Best Rewards Checking Accounts

It has never been more important to keep on top of your finances and therefore, there has never been a better time to look into rewards checking accounts. If you have always been a little jealous of your friends reaping the rewards on their credit card but you don’t want the commitment of a credit card, this could be the option for you.

Rewards Checking Accounts are the best way to get rewards through your day to day debit card purchases through your bank or credit unions. So you don’t have to worry about late fees or interest on your credit card and you can put all your focus on just getting the rewards. Time to put those credit cards away and discover the hidden rewards of having a debit card.

But with hundreds of checking accounts on the market how do we know which is the best? We have scouted the best rewards checking accounts around and have put them in a handy list for you to look over. With many banks targeting many different types of customers, it is worth having a look at our list and seeing which one suits you the best and will treat you as a priority customer.

Top 12 Best Rewards Checking Accounts

With an almost endless amount of checking accounts on the market, it is really difficult to pick the best checking account for you. We have handpicked the best checking accounts from all the banks and credit unions on the market which we think will interest you.

We look at the varying different interest rates as well as looking at how much cashback you can earn from your purchases. We delve into other things such as access to free ATM’s, overdrafts, and reimbursement of fee’s, whilst also understanding what each bank asks for a commitment, is there a minimum deposit or minimum balance that is needed? Take a look below and start getting those rewards and cash back flowing in through your debit card.

1) Axos Bank Cash back Checking

Axos bank is the first checking account on our list and for very good reason. Axos bank has a few checking accounts but we picked this one out specifically because of its dedication to heavy debit card users. The Axos Bank account offers a 0.5% cash back, but that increases to a 1% cashback when you are spending over $1500 in a day. To top this off Axos Bank this account offers reimbursement for all of those pesky ATM charges which could save you even more money in the long run.

Cash back with Axos Bank is capped at $2,000 which gives you great potential at claiming back a substantial amount of cash back from your debit card.

Features we like:

  • 1% Cashback when the average daily collected balance is greater than $1,500
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursement
  • Unlimited check writing priveledges
  • Rapid P2P payments with Axos Bank

2) Varo Bank Account

When looking into checking accounts it is very important to keep your eye on the level of APY offered on each account. The Varo Bank Account is one that doesn’t waste any time in showing off its impressive APY. Varo offers you the chance to earn an APY of 2.80% on balances up to $10,000 when meeting the requirements.

But even if you do not meet the maximum APY requirements you can still expect to earn a minimum of 1.41% APY which still puts it at the top of the market. With such high yield checking available this may be a checking account to keep your eye on. Check out their website for more details.

Features we like:

  • High yield checking account
  • No minimum deposit or ongoing minimum balance requirements
  • Pay no overdraft fee’s on overdrafts up to $50
  • Earn up to 2.80% APY

3) Empower

Empower is a checking account that comes with a very handy and easy to use money management app. Not only this but this checking account comes with a very decent APY of 0.25% on all transactions. The app comes with a lot of powerful tools to help you control the flow of your finances and budgeting.

Though this checking account does come with a monthly fee of $8 you can try the whole thing with a free 14 day trial with no obligations to continue. This means you can even try first hand if this is the right checking account for you and if you will benefit from the many extra features that it comes with.

Features we like:

  • This checking account comes with an easy to use money management app.
  • Decent APY of 0.25%
  • Free 14 day trial available
  • Lots of powerful tools to assist budgeting and financial flow.

4) Radius Bank Rewards Checking

Not only is Radius Bank Rewards Checking a great addition to our list of the best checking accounts available, but this is an award-winning checking account. Radius Bank Rewards Checking is certainly an account for anyone that may be interested in getting cash back from their debit card. This checking account has an unlimited limit of 1% cashback as long as the balance remains over $2,500.

The APY with Radius Bank Rewards Checking is less significant and there are definitely stronger competitors on the market with their APY coming to 0.10%. But if you are focussed on cash back then this is worth a look. If you have enough money to take the Radius Bank Rewards Checking account balance to over $2,500 then you will start to see the rewards coming through your debit card purchases.

