Best high-yield checking accounts for March 2023
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A high-yield checking account provides the best of both worlds, allowing you to handle everyday financial transactions while earning a competitive rate of return. This type of account is convenient for anyone who prefers to keep all their money in one place, rather than separating it into checking and savings accounts.
Many high-yield checking accounts impose requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to earn the high rate of return. It’s important to find one with manageable requirements and that won’t charge fees that would eat away at your balance.
What is a high-yield checking account?
A high-yield checking account is like other interest-bearing checking accounts, but it pays a better rate of return. Requirements for a high-yield checking account may include maintaining a set minimum balance, receiving direct deposit into the account, or performing a minimum number of debit transactions each month.
Not meeting a high-yield checking account’s set requirements could result in your earning a lower annual percentage yield (APY).
Bankrate’s picks for the top high-yield checking accounts
- Presidential Bank Advantage Checking Account: 4.25% APY; $500 minimum opening deposit
- Lake Michigan Credit Union Max Checking Account: 3.00% APY; $0 minimum balance
- Heritage Bank eCentive Checking Account: 2.02% APY; $100 minimum opening deposit
- Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account: Up to 1.25% APY; $50 minimum opening deposit
- Quontic Bank High-Interest Checking Account: 1.10% APY; $100 minimum opening deposit
A closer look at the top high-yield checking accounts
Presidential Bank, Advantage Checking Account: 4.25% APY; $500 minimum opening deposit
Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Presidential Bank operates 10 branches and offers accounts nationwide online. To earn the Advantage Checking Account APY, you’ll need to meet requirements regarding direct deposits and electronic withdrawals.
Portion of balance that earns high APY: The 4.25 percent APY will be earned on the portion of your balance up to $25,000. An APY of 3.25 percent will be earned on any portion over that amount.
Direct deposit requirements: You’ll need to set up direct deposits of $500 or more from your payroll, Social Security, pension or annuity payments.
Electronic withdrawal requirements: At least seven withdrawals need to take place each month through ATMs, bill payments, ACH or POS.
What to watch out for: If the direct deposit and electronic withdrawal requirements are not met in a given month, the rate earned will be only 0.10 percent.
Lake Michigan Credit Union, Max Checking Account: 3.00% APY, $0 minimum balance
Lake Michigan Credit Union makes it easy for anyone to join. It operates more than 50 branches, and accounts can also be opened online. You’ll qualify for the Max Checking Account’s APY when you meet requirements regarding direct deposits, debit purchases, number of account logins and electronic statements.
Portion of balance that earns high APY: Up to $15,000 of your balance will earn the 3.00 percent APY. Any amount beyond that will not earn interest.
Direct deposit requirements: One or more direct deposits each month
Debit card transaction requirements: At least 10 debit card purchases per month
Login requirements: At least 4 logins to online or mobile banking
Electronic statement requirements: You’ll need to be enrolled in eStatements.
What to watch out for: The Max Checking Account doesn’t pay any interest on the portion of your balance above $15,000.
Heritage Bank, eCentive Checking Account: 2.02% APY, $100 minimum opening deposit
Employee-owned Heritage Bank is based in Spicer, Minnesota, and offers checking accounts, savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). To qualify for the eCentive Checking APY, you’ll need to meet requirements regarding direct deposit, debit transactions and electronic statements.
Portion of balance that earns high APY: You’ll earn 2.02 percent on balances of up to $25,000. Portions greater than $25,000 earn 0.14 percent APY. Accounts that don’t meet requirements will earn an APY of 0.05 percent.
Direct deposit requirements: One or more direct deposit or ACH transactions per month
Debit card transaction requirements: At least $500 in debit purchases in a month
Electronic statements requirement: You must be signed up for eStatements.
What to watch out for: If you close the account within six months of opening it, you’ll be charged a $30 fee.
Axos Bank, Rewards Checking Account: Up to 1.25% APY, $50 minimum opening deposit
Axos Bank is an online bank that offers a full suite of deposit products, including several checking accounts. The Rewards Checking Account works differently from many other high-yield checking accounts in that it provides separate interest-earning opportunities. If you meet the requirements for all of them, you’ll earn a combined APY of 1.25 percent.
Portion of balance that earns high APY: You can earn up to 1.25 percent on balances up to $50,000, and no interest is earned on any portion of your balance greater than that amount.
Direct deposit requirement: Monthly direct deposits totaling $1,500 or more will allow you to qualify for a rate of 0.40 percent. The direct deposit requirement must be met in order to qualify for any additional interest-earning opportunities.
