monthly direct deposits. Purchases exceeding $50 are declined.

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, this account offers a debit card that allows purchases and ATM withdrawals. Terms apply.

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes, bundled with savings account.

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle. Transaction amount limits apply.

Pros

  • A welcome bonus of $300 with direct deposit totaling $5,000 or more within 25 days of your first direct deposit. Or a welcome bonus of $50 with direct deposit totaling between $1,000 and $4,999.99 within 25 days of your first direct deposit
  • Strong 4.60% APY with direct deposit
  • No minimum balance or deposit needed
  • No monthly fees
  • Comes with checking account and ATM access
  • Receive your pay check in your account up 2 days early automatically when set up direct deposit
  • Save change automatically with Roundups and set savings goals with Vaults
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • FDIC insurance up to $2 million through the SoFi Insured Deposit Program

Cons

  • Non-direct deposit APYs are low compared to other high-yield savings accounts
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees
  • No physical branches

With the SoFi Checking and Savings account, you can do all your banking in one place and get rewarded. SoFi members who set up direct deposit can earn 4.60% APY* on their savings and Vaults balances and 0.50% APY on their checking balances.

Those who don't have direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on savings and Vault balances and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Though the 0.50% APY is lower than other interest-bearing checking accounts on this list, the requirement to earn interest is easier to achieve. Plus, SoFi has more perks than others that may make it worth it if you're not solely focused on earning the highest return possible.

These perks include the following:

  • Receive your paycheck up to two days earlier automatically when you set up direct deposit
  • Have your deposits insured up to $2 million
  • A welcome bonus of up to $300 when you set up direct deposit.

Best for welcome bonus

Axos Bank® Rewards Checking

On Axos Bank®'s secure site
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Up to 3.30% APY on up to $50,000 (no APY thereafter); no APY if don't meet requirements

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $50

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Free ATM network

    None

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements

  • Overdraft fee

    None

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • High APY for a checking account
  • Low minimum deposit required
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Offers ATM fee reimbursement
  • No overdraft fee
  • Up to a $300 welcome bonus with promotional code "AXOS300" (expires June 30, 2024)

Cons

  • Requirements to earn high APY
  • No ATM network

Account holders of the Axos Bank Rewards Checking can work their way to earning up to a 3.30% APY. This option requires a few more hoops to jump through, but here are the steps:

  1. Set up monthly direct deposit of $1,500 or more = 0.40% APY
  2. Make 10 debit card transactions per month (minimum $3 per transaction) or sign up for Personal Finance Manager (PFM) "Account Aggregation" = an additional 0.30% APY
  3. Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Managed Portfolios account = an additional 1.00% APY
  4. Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Self-Directed Trading account = an additional 1.00% APY
  5. Add a monthly loan payment (mortgage, personal or auto loans) using your Rewards Checking account = an additional 0.60% APY

Direct deposit is required to unlock the rest of the interest-earning tiers, and account holders that do not meet the above requirements will not earn interest.

Axos Bank makes it easy to earn extra cash. New Rewards Checking account holders can earn a $300 welcome bonus with promotional code "AXOS300" (expires June 30, 2024). To earn the welcome bonus you must deposit New-to-Axos bank funds into your new Rewards Checking account within 30 days of account opening, have qualifying direct deposits that total at least $5,000 each calendar month during the first seven calendar months your account is open and maintain a minimum average daily balance of $7,000 in your Rewards Checking account to be achieved and maintained from September 2023 through March 2024.

Best for a credit union

Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking

Consumers Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Up to 5.00% APY on balances up to $10,000 (0.20% APY on up to $25,000 and 0.10% APY thereafter); 0.01% APY if don't meet requirements

  • Minimum deposit to open

    $5

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Free ATM network

    Yes, over 30,000 ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

    Unlimited reimbursement for any and all ATM fees

  • Overdraft fee

    Fees may apply; overdraft protection is available

  • Mobile check deposit

    Yes

Terms apply.

Pros

  • High APY for a checking account
  • Low minimum deposit required
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Fee-free ATM network
  • Offers ATM fee reimbursement
  • Overdraft protection available
  • Get paid as much as two days early with early direct deposit

Cons

  • Requirements to earn high APY
  • Overdraft fee possible
  • Credit union membership required

The Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking allows its members to earn 5.00% APY on balances up to $10,000 if they meet the below requirements:

  1. Receive bank statements electronically
  2. Make at least 12 debit card purchases each month
  3. Set up direct deposits, mobile check deposits or ACH credits totaling $500 or more monthly
  4. Spend $1,000 or more in CCU Visa credit card purchases each month (no minimum number of transactions)

Those who don't meet the above requirements will earn 0.01% APY.

Consumers Credit Union (CCU) requires membership, but it's fairly easy to apply. Interested applicants just have to join the Consumers Cooperative Association, which allows them to qualify for CCU membership. There is a one-time $5 membership fee, which CCU reimburses.

FAQs

A high-yield checking account is one that offers an APY well above the national average, which is just 0.06%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The checking accounts on this list all offer an interest rate that is at least 20X the national average, at the time of writing.

Just about anyone can apply for a high-yield checking account. Start by considering those who made this list as they offer the highest returns and have manageable requirements to earn the high APY.

You can open a high-yield checking account at a bank online or in person. Most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer the money you already had in an account at that bank. Just like normal checking accounts, most interest-bearing checking accounts require a minimum deposit to open an account.

Savings accounts generally offer higher interest rates than checking accounts. Rarely do checking accounts offer much interest at all. However, some of the checking accounts on this list have APYs comparable to what the best high-yield savings are offering.

Take note that interest-bearing checking accounts will usually have more requirements, such as setting up a direct deposit and making a certain number of monthly debit card transactions, to earn the high APY.

High-yield checking accounts can be worth it if you're not going out of your way to earn the APY offered. Given you most likely will have to meet certain requirements to earn a better return, first make sure it's something you're financially comfortable doing.

Bottom line

Interest-bearing checking accounts can be hard to come by, especially ones that offer a return comparable to high-yield savings. If you're shopping around for a new place to park your everyday cash, consider one of these accounts that can keep your funds accessible while giving you a little bang for your buck along the way.

Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every checking account review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of banking products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best checking accounts.

Our methodology

To determine which checking accounts offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. checking accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those checking accounts that offer an above-average APY and manageable ways to earn the high return.

We also favored those accounts with zero monthly maintenance fees (or a simple way to waive them) and low minimum balance and minimum deposit requirements.

All of the accounts included on this list are FDIC- or NCUA-insured up to $250,000. Note that the rates and fee structures for checking accounts are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your checking account. To open an account, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer the money you already had in an account at that bank.

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* SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for the 4.60% APY for savings. Members without direct deposit will earn up to 1.20% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 12/12/23. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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