Get our weekly newsletter for the latest in money news, credit card offers + more ways to save
This article was reviewed by Marguerita Cheng, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and award-winning advocate for ethical financial planning for over 20 years.
The best high yield checking account offers interest without giving up easy access to your money. But unlike savings accounts, they are more likely to come with monthly fees. We researched over 100 interest bearing checking accounts to find the best accounts with low fees, competitive APYs, nationwide availability and low minimum balance requirements.
What’s changed in 2021? We added OnJuno to our best high-interest checking account list because it has minimal fees and earns 2.15% APY on balances up to $30,000.
14 best high-yield checking accounts
Compare the best interest bearing checking accounts using this interactive table. Sort the columns by APY, minimum deposit to open and fees to find the right account for you.
Closer look at the best high-interest checking accounts
Take a deeper look at the best high-interest checking accounts by comparing their pros and cons.
Highest APY. Earn up to 4.09% APY on the first $10,000 in your account when you meet certain activity requirements.
No monthly fees. Even with its high APY, this account has no monthly fees.
ATM fee reimbursements. Consumers Credit Union reimburses you for all non-network ATM fees when you meet certain activity requirements.
Cap on APY. You'll only earn up to 4.09% APY on the first $10,000 in your account. After that, you earn 0.2% on balances between $10,000.01 and $25,000, and 0.1% on balances above $25,000.01.
ATM fee refund requirements. You'll need to meet all the requirements to earn 3.09% APY if you want to take advantage of non-network ATM reimbursements
Mandatory membership. Because CCU is a credit union, you'll need to pay a one-time $5 fee to Consumers Cooperative Association and open a Membership Share/Savings account before you can open this checking account.
Introductory APY. You'll earn 0.4% APY the first year you open your account. After that, it drops down to 0.25%.
Price protection. If you make a purchase with your High Yield debit card and the price goes down within 60 days, TIAA will reimburse you the difference, up to $250.
Return protection. If you make a purchase with your High Yield debit card and the merchant won't accept the return within 90 days of purchase, TIAA will refund you up to $250.
$100 opening deposit. You'll need at least $100 to open a TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking account.
Miscellaneous fees. There aren't any monthly fees, but expect to pay $10 for cashier's checks, $10 for returned deposit items, $25 to send domestic wires, $30 to $65 for foreign wire transfers and more.
How to choose the best high-yield checking account
Before you choose an interest bearing checking account, compare these factors to find the best one for you:
Minimum deposit. It’s not uncommon for interest-bearing checking accounts to have opening deposits of $100 or more.
Fees. Read the fine print to learn any conditions you’ll need to meet to earn your APY, like minimum balances or direct deposits. Also, check fees for ATMs, overdrafts and foreign transactions.
Customer support. Review the bank’s customer support hours to make sure someone’s available if you need it.
Features. Some high-interest checking accounts come with budgeting tools, auto-save features and even cash back on debit card purchases.
ATM network. See if your bank has a nationwide ATM network or if you’ll be limited to a certain area. Some banks even offer reimbursements for non-network ATMs.
Alternatives to high-yield checking accounts
If you’re not completely set on a high-yield checking account, here are some similar alternatives to explore:
Money market accounts. The best money market accounts come with checkwriting privileges and a debit card so you can access your money on the fly. But they also have a competitive APY so you can quickly grow your savings.
Digital bank accounts. Don’t want to deal with separate checking and savings accounts? Find a digital bank that lets you manage all your money in one place. Popular options like PNC Virtual Wallet and Aspiration have combo accounts designed for spending and saving.
High-yield savings account. If you don’t plan on spending the money you keep in your high-yield checking account, then a high-yield savings account is a good alternative. They often have higher interest rates and lower fees.
What are the pros and cons of interest-bearing checking accounts?
High-interest checking accounts have the same FDIC insurance as other bank accounts and come with these benefits and drawbacks:
Interest on your balance. Earning money with little effort is a plus — especially when most checking accounts don’t offer it.
Easy access to your money. Set aside the funds you need to pay regular bills and funnel anything that’s left to your long-term savings account.
Low interest rates. APYs are often lower than your typical savings options, so don’t expect to rely on these accounts for long-term savings.
Minimums required. If you can’t maintain at least the minimum, you may end up paying an assortment of fees — or find you’re excluded from earning the interest you sign up for.
Yes, in many cases high-yield checking accounts are worth it because they earn interest and give you the freedom to access your money whenever you need it. But some high-yield checking accounts only pay interest if you meet certain conditions or if your balance is below a certain amount. If you don’t meet those conditions or your balance is too high, a high-yield savings account or money market account might be a better fit for you.
Do banks or credit unions offer higher-yield checking accounts?
In general, credit unions offer higher-yield checking accounts than banks do. However, in many cases, credit unions require you to meet more criteria in order to earn their best APYs. For instance, you may need to make a certain number of purchases in a month to qualify for the best APY, or you must have direct deposit set up. Banks that offer high-yield checking accounts usually won’t require you to jump through as many hoops as credit unions do.
How do interest-bearing checking accounts work?
A high-yield checking account allows you to earn interest on your balance but typically at a lower rate than you’ll find with a savings account. Because the rate’s lower, it won’t replace traditional or high-yield savings, but a little growth each month can’t hurt.
Read the fine print of your account’s terms and conditions for minimum deposits or balances required to trigger the interest rate.
A high-yield checking account can earn you a little extra on your balance intended for regular payments. But it doesn’t replace a savings account for long-term savings.
Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and investments. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Cassidy enjoys educating people about financial services, exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.