Your checking account is your main financial hub: It’s where you receive direct deposits, pay bills, link to your other accounts and more. An account as important as that should fit your finances and lifestyle as best as possible.

You can get a head start on finding the best checking account for your needs by taking a look at our list below. We’ve found the best checking accounts for interest-rate chasers, fee avoiders, rewards earners, students, ATM users and businesses.

Why trust us

ValuePenguin has a team of experts that parses thousands of checking accounts to find those that offer the best features. We use exclusive data from DepositAccounts to find and weigh all account factors. This includes interest rates, monthly fees, ATM access, potential rewards, overdraft fees, accessibility and more. We update this page regularly to help you stay on top of the best checking accounts out there.

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Best checking accounts in 2022

Best High-Yield Checking AccountOnJuno Metal Checking
Best No-Fee Checking AccountDiscover Cashback Debit
Best Rewards Checking AccountLendingClub Rewards Checking
Best Student Checking AccountPNC Virtual Wallet Student
Best Checking Account for ATM rebatesSchwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking
Best Business Checking AccountBlueVine Business Checking

Best high-yield checking account: OnJuno Metal Checking

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $0

OnJuno Metal Checking is part of an offering with Evolve Bank and Trust. Accounts with balances up to $50,000, can take advantage of its 1.20% bonus rate. The rate drops to 0.25% APY on balances over $50,000 with a total limit of $100,000.

The Metal checking account has no monthly fee. But if you do not have a $250 monthly direct deposit, your account will be downgraded to OnJuno’s Basic level.

OnJuno’s bonus rate is not interest provided by Evolve Bank and Trust, and OnJuno emphasizes that they reserve the right to cancel, remove, or change the bonus at any time.

There is no minimum deposit required to open a checking account with OnJuno, and you don’t have to maintain a minimum daily balance. You can withdraw cash at 85,000 Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs and you get three free out-of-network ATM withdrawals a month (one free with the Basic account), which are reimbursed at the end of each month.

To access your checking account, you can use the free Instant Virtual card included with the account, as well as the mobile app, which is currently in beta testing. The Metal card awards 5% cash back on five retailers such as Netflix, Starbucks and Target, up to $500 in purchases per year with the Basic account and up to $6,000 in purchases per year with the Metal account.

Best no-fee checking account: Discover Cashback Debit

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $0

The Discover Cashback Debit account eliminates not only a monthly fee, but a whole cache of common checking account fees. This includes fees for Discover ATM use, insufficient funds, overdraft protection, check reordering and official bank checks.

Just about anyone can take advantage of this fee-free account, as it doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement to open or maintain. Even better, your debit card purchases earn 1% cashback, on up to $3,000 in purchases per month. The debit card can also be used for fee-free ATM withdrawals at over 60,000 Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs. While Discover won’t charge you a fee for using an ATM out of those networks, the third-party ATM owner likely will.

The bank provides a mobile app where you can freeze your debit card at any time, deposit checks, find ATMs and more.

Best rewards checking account: LendingClub Rewards Checking

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $100

LendingClub’s Rewards Checking account earns double rewards in the form of both cash back and interest earned. The account earns 1.00% cash back — once the account has been open for 30 days — on qualifying online and signature-based debit card purchases, as long as you maintain a minimum average balance of $2,500 or receive direct deposits totaling at least $2,500 each month. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.

As for earned interest, you’ll need to have at least $2,500 in your account to start earning at 0.100% APY. A higher 0.15% APY applies to balances of $100,000 and higher.

The perks keep coming with the Rewards Checking account. For one, LendingClub can get you your direct deposit paycheck up to two days earlier than usual by depositing the funds into your account as soon as the bank gets it, rather than holding it. LendingClub won’t charge you a fee for using out-of-network ATMs either, and it even offers unlimited ATM fee rebates for any third-party surcharges.

Best student checking account: PNC Bank Virtual Wallet Student

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $25, or $0 if opened online

PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet Student is more than just a checking account — it’s three accounts rolled into one. There’s the Spend checking account, which gives students experience with expenses and paying bills; the Reserve checking account, which earns interest but still allows spending; and the Growth savings account, which helps students with long-term savings goals. There is no monthly fee for the first six years, at which point the account will convert to a non-student Virtual Wallet account. There is no minimum balance requirement, but there is a minimum of $1 in both the Reserve and Growth accounts to earn interest. Plus, PNC Bank offers several budgeting and spending tools to help students practice good money management skills.

