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The Best High-Yield Checking Accounts of 2022

Let the money in your checking account work for you by earning interest.

Compare the high-yield checking accounts that offer the market-leading interest rates so that your deposits can grow faster.

Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Best Features:

  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee refunds
  • ATM reimbursements of up to $15/month
  • High rates
  • No monthly fee

The Axos Bank Rewards Checking account encourages customers to fulfill a few requirements in order to earn a very attractive interest.

In addition to having no monthly maintenance fee, the account also provides unlimited refunds of ATM fees charged by any domestic ATM.

Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking

Best Features:

  • Combination of low-cost features with high rates
  • ATM reimbursements of up to $15/month
  • High rates
  • No monthly fee

The Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account joins the group of high-yield checking accounts that are also extremely low in cost.

This includes no monthly fee and up to $15 per month in ATM fee reimbursements. The benefits are combined with highly competitive rates and low minimum balances ($100 to earn APY).

To sweeten the deal, customers can also earn rewards for using their debit card. All of this together makes this one seriously great checking account.

High-Yield vs. Standard Checking Accounts

When you put money into an account, you would obviously like to see those funds grow over time.

So why settle for a standard, low-interest checking account instead of choosing a high-interest option?

The answer depends on your individual financial situation.

If you prefer having quick access to your money, keeping account balances low, and don’t mind maintaining a high level of banking activity, high-interest checking could be for you.

If you want to keep your balance high and leave your account alone for the most part, maintaining a standard checking account might be a better idea.

Higher APY, Greater Demands

At first glance, a checking account with a higher APY might seem like the obvious choice.

Interest rates on high-yield checking accounts can be nearly as good as a high-yield savings account.

There are a couple of strings attached to high-yield accounts.

First, you are generally required to keep your account balance fairly low.

This is because banks do not want to have you deposit $50,000 in a checking account and make them deliver 6% interest on such a high balance.

Maximum balances on high-interest checking accounts typically run between $10,000 and $50,000, with some exceptions.

Second, you’ll need to be an active customer.

To offer such high-interest rates, banks need to earn the interchange fees that come from debit card transfers and send traffic to their online products.

Many of these reward checking accounts require 10 or more debit card transactions per month, use of direct deposit service and a certain number of online bill pay transactions each month.

Meeting those requirements might not be a problem if you frequently pay with a card and already use online banking services, but for many people who are accustomed to paying with cash and banking traditionally, making frequent transactions could be inconvenient.

Traditional Checking Often Offers Convenience

While standard checking accounts’ interest rates pale in comparison to those offered by high-yield accounts, low-interest options do typically come with some perks.

National, brick-and-mortar institutions are more likely to offer low-interest accounts. Compared to online banks, these standard banks are more likely to have better accessibility.

Nationwide banks offer multiple branches and ATMs and correspondingly high levels of customer service.

Because checking accounts tend to need more hands-on attention than CDs or savings accounts (ATM withdrawals, check writing, deposits and bill payment), having a branch nearby can be handy.

How to Choose a High-Yield Checking Account

As a checking account often functions as the central hub of one’s personal finances, it’s important to look at the various features of any particular checking account.

Interest rate

Clearly, you’d want to earn the most interest on your money.

So, it’s no surprise that a high interest rate is the biggest attraction for a high-yield checking account.

Minimums or required activity

A high-yield checking account may require certain types of activity or a minimum balance in order to earn the advertised interest rate.

For example, you may need to:

  • Maintain a minimum monthly balance
  • Make a number of debit card purchases per month
  • Receive monthly direct deposits of a certain amount
  • Set up automatic transfers

If you’re not able to meet these requirements, you may earn a lower interest rate or no interest at all.

Account fees

As a type of checking account, you still need to be wary of costly account fees that could negate your interest earned on a high-yield checking account.

Most commonly, you’ll have to look for any monthly maintenance charges. Ideally, you have options to waive the fee on a monthly basis.

Other account fees, such as overdraft fees and wire transfer fees, may be of concern to you if you find yourself using these services often.

Be Prepared for Tax Time

Interest earnings in deposit accounts are subject to income taxes -- the same applies to interest earned in a high-yield checking account.

At the end of the calendar year, you’ll receive IRS Form 1099-INT. Be on the lookout for this document for the tax filing season.

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