High-yield checking accounts are designed to provide bank customers and credit union members with solid interest rates on the accounts they use for everyday purchases. Typically, to earn those top-line annual percentage yield (APY) numbers, there are some requirements — often a minimum number of debit card purchases per month.
MagnifyMoney has compiled the nine best rewards checking accounts from hundreds of financial institutions tracked by DepositAccounts. Our work has been featured by outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Business Insider, and our team of financial experts has years of experience covering deposit accounts and other banking topics.
9 top high-yield checking accounts in December 2022
|Institution||Account name||APY||Monthly requirements to earn highest APY
|#1 La Capitol Federal Credit Union||Choice Checking||4.25% APY on balances up to $3,000; 2.00% APY on balances over $3,000 and up to $10,000; 0.10% APY on balances over $10,000||15 non-ATM debit card transactions
|Consumers Credit Union||Rewards Checking||4.09% APY on balances up to $10,000; 0.20% APY on balances from $10,000.01 to $25,000; 0.10% on balances over $25,000||12 debit card purchases; direct deposits of at least $500; $1,000 or more spent in CCU credit card purchases; e-Documents
|Genisys Credit Union||Genius Checking||4.07% APY on balances up to $7,500; 0.05% APY on balances over $7,500||10 debit card purchases of at least $5; eStatements
|T-Mobile||Money||4.00% APY on balances up to and including $3,000; 1.00% APY on balances over $3,000||10 qualifying purchases with card; enrollment in a T-Mobile postpaid wireless plan; T-Mobile ID registered for perks
|Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union||Vertical Checking||3.30% APY on balances up to $20,000||15 debit card purchases; at least one direct deposit and one online or mobile banking log-in; electronic statements
|Market USA Federal Credit Union||VIP Checking Platinum Tier||3.01% APY on first $15,000; 0.01% APY on balances over $15,000||12 debit card purchases of $5 or more; direct deposits of at least $500; 3 bill payments of at least $20 each; e-statements
|Lake Michigan Credit Union||Max Checking||3.00% APY on balances up to $15,000||10 debit or credit card purchases; at least 1 direct deposit; at least 4 log-ins to online banking; eStatements
|Oklahoma Central Credit Union||Momentum Checking||2.50% APY on balances up to $10,000; 0.15% APY on balances between $10,000 and $50,000||30 non-ATM debit card transactions; direct deposit of $1,500; 3 bill payments by ACH or BillPay; enrollment in eStatements and eNotices
|Presidential Bank (MD)||Advantage Checking||2.25% APY on balances between $500 and $25,000; 0.75% APY on balances over $25,000; 0.10% if requirements aren’t met||Direct deposit of $500; 7 electronic withdrawals (includes ATM, point of sale, ACH and bill pay); e-statements
La Capitol Federal Credit Union Choice Checking — 4.25% APY
La Capitol is a credit union based in Louisiana, but people from outside the state can become a member by joining the Louisiana Association for Personal Financial Achievement (ACHIEVE). Their Choice Checking account offers the best available checking account APY, at 4.25%
on balances up to $3,000.
- APY: To receive the top-line APY, you must have 15 or more non-ATM debit transactions posted per month. Balances up to $3,000 earn a 4.25% APY; balances over $3,000 and up to $10,000 earn 2.00%; and balances over $10,000 earn 0.10%. If the required debit transactions are not completed, the APY for the entire balance in a statement period is 0.10%.
- Minimum amount to open: $50
- Fees: You’ll be charged $2 per month if you opt for paper statements. If your average daily balance dips below $1,000, you will be charged a low balance fee of $8, but that fee is waived if you complete 15 debit card transactions and they post in that month.
- Customer experience: La Capitol Federal Credit Union offers online and mobile banking for members, as well as 24/7 support. La Capitol has a few physical branches in Louisiana and also participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, which provides members with branch and ATM access at some other credit unions.
Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking — 4.09% APY
Consumers Credit Union offers membership to those who pay a one-time fee of $5 to their sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association, and deposit — and maintain — $5 in a Membership Share/Savings Account. They’re based in Illinois and offer tiered APY amounts on their Rewards Checking account.
- APY: For balances up to $10,000, you can earn 2.09% APY if you receive eDocuments, make at least 12 debit card purchases per month and have deposits — direct, mobile check or ACH — totaling $500 or more per month; you can earn 3.09% APY if you complete those requirements and spend at least $500 on a CCU credit card; you can earn 4.09% APY if you complete the lowest tier’s requirements and spend at least $1,000 on a CCU credit card. Balances from $10,000.01 to $25,000 earn 0.20% APY; balances over $25,000 earn 0.10% APY. If you don’t meet activity requirements, the APY is 0.01% on all balances.
