Nationwide Advantage checking review
Earn up to 0.9% while avoiding pesky fees
Announced in October 2020, the Nationwide Advantage checking account has no fees and earns up to 0.9% APY. But to earn the highest APY, you’ll need to meet strict deposit and purchasing requirements.
$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open
Michael Benninger is a personal finance writer at Finder. He is a former credit analyst and longtime freelancer whose articles have been published by Intuit, Blinkist, Business Insider and the Los Angeles Times. Michael graduated from Rowan University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. When he’s not writing, you can usually find him watching movies, enjoying the outdoors or boarding planes to distant destinations.
The Nationwide Advantage checking account by Axos offers an above-average APY, but only if you deposit more than $1,000 into your account each month and make at least 10 purchases of $3 or more using your ATM card. Nationwide lacks many of the fees that other banking institutions commonly charge, but you’ll find a better APY with Axos’ Rewards Checking account if you’re willing to meet the same stringent deposit and purchasing requirements. Or continue exploring other interest-bearing checking accounts if this account isn’t the right fit for you.
What are the benefits of a Nationwide Advantage checking account?
With a Nationwide Advantage account, you’ll enjoy:
- Competitive APY. Earn up to 0.9% as long as you deposit more than $1,000 and use your debit card to make at least 10 purchases of $3 or more every month. Though this is a checking account, this rate is higher than most savings accounts we’ve seen today.
- Fewer fees. With this account, you won’t pay monthly fees to maintain your account or for overdrafts.
- No minimum balance. There’s no minimum balance requirement to meet the APY.
What to watch out for
Before you open a Nationwide Advantage checking account, keep these drawbacks in mind:
- Low APY if requirements aren’t met. If you don’t meet the strict APY requirements, you’ll only earn .45%.
- Required opening deposit. You’ll need $50 to open the account. You can find other checking accounts with opening deposits as low as $0 to $25.
- No branches. Nationwide is an online-only institution, so you can’t speak with a representative in person.
- No ATM reimbursements. While other Nationwide checking accounts include ATM reimbursement fees, the Nationwide Advantage checking account doesn’t.
Nationwide’s ATM network and fees
Use your Nationwide Advantage Visa debit card at more than 80,000 ATMs across the nation. Unlike other Nationwide checking accounts, you won’t get reimbursed for any ATM operator fees you incur.
Compare with other checking accounts
How do I open a Nationwide Advantage checking account?
Open the Nationwide Advantage checking account in eight steps:
- Navigate to the Nationwide by Axos Bank website.
- Select Checking in the main menu, then choose Advantage Checking.
- Select Open an Account. If prompted to open a savings account, select No, Thank You if you don’t want to open a savings account at the same time.
- Select whether you’re a New Customer or an Existing Customer.
- Enter your name, email address and phone number, then create a username and password.
- Photo capture your ID or enter your information manually. Click Save & Continue.
- Provide details of how you want to fund the account and click Save & Continue.
- Review your details, read and accept the disclosures and submit to apply.
You’ll need to meet the following criteria to open an account:
- At least 18 years old
- Valid US address — P.O. Box not accepted
- US citizen or resident alien
- $50 opening deposit
Have the following handy when opening the account:
- Social Security number
- US driver’s license or state-issued ID
How do I deposit or withdraw my money?
The only way to withdraw money from a Nationwide Advantage checking account is by using an ATM. Axos Bank’s website features an ATM locator that can point you toward the nearest locations. You can deposit money into your account in three ways:
- Mobile app. Use the Axos Bank for Nationwide app to make mobile deposits for free.
- Green Dot Network. Use any Green Dot Network to load cash onto your debit card. Green Dot establishments include 7-Eleven, ACE Cash Express, CVS, Dollar General, Kroger, Rite Aid Safeway, Walgreens and Walmart. Axos doesn’t charge an ATM fee, but some retailers may charge you $4.95.
- Wire transfers. There’s no charge for incoming transfers, but you’ll pay $35 for outgoing domestic transfers and $45 for international transfers.
What other checking options does Nationwide offer?
In addition to the new Advantage account, Nationwide offers five checking accounts:
- My Checking. Enjoy no fees and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements with Nationwide’s My Checking account.
- Interest Checking. Earn up to 0.4% APY and get a free box of checks upon account opening.
- Direct Checking. Open this account with as little as $0 and enjoy up to $30 in ATM fee reimbursements each month.
- First Checking. Teens earn 0.25% APY with this joint checking account and no fees.
- Business Checking. This account is for owners of small- to medium-size businesses.