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Best checking accounts of 2024

Explore top checking accounts with no monthly fees, no opening deposits and perks.

The best checking accounts offer convenience, rewards and low fees. But finding a checking account that fits your lifestyle comes down to identifying which features matter the most to you. From cashback rewards to high yields, compare top checking accounts for your financial situation and needs.

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  • 300+ banks and credit unions reviewed
  • 190+ checking accounts analyzed and rated by our team of experts
  • Evaluated under our unbiased rating system covering 8 categories
  • 20+ years of combined experience covering financial topics

We're big on editorial independence. That means our content, reviews and ratings are fair, accurate and trustworthy. We don't let advertisers or partners sway our opinions. Our financial experts put in the hard work, spending hours researching and analyzing hundreds of products based on data-driven methodologies to find the best accounts and providers for you. Explore our editorial guidelines to see how we work.

10 best checking accounts

Best overall

SoFi Checking and Savings

4.5
★★★★★

Finder score

Get up to $300 cash bonus with qualifying direct deposit. Terms apply. This offer is available until December 31, 2024.
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on SoFi's secure site
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A fully online bank, SoFi®’s hybrid Checking and Savings account takes the win thanks to its no monthly service fees and high APYs. You can earn a 0.50% APY on your checking balance and a high 4.60% APY on savings. Neither APY requires a minimum account balance, but to earn the highest rate, you’ll need to set up direct deposits, or deposit at least $5,000 each month. Direct deposit offers the most perks, also giving you access to overdraft coverage and a signup bonus. If you don't meet either deposit requirement, you can still earn up to 1.20% APY on your savings. This account also offers additional FDIC insurance coverage up to $2 million. But as an online bank, SoFi doesn’t have any branches, though it does accept cash deposits at Green Dot ATMs for a $4.95 fee.
New and existing Checking and Savings members who have not previously enrolled in Direct Deposit with SoFi are eligible to earn a cash bonus when they set up Direct Deposit of at least $1,000 during the Direct Deposit Bonus Period. Cash bonus will be based on the total amount of Direct Deposit. Direct Deposit Promotion begins on 12/7/2023 and will be available through 12/31/24. Full terms at sofi.com/banking. SoFi Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. SoFi members with Direct Deposit can earn 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 (including Vaults). Members without Direct Deposit will earn 1.20% 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 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.
Our account fee policy is subject to change at any time.
SoFi Bank is a member FDIC and does not provide more than $250,000 of FDIC insurance per legal category of account ownership, as described in the FDIC’s regulations. Any additional FDIC insurance is provided by the SoFi Insured Deposit Program. Deposits may be insured up to $2M through participation in the program. See full terms at SoFi.com/banking/fdic/terms
See list of participating banks at SoFi.com/banking/fdic/receivingbanks

We’ve partnered with Allpoint to provide you with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. You will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third-party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time
Early access to direct deposit funds is based on the timing in which we receive notice of impending payment from the Federal Reserve, which is typically up to two days before the scheduled payment date, but may vary.

Best for second-chance checking

Chime® Checking Account

4.8
★★★★★

Finder score

Refer a friend to Chime using your referral link, and if they complete a $200 direct deposit within 45 days of opening their new account, you both get $100.
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Chime is a great option for those with a less-than-perfect banking history. Unlike most other banks, Chime doesn’t use ChexSystems when you apply for an account, meaning your past banking history isn’t factored into your account application. Plus, unlike other second-chance checking accounts, there’s no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirements and no overdraft fees. There’s also SpotMe, a free overdraft service that “spots” you up to $200 if you overdraft — the spotted amount is automatically repaid with your next deposit. Chime also has over 60,000 ATMs in its network and a 0% foreign transaction fee. And online other digital accounts, there’s no fee to deposit cash at select Walgreen locations. But as an online banking service, Chime has no physical branches and doesn’t support joint accounts.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
ATMs: Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
Deposit: Once the retailer accepts your cash, the funds will be transferred to your Chime Checking Account. Cash deposit fees may apply if using a retailer other than Walgreens and Duane Reade.
Mobile Deposit: Mobile Check Deposit eligibility is determined by Chime in its sole discretion and may be granted based on various factors including, but not limited to, a member's direct deposit enrollment status.
Chime Savings Account: Chime Checking Account is required to be eligible for a Savings Account.
APY: The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is accurate as of May 22, 2023. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
Get Paid Early: Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
Credit Builder: The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank. To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.
SpotMe: Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.

