best checking accounts

5 Best Checking Accounts of 2021

Most affordable, hassle-free and (sometimes) interest-bearing checking accounts

A checking account is one of the most standard of all types of money accounts you can open. Checking accounts are most often used to pay for daily expenses and monthly bills, which is why most banks and credit unions do not place a limit on the number of times you may access funds. Because they’re not meant to acquire funds, most checking accounts do not offer interest on balances. The best, however, do.

The 5 Best

  • Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking: Highest APY
  • Axos Bank® Rewards Checking: No fees and high returns
  • Capital One 360 Checking®: More options and convenience
  • Radius Bank Rewards Checking: Cash-back rewards
  • Chase Total Checking®: A true banking experience

The Best Checking Accounts of 2020: Our Top Picks

Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking — Up to 80X the National Average Rate

This free rewards checking account offers outrageous yields and all the conveniences you deserve, making it the best of the best checking accounts of 2020. While Consumers Credit Union has branch locations nationwide, you can access and manage all your checking account information online.

At the very least, your money will earn 2.09% on balances up to $10,000 so long as you meet the very lenient requirements, which include making 12 purchases with your debit card and at least $500 worth of deposits each month. Meet additional requirements and earn up to 4.09% APY. Never pay monthly fees, enjoy free withdrawals at over 30,000 ATMs and 5,000 partner branches nationwide, get paid early with Early Direct Deposit, and never have to maintain a minimum balance.

This product offers one of the highest APYs you will find.

Axos Bank® Rewards Checking — High Interest and No Fees

Axos Bank® is a purely digital bank with over 20 years of experience. The Axos Bank® Rewards Checking scheme allows you to keep every penny you put into your account and then some.

Deposit just $50 to open your account and start earning up to 1.25% APY on the balance. Never pay a monthly, insufficient funds or overdraft fee, and enjoy ATM reimbursements when you use any domestic machine. To earn the maximum interest, you will need to deposit $1,000 or more and use your debit card at least 15 times a month on purchases of $3 or more.

The potential for earning is there, and the lack of fees makes this account one of the most affordable on the market.

Capital One 360 Checking® — More Options

The Capital One 360 Checking® account offers the best of both worlds. Enjoy the convenience and affordability that comes with online banking and the customer service of a traditional brick and mortar bank.

With this product, enjoy 0.10% interest on your balance, free access to over 40,000 ATMs and zero monthly fees. If you overdraft, you have up to one day to replace the funds to avoid an overdraft fee, though you can also opt for auto-decline. Access your account 24/7 through the mobile app or website, or get in-person help at a local branch.

Capital One is FDIC insured and one of the most reputable banks in the industry.

Radius Bank Rewards Checking — Earn Cash Back

Radius Bank offers a full-service bank experience directly from your mobile phone when you sign up for its Rewards Checking, one of the best checking accounts of 2020.

With an APY as high as 0.15% and up to 1.5% cash-back rewards, this checking account offers more ways to earn. Earn 1% cash back on all “credit” transactions made with the Radius debit card, or up to 1.5% back on purchases in select categories. Get unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, receive your paycheck up to two days early and have peace of mind that your money is FDIC insured.

This checking account is one of the only ones that pays members to spend.

Chase Total Checking® — A Traditional Banking Experience

With over 4,900 branches nationwide and 16,000 ATMs, the Chase Total Checking® account is a great option for anyone who desires the big bank experience.

Earn a $200 bonus when you sign up for a checking account. Though the account comes with a $12 monthly maintenance fee, you can avoid it by meeting minimum daily balance or monthly deposit requirements.

Receive a bonus when you open the account and bank in person or online.

Choose an Account That Works Harder for You

Most checking accounts are basic and offer little in the way of rewards or returns. These five best checking accounts, however, fall outside the mold in the best possible ways and are definitely worth investigating.

Quick Questions

Can you have more than one checking account?

So long as you can meet the deposit and balance requirements to avoid fees, it doesn’t hurt to have multiple checking accounts.

What should you look for in a checking account?

While the best checking accounts offer APYs and rewards, at a minimum, you should look for an account that comes with low to no monthly maintenance fees, easy-to-meet requirements and certain protections, such as overdraft protection.

Can you be denied a checking account?

It is possible to be denied for a checking account. This might happen if you have too many unpaid bank fees or bounced checks.

First time? Here’s our guide to understanding your first bank account.