- Minimum amount to open: $5
- Fees: None
- Customer experience: Consumers Credit Union has some branches in the north Chicago suburbs, but for members outside the area, there are CO-OP Shared Branch locations and surcharge-free ATMs throughout the country.
Genisys Credit Union Genius Checking — 4.07% APY
Genisys Credit Union has over 200,000 members; Michigan residents and some people in Minnesota and Pennsylvania are eligible. Those outside those geographic areas can join with a donation to one of the charitable foundations partnered with Genisys. Their Genius Checking account pays high interest rates if you elect eStatements and use your Genisys debit card.
- APY: You can earn 4.07% APY on balances up to $7,500 if you enroll in eStatements and use your debit card at least 10 times per month for purchases of at least $5 each. Balances over $7,500 earn 0.05% APY. No APY is earned if those requirements aren’t met.
- Minimum amount to open: $5
- Fees: You will incur an ATM fee of $1.25 per transaction once you exceed the six free transactions per month at non-Genisys CO-OP ATMs.
- Customer experience: Genisys has physical branch locations in Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. They’re a part of the CO-OP family of branches and ATMs, so you can access your money nationwide. Genisys also has online chat support and mobile banking services.
T-Mobile Money — 4.00% APY
T-Mobile is a large wireless provider that’s expanded into banking services — and anyone can sign up for their checking account. T-Mobile Money, a relatively simple account designed to earn interest, is the only bank account they offer.
- APY: All customers earn 1.00% APY on all balances, but you can earn up to 4.00% APY on balances up to $3,000 if you meet certain conditions. You must enroll in a qualifying T-Mobile wireless plan, register for perks with your T-Mobile ID and make at least 10 qualifying T-Mobile Money card purchases that must post before the last business day of the month. Balances above $3,000 have a blended APY if you meet these requirements.
- Minimum amount to open: $0
- Fees: There are no monthly or overdraft fees, but there are some fees from ATM providers for out-of-network ATMs and from Mastercard for foreign transactions.
- Customer experience: T-Mobile does not offer banking services at their store locations; all banking services must be conducted online or in their app. They offer online and phone support. Deposits can be made with participating merchants like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart, but each store charges a fee. Your other options include cashier’s checks, money orders and electronic transfers.
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union Vertical Checking — 3.30% APY
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union was founded in Indiana and merged with a credit union serving educational groups in Kentucky. Even if you’re not a teacher, you can join ETFCU through one of the employee groups and organizations affiliated with ETFCU, many of which are based in Indiana, or with a $5 donation to the Mater Dei Friends & Alumni Association. Their Vertical Checking account has a much higher threshold for earning, relative to the other accounts in this top 10: You can get the 3.30% APY on balances up to $20,000.
- APY: ETFCU pays 3.30% APY on balances up to $20,000 if you make 15 or more debit card purchases per month, receive electronic statements, have at least one direct deposit per month and log in to online or mobile banking once a month. The APY will not be paid if the requirements are not met.
- Minimum amount to open: $25
- Fees: There are no monthly service fees, and partial ATM fee reimbursements are available if you meet the conditions to earn the 3.30% APY.
- Customer experience: ETFCU has physical branch locations in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, but members can use the Alliance One ATM network for surcharge-free ATM use nationwide. There’s also an online banking platform for members.
Market USA Federal Credit Union VIP Checking Platinum Tier — 3.01% APY
Market USA is a credit union that has merged with several other credit unions over the past couple of decades. Membership is open to those who make a $5 donation to the Market USA Cares Foundation, which assists charities in areas where Market USA FCU branches are located; you’ll also need to open a savings account and maintain a $5 balance in that account. They offer several checking account types, but the Platinum Tier of their VIP account offers the best APY.
- APY: To receive the top APY, you must enroll in e-Statements, have monthly direct deposits of at least $500, make 12 debit card purchases of at least $5 per month and pay three bills of at least $20 each per month using their bill pay service. You’ll earn 3.01% APY on balances up to and including $15,000; balances over that amount earn 0.01% APY.
- Minimum amount to open: $0
- Fees: No monthly maintenance fees, though there are some fees for overdrafts and out-of-network ATM use above the 8 free per month.
