11 Best High-Yield Checking Accounts That Pay You Interest – Rates for 2023

An impressive number of online banks offer relatively high yields on savings accounts, money market accounts, and even checking accounts. Yes, even when interest rates are low.

And everyone needs a checking account. Why not choose one with a yield that rivals the best high-yield savings accounts?

Best High-Yield Checking Accounts

Many of these high-yield checking accounts are on our roundups of the best free checking accounts and best checking accounts with monthly maintenance fees. If you hate monthly service fees, know that most banks happily waive those fees when you meet minimum balance or monthly transaction requirements.

Wealthfront Cash Account

The Wealthfront Cash Account earns 4.30% APY on all balances — one of the best cash account yields on the market. It links seamlessly with Wealthfront’s other core product, a low-cost robo-advisor.

Apply NowRead the Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Wealthfront pairs a low-cost investment management solution with an excellent high-yield checking account, the Cash Account.

The Wealthfront Cash Account has a virtually nonexistent minimum opening deposit, high yields on all balances, no account fees, and a great lineup of value-added features, including Self-Driving Money™.

Self-Driving Money™ is a powerful money management automation tool that effortlessly allocates deposits among near-term expenses, variable-term savings goals, and longer-term investment objectives, all while making sure your emergency fund is topped up and you’ve got enough left over to enjoy life.

Apply NowRead the Review

Aspiration Spend & Save


Get up to 3.00% APY on the first $10,000 in your account and earn up to 10% back on purchases with select Aspiration partners.

Account APY

Up to 3.00% APY on the first $10,000

Monthly Fee

$0 for a standard account, $7.99 for Aspiration Plus

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Aspiration Spend & Save is two accounts in one:

  • Aspiration Debit, a rewards checking account that pays up to 10% back on eligible purchases with Conscience Coalition partners, companies that have committed to helping the planet (and caring more about their bottom line in the process).
  • Aspiration Save, a high-yield savings account that links seamlessly to Aspiration Debit and earns up to 3.00% APY on the first $10,000 in the account.

You need to pay $7.99 per month for an Aspiration Plus membership to earn 10% back and 3.00% APY. Otherwise, cash back maxes out at 5% and your yield is 1.00% APY on the first $10,000.

The Aspiration Save Account’s up to 3.00% Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) is variable, subject to change, and only available to customers enrolled in Aspiration Plus after conditions are met. Customers not enrolled in Aspiration Plus receive 1.00% APY after conditions are met. The Aspiration Spend & Save Accounts are cash management accounts offered through Aspiration Financial, LLC, a registered broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Aspiration Partners, Inc. (“Aspiration”). Aspiration is not a bank.


Earn up to 7% cash back when you buy eGift cards in the app. Plus, earn 4.50% APY paid quarterly on savings balances up to $5,000.

Monthly Fee

$5, waived with direct deposit

Apply NowRead the Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

GO2Bank combines a rewards checking account and a high-yield savings account into one package. The savings side has an impressive yield on the first $5,000 (4.50% APY), while the checking side pays up to 7% cash back on eligible electronic gift card purchases (GO2Bank calls them “eGift cards”) made in the app.

GO2Bank does have a monthly maintenance fee, but it’s waived with any qualifying direct deposit. Another highlight: the option to deposit cash at more than 90,000 retail locations nationwide.

Active GO2Bank account required to receive an eGift Card. eGift Card merchants subject to change

GO2Bank, Member FDIC. Interest paid quarterly on the average daily balance of savings during the quarter up to a $5,000 balance and if the account is in good standing. 4.50% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of April 2023. APY may change before or after you open an account. The average national savings account interest rate of 0.05% is determined by the FDIC as of 12/14/20. Visit https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/ to learn more. Fees on your primary deposit account may reduce earnings on your savings account.

Direct deposit early availability depends on timing of payor’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period. The name and Social Security number on file with your employer or benefits provider must match your GO2Bank account exactly or we will decline your deposit.

Apply NowRead the Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Signature Federal Credit Union might not be as well-known as banking giants like Citi and Chase, but its high-yield checking account is definitely worth going out on a limb for.

Meet the qualifying activity requirements each month and you can earn 4.00% APY on balances up to $20,000. That’s many times higher than the national checking account average.

To qualify for the advertised yield in any given statement cycle, do all of the following:

  • Receive a direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more.
  • Enroll in electronic statements.
  • Use your debit card to make at least 15 eligible purchases online or in person.

Apply Now

M1 Spend

Earn 3.30% APY with no minimum balance when you upgrade to M1 Plus. Additional benefits include 1% cash back on debit purchases and up to 10% back on credit card purchases.

Monthly Fee

$125 per year to earn interest (after year one)

Apply NowRead the Review

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

M1 Spend is a free cash management account from M1 Finance, a digital banking, investing, and lending platform. But if you want to earn interest on your M1 Spend balances, you need to upgrade to M1 Plus, which costs $125 after the first year.

It’s worth upgrading. In addition to 3.30% APY on all M1 Spend balances, M1 Plus gets you 1% cash back on debit card purchases and up to four ATM fee reimbursements each month. And that’s just on the checking side — M1 Plus comes with investing and borrowing benefits too.