Virtual Wallet Student has features in place to keep student account holders on track, too. It provides an automatic refund of the fees associated with the first overdraft over the life of the account, reimbursement of the fee for the first two non-PNC Bank ATM transactions each statement period and up to $5 reimbursement of other banks’ ATM surcharges each statement period. Students also get one free incoming wire transfer (to the Spend account only) each statement period; any incoming wires after that cost $15, and all self-serviced outgoing wires are $25.

Virtual Wallet Student is accessible both online and through the bank’s mobile app.

Best checking account for ATM rebates: Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $0

If you’re a Schwab customer or have always wanted to get into investing, the Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking account is a good start for its unlimited ATM rebates worldwide (when being used to withdraw money). This checking account is available only as a linked account with a Schwab One® brokerage account, which you’ll open at the same time if you don’t already have a brokerage account. Neither account has a minimum balance requirement or monthly fee.

This pairing allows you to take advantage of any ATM with the checking account’s linked Visa® Platinum Debit Card, as well as Schwab’s investing platform. You don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees either when using the linked debit card.

The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account also earns interest at 0.25% APY on all balances.

Best business checking account: BlueVine Business Checking

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  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Balance to waive: N/A
  • Opening minimum: $0

Online-based BlueVine Business Checking offers business owners some peace of mind with no monthly fees, unlimited transactions, two free checkbooks per year and more. A rate of 1.50% APY is earned on balances up to and including $100,000 when you either spend $500 a month with your BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard or receive at least $2,500 in customer payments each month.

In addition to no monthly service fees, there are also no fees for nonsufficient funds or incoming wires. Some fees you might face, however, include expedited debit card replacements, cash deposit fees at Green Dot locations and outgoing wires. Luckily, you can avoid ATM fees with BlueVine, which provides access to the MoneyPass network for when you need to make cash deposits or withdrawals.

In addition to its Business Checking account, BlueVine provides financing services to small businesses. The checking account is serviced by Coastal Community Bank, which provides FDIC insurance and the BlueVine Mastercard® Debit Card for the account.

How to choose the right checking account

If you haven't found the kind of checking account that suits your financial habits or situation, there are many more options out there that may fit the bill. For instance, if you place a high value on banks that emphasize face-to-face interaction and investment in your local community, you may want to look at a small neighborhood bank that has time to personalize its customer service. You may even consider joining a credit union, which is organized differently than a standard bank but provides the same kinds of banking services and products.

When shopping for a checking account, some important factors to pay attention to include:

  • Fees: Fees are an easy and sneaky way banks make money — and deplete your funds. Always check for a monthly fee, which is essentially a charge to own the account, or at the available ways to waive the monthly fee. Other common fees include charges for out-of-network ATM usage, wire transfers and paper statements. Most banks also have a hefty overdraft fee that applies if it ever has to cover a transaction that exceeds your account balance.
  • Rates: Earning interest on your checking account balance is a smart perk to have, especially since almost all of your money runs through that account at some point. Many big, traditional banks offer checking account rates not much higher than 0.01%, if that. But you can do better, especially by looking at online banks.
  • ATM access: Your checking account is your go-to source for depositing and withdrawing cash, since savings accounts place limits on your monthly transactions. Look into whether a bank limits you to its own ATMs — and its geographical reach — or partners with another ATM network for a wider scope. Remember, fees may be charged for out-of-network ATM use; check whether an account offers surcharge reimbursements.
  • Minimum balance requirements: A checking account can look great at first glance with its interest rates and rewards, but take a closer look, and you might find that there are some qualifications required. Many checking accounts have a minimum amount that you must deposit to open the account and another minimum requirement that you must maintain to keep the account open. Minimum balance requirements are also often used to waive monthly fees or earn interest.
  • FDIC/NCUA insurance: Deposit insurance is key to finding a legitimate account; it is provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for bank deposits and by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit union deposits. This insurance backs your money up in the rare event your bank fails. All the big-name banks you’ve heard of are FDIC-insured, as are all the accounts we’ve listed above. Still, it’s always important to check the amount of insurance coverage a bank provides.

In the end, you should narrow your focus down to a few key factors that can guide your decision. For example, if you only have a little money in the bank and depend on each new paycheck to replenish your balance, you may want to prioritize finding a free checking account. Or if minimum balances are no worry, then you can move on to finding an account that rewards higher balances with higher interest. It’s all about finding the account that works for you — not one that you have to work to maintain.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.