Debit card transaction requirements: Making ten debit purchases of $3 or more per month will add 0.30 percent to your total APY. Alternatively, you could sign up for account aggregation in “Personal Finance Manager” during online banking.
Investment portfolio daily balance: Maintaining an average balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Invest Managed Portfolios account will add 0.20 percent to your Rewards Checking Account APY.
Self Directed Trading account daily balance: Maintaining an average daily balance of $2,500 in an Axos Invest Self Directed Trading account will add 0.20 percent to your Rewards Checking Account APY.
Loan payment from account: Using your Rewards Checking Account to make your monthly Axos consumer loan payment will add 0.15 percent to your Rewards Checking Account APY.
What to watch out for: Some savers may find one or more of the APY-earning opportunities difficult to qualify for.
Quontic Bank, High-Interest Checking Account: 1.10% APY, $100 minimum opening deposit
Quontic Bank is a digital bank that offers competitive rates and low minimum deposit requirements on its deposit products. The bank’s High-Interest Checking Account earns a lower yield than some other high-interest checking accounts, but the requirements are also somewhat easier to meet.
Portion of balance that earns high APY: Entire balance
Debit card transactions requirement: At least 10 debit card purchases of $10 or more per statement cycle
What to watch out for: Not meeting the required debit card purchases will result in an APY of just 0.01 percent.
What to look for in a high-yield checking account
If you’re looking for the absolute best APY in a checking account, you’ll often find this from an online bank or a credit union. Like most savings accounts, interest-bearing checking accounts earn a yield that’s variable, meaning the bank can increase or decrease the rate at its discretion.
When you’re in the market for an account that pays a high yield, it helps to also find one that doesn’t impose fees that eat into your balance. Common such charges include monthly service fees, out-of-network ATM charges, and overdraft or nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees. It pays to find an account that either doesn’t charge such fees or makes them easy to avoid by meeting certain requirements.
Access to ATMs
Bank customers often get hit with fees for using ATMs that aren’t owned by their bank or in their bank’s network. If you frequently use ATMs, you’ll want to go with a bank that provides convenient access to in-network ATMs.
Some banks also reimburse you for some or all surcharges you receive from out-of-network banks for using their ATMs.
High-yield checking account FAQs
Often, only a certain portion of the balance will earn the high APY. For instance, an account may earn a high APY for balances up to $25,000, and the portion of the balance above $25,000 will earn a lower APY (or no interest at all).
That varies from bank to bank, but many banks will revert to paying a lower APY on accounts where the monthly requirements are not met.
Be sure to read the fine print carefully to make sure you’re able to qualify for the high APY. Common requirements include receiving direct deposits, making a minimum number of debit purchases per month and signing up for electronic statements.
Methodology for Bankrate’s Best Checking Accounts
Bankrate’s editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is fact-checked to ensure accuracy. Our editorial and research teams analyzed more than 100 widely available financial institutions, made up of the biggest banks and credit unions, as well as a number of popular online banks.
To find the best checking accounts, Bankrate’s editorial team analyzed various factors, such as fees, minimum balance requirements and annual percentage yield (APY) offered. All of the checking accounts listed are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) at banks or by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) at National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) credit unions.
Account minimums, monthly service fees and ATM charges are some important things to consider when choosing a checking account. It’s easy to find a checking account that doesn’t charge fees and has minimal balance requirements. Many online banks offer them, and they are a good fit for many consumers.
Choosing a bank or credit union that’s backed by the federal government will ensure your money is safe. Be sure to follow FDIC and NCUA limits and guidelines.
Bankrate’s editorial team chose the criteria, developed a scoring system to determine the best checking accounts, and used its knowledge of financial services and banking experience to choose the best ways to rate them.
Banks we monitor
These financial institutions are featured in our CD rate research: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amerant Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank5 Connect, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, Bask Bank, BB&T, BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union), Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Bread Savings (formerly Comenity Direct), BrioDirect, Capital One Bank, Chase Bank, CIBC USA, CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank (Rhode Island), Comerica Bank, Customers Bank, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, Emigrant Direct, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First Internet Bank, First Technology Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, Golden 1 Credit Union, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, Huntington National Bank, Investors Bank, Investors eAccess, KeyBank, Limelight Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, MySavingsDirect, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC Bank, PenFed Credit Union, PNC Bank, Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, State Employees’ Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union, Suntrust Bank, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, UFB Direct, Union Bank (California), U.S. Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank, VyStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.