Features we like:

  • Unlimited limit of 1% cashback
  • APY of 0.10%
  • No minimum balance needed
  • Minimum balance when opening is $100

5) Level

Level offers a checking account that is almost unbeatable with its level of rewards. Level offers a 1.5% return on debit card purchases with an unbeatable 10% cash back with select partners of Level which is the best level of cash back on this list. As far as rewards checking accounts go, you are going to struggle to find something as rewarding as this checking account.

Where is the catch I can hear you say? There isn’t really much of a catch. The Level checking accounts also come with the option of upgrading to a ‘plus’ account for $5 per month or a premium account for $15 per month which offers even more fantastic additions to the checking account.

Features we like:

  • 10% cash back with select partners of level
  • Good yield of 0.50% APY on all balances
  • 5 monthly ATM fee reimbursements
  • No minimum balance or minimum deposit

6) TD Bank Beyond Checking

TD Bank has a bundle of rewards available in many different ways through different avenues in their checking accounts. If you play your cards right you can earn a $300 opening bonus just for simply joining their checking account. The only catch is that you will need a direct deposit of £2,500 within the first 60 days.

There is a $25 monthly maintenance fee, TD bank will waive this fee for customers who meet certain requirements. These will be having a daily balance of $2,500 or a combined balance of $25,000. This offer is only available for customers that live in certain states.

Features we like:

  • $300 opening bonus available
  • Overdraft fees automatically reimbursed twice a year
  • TD bank waives its ATM fees
  • Potential to waive the management fee

7) Discover Cash Back Debit

So far on our list, we have discussed many rewards checking accounts that sometimes require a minimum balance or large regular deposits into the account. In return, you are rewarded with decent interest rates, access to cash back, and great APY rates. So what options are there for people who do not have access to these funds and still want rewards?

Discover checking accounts offer this service. Much like it’s very popular credit cards, they offer a no-fee promise and cash back on even small amounts of purchases. Naturally, these are capped at low amounts as well so the potential to make large sums of cash back are small. But it is definitely an option if you find your income not matching the amount that other checking accounts demand from you.

Features we like:

  • 1% cash back on all debit card purchases
  • An extensive network of 60,000 ATM’s
  • No minimum balance needed
  • No monthly maintenance fee

8) M1 Spend

M1 Spend offers the best level of flexibility on our entire top 12 best checking accounts list. M1 Spend mixes the best features of a savings account and the flexibility of a checking account. Much like the high yields found within a savings account, the APY can reach a height of 1% in their plus account.

If you decide to upgrade to M1 Spend Plus for just $125 a year, you can earn 1% cash back as well as 1% APY on all account balances. Plus members also get many other incentives such as four ATM fee reimbursements, which is three more than the free M1 checking accounts.

Features we like:

  • A potential 1% APY on all account balances
  • 1% cash back on all debit card purchases
  • Four ATM fee reimbursements
  • No minimum balance at the opening and no minimum balance ongoing

9) Stash Online Banking

Stash Online Banking is very much like a rewards checking account, however, it works a little differently than the others mentioned so far. Stash is better known as a low-cost investment platform for investors. Rather than earning APY or cash back, Stash gives their rewards in the shape of stocks or as they call it ‘Stock Back’.

Stash is best suited for people who are already involved with investments and are looking for a rewards scheme. Much like APY and cash back you can earn 0.125% stock-back rewards on all everyday purchases, this increases to an impressive 5% when purchasing at certain merchants.

Features we like:

  • Great checking account suited for investors
  • 0.125% stock-back rewards on purchases
  • Up to 5% stock-back when purchasing from certain merchants
  • No ongoing minimum balance requirement

10) FNBO Direct Online Checking

When looking at rewards checking accounts it can become quite complex, with the need to jump through hoops sometimes to achieve certain rewards. That is why FNBO Direct is one of the best rewards checking accounts for its simplicity. You don’t need to deposit a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time, just to achieve a better APY.

Instead, this checking account offers a blanket 0.40% APY on all balances between $0.01 and $1million, with a fairly reachable $1 opening minimum balance. This also comes with competitive rewards such as nationwide free ATM’s and a P2P money transfer tool.

Features we like:

  • 0.40% APY on all balances between $0.01 and $1million
  • Expansive ATM network promising free withdrawals
  • Opening a minimum balance of $1
  • Minimum balance can go as low as $0.01

11) Axos Bank Rewards Checking

This is the second entry for Axos Bank on our list of checking accounts. This Axos Bank account is not aimed at those people who are spending lots of money on their debit card. But rather the type of people who are making consistent and regular payments with their checking account.