Best for no fees

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus

4.3
★★★★★

Finder score

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The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus wins for best for no fees, as it doesn't charge anything for monthly maintenance or overdrafts. You'll also get one free domestic wire transfer per month, with additional transfers costing $20 each. Upgrade also offers cashback rewards that we typically see with credit cards, allowing you to earn 0.5% to 2% cash back on everyday purchases. The best cashback rewards rates require an active membership, meaning you must deposit at least $1,000 in direct deposits each month. Active users can earn up to 2% in cashback rewards, capped at $500 per year, and the 1% cashback rewards are unlimited. Without direct deposit, you’ll earn 1% on select purchases and 0.5% on all other purchases. Upgrade doesn’t have many negatives, but most stem from being an online banking service. There are no physical branches. However, it offers a fee-free network of 55,000 ATMs nationwide.
Upgrade is a financial technology company, not a bank.  Rewards Checking services provided by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC.  Upgrade VISA ® Debit Cards issued by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

Best for signup bonus

Chase Total Checking®

3
★★★★★

Finder score

New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and make direct deposits totaling $500 or more within 90 days of coupon enrollment.
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Chase took another win with its easy-to-earn $300 signup bonus, available to new Chase customers. To earn the bonus, you must open the account and set up direct deposit within 90 days. Most other signup bonuses offered by other banks require many more specific requirements, so in comparison, this one’s easy to attain. Aside from the bonus, Chase Total Checking has no opening deposit requirements, offers an overdraft protection program and a large ATM network. There is a monthly fee of $12 per month, but you can waive it by depositing at least $500 per month or maintaining a balance of at least $1,500. But if you frequently do wire transfers, look elsewhere because all incoming or outgoing domestic and international wire transfers incur a fee between $15 to $50.

Best for small businesses

Bluevine Business Checking

4.5
★★★★★

Finder score

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Bluevine’s Business Checking offers three plans: Standard for $0 per month, Plus for $30 per month, or Premier for $95 per month. All plans offer unlimited transactions, no overdraft fees, no foreign transaction fees and some free checks. With the free Standard plan, you can earn a high 2% APY on balances up to $250,000 by spending at least $500 per month or receiving at least $2,500 per month. If you go with a paid plan, you can earn either 3% or 4.25% APY on your balance with no requirements, and your plan’s monthly fee can get waived. Bluevine also supports many software integrations, including Quickbooks, Square, Cash App and Xero. Enjoy the high FDIC insurance up to $3 million through its bank partner Coastal Community Bank and a network of program banks. But there’s a 2.9% fee for bill pay with a credit card, and there are fees for cash deposits at Green Dot ATMs or Allpoint ATMs.

Best for rewards

Varo

4.8
★★★★★

Finder score

Existing and new customers get a $25 referral bonus when signing up for a Varo Bank account. T&C apply.
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Also offering no monthly fees or overdraft fees, Varo has one of the highest cashback rates we’ve seen, offering up to 6% on purchases with your debit card. You can view which stores offer cash back right in the Varo app and earn up to $50 in cashback rewards per month. While it doesn’t seem like that high for max earnings, you’ll only have to spend around $850 per month to get the most out of Varo’s cashback rate. Other competitors require you to spend much more to make the most of the max cashback earnings. Varo is also integrated with Zelle, and it has a large, free ATM network. With Varo, you also become eligible to open Varo’s savings account which offers a high 5% APY. But some downsides with Varo include a possible $5.95 cash deposit fee and no checkwriting privileges or wire transfers.

