Best Interest Checking Accounts of 2018: High Rates, Low Fees

Interest checking accounts aren't common, but they can help you increase the interest you earn on your bank deposits. We looked at more than a hundred checking accounts to find interest checking options that offer high rates with relatively low monthly service fees.

Best Interest Checking Rate: Redneck Rewards Checking

Consider this if you want to maximize the interest rate on your checking balance.

Monthly Fee $0.00
Balance to Waive Fee $0
Opening Deposit $500.00

Despite its unusual name, Redneck Bank is a proper FDIC-insured online bank that offers the highest rate we've found for a checking account. So long as you meet the Redneck Rewards Checking Account's monthly debit spending requirement, you can earn 2.75% APY on balances up to $10,000.00 . You'll also need to opt into online paperless statements to qualify for that rate. Falling short of the activity requirements will drop you to just 0.50% APY.

Redneck Rewards Checking - Monthly APY Requirements

  • 10 debit card purchases
  • enrollment in paperless statements

The additional features that come with Redneck Rewards Checking make it one of the best online checking account options currently available. For instance, qualifying for the top rate also grants you $25 in monthly ATM reimbursements, allowing you to make fee-free cash withdrawals at almost any ATM. However, you may find that these reimbursements are actually necessary to pay for third-party fees charged by the machine operators. If you prefer going cashless, you'll be able to see your balance and manage transfers through Redneck Rewards Checking's mobile app.

Best Mobile App Features: MemoryBank EarnMore Account

Consider this if you want convenient banking features and easier activity requirements for earning interest on your balance.

Monthly Fee $0.00
Balance to Waive Fee $0
Opening Deposit $50.00

The MemoryBank EarnMore Account offers a competitive interest rate, but it also delivers the best combination of mobile banking technology and checking account features. Several other interest checking accounts offer rates that are higher than this account's 1.60% APY, but almost all of them require far more monthly account activity for those rates—and none of them come with the wide range of online services we found at MemoryBank. In addition to a well-designed mobile app, the bank offers automated balance and activity alerts, live chat and phone support, and moneyback rewards connected to your debit spending.

MemoryBank EarnMore Account - Monthly APY Requirements

  • 1 electronic deposit from payroll, transfers or Popmoney
  • 5 in-person or online debit card purchases
  • enrollment in paperless statements

While it's strongly focused on its digital banking services, MemoryBank also provides customers with reasonable ATM access. The MemoryBank EarnMore Account allows for free cash withdrawals from four major third-party ATM networks, including Allpoint and Moneypass. While these ATMs aren't as visibly labeled as a major bank's machines might be, they grant you access to your account at over 85,000 separate locations.

Best for Avoiding Activity Requirements: Radius Hybrid Checking

Consider this if you want an account that earns interest without any monthly activity requirements.

Monthly Fee $0.00
Balance to Waive Fee $0
Opening Deposit $10.00

While many high-yield interest checking accounts require you to make dozens of monthly debit card purchases in order to earn any interest, Radius Hybrid earns 0.85% APY on deposits of at least $2,500.00 or more. While this may be higher than what many people keep on hand, the lack of activity requirements make this account a better interest checking option for people who aren't frequent debit card users.

The main benefit of the Radius Hybrid Checking Account is its strong interest rate: its 0.85% APY doesn't fall too far from the competitive interest rates you'll find on dedicated online savings accounts, and it's far higher than anything available at traditional brick-and-mortar banks. For anyone used to keeping a checking balance of at least $2,500, this is a hassle-free alternative to our higher-earning options.

Best for Large Balances: Capital One High Yield Checking

Consider this if you keep at least $5,000 in your checking account on a regular basis.

Monthly Fee $0.00
Balance to Waive Fee $5,000
Opening Deposit $500.00

Among brick-and-mortar banks, Capital One offers the best available rate for a high-yield checking account, along with an introductory APY boost of 0.40% for the first 12 months. This account has no monthly fee, which is rare for a high yield checking account, but you are required to keep at least $5,000 deposited with Capital One.

