9 Best Rewards Checking Accounts of 2024

A rewards checking account can be a great way to earn extra money just for having a bank account.

Checking account rewards come in all shapes and sizes, and each bank will have different terms and conditions. Doing some homework upfront will help you find a rewards checking account with the best perks and features for you.

We’ve come up with a short list of rewards checking accounts from the nation’s best banks.

Some of these accounts earned their place because they offered a higher interest rate than the competitors, while others earned their spot because they offered fee-free ATM access, compelling cashback, or effectively free checking accounts after you meet certain requirements.

9 Best Rewards Checking Accounts

Here are the top rewards checking accounts available right now:

  1. Discover® Cashback Debit Checking
  2. Axos Bank Rewards Checking
  3. SoFi Checking & Savings
  4. LendingClub Rewards Checking
  5. Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking
  6. Upgrade Rewards Checking
  7. Chase Total Checking®
  8. FirstTech Rewards Checking
  9. TD Bank Beyond Checking

1. Discover® Cashback Checking Discover Logo

Best For: No Activity Requirements

  • APY: N/A
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Bonus: up to $360 per year

The Discover® Cashback Checking account is an online checking account with a debit card. Using the accompanying debit card, you can earn as much as 1% back on eligible purchases up to $3,000 every month.

This means that you can earn as much as $30 per month in cash back for up to a total of $360 each year, provided you make eligible purchases to the full amount (see website for details).

You’ll get to keep most of the money you earn since the bank does not charge account holders for most things. The account does not have a monthly fee, and there are no balance requirements or debit card transactions either. Most other things are also free, including NSFs (non-sufficient funds), debit card replacements, and many others.

The bank offers 24/7 customer service and many online resources to help you make the most out of your account.

2. Axos Bank Rewards Checking Axos Bank Logo

Best For: ATM Reimbursements

  • APY: Up to 3.30%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Bonus: $300 welcome bonus

The Axos Rewards Checking account offers an APY of up to 3.30%. The account works on a combined rate rewards system. This means that you need to fulfill several criteria to get the top rate. To start with, connect your direct deposit of $1,500 or more to earn a base rate of 0.40% APY.

Meeting any of the criteria will earn you an additional APY boost; completing all four will see you net the full APY.

  • Make 10 debit card transactions of at least $3 per month or sign up for Personal Finance Manager (PFM) “Account Aggregation” in Online Banking – earn a 0.30% boost
  • Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Managed Portfolios Account – earn a 1.00% boost
  • Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Self Directed Trading Account – earn a 1.00% boost
  • Use your Rewards Checking account to make your full monthly Axos Bank Mortgage, personal or auto loan payment – earn a 0.60% boost

The APY is applicable on checking balances up to $50,000. Anything over and above this amount does not earn any interest. It also offers a $300 account bonus when you open an account and spend at least $5,000 within your first seven months.

The account has no maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements, but there is an opening deposit minimum of $50.00. With this account, you can also enjoy ATM rebates, no overdraft fees, and no NSF fees, among many other perks and benefits.

Axos’ high-yield checking account is particularly compelling because it offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements when you use an out-of-network ATM; many similar accounts often have high account balance minimums for unlimited ATM rebates, or they cap the amount you can be reimbursed.

3. Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking Consumers Credit Union Logo

Best For: Impressive Interest Rates

  • APY: Up to 5.00%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Bonus: 

With Consumers Credit Union’s Rewards Checking account, you can earn an APY that’s as high as 5.00%. The APY starts at 3.00%.

To get this rate, you’ll need to enroll in eDocuments, make a minimum of 12 monthly debit card purchases, and receive a minimum of $500 in direct deposits, ACH credits, or mobile check deposits every month.

To earn the 5% APY, you’ll need to meet all the requirements for the earlier tier, but you’ll need to spend $1,000 on a CCU Visa credit card each month.

To earn a higher APY of 4.00%, you’ll need to meet all of the previous requirements plus spend a minimum of $500 in CCU Visa credit card purchases during each statement cycle. To get the full APY, you’ll need to up the purchases to $1,000 a month.

The APY is only applicable on balances of $10,000 or less. Anything between $10,000 and $25,000 earns an APY of 0.20%, while anything above $25,000 earns an APY of 0.10%

4. Upgrade Rewards Checking Upgrade Logo

Best For: Daily Expenses

  • APY: N/A (up to 5.07% if you add a savings account)
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Bonus:

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus lets you earn up to 2% cashback on your everyday debit purchases.

These categories include expenses at convenience stores, drugstores, restaurants, and bars – including deliveries – and gas stations. You’ll also earn on recurring utility payments and monthly subscriptions, including, phone, cable, TV, and other streaming services. Everything else earns you 1% cash back if you maintain an “active account”, otherwise it’s 1% cashback on everyday purchases and unlimited 0.5% cash back on everything else.

It’s important to note that the 2% cash back is limited to $500 in rewards per calendar year. Once you reach this cap, you’ll accrue 1% cash back on all eligible debit card charges for the remainder of the year.

Note: Active Accounts with a monthly direct deposit of $1,000 or more are eligible for additional benefits on Rewards Checking Plus such as additional cash back rewards, ATM fee reimbursement, and more.

5. SoFi Online High-Yield Checking Account sofi Bank Logo

Best For: Cashback

  • APY: 0.50%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Bonus: Up to $250

SoFi offers a fee-free online checking account, doesn’t have any account minimums, and offers a competitive 0.50% APY when you receive a direct deposit of at least $5,000 during a 30-day period.

With this account, you can earn up to 15% cashback when you make qualifying purchases at participating local businesses––even credit cards don’t offer cashback rates that high consistently. You can also receive your paycheck up to two days in advance, round up purchases to automatically bolster your savings, and enjoy overdraft protection up to $50 when you have at least $1,000 directly deposited.