Best for kids

Chase First Banking

4.3
★★★★★

Finder score

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Powered by the popular kids banking service Greenlight, Chase First Banking has no monthly fees and requires no opening deposit. Children ages six to 17 can open it with a parent, and a parent must have an existing Chase checking account before applying. Parents can customize spending limits and ATM withdrawals, use chore and allowance features, and kids can request money transfers from parents for free. Also, unlike other kids’ checking accounts, this one doesn’t mature into a traditional account once the child turns 18, so they can continue using the account if they want. However, only one parent can manage the account, and kids can’t deposit checks remotely.

Best for teens

Step Visa Card

4.7
★★★★★

Finder score

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Step is a frontrunner amongst teen checking accounts: It’s full of great features, including savings rewards, cashback points and more. It stands out for its lack of monthly fees and its credit-building feature. Unlike a traditional credit card, teens can only make purchases up to the amount in their account. Each month, Step uses the funds in their account to pay off the card’s balance without charging any interest. Once they turn 18, their credit history is submitted to the three credit bureaus. Step also features an optional investing account, 5% in savings bonuses and time-sensitive cashback rewards from select merchants. However, Step’s customer service is limited as there’s no customer service phone number.

Best for high yield

MUST READ: New account creation paused
Juno is experiencing issues with its banking service provider, and has paused new account creation for the time being.

Finder Award Juno

4.8
★★★★★

Finder score

Spend with the Juno debit card and earn 5% back on your favorite brands. Be it shopping on Amazon or ordering with Doordash, you decide.
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Juno offers an interest-bearing checking account with top-tier rewards and high yields. Compared to other top checking accounts, meeting requirements to get the best perks are simple: You earn up to 5% in savings bonuses on balances between $20,000 and $250,000 and 3% APY on balances below $20,000. Cashback rewards are offered, up to 5% with select merchants. Basic membership doesn’t require you to set up direct deposits and you’ll earn up to $500 in cash back annually. Metal members with direct deposits of at least $250 per month can earn up to $6,000 annually. ATM reimbursements are also available: once per month with the basic membership and three times per month with Metal. Juno is also part of the Allpoint and MoneyPass ATM network of over 85,000 ATMs, so there aren't any fees when you use those. But some possible dealbreakers are the fact you can’t have joint accounts, and the account doesn’t support wire transfers.

Best for international travel

Capital One 360 Checking

4.6
★★★★★

Finder score

Read review
Best suited for the frequent globetrotter, Capital One’s 360 Checking account has no monthly fee, foreign transaction fees, foreign ATM fees or currency transaction fees. Capital One also features a large free network of 70,000 ATMs. This account is also interest-bearing, and while small, it offers 0.1% APY on any balance. You can also choose between three overdraft protection options. But you’ll face a large $30 outgoing domestic wire transfer fee and a $9 nonsufficent funds fee.

Methodology: How we choose the best checking accounts

Finder’s banking experts analyze more than 165 checking accounts before narrowing down the best. We factor in the following criteria:

  • $0 monthly fee, or option to waive the monthly fee
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • No strict membership requirements
  • Nationwide availability

Types of checking accounts

There are many different types of checking accounts, though most come with a standard set of features like the ability to set up direct deposit, write checks and transfer funds to other accounts.

  • Rewards checking accounts Rewarding accounts come with cashback rewards, sometimes in the form of actual cash, redeemable points or discounts on future purchases.
  • Interest-bearing checking accounts — Similar to savings accounts, there are checking accounts with APYs that pay you for holding a balance, often coming with balance, direct deposit or transaction requirements.
  • Checking accounts for international travel — For the frequent traveler, there are also checking accounts that skip foreign fees, like currency exchange or ATM fees.
  • Second-chance checking accounts — Made for those with less-than-ideal banking histories, these second-chance checking accounts typically skip reviewing your ChexSystems report, which keeps track of your banking history. However, these accounts tend to come with more fees than their traditional counterparts.
  • Free checking accounts — As the name suggests, free checking accounts often skip many of the fees you’d find with other accounts. Most lack monthly maintenance fees, paper statement fees and ATM fees.
  • Business checking accountsBusiness accounts are made for business owners who want to separate their personal and business expenses, most often for convenience and tax purposes.
  • Student checking accounts — Often for college students, student checking accounts skip monthly maintenance fees and are made to ease a young adult into learning how to manage their money.
  • Teen checking accounts — Typically for ages 13 to 17, teen checking accounts are managed by a parent or guardian and often come with spending limits.

Checking account pros

  • FDIC insured. Most banks insure your stored funds for up to $250,000.
  • Direct deposit. Most checking accounts allow for automatic deposit of work checks into your account. This removes the need to cash a check or go to the bank in person.
  • Online functionality. You can access and manage your checking account online or through the bank’s mobile app if they offer one.
  • Convenience. A checking account and debit card make it less necessary to carry cash in your wallet.

Cons

  • Fees. Checking accounts typically come with assorted fees, such as overdraft fees, ATM withdrawal fees and more.
  • Doesn’t improve credit. Spending on your debit card doesn’t improve your credit, as you aren’t borrowing money.

3 experts weigh in on what makes the best checking account

We asked three experts to share their take on which features make a checking account “the best.” Here’s what they had to say:

Financial advice – Ricardo Flores

profile pic

Ricardo Flores
Financial Advisor at The Product Analyst

Here’s my guide to clients on what makes a good checking account:

  1. Low fees. Always take a close look at the fees and whether it’s a reasonable spending. Avoid checking accounts with too much charge and those that don’t allow you to waive fees. Keep in mind that you’re choosing a checking account for convenience, and having to spend so much on fees, isn’t strategic for spending wisely.
  2. Accessibility. It’s best to find a checking account with a bank that offers a mobile app or online banking. Also check whether that bank has nearby ATMs for when you need cash. Consider your bank’s accessibility as this is a handy criteria for when errors or glitches happen. You wouldn’t want to travel miles just to fix a bank error.

Financial advice – Ben Premo

profile pic

Ben Premo
Founder & CEO of TrueFees

There are a number of things that make a good checking account: high interest, digital features and low-cost. All checking accounts serve the same general purpose — to help manage your money while keeping it safe. In my opinion the best accounts are free of monthly fees and do not require a minimum balance.

Financial advice – Andrew Thake

profile pic

Andrew Thake
Mortgage Broker at andrewthake.com

When evaluating what makes the “best” checking account, there are a few features that need to be considered based on your needs and other basic banking requirements.

First, you’ll want to verify what fees your financial institution charges you. Many banks will charge you a monthly fee if your balance is below a certain amount, so be sure to check the minimum balance requirements and how much they would charge if you would consider opening an account.

Then there are the ATM fees when accessing your money at an ATM that is not part of your bank. There are also overdraft fees. Many banks charge an overdraft fee once you’ve exceeded your limit. This is something else to be cautious about and understand your financial institution’s policy regarding this.

Finally, an essential feature that needs to be highly considered is whether the financial institution offers high-interest rates. However, most banks that have high rates will have a high minimum balance fee.

Therefore, if you would like, you can have your money split across several bank accounts. This can allow you to save in one account with high-interest rates while having regular access to your money with the other where the minimum monthly balance fee is low.

What do I need to open a checking account?

In most cases, you’ll need the following information and documentation to apply for a checking account online or in person:

  • Name and contact information
  • Social Security Number or ITIN
  • Government-issued ID, such as driver’s license
  • Proof of address
  • Opening deposit, if required

Should I have more than one checking account?