This minimum includes any deposits in other Capital One products, including investments and savings accounts, so it shouldn't pose an issue for people looking to deposit larger sums of money. In fact, having funds in multiple accounts expands your FDIC deposit insurance coverage, so the $5,000 minimum is actually not that inconvenient for people who seriously consider this account.

Best Interest Checking for Business: EverBank Business Interest Checking

Consider this if you're seeking an interest-bearing checking option for your small business.

Monthly Fee $14.95
Balance to Waive Fee $5,000.00
Free Monthly Transactions no free transactions
Excess Transaction Fee $0.14 - $0.20 per transaction
Free Cash Deposit Limit no free deposits
Excess Cash Deposit Fee $0.35 per deposit credited

EverBank's online business account offers a rate between 0.20% and 0.61% APY, depending on your balance. While this isn't nearly as high as the consumer checking account rates we've found, EverBank Business Interest Checking did represent the best APY among business-oriented options. However, rate shouldn't be your primary concern when selecting a business checking account. Online banks can't offer as much direct customer support as brick-and-mortar banks, and there may be other products such as small business loans that will be easier to manage if you keep all your finances in one place.

The other major limitation of EverBank Business Interest Checking is that you must be engaged in a sole proprietorship to qualify for the account. While this includes a large majority of small businesses in the U.S., business owners participating in a partnership, corporation or LLC must look at other options. If you do qualify for an account with EverBank, you'll be able to take advantage of its slightly cheaper fees on everything from incoming wire transfers to monthly maintenance.

Best Interest Checking Bonus: TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking

Consider this if you're interested in earning a boosted interest rate without a minimum balance requirement.

Monthly Fee $0.00
Balance to Waive Fee $0
Opening Deposit $5,000.00

If you want a low-balance account with a temporary boost to the interest rate, the TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking Account offers new customers 1.21% APY during the first year. The main advantage of this account is the fact that you'll receive that rate for one year with no required minimum balance. Other banks often require you to deposit substantial sums in order to earn their advertised deposit rates.

After the bonus period ends, TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking still gives customers an above-average rate. However, the standard APY will depend on your balance, with moderate rate bumps when your balance hits $10,000.00, $25,000.00, and $100,000.00. You receive 0.25% APY for any balance regardless. As a final benefit, the Yield Pledge Checking account comes with TIAA Bank's promise to keep the interest rate within the top 5% of rates offered by the nation's largest banks on similar accounts—as determined by the bank.

Summary of the Best Interest Checking Accounts

Sometimes it can help to evaluate your choices in context. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the best high interest checking accounts.

Best For...AccountAPYMin Balance for APY
High Interest RateRedneck Rewards Checking2.75%$0.00
Mobile App FeaturesMemoryBank EarnMore Account1.60%$0.00
No Activity RequirementsRadius Hybrid Checking0.85%$2,500.00
Larger BalancesCapital One High Yield Checking0.20%$0.01
Business AccountsEverBank Business Interest Checking0.20%$0.00
Obtaining Bonus InterestTIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking0.25%$0.00

What to Consider in a High-Interest Checking Account

If you want to look for the highest rates on checking accounts for yourself, we recommend looking through online banks. We compiled this list of interest checking accounts with an emphasis on banks that offer the highest rates and charge the lowest recurring fees. When you take those two factors as your top priority, it becomes apparent that online checking accounts dominate.

But even though brick-and-mortar banks can't often match online rates, some people may prefer to do part of their banking in person. Brick-and-mortar banks also have a greater range of products and services than their online-only counterparts. If you're more interested in accessing such services than in maximizing your interest rate, there are plenty of brick-and-mortar interest checking options that can be linked to other accounts, such as investments and loans. Consolidating your finances at one institution makes it much simpler to manage all your funds: for example, you might want to set up automatic payments on your mortgage with regular transfers from your interest checking account at the same bank.

Chris Moon

Chris is a Senior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin who has covered deposit accounts and home loans since 2016. He has contributed insights and opinions to the New York Times and many other publications.

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