5 Best Rewards Checking Accounts for June 2023

0
20
5ee397683f737017691f2ef3.jpeg
5ee397683f737017691f2ef3.jpeg

Our experts answer readers’ banking questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess banking products). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

When you think of bank accounts that offer the best bang for your buck, your mind might jump to a savings account. However, a rewards checking account can work just as hard for you as a savings account can.

Axos Bank Rewards Checking


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

up to 3.30%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$50


Fees

no monthly service fee

Axos Bank Rewards Checking


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

up to 3.30%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$50


Fees

no monthly service fee

Best Rewards Checking Accounts

Below we’ve listed our picks for the best rewards checking accounts. Our list of the best checking accounts that earn rewards features the top picks for earning cash back, a sign-up bonus, and interest.

All of the financial institutions on our list are protected by FDIC or NCUA insurance. Although First Republic Bank was recently shut down, bear in mind your money is safe at a federally insured financial institution. When a financial institution is federally insured, up to $250,000 per depositor is secure in a bank account.

Compare Today’s Banking Offers

Compare Rewards Checking Accounts

LendingClub LendingClub Rewards Checking Account

LendingClub Rewards Checking Account

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.00% to 0.15%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25 to open, $2,500 to earn interest and 1% cash back on purchases

LendingClub LendingClub Rewards Checking Account

LendingClub Rewards Checking Account

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.00% to 0.15%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25 to open, $2,500 to earn interest and 1% cash back on purchases

LendingClub Bank, FDIC Insured


LendingClub Rewards Checking Account

Details


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.00% to 0.15%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25 to open, $2,500 to earn interest and 1% cash back on purchases

Pros & Cons
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Highlights
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Additional Reading
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Upgrade Rewards Checking

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Upgrade Rewards Checking

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

On Upgrade’s website. Upgrade checking accounts provided by Cross River Bank, FDIC Insured


Upgrade Rewards Checking

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Highlights
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Additional Reading
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

SoFi Checking and Savings

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

up to 4.30% with direct deposit


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

$0 monthly service fees

SoFi Checking and Savings

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

up to 4.30% with direct deposit


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

$0 monthly service fees


SoFi Checking and Savings

Details


Fees

$0 monthly service fees


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

up to 4.30% with direct deposit

SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.30% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 1.20% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for the 4.30% APY for savings. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in checking and savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 06/09/2023. Additional information can be found at

Show more


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Highlights
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Additional Reading
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Redneck Bank Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin' Account

Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin’ Account

3.75/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.25% to 5.30%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$500


Fees

no monthly service fee

Redneck Bank Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin' Account

Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin’ Account

3.75/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.25% to 5.30%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$500


Fees

no monthly service fee

On Redneck Bank’s site. Redneck Bank, FDIC Insured


Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin’ Account

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.25% to 5.30%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$500

Pros & Cons
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Highlights
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Additional Reading
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking Account

3.75/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.01% to 5.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5


Fees

$0 monthly service fees

Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking Account

3.75/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.01% to 5.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5


Fees

$0 monthly service fees

Consumers Credit Union, NCUA insured.


Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking Account

Details


Fees

$0 monthly service fees


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.01% to 5.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5

Pros & Cons
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Highlights
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Additional Reading
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Our Expert Panel for the Best Rewards Checking Accounts

We consulted banking and financial planning experts to inform these picks and provide their advice on finding the best checking accounts for your needs. 

PFI Banking Expert Panel that includes: Tania Brown, Roger Ma, Sophia Acevedo, and Mykail James

Insider



Here’s what they had to say about checking accounts. (Some text may be lightly edited for clarity.)

What should you look for in a checking account? 

Roger Ma, certified financial planner with lifelaidout® and author of “Work Your Money, Not Your Life”:

“I would look at the ATM branch locations and then minimum balance amounts to not incur a monthly fee … I think there’s other stuff that could make life easier, whether it’s free checks, online bill pay, are they in the Zelle network?”

Sophia Acevedo, certified educator in personal finance, banking reporter, Personal Finance Insider:

“I would for a checking account that either doesn’t have any monthly services fees or offers multiple ways to waive the fee. I would also look at customer support availability and mobile app ratings.”

How can someone determine if a bank is a good match?

Tania Brown, certified financial planner at SaverLife:

“Obviously, you want to make sure it’s FDIC insured. Also, your banking experience — do you like walking into a bank? Well, then you need someone local. Do you just not care if you ever see your bank? Then you’re okay online. Do you write checks? Do you not write checks? So it’s thinking through how your experience with it is going to be before you make that decision.”

