Best banks for early direct deposit — May 2021

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Everyone looks forward to payday.

Direct deposit makes getting paid fast and easy since the money just appears in your bank account. Banks that offer early direct deposit allow you to access these funds up to two days sooner than traditional banks.

For instance, customers at a bank that offers early direct deposit might receive their paycheck through direct deposit on a Wednesday, while those with a traditional bank account are likely to see their money available no sooner than Friday, the normal payday.

Early direct deposit was recently highlighted after the third stimulus package was signed on March 11. The next day, Varo Bank said it had already processed $150 million in stimulus checks for tens of thousands of its customers. Meanwhile, some of the largest banks in America took several days longer to process stimulus money and distribute it to customers’ accounts.

Getting expedited access to a direct deposit can help you avoid late payments on bills. Here are some of the top banks where you’ll find this helpful feature.

The best banks for early direct deposit in May 2021

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Axos Bank

Axos Bank’s Essential Checking account has direct deposit express, which allows its account holders to be paid up to two days earlier than they would at traditional banks.

This account also doesn’t charge its customers overdraft fees or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees. This, combined with early direct deposit, could help you avoid paying these expensive traditional bank fees.

The average NSF fee is $33.47, according to Bankrate’s 2020 checking account and ATM fee study published in October 2020.


Chime’s Spending Account doesn’t have monthly maintenance fees and you’re not required to keep a minimum balance. The account lets you get your direct deposit up to two days earlier than at traditional banks.

The account forces you to save by rounding up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and then transferring that money into a Chime Savings Account.

You’ll be able to access more than 38,000 surcharge-free ATM with this account.

Chime also allows its customers to overdraft their account by up to $100 without an overdraft fee. Chime also doesn’t have foreign transaction fees.

Chime accounts are FDIC-insured through its partners, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A. according to Chime’s website.


Current customers can get their direct deposit up to two days faster than those banking at a traditional bank. At Current, account holders can get cash back and earn points. You’ll also have access to 24/7 member support in its app. But phone customer service is only available during the week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.

This account allows you to deposit cash at 60,000 stores.

Freedom First

Freedom First is a National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit union that offers early direct deposit to its members. You’ll receive your direct deposit up to two days early at this credit union.

It has three checking accounts: Freedom Checking, Freedom Cash and Freedom Stash.

The Freedom Stash Perks allows members with more than $5,000 per month in direct deposits to earn a competitive yield on up to a $10,000 balance. Meeting that direct deposit requirement also gives members four ATM fee refunds per month.

Living, working, worshiping, attending school or owning a business in Botetourt County, Craig County, Franklin County, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem or Vinton are some ways to become a member of Freedom First in Virginia.

OneUnited Bank

OneUnited Bank is the first Black internet bank. It’s also the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S.

BankBlack Early Pay allows you to get paid two days earlier than you would at traditional banks.

The BankBlack Checking account has no monthly service as long as you receive a direct deposit and make 10 debit card purchase transactions. BankBlack Checking gives customers access to more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs and only requires $50 to open the account.

Radius Bank

The Rewards Checking account lets Radius Bank customers receive their direct deposit up to two days early. Radius Bank makes your direct deposit available as soon as your employer submits its payroll file to the Federal Reserve.

You’ll also receive unlimited ATM fee rebates with this account and Radius Bank never charges its customers to use an out-of-network ATM.

Rewards Checking customers will also receive their first order of checks free.

Varo Bank

Varo Bank gives its customers access to their direct deposit up to two days early.

Varo Advance allows customers with accounts active and opened for at least 30 days to get up to $100 through Varo Bank’s app. Fees that are significantly lower than the average overdraft fee do apply.

The Varo Bank account also gives you access to more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs and it doesn’t have foreign transaction fees.

Bankrate’s best banks for early direct deposit in May 2021

Bank Checking account name APY Monthly fee
Axos Bank Rewards Checking Up to 1.25% APY None
Chime Spending Account N/A None
Current Current account N/A None
Freedom First Freedom Stash Up to 5% APY* None***
OneUnited Bank BankBlack Checking N/A None****
Radius Bank Rewards Checking Up to 0.15% APY** None
Varo Money Bank Account N/A None

*Need $5,000 or more of monthly direct deposits each month to earn 5 percent APY on up to $10,000. Those who meet the direct deposit requirement earn 0.3 percent APY on more than $10,000 up to $1,000,000.
**0.1 percent APY on balances $2,500-$99,999.99 and 0.15 percent APY on balances of $100,000 or more.
*** You’ll need $5,000 or more in monthly direct deposits to waive the $9 fee and still earn the top APYs. Having $1,000 or more in monthly direct deposits will waive the $9 fee, but you’ll only earn 0.5 percent APY on balances up to $10,000 and 0.18 percent APY on balances above $10,000, up to $1,000,000.
**** With a monthly direct deposit and 10 debit card purchases.

Note: The APYs (Annual Percentage Yields) shown are as of April 30, 2021. Bankrate’s editorial team updates this information regularly, typically biweekly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated. The rates for some products may vary by region.

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