Signing up for the high-yield checking account automatically enrolls you in SoFi’s high-yield savings account, where you can earn up to 4.60% APY.

6. LendingClub Lendingclub Bank Logo

Best For: Additional Rewards

  • APY:
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Bonus: $100 toward a personal loan

The LendingClub Rewards checking account is an FDIC-insured account that offers unlimited cashback, protection from overdrafts, no monthly maintenance or ATM fees, early direct deposit, and more.

The cashback feature operates similarly, but not exactly like a credit card. You’ll still have to have funds in your account to cover the purchase, but you’ll need to select credit at the point of sale.

You can use your LendingClub rewards checking account to earn 1% cashback on online and other qualified transactions. Your cashback balance will automatically be deposited at the end of every statement cycle.

LendingClub has a robust mobile app that allows you to monitor account balances, pay bills, deposit checks, and more.

7. Chase Total Checking® Chase Bank Logo

Best For: Referral Bonus

  • APY: 0.01%
  • Monthly fee: $12
  • Bonus: $300, up to $500 for referrals

Chase is currently offering a $300 welcome bonus for opening a new Chase Total Checking® account. To qualify, you need to open a new account and then set up a qualifying direct deposit to your new account. It’s that simple.

The account has an APY of 0.01%, which is on the low side compared to what some of the competition is offering. The account also has a monthly service fee of $12. This can be waived by meeting any of the following requirements:

  • Receive qualifying deposits totaling $500 or more.
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 at the beginning of each day.
  • Maintain a minimum savings balance of $5,000 across eligible and linked accounts at the beginning of each day.

If you’re already a customer, you can also get a bonus of up to $500 by referring a friend. Here, you’ll earn a $50 bonus for each successful referral you make, up to a maximum of $500 a year.

8. FirstTech Rewards Checking first tech credit union Logo

  • APY: 4.00%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Bonus:

FirstTech’s Rewards Checking account provides a 4.00% APY on balances up to $15,000 and then 0.10% on funds exceeding that limit. You’ll need a $10 minimum deposit to start and you can start earning interest after your first 30 days.

To qualify for the interest rate, you’ll need to make 20 credit or debit card transactions totaling at least $500. You’ll also need at least $1,000 deposited monthly and enroll in paperless statements. FirstTech reimburses up to $15 in ATM fees, which isn’t as competitive as other rewards accounts on this list.

FirstTech uses its Rewards Checking as an introduction to its other products. Once you have a checking account, you can stack rewards by enrolling in other programs. For example, the credit card provides an additional 0.5% cashback and a $10 rebate for streaming services.

9. TD Bank Beyond Checking TD Bank Logo

Best For: Overdraft Protection

  • APY: 0.01%
  • Monthly fee: $25
  • Bonus: $300

TD Bank’s Beyond Checking account offers Payback Plus, which provides an APY of 0.01% on balances of $0.01 or more. Other rewards offered by this program include ATM fee refunds and overdraft payback. New account holders can earn up to $300 when they set up qualifying direct deposits.

To have non-TD Bank ATM fees reimbursed, you’ll need to maintain a daily balance of at least $2,500 while the overdraft payback refunds the first two overdraft fees per calendar year up to a maximum of $70.00.

Maintaining a daily balance of at least $2,500 can also help you avoid the $25 monthly service fee. Other ways to avoid this fee include receiving direct deposits of at least $5,000 per month or having a combined balance of $25,000 through eligible accounts. This account provides interesting rewards, such as free check orders and stop payments, which are harder to come by these days.

How To Choose the Best Rewards Checking Account

When you’re trying to decide which rewards checking account to apply for, the most important thing is to actually look for offers and perks aligned with what you want.

Whether it’s high-interest rates you’re after, surcharge-free ATMs all over the country, or great bank account promotions, there should be many financial institutions that would easily meet your needs.

But make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before applying. Rewards are an excellent way to push your money further, but if you’re getting charged for basic things like a bill pay service or insufficient funds, then you could be doing yourself more harm than good.

I’d always look for an account without free eStatements and, of course, no service charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a reward checking account?

A reward checking account is a checking account that offers account holders rewards. Rewards come in all shapes and sizes and include cashback, interest, discounts, etc. Different banks and credit unions offer different types of discounts to differentiate themselves on the market.

What is a good APY for a checking account?

Traditionally, checking accounts did not have an APY interest rate since they are not meant to hold large sums of money. Instead, APY rates were reserved for the savings account. As competition increased, many banks started to offer interest in the form of APY on their checking accounts – sometimes, these interest rates eclipsing those offered in savings accounts.

While some might be inclined to think that a higher APY rate is always better, the truth is that it depends. This is because a high APY rate will typically have a limit. For example, a bank might offer a high APY rate on the first $10,000 in the bank account only, then drop off on anything over and above this mark.

The trick is to understand how much money you will realistically hold in your checking account, then use an APY calculator to see which rate and conditions will make you the most money.

Are Rewards Checking Accounts Worth It?

Rewards checking accounts can be worth it if your typical account balance meets the minimum balance requirements.

Interest-bearing checking accounts can have other stringent requirements, such as minimum deposits or a minimum number of debit card transactions during the statement cycle.

Interest checking accounts can be especially worth it if they have account bonuses, ATM rebates, or access to other high-yield savings account options.

Our Methodology

We arrived at our top picks after thoroughly reviewing the features of deposit accounts offered by the nation’s most popular financial institutions.

After considering factors such as overdraft protection, annual percentage yield (APY), financial security (member FDIC is a must), minimum account balances, ATM access, monthly maintenance fees, and more, we zeroed in on the best checking accounts with rewards systems.

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