Mykail James, MBA, certified financial education instructor, BoujieBudgets.com:

“The No. 1 thing about a checking account is you should know what provider the debit card is coming from. And a lot of people don’t think about that, because there are places that don’t accept MasterCard or don’t accept an Amex.”

How should someone decide whether to choose a rewards checking account with a high APY, cash sign-up bonus, or cash back?

Tania Brown, CFP:

“I have checking accounts with all the above, because I use checking accounts for different purposes. I would tell someone, think through the experience of how you’re going to use it. So I have my account strictly for bills and I don’t attach a debit card to that. Well, I’m not going to get a lot of cash rewards out of that, because I rarely use that debit card, but I keep a pretty decent balance. So that one I use in particular for interest. I have a spending checking account. That one, I don’t care if the balance is zero, the money that goes in there, I expect for it to go out. But because I use that often, that is the one I attached to a cash reward. And then I have another one that I use just for travel, and I actually have a travel reward attached to that one.”

Roger Ma, CFP:

“I think if you’re someone who is responsible with credit, then instead of focusing on a checking account that rewards you, look to a credit card that rewards you for the areas where you spend money. I wouldn’t recommend people waste their time with a rewards checking account. Get the fundamentals right with fewer checking or savings accounts, and then start to move toward using a credit card to build your credit.”

Our Methodology for the Best Rewards Checking Accounts

We reviewed over two dozen rewards checking accounts to identify the strongest options.

We looked at the reward offered by a checking account — such as a high APY or sign-up bonus — but we also considered how easy or difficult it is to receive a reward. And we considered other factors that make a checking account strong or weak, including opening deposits, monthly fees, and ATM accessibility.

See our full methodology for how we rate checking accounts.

Rewards Checking Accounts FAQs

A rewards checking account is a checking account that offers perks such as cash back, a high APY, or a bank account bonus. Typically, you have to meet certain qualifications to receive a reward.

Right now, the banking institutions that offer the best rewards programs include LendingClub, Upgrade, Redneck Bank, SoFi, and Consumers Credit Union. 

Cash-back checking accounts let you earn a percentage of the money you spend on a debit card back into your account. It’s sort of like getting a discount on every purchase you make with your debit card.

Debit cards do not usually earn you rewards — but debit cards attached to rewards checking accounts are the exceptions. Some rewards checking accounts link your reward to your debit card. You may earn cash back or qualify for a higher APY if you swipe your debit card a certain number of times per month. 

It depends. If you tend to keep a lot of money in your checking account, then a high-yield checking account could be worth it. If your balance typically stays low, you may want to look for a reward other than a high APY, like cash back or a sign-up bonus.

Our top picks for the best rewards checking accounts

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Best for cash-back rewards and a high interest rate

Editor’s rating

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

$25 to open, $2,500 to earn interest and 1% cash back on purchases

Best for cash-back rewards

Editor’s rating

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

Editor’s rating

4.25/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

up to 4.30% with direct deposit

Best for earning a high interest rate

Editor’s rating

3.75/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

Editor’s rating

3.75/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star


Start banking


On Upgrade’s website. Upgrade checking accounts provided by Cross River Bank, FDIC Insured

Best for Cash-Back Rewards and Earning Interest

LendingClub Rewards Checking Account

Why it stands out: This is a well-rounded rewards checking account. It gives you the opportunity to earn both cash-back rewards and interest if you maintain a $2,500 balance. You can earn cash back on an unlimited amount each month, and you’ll earn up to 1% on select purchases. 

What to look out for: You must have $2,500 to make the most of your checking account. Also, bear in mind other checking accounts on our list offer higher interest rates right now.

LendingClub Bank Review

Best for Cash-Back Rewards

Upgrade Rewards Checking

Why it stands out: Upgrade is a great option for earning cash back on debit card purchases. You’ll earn 2% cash back on debit card purchases at convenience stores, drugstores, restaurants, bars, and gas stations, as well as for payments on utilities and monthly subscriptions. Any other debit card purchases can earn 1% cash back. 

The 2% cash back perk has a limit of $500 per year. Once you reach the annual limit, you’ll get 1% cash back on all eligible purchases for the rest of the year.

Monthly fee: no monthly service fee

What to look out for: To get the most out of the Upgrade Rewards Checking Account, like ATM fee reimbursements and loan discounts, you’ll have to maintain a $2,500 daily checking account balance, receive at least $1,000 in direct deposits each month, or make eight or more monthly debit card purchases. Otherwise, you won’t qualify for these perks.

You should also note is that money transfers, ATM transactions, check purchases, gift cards, foreign currency, money orders, refunds, or fraudulent transactions aren’t eligible for any cash back rewards.