It’s not usually necessary for most people, but there’s no limit to how many checking accounts you can have. If you do decide to have more than one, just watch out for monthly fees. And if you don’t have at least two checking accounts, it may be a good idea to open another in these situations:

  1. You’re storing more than $250,000. Banks are typically FDIC-insured for up to $250,000 per account. If you have more funds than that and you want to protect it, you’ll want to open a second checking account with another bank.
  2. Budgeting. It may be helpful to have separate debit cards for budgeting purposes. For example, one debit card can be used for food and family essentials and another for entertainment purchases.
  3. To separate spending goals. While you could have multiple checking accounts to keep your spending goals separate, a high-yield savings account might be a more ideal option as your money can accrue over time with the power of compound interest.
  4. You’re hitched. It’s common for spouses or life parents to each have their own checking account, and a shared, joint account. This allows spouses to share finances, but also keep some money separate.

What if I’m denied a checking account?

If you apply for a checking account and you’re rejected, you have a few options.

First, find out why you were rejected and see if you can provide additional information or verification so that the bank approves you. If you were rejected due to your Chexsystems report, which tracks your negative banking history such as unpaid fees or overdrafts, paying off your unpaid fees can help clean up your record. Your other option is to apply at a different bank or open a second-chance account. Second-chance accounts typically skip reviewing your banking history, so you may have a better chance of qualifying.

4 checking account alternatives

A checking account may not be the best fit if you’re looking to grow your money. If you’re thinking a checking account may not be right for you, here are a few alternatives to consider:

  1. Money market accounts. A money market account is like a checking account. It comes with a debit card and check-writing privileges. But it has features that encourage you to save. For example, the Discover® Money Market offers a higher interest rate at up to 4.05%, which is much higher than the rates you’d find with a checking account.
  2. Digital bank accounts. Most digital banks offer all-in-one accounts designed for saving and spending. Many, such as Varo, come with additional perks like early deposits and cashback rewards.
  3. Cash management accounts. A cash management account offers a lot of the same functionality of a traditional bank account, though they’re linked to brokerages.
  4. Prepaid debit cards. Similar to a second-chance checking account, many prepaid cards support direct deposit and ATM withdrawals and may be a good option if you can’t open a regular checking account. But they usually come with hefty or unavoidable fees.

Recap: Best checking accounts

Compare other checking accounts

Narrow down top checking accounts by rates and minimum opening deposit to find the best for your budget and financial goals. Select Compare for up to four products to see their benefits side by side. And if you want a broader look at your options, compare checking accounts with multiple providers.

1 - 5 of 25
Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Offer
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Score: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
$0 per month
$0
4.60% on balances of $0+
0.50% on balances of $0+
1.20% on balances of $0+
Get up to $300 cash bonus with qualifying direct deposit. Terms apply. This offer is available until December 31, 2024.
Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Cash Card by Cash App
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cash Card by Cash App
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Step Black Card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Step Black Card
From $0 per month
$0
5.00% on balances of $0 to $1,000,000
PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select
Finder Score: 3.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select
$25 per month
(can be waived)
$0
0.01%
Earn $400 when you open a new PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select and establish a direct deposit of at least $5,000+ to your Spend account in the first 60 days.
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To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Holly Jennings as part of our fact-checking process.
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Written by

Editor, Banking

Bethany Hickey is the banking editor and personal finance expert at Finder, specializing in banking, lending, insurance, and crypto. Bethany’s expertise in personal finance has garnered recognition from esteemed media outlets, such as Nasdaq, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GOBankingRates, SuperMoney, AOL and Newsweek. Her articles offer practical financial strategies to Americans, empowering them to make decisions that meet their financial goals. Her past work includes articles on generational spending and saving habits, lending, budgeting and managing debt. Before joining Finder, she was a content manager where she wrote hundreds of articles and news pieces on auto financing and credit repair for CarsDirect, Auto Credit Express and The Car Connection, among others. Bethany holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan-Flint, and was poetry editor for the university’s Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine. See full bio

Bethany's expertise
Bethany has written 398 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal finance
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