Apply NowRead the Review

Quontic High Interest Checking

Earn 1.10% APY on eligible balances when you make at least 10 qualifying transactions in a statement period. Plus, enjoy fee-free access to more than 90,000 ATMs across multiple networks in the United States.

Apply Now

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Quontic High Interest Checking is a free checking account with an attractive yield for anyone able to clear the relatively low qualifying activity bar: making 10 or more qualifying debit card point-of-sale transactions valued at $10 or more within the statement cycle. Do this and you’ll earn 1.10% APY on all balances.

Note that Quontic used to limit interest payments to the first $150,000 in the account. This restriction has been void for a while, but there’s always the chance it could come back.

Apply Now

Nationwide Advantage Checking

Earn up to 0.90% APY with qualifying activities — $1,000 or more in total direct deposits and at least 10 transactions per month.

Account APY

Up to 0.90% APY

Apply Now

[+] See Details
[-] Hide Details

Nationwide Advantage Checking has much in common with other interest checking accounts, albeit with a slightly less generous upper yield tier than some.

In any given month, complete qualifying direct deposits (at least $1,000 total) and transaction requirements (at least 10 of $3 or more) to earn 0.90% APY (variable with prevailing rates). Do one or the other to earn half the advertised yield — and enjoy no monthly maintenance fees and expansive ATM network access even if you can’t do either.

One catch: The debit card transactions must occur in-person to qualify. So early in the month, focus on those types of transactions rather than online purchases until you clear 10.

Apply Now

Methodology: How We Select the Best High-Yield Checking Accounts

We evaluated dozens of checking accounts to build this list. We considered several key variables along the way. The accounts that made the final cut scored well on most or all of them.

Account Yield (Interest Rate)

Remember, these are high-yield checking accounts we’re talking about. Yield is a key selling point for the banks marketing them, which is why it’s the most important factor in our analysis.

Monthly Fee & Waiver Options

The best high-yield checking accounts are either truly free, meaning they don’t charge monthly fees under any circumstances. Unfortunately, truly free checking accounts aren’t as common as they used to be, so we make exceptions for accounts that make it easy to get monthly fees waived with a qualifying direct deposit or clearing a reasonable minimum balance.

Bonuses and Rewards

The best high-yield checking accounts tend to offer sign-up bonuses for new account holders, rewards programs that pay you back for eligible purchases, or both. It’s not a deal-breaker when high-yield checking accounts lack these features, but all else being equal, we prefer that they do.

Balance Requirements & Limits

We believe you shouldn’t have to save up a fortune to benefit from a high-yield checking account. Most of the accounts on this list have no minimum balance or very low minimum balances. A few do have maximum balances to earn interest, but those are high enough not to impact most users. 

ATM Access

Cash is less and less common these days, but ATM access is still important for many checking account users. And we believe you shouldn’t have to pay a fee to get your money. This is why, all else being equal, we prefer high-yield checking accounts with big fee-free ATM networks.

Geographic Availability

Some high-yield checking accounts have geographic restrictions, either because you have to open them in a branch or the banks offering them simply don’t operate in certain states. We exclude accounts with strict geographic restrictions and prefer 50-state coverage when possible.

High-Yield Checking FAQs

Choosing a checking account isn’t as simple as it sounds. You’ll almost certainly have some questions as you get into it, so we’ve preemptively answered some of the most important.

How Much Interest Do High-Yield Checking Accounts Pay?

It depends on the bank’s policy and prevailing interest rates. However, a good rule of thumb is that the best high-yield checking accounts pay interest on par with the top high-yield savings accounts.

Are There Any Requirements to Earn Interest?

Some high-yield checking accounts attach no strings at all to interest payments, but many do. The most common requirements include:

  • Setting up and maintaining a qualifying direct deposit
  • Meeting a monthly transaction minimum
  • Meeting a monthly or daily minimum balance

What’s the Maximum Balance to Earn Interest?

Many high-yield checking accounts pay interest on all balances, which is ideal if you keep a big financial buffer in your checking account. Others cap interest payments though. Usually, the cap is relatively high — $5,000 or more.

How Much Do High-Yield Checking Accounts Cost?

Ideally, nothing. And the best high-yield checking accounts are indeed free checking accounts. For accounts that do charge a monthly maintenance fee, we prefer easy waiver options, such as any direct deposit or a low minimum balance ($500 or below).

Are High-Yield Checking Accounts Actually Savings Accounts?

Sometimes. The line between checking and savings is blurrier these days because many banks and financial technology apps package checking and savings products into the same digital interface. Several of the accounts on this list are package deals.

Final Word

Like mortgage rates and CD yields, checking account yields rise and fall as benchmark interest rates change.

During periods of economic uncertainty, when benchmark rates tend to be more volatile, these changes can occur with disorienting frequency. The yield you expect on that shiny new online checking account might not be the yield you actually receive.

The silver lining is that competition for new checking account customers remains fierce, especially among online banks and smaller brick-and-mortar institutions without household name status.

That means checking account yields will continue to entice new account holders, wherever interest rates go and irrespective of what happens on the savings account front.

Leave a Comment