If you are using your accounts debit card over 15 times a month you can start to see high yield checking becoming available. This combined with a deposit of $1500 you can start to see a high yield of 1.25% APY. This bank comes with no minimum balance on its accounts which gives you the comfort of spending at your own pace.

The APY will go up and down depending on the frequency of your payments, so make sure you maximize the amount you are using your debit card. There is more information on the website which we would recommend you check out.

Features we like:

  • Flexible yield which can produce some high yield earnings.
  • No minimum balance needed
  • The minimum account opening balance is $50
  • ATM fee reimbursements

12) One American Bank Kasasa Cash Checking

One American Bank Kasasa Cash Checking is a checking account which not only comes with simplicity but a high level of APY rates. One American Bank offers an APY of 2.0% on all debit card purchases which as you can see on this list, is very rare. The only downside to this is that it is only to the amount of $10,000 where it will then drop to 0.25%.

This rewards checking account works with a large ATM chain that supplies services to many banks and credit unions. Whilst One American Bank offers many ATMs to use, they also offer up to $25 of reimbursements every month for any ATM fees.

Features we like:

  • 2.0% APY on all balances below $10,000
  • Access to many free ATMs through America.
  • No monthly fees or minimum balance
  • Up to $25 in ATM fee reimbursement

Considerations for choosing the best rewards checking account

Online accessibility

Every day more and more things are finding themselves going online. In terms of having rewards checking account, things are very much the same. Many banks and credit unions are realizing how the value of accessibility can make them the best in the market. Customers are wanting more and more control over their finances and what better way than to have 24/7 access.

Having a reward checking account that has online accessibility is the best way to get the most rewards for your checking accounts. You can easily check what you are spending or saving much like a savings account and there is the ability to micromanage your bank to extract the best rewards such as decent APY or cashback. Rewards checking accounts have never been easier to use thanks to the invention of the internet.

The need for having a brick and mortar bank is no more and more banks are finding themselves exclusively online. This is saving money on a large scale and these savings are making their way to customers in the form of even more rewards.

Deposit requirement

Having a deposit on your checking accounts very much depends on what your intentions are. As can be seen in our list above, many of the best rewards checking accounts do not ask for a large deposit. You can quite easily find decent rewards from your checking accounts, however, these will be capped at a certain point which limits the amount you can earn.

In some instances, you may find that the larger deposit or larger minimum balance you accept, the more access you have to rewards. This is worth noting when deciding on which rewards checking accounts is the best for you.


When trying to decide which checking accounts are best for you, another thing to consider is the overdraft and if there are further rewards involved with this. Often when using a debit card, if someone is to go over the amount they have in their account they go into what we call an overdraft.

In terms of a checking account, this could then mean that you will be charged for going into this overdraft. You can find certain rewards checking accounts that will reimburse these fees. This could be once, twice, or even sometimes an endless amount. This is why it is best to make sure you look into each checking account properly, especially if you feel you may need to access your overdraft.


Which bank has the best rewards?

Usually, the checking accounts with the best reward completely depend on what your current circumstances are and what you are looking for as a reward. As previously discussed, the more you can put into an account, the more you can expect to take out.

That being said, Axos Bank has two rewards checking accounts that have very good rewards for two different types of customers to access. Firstly Axos Bank has an account that can give generous APY and cash back when heavy debit usage happens. Alternatively, Axos bank also has a checking account that would best suit someone who may not spend much but makes frequent debit card purchases. The more purchases that are made the more rewards the customer can expect.

But these types of deals are not exclusive to Axos Bank and it is always worth looking through every checking account and its details to work out which is best for you. There is no one size fits all bank account and you will need to find the bank that fits your current circumstances and your current needs. What may be good for one person may be damaging to someone else.

Which bank has the best checking account?

This wholly depends on what you want to get out of your bank or credit union checking account. Most checking accounts will do the same thing in terms of depositing money, withdrawing, and having such things as overdrafts. But one checking account may be better for you than others, that offer better rewards which are more achievable and therefore happen more frequently.

