10 Best Rewards Checking Accounts for 2024

We all have a checking account that we use to pay bills, make purchases, and deposit our paychecks. But most checking accounts don’t earn any interest, nor do they offer benefits.

So, it may surprise you to learn that checking accounts exist that pay interest on deposits and cash back. Of course, the benefits vary depending on the bank, so we’re listing the best accounts here to help you find the best fit for your banking needs.

Note that these are not a substitute for high-yield savings accounts – think of them as an easy way to get more oomph from your spending money (without an annual fee).

Table of Contents
  1. Discover Bank Cashback Debit
  2. Axos Bank Rewards Checking
  3. SoFi Checking and Savings
  4. Upgrade Rewards Checking
  5. American Express® Rewards Checking
  6. LendingClub Bank Rewards Checking
  7. Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking 
  8. Wealthfront Cash Account
  9. Quontic Cash Rewards
  10. Which Account is Right for Me?

The best rewards checking accounts offer multiple benefits, including interest, debit card rewards, and sometimes a bank signup bonus. While comparing benefits, consider the deposit requirements and potential monthly service fees to decide if the rewards are worth it.

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

  • Rewards: Up to 1% back on debit purchases (see website for details), free paper checks, free ATM access 
  • Earn interest: None
  • Signup bonus: None
  • Minimum initial deposit: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0
Discover Bank Logo

The Discover® Cashback Debit account is an excellent option for earning 1% back on the first $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. You can also order free paper checks, which still come in handy for paying bills without fees. Official bank checks are complimentary too.

Additionally, you have access to over 60,000 surcharge-free ATMs, no monthly service fees, or minimum balance requirements. Another neat perk is using the Discover mobile app to remove your personal information from select people-search websites.

Why We Like It: The ability to earn cash back rewards on debit card purchases. No fee ATMs, complimentary paper checks, and official bank checks that will save you money if you need to write a check (it happens more often than you think).

Find out about the latest Discover® Bank promotions here.

Member FDIC.

👉 Learn more about the Discover Cashback Debit account

Axos Bank Rewards Checking

  • Rewards: Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • Earn interest: Up to 3.30% APY
  • Signup bonus: Up to $100
  • Minimum initial deposit: $50
  • Monthly service fee: $0

With the Axos Bank Rewards Checking account, you can earn a competitive interest rate of up to 3.30% APY by completing various activities.

To earn the full interest rate of 3.30% APY (as of 3/1/2023), you must do all of the following.

  • direct deposits (not including intra-bank transfers from another account) totaling $1,500 or more each month will earn 0.40%. A qualifying direct deposit is required for the remaining interest rate qualifications to apply. (and to unlock the next tiers, you must have direct deposit set up first)
  • debit card spending or Personal Finance Manager – Ten (10) point-of-sale transactions per month using your Rewards Checking Visa® Debit Card for normal everyday purchases with a minimum of $3 per transaction, or enrolling in Account Aggregation/Personal Finance Manager (PFM) will earn 0.30%;
  • Managed Portfolios – maintaining an average daily balance of at least $2,500 a month in an Axos Managed Portfolio Invest account will earn 1.00%;
  • self-directed trading – maintaining an average daily balance of at least $2,500 per month in an Axos Self Directed Trading Invest account will earn 1.00%;
  • Loan Payments – and making a monthly payment to an open Axos Bank consumer loan (commercial and business loans excluded) via transfer from your Rewards Checking account will earn a maximum of 0.60%.

New members can also earn a signup bonus worth up to $300 by joining with a promotion code. The code updates regularly, so you should check out our Axos Bank offers page for the latest details.

In addition to earning interest, you’ll enjoy unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements. The minimum initial deposit is $50, but there are no ongoing balance requirements or monthly service fees.

If earning interest isn’t a priority, the Axos Bank CashBack Checking Account is a great alternative. You can earn up to 1% back on debit card purchases and enjoy similar banking benefits. 

Why We Like It: You can earn a competitive interest rate by using the various Axos Bank features. Potentially making a signup bonus is also helpful. 

Discover the latest Axos Bank promotions.

👉 Learn more about the Axos Reward Checking account

SoFi Checking and Savings

  • Rewards: Up to 15% back on debit card purchases
  • Earn interest: 4.60% APY (unlocked with direct deposit or by depositing $5,000+ every 30 days, otherwise 1.20% APY)
  • Signup bonus: Up to $275
  • Minimum initial deposit: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0

A SoFi Checking and Savings account opens a separate checking and savings account with a handful of benefits. You will need to enroll in direct deposit to earn interest on balances and can earn a competitive rate by moving funds to your savings account. 

The checking account perks include the following:

  • Earn an interest rate of 4.60% APY (unlocked with direct deposit or by depositing $5,000+ every 30 days, otherwise 1.20% APY)
  • Earn a welcome bonus of up to $300
  • Up to 15% back at participating merchants on debit card purchases
  • Over 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs
  • No-Fee Overdraft Protection
  • 2-Day-Early Paycheck

You can open an individual or joint account, and the minimum age to join is 18. There are no fees or balance requirements. SoFi also offers other financial services, including loan refinancing, investment accounts, and career coaching.

You may be eligible for SoFi promotions when opening new accounts. New SoFi Checking and Savings members can earn a $25 signup bonus with a minimum $10 opening deposit and up to $300 in additional rewards ($275 total) with qualifying direct deposits.

Why We Like It: You can earn a high-interest rate after enrolling in direct deposit, and several non-banking SoFi member perks are valuable to working professionals.

Learn more in our SoFi Banking review or open a SoFi checking account here.

👉 Learn more about the Sofi Checking & Savings Account

Upgrade Rewards Checking

  • Rewards: Up to 2% back on purchases, up to 20% rate discount on loans and cards
  • Earn interest: None
  • Signup bonus: None
  • Minimum initial deposit: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0

Upgrade is one of the best online banking platforms for people with thin credit, as being an active checking member can help you qualify for a 20% rate reduction on future loans and cards. 

Its Rewards Checking account is also impressive for earning debit card rewards:

  • 2% back on everyday expenses (convenience/drug stores, gas stations, monthly subscriptions, restaurants, phone, and utilities, up to $500 back per year)
  • 1% back on everything else (unlimited cash back)

You also have access to free in-network ATMs. This account doesn’t earn interest, but an Upgrade Everyday Savings account does. 

Why We Like It: Earn up to 2% cash back on regular expenses and qualify for discounted rates on future Upgrade personal loans. 

👉 Learn more about the Upgrade Rewards Checking account

American Express® Rewards Checking

  • Rewards: 1 Membership Rewards point per $2 on debit purchases
  • Earn interest: 1.00% APY
  • Welcome bonus: Earn $250 when you open an account by 10/31/2023 and have at least $4,000 or more qualifying direct deposits within the first 90 days.
  • Minimum initial deposit: $0
  • Monthly service fee: $0

With the American Express® Rewards Checking account, you’ll earn 1.00% APY interest on your deposits. In addition, debit card purchases earn 1 Membership Reward per $2 spent. You can redeem them for cash back or pool your rewards points with other points-earning credit cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express.

This product is currently open to existing U.S. American Express consumer cardholders with an account that’s been open for at least three months. American Express Business Checking customers are currently ineligible for this offer.

Why We Like It: It’s another way to earn American Express Membership Rewards, which can be redeemed for flights. It also earns a competitive interest rate and the American Express welcome bonus is a nice cherry on top.

Learn more about American Express Rewards Checking.

LendingClub Bank Rewards Checking

  • Rewards: Up to 1% back on debit purchases, ATM fee refunds
  • Earn interest: Up to 0.15% APY
  • Signup bonus: None
  • Minimum initial deposit: $25
  • Monthly service fee: $0

LendingClub Bank (previously Radius Bank) lets you earn 1% back on debit card purchases and earn interest on your deposits when you receive at least $2,500 in monthly direct deposits or maintain an average monthly balance above $2,500. Your account must also be open for at least 30 days.

The account is better for earning cash back, as it only pays up to 0.15% interest on deposits. The bank also reimburses non-network ATM fees worldwide.

Unlike most online-only checking accounts, you can also use paper checks; your first 25 checks are free.

You can read our LendingClub Bank review to find out about more account types. For instance, its Essential Checking product made our list of the best bank accounts if you have bad credit.

Why We Like It: Earn 1% back on debit card purchases and enjoy unlimited ATM fee reimbursement. Two ways exist to satisfy the $2,500 account deposit requirements to unlock these monthly benefits.

Learn more about the LendingClub Bank Rewards Checking account.

Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking 

  • Rewards: Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, unlimited checks
  • Earn interest: Up to 5.00% APY
  • Signup bonus: None
  • Minimum initial deposit: $5
  • Monthly service fee: $0

You can earn up to 5.00% APY on the first $10,000 with a no-fee Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking Account. This is an impressive interest rate, but you must complete these activities to earn a competitive yield:

  • 3.00% APY: Receive eDocuments, 12 debit card purchases per month, direct deposits/ACH deposits/mobile check deposits of at least $500 monthly.
  • 4.00% APY: 3% requirements plus spend at least $500 on a CCU Visa Credit Card
  • 5.00% APY: 3% requirements plus $1,000 in monthly credit card purchases

Excess balances earn a reduced interest rate of 0.20% ($10,000.01 to $25,000.00) and 0.10% ($25,000.01 and higher).

You must also complete the 3% interest requirements to earn ATM refunds at non-network locations. Not satisfying the monthly requirements means your entire balance only makes 0.01%. 

Additional account benefits include over 30,000 fee-free ATMs and 5,000 shared branches, unlimited checks, and no minimum balance requirements. Membership is open nationwide.

Why We Like It: Earning one of the best checking account interest rates and having local branch access is possible thanks to the shared bank locations.

Find out more about Consumers Credit Union.

Wealthfront Cash Account

  • Rewards: Up to $3 million in FDIC insurance through partner banks, 19k+ free ATMs
  • Earn interest: 4.30% APY
  • Signup bonus: None
  • Minimum initial deposit: $1
  • Monthly service fee: $0

Wealthfront is best known as a robo-advisor for retirement and brokerage accounts. If you don’t invest with them yet, you can receive a $50 signup bonus with your first taxable Automated Investing Account. 

Wealthfront also offers a cash management account with a $1 minimum deposit requirement that earns 4.30% APY on your entire balance. There are no service fees, and you can use the account to pay bills, deposit funds, and make fee-free withdrawals at more than 12,000 ATMs.

Further, the first $3 million in account deposits is FDIC-insured through partner banks. In comparison, the standard coverage amount is $250,000 per bank or credit union.

Why We Like It: This cash account has an impressive interest rate, and FDIC insurance limits through bank partnerships. You can also easily transfer your funds to investments.

Find out more about Wealthfront

Quontic Cash Rewards

  • Rewards: 1% back on debit purchases, no ATM fees at over 90,000 spots
  • Earn interest: None
  • Signup bonus: None
  • Minimum initial deposit: $100
  • Monthly service fee: $0

The Quontic Cash Rewards account earns 1% on debit card purchases (up to $50 per statement cycle) and only requires a $100 initial deposit but doesn’t have any ongoing deposit requirements.

You can also make fee-free withdrawals at the following ATM networks (over 90,000 locations):

  • Allpoint
  • MoneyPass
  • SUM
  • Citibank (at Target, Speedway, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Safeway, Winn Dixie, and Circle K locations only)

This account doesn’t earn interest but the cash back reward is deposited into your account monthly.

Why We Like It: Automatically earn up to 1% back on purchases without completing a minimum number of purchases or satisfying direct deposit or ongoing balance requirements.

Which Account is Right for Me?

You may have noticed that many of the best rewards checking accounts are also free, which is yet another bonus. If you’re having trouble deciding which account is right for you, it really comes down to whether you prefer to earn interest on your balance or cash back rewards on your debit card purchases.

Beyond that, consider secondary benefits such as free ATM withdrawals, signup bonuses, and paper check or bill pay options. Paying attention to the ongoing balance, deposit, and debit card purchase requirements is also important, as some accounts make it easier to qualify than others.

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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