Upgrade Checking and Savings Review

Best for a Sign-Up Bonus

SoFi Checking and Savings

Why it stands out: SoFi Checking and Savings is a strong choice if you don’t want to deal with monthly service fees, overdraft fees, or out-of-network ATM fees.

It’s also offering a cash bonus of up to $250 with qualifying direct deposit for eligible customers (through 12/31/2023). You may qualify for the bonus as long as you’re a new SoFi Checking and Savings customer, or an existing SoFi Checking and Savings customer who hasn’t set up direct deposit yet.

Here are the steps required to earn the cash bonus:

  • Open SoFi Checking and Savings 
  • To earn a $50 cash bonus, you must receive between $1,000 and $4,999.99 in qualifying direct deposits during the first 30 days of opening an account
  • To earn a $250 cash bonus, you must receive over $5,000 in qualifying direct deposits during the first 30 days of opening an account

Monthly fee: $0 monthly service fees

What to look out for: The account works best if you set up a direct deposit. That way, you’ll qualify for the cash bonus and the highest tier interest rate.

SoFi Checking and Savings Review

Best for a High Interest Rate

Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin’ Account

Why it stands out: Redneck Bank offers a competitive interest rate on the Redneck Bank Rewards Checking Account. You may earn 5.30% APY on account balances up to $15,000, and 0.50% APY on amounts over $15,000 if you fulfill the following activities each month:

  • Make 10 qualifying debit card transactions per monthly statement cycle 
  • Receive online bank statements

Monthly fee: no monthly service fee

What to look out for: If you do not meet the monthly requirements, you’ll only earn 0.25% APY on your account. Redneck Bank also requires a steep minimum opening deposit of $500 to open the Redneck Bank Rewards Checking Account. You might prefer another financial institution if you’d like to open an account with less money upfront.

Redneck Bank Rewards Checking Account

Best for Credit Unions

Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking Account

Why it stands out: You have the ability to earn up to 5.00% APY on the first $10,000 in your account. Consumers Credit Union (federally insured by NCUA) also pays unlimited refunds on fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers.

Here are the APY tiers:

  • Earn 3.00% APY on balances up to $10,000 when you sign up to receive eDocuments, make 12 debit card purchases per month, and receive $500 per month in direct deposits, mobile check deposits, or transfers from other banks.
  • Earn 4.00% APY on balances up to $10,000 when you meet the qualifications to earn 2.09% and spend $500 per month with your Consumers Credit Union credit card.
  • Earn 5.00% APY on balances up to $10,000 when you meet the qualifications to earn 3.09% and spend $1,000 per month with your Consumers Credit Union credit card.
  • Earn 0.20% APY on balances between $10,000.01 and $25,000 when you receive eDocuments, make 12 debit card purchases per month, and receive $500 per month in direct deposits, mobile check deposits, or transfers from other banks.
  • Earn 0.10% APY on balances of $25,000.01 and more when you receive eDocuments, make 12 debit card purchases per month, and receive $500 per month in direct deposits, mobile check deposits, or transfers from other banks.

Monthly fee: $0 monthly service fees

What to look out for: You need a Consumers Credit Union credit card to earn the maximum interest rate, and if you don’t meet any of the qualifications listed, you’ll only earn 0.01% APY.

One of the main differences between banks and credit unions is that you must meet certain qualifications to join a credit union, such as living in specific US states, working for a given company, or having a family member who is already a member. At Consumers Credit Union, you have to pay a one-time fee of $5 to the Consumers Cooperative Association and open a savings account.

Consumers Credit Union Review 

Other Rewards Checking Accounts We Considered

We looked at over 24 rewards checking accounts before choosing our favorites. But depending on your needs, you still may decide one of these accounts is a better fit:

Which Bank is the Most Trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau rates businesses to see if they handle business practices well, have honest advertising, and respond effectively to customer complaints. The only institution on our list that hasn’t received a BBB rating yet is Redneck Bank.

Here are the BBB ratings for all of our other top picks: 

LendingClub Corporation has an A rating from the BBB due to government action that was taken against the business. In July 2021, LendingClub Corporation paid $18 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission when accused of deceptive lending practices that charged consumers hidden fees and told them they were approved for a loan even when they weren’t.

Upgrade received an A+ rating from the BBB. Its partner bank, Cross River Bank, received a C- rating because it has received a high volume of customer complaints on the BBB website, and it has seven unresolved complaints. 

A good BBB grade won’t guarantee that your relationship with the bank will be great. Make sure to also get other people’s perspectives and reviews.

Previous articleThe true face of Tutankhamen, they reconstruct it again in 3D
Next articleHolograms Supercharge Nanoscale 3D Printing
Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise