Most consumers stick with the same checking account for many years, potentially missing out on an opportunity to earn rewards through a different checking account.

Rewards checking accounts have emerged as an enticing option for individuals seeking more than just a basic checking account. These accounts provide customers with various ways to earn rewards and maximize their financial gains while offering the security and convenience of a checking account.

One of the most common ways rewards checking accounts offer benefits is through competitive annual percentage yields (APYs). While most traditional checking accounts offer minimal interest rates, rewards checking accounts may pay APYs that are close to what you could earn on a competitive savings account.

But APYs aren’t the only type of benefit. Other forms of rewards might include:

  • Cash back
  • Discounts on purchases
  • Donations for every purchase
  • Points for specific purposes, such as travel rebates

Here are the best rewards checking accounts for a variety of benefits.

Best for cash back: LendingClub Rewards Checking

If you want to get rewarded for spending money as you would every day, LendingClub Rewards Checking offers unlimited 1 percent cash back on qualified purchases. To be eligible for the cash-back advantage, you must either receive $1,000 in direct deposits into the account or maintain a balance of at least $1,000.

LendingClub Rewards Checking comes with minimal fees. There’s no monthly maintenance fee, overdraft fee or incoming wire fee. Additionally, LendingClub offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.

Along with earning cash back, you’ll also earn some interest with the account. It pays a small yield that increases slightly for balances of $100,000 or more.

Note that the cash-back feature kicks in once the account has been open for at least 30 days.

For consumers seeking out lower barriers to earn cash back, Discover Bank’s Checking account might be an alternative worth considering. The account comes with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirement. It earns 1 percent cash back on up to $3,000 in purchases per month, but there’s no special requirements to be eligible for the reward.

Best benefits for the environment: Aspiration Spend & Save

Rewards checking accounts can benefit the planet as well as consumers. Aspiration is a fintech with a mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2030, and it offers an environmentally focused Spend & Save account. The account is free, though customers can opt to pay a $7.99 monthly fee for enhanced benefits.

The Aspiration debit card is made from recycled plastic. With the free account, you get 3 to 5 percent cash back on purchases made at eco-friendly businesses. Plus, you can earn interest on any balance.

Aspiration’s Plant Your Change program allows you to fund the planting of a tree with every debit card purchase by opting to round the purchase up to the nearest dollar.

Although Aspiration is not a bank, funds in the Spend & Save account receive FDIC insurance because they are held at partner FDIC-insured banks.

Best blended account: SoFi Checking & Savings

SoFi’s Checking & Savings account is an all-in-one bank account that comes with the accessible features of a checking account and the high APY of a savings account.

One added reward of the SoFi Checking & Savings account is a high cash-back potential: Customers can earn up to 15 percent in cash back at select local retailers.

Account holders earn the same APY across all funds unless they set up direct deposit into the account, in which case the savings portion of the account earns a highly competitive rate. There’s no minimum balance requirement to open the account, and a number of common bank fees are not charged by SoFi, including monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees and dormancy fees.

There’s also an option to enroll in the SoFi Insured Deposit Program, a unique offering that spreads your funds across multiple partnered banks to maximize FDIC insurance coverage. With the program, you can get up to $2 million in deposits insured.

Best for special discounts: Mountain America Credit Union’s MyStyle Checking

Mountain America Credit Union’s MyStyle Checking is a rewards checking account that specializes in offering discounts and access to various services.

There’s no minimum to open the checking account and the $7 monthly fee is waived when you make at least 20 debit and/or credit card transactions each month. It can also be waived if you maintain at least $10,000 in the account.

The credit union offers discounts for local and national merchants, which can easily be accessed via smartphone or by printing out coupons from the online banking portal. Members also earn points for certain banking activities, such as performing a certain number of transactions or utilizing online bill pay, and those points can be redeemed for rewards like travel rebates and gift cards.

Other services you get with a MyStyle Checking account include access to no-cost telehealth visits, identity monitoring to prevent identity theft and loan rate discounts.

To become a member of Mountain America Credit Union, you must either work for a registered Select Employer Group or live in certain Utah counties.

Best for high APY: Presidential Bank Advantage Checking

Available online and in branches, Presidential Bank’s Advantage Checking account offers a highly competitive APY. To earn the APY, customers must meet a few requirements, including:

  • Have at least $500 directly deposited into the account each month
  • Make at least seven electronic withdrawals
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $500.

If those requirements aren’t met, account holders will still earn interest, albeit at a much lower rate. The rate is also somewhat lower if the account balance exceeds $25,000.

Alongside its high interest rate, the account comes with a free first order of checks, up to $8 in ATM fee rebates per month and no monthly service charge so long as the minimum balance is maintained. If the balance falls below $500, there’s a $5 monthly fee. Note that there’s a $3 charge for writing a check against the account after the first three checks you write each month.

Best for subscription rebates: Citigold Checking

With a Citigold or Citigold Private Client relationship account, customers can enroll in Citibank’s unique Subscription Rebate Program. The program offers $200 in annual rebates for Citigold customers and $400 for Citigold Private Client customers on a variety of subscription services, including Amazon Prime, Hulu and Costco.

There’s no monthly fee for either of the account packages, though they have higher barriers to entry. To be eligible for Citigold, you must maintain a minimum balance of $200,000 across linked accounts (including deposit, retirement and investment accounts). The Citigold Private Client package requires at least $1 million across accounts. Two months after opening the account, Citi will send an invitation for the Subscription Rebate Program.

Citigold customers get unlimited ATM fee rebates for using out-of-network ATMs, complimentary financial planning services and waived fees for incoming wire transfers.

Best for Bitcoin rewards: Quontic Bitcoin Rewards Checking

Whether you’re new to cryptocurrency investing or are seasoned in crypto and looking to grow your stockpile, Quontic Bank offers a unique rewards account that earns Bitcoin, a highly popular type of cryptocurrency.

For each debit card purchase made against the account, 1.5 percent of the purchase amount will accrue a dollar reward, which is then used to purchase bitcoin on your behalf. The earned bitcoin is stored with an account at NYDIG, a bitcoin company. Note that while regular funds in the checking account receive standard FDIC insurance, the NYDIG account and bitcoin earnings are not insured.

The Bitcoin Rewards Checking account requires $500 to open, but there’s no minimum balance requirement to maintain the account or be eligible for rewards. The account charges no monthly maintenance fee, overdraft fees nor incoming wire transfer fees.

Bottom line

By combining the convenience of day-to-day banking with the allure of high APYs, cash-back rewards or discounts on purchases, rewards checking accounts take customer relationships to new heights.

The best checking account for your needs will offer benefits you qualify for and minimums that you can comfortably meet. If you’re simply looking to earn a competitive return on your checking balance, compare interest-bearing checking accounts. But it’s also worth considering other types of benefits you can get with a rewards checking account beyond APYs.