- Customer experience: Market USA FCU is part of the National Shared Branch network, which provides members from outside the Washington, D.C., area with banking and ATM services from other credit unions in the network. That means access to almost 30,000 fee-free ATMs and 5,000 shared branches nationwide (in addition to Market USA FCU’s three branches). They offer online and mobile banking as well.
Lake Michigan Credit Union Max Checking — 3.00% APY
LMCU is based in west Michigan and has become one of the largest credit unions in the country. They have broad membership eligibility, so you can join even if you don’t live in Michigan (or Florida). The LMCU Max Checking account is designed to provide the highest interest rate on a bank account for LMCU members.
- APY: To earn 3.00% APY on balances up to $15,000, you must have at least one direct deposit, make 10 debit or credit card purchases and log in four times to online banking per month. You must also opt for eStatements.
- Minimum amount to open: $0
- Fees: There are no monthly fees, and they offer partial ATM fee reimbursements for out-of-network ATMs, but a $5 membership is required.
- Customer experience: LMCU expanded from Michigan with some branch locations in Florida. They’re part of the Allpoint ATM sharing network, which features over 55,000 participating ATMs, so you have member access to ATMs nationwide. There are some online banking resources as well.
Oklahoma Central Credit Union Momentum Checking — 2.50% APY
Oklahoma Central Credit Union was founded in 1941. They have over 1,100 partner companies that offer enrollment, but anyone affiliated with any other credit union can also join. Oklahoma offers a number of checking accounts in addition to Momentum Checking, as well as savings accounts and loans.
- APY: Each month, to receive the 2.50% APY on balances up to $10,000, you must use your debit card for 30 non-ATM transactions; have a direct deposit of $1,500; pay three bills by ACH or BillPay; and be enrolled in eStatements and eNotices.
- Minimum amount to open: $25
- Fees: There is a monthly service fee of $10, but it will be waived if you maintain an average daily balance of $100. ATM withdrawals are free and unlimited with this account.
- Customer experience: Oklahoma Central’s 10 full-service branch locations are (naturally) in Oklahoma. They are also part of the CO-OP Shared Branch network, giving you access to ATMs, partner banks and credit union branches nationwide. If you need banking support or have questions, they offer 24-hour banking by phone.
Presidential Bank (MD) Advantage Checking — 2.25% APY
Presidential Bank, which was established nearly 30 years ago, is based in Bethesda, Md., and has nine branches in the state. If you live outside Maryland, you can open an account online and have access to a number of free ATMs. You can also write up to three paper checks per month with the Advantage Checking account; after that, each check will come with a $3 charge. Deposit and withdrawal requirements are even waived for the first month.
- APY: You can earn 2.25% APY on balances up to $25,00 if you have a direct deposit of $500 or more and use your debit card at least 7 times per month for withdrawals, which includes ATM, point of sale, and bill pay. Balances over $25,000 earn 0.75% APY. If requirements aren’t met, you’ll earn 0.10%.
- Minimum amount to open: $500
- Fees: If your balance falls below $500, you’ll pay a monthly fee of $5. You can get up to $8 in ATM surcharges rebated per month if you meet all requirements.
- Customer experience: Presidential has nine physical locations in Maryland, but this account can be opened online. They also participate in the Accel, Cirrus, Visa, Plus, Allpoint and MoneyPass surcharge-free ATM network.
Frequently asked questions
A checking account is a type of deposit account offered by financial institutions that’s designed for everyday transactions. There are often no limits on deposits, withdrawals and purchases from checking accounts.
Yes, you can open a checking account online. Most banks and credit unions allow people to use most or all of their financial services online or over the phone — you don’t need to go to a branch location to open an account.
Many checking accounts do not earn interest, but some high-yield checking or rewards checking accounts do. All of the accounts chosen as best high-yield checking accounts bear interest if you fulfill their requirements.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a bank account, including whether the account pays interest; if there are any monthly fees or minimum balance requirements; if you need in-person banking services at a physical branch; and what other accounts the bank offers.
Yes, online banks are secure, as long as they’re insured by the FDIC (or the NCUA if it’s a credit union). That means your deposits are insured up to $250,000 by the U.S. government.
Methodology for choosing the best high-yield checking accounts
MagnifyMoney reviewed a list of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)–insured banks and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)–insured credit unions sourced from DepositAccounts to find the best high-yield checking accounts. The accounts selected were sorted by the best APY for a balance of $1,000. To merit consideration, those accounts must be available nationwide, have a minimum opening deposit of $100 or less and have low or easily waived monthly fees.