FNBO Direct Online Checking and One America both offer quite a simplistic checking account that offers fantastic interest rates without the need to jump through hoops. This means there is access for the majority of people, especially as these checking bank accounts come with low deposits and low minimum balances.

If you have regular deposits being made into your checking account then you may want to look into a bank or credit union account that offers rewards for those people. For example, the Axos Bank offers an account that is very generous to people who have large deposits regularly and the percentage of cash back can even increase under these circumstances.

You can find yourself earning almost $2,000 in cash back if you manage your bank account properly.

What is a rewards checking account?

A checking account is a tool used to allow easy, everyday access to your finances. A reward checking account is very much like a normal checking account but with the bonus of having benefits much like you would with credit cards. When you use credit cards you often will get cash back and other rewards the more you spend on the credit cards. However, a checking account takes away the risk aspect of credit cards and allows you rewards but with the security of a debit account.

This type of account can give you access to many benefits which are sometimes exclusive to people after paying a monthly maintenance fee. Other rewards can include a waiver for other fees such as overdraft fees and ATM charge fees. These are pesky fees that can interrupt many people’s lives and if you pick the right rewards checking account for you, you may find that these may be reimbursed.

In recent years a bank and credit union account has transformed to be online and is now even easier to access than ever before. You access your account 24/7 to move money in or out to another account. This makes getting those benefits even easier and you can monitor every change on your account. Some banks try and use loop holes so that you cannot get the benefits as easy, however, with access to an online account and banking apps, things have got a lot easier.

Which bank has the best debit card rewards?

If you have a healthy amount of money is regularly deposited into your bank account and you have no issues with a minimum deposit, then you have the enviable position of choosing an account with the best debit card rewards. Unfortunately, when lots of money starts entering a bank account, you may find that the interest rates fall significantly. That it is important to find a bank that has a fee that is high and stays high no matter how much you spend, or even better, increases the more that you spend.

For example, the Axos Bank Cash Back Checking account allows you to claim 0.5% up until $10,000 but it will then increase up to 1%. This has been capped at a $2,000 cash back which is not an amount to be sniffed at. Whereas banks such as ‘Level’ will keep the rate of APY at 0.50% regardless of how much you spend.

Always ensure you are checking your own personal needs against what each bank offers. This is not a one size fits all and it will need to be specific to what you are looking for. Also, try and look past the monthly maintenance fee and see if, in the long run, you could be better off. A fee may just get you access to rewards that will make you financially better off.

If you want to look into each deal more then we will highly advise that you look on to the bank’s website using our links. If you are still left with burning questions in your head then we also advise you to contact the bank’s customer service team directly to discuss what it is you are looking to get out of this bank account. Sometimes talking directly to the bank team can bring surprise deals that have not yet made it to the internet.

But remember to always find the best deal for you and do not be guided by anyone else’s decisions as they are not in the same boat as you.

Can a checking account affect your credit rating?

In general, a checking account from a bank or credit union is very different from having a credit card. You are not borrowing any money and any benefits you receive are based on your own money. This means that there is little risk that this will indeed affect your credit rating. There may be a ‘light inquiry’ when you look into opening the bank account but this will not affect your credit. These light inquiries tend to only be used to check that your details are correct and that you are indeed a real person.

However, if you decide to use an overdraft then this is where risks can grow. When you go into your overdraft you are essentially using money that is loaned by the bank. This is not your money and it is due to be paid back, therefore, if you do not pay the money back in good time. You may find that your credit score is affected due to a missed payment.

The risk can grow even more so if you look into options such as overdraft protection. These are often classed as acts of credit and therefore could knock your score by about 5 points. Though this is nothing that good money management cannot fix quite soon after.

But on the whole, it is far safer to open a bank account with a debit card and to get your rewards this way rather than opening up a credit card account. If you want to build your credit for big purchases then you may find that a debit account will not improve your credit rating just as much as it won’t decrease it. If you are looking to improve your score then you may want to look at a credit card to prove you are good at borrowing money.

If you have further concerns about your credit then it is highly recommended to contact each bank directly to ask them if your credit score could be affected. Most banks will be happy to speak with you and explain each case in full.

Full-time writer. Blogger. Dedicated wife. Mother of 3 amazing kids. I love learning about everything from the latest tech gadgets, innovative new home designs and can be found regularly reading up on parenting tips. There is always room to grow!

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