7 Best High-Yield Checking Accounts of 2020

Check out these top options when it comes to checking accounts.

Checking accounts aren’t usually known for paying high rates of interest. Instead, savings accounts tend to be kings of the deposit account world when it comes to high annual percentage yields. But there are exceptions to the rule. Some checking accounts manage to provide traditional services such as bill pay and ATM access while still paying high rates of interest.

For 2020, a number of standout checking accounts combine extensive services with high APYs. This list is a good place to start if you’re looking for the best available high-interest checking accounts.

Here’s a look at what you’ll find in this guide:

Best Checking Accounts at a Glance

Here’s a quick overview of the best high-interest checking accounts of 2020:

The Best High-Interest Checking Accounts of 2020
BankAccountMinimum DepositService FeeMinimum BalanceAPYBalance To Avoid Fees
Radius BankRewards Checking$100$0$0Up to 0.10%$0
LegacyTexas BankMaximum Checking$100$0$0Up to 1.00%$0
MidFirst BankeChecking$100$10$0Up to 1.00%$500
FNBO DirectOnline Checking Account$1$0$0.010.65%$0
Bank5 ConnectHigh-Interest Checking Account$10$0$00.25%$0
First Internet BankInterest Checking$100$10$5000.70%$500
BancorpSouthPerformance Checking$50$10$0Up to 0.75%$1,000

See: Best Banks of 2020

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Best High-Yield Checking Accounts of 2020

All of the best high-yield checking accounts of 2020 have their strong points, but they’re different in terms of individual features and benefits. Here’s a quick look at the characteristics of each account.


Radius Bank: Rewards Checking

Why Consumers Like It: A great APY paired with free worldwide ATM withdrawals put Radius Bank’s Rewards Checking account near the top of the list when it comes to high-interest checking accounts.

Benefits:

  • Earn 1% cash back on daily purchases if you have at least $2,500 in monthly direct deposits or an average daily account balance of $2,500
  • Earn up to 0.10% APY
  • Free ATMs worldwide 
  • Free first order of checks 

Drawbacks:

  • High balance of $2,500 required to earn the lowest APY  
  • $25 nonsufficient funds/returned item fee 

Fees: $0 

Minimum Deposit: $100 

Minimum Balance: $0  

Balance To Avoid Fees: $0 

APY: Up to 0.10%

How To Open an Account: You can apply online for a Radius Bank account in less than three minutes. 

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FNBO Direct: Online Checking Account

Why Consumers Like It: FNBO Direct’s online checking account has no monthly fees, a high APY and plenty of freebies, from online banking and stop payments to bill pay.

Benefits:

  • No monthly fees
  • Access to more than 2 million ATMs with no FNBO fees
  • Free incoming wires
  • Free person-to-person payments with PopMoney
  • High APY
  • Free debit card fraud monitoring

Drawbacks:

  • No paper checks available 
  • $33 overdraft fee, up to four times per day 

Fees: $0 

Minimum Deposit: $1 

Minimum Balance: 1 cent

Balance To Avoid Fees: $0 (no fees)  

APY: 0.65% 

How To Open an Account: You can apply online for an FNBO Direct account in about 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll need a Social Security number or tax ID number, your driver’s license or state ID, employment information, information about any outstanding loans or mortgages, and current bank account and routing numbers for funding purposes. 

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Bank5 Connect: High-Interest Checking Account

Why Consumers Like It: The Bank5 Connect high-interest checking account pays a respectable APY on all balances, rebates up to $15 in monthly out-of-network ATM fees and doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees. 

Benefits: 

  • Relatively high APY on all balances
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Free in-network ATMs and up to $15 in out-of-network fee reimbursements per month
  • Free first order of basic checks
  • Purchase Rewards program

Drawbacks: 

  • $1 fee per month for paper statements 
  • $100 minimum to earn interest 

Fees: $0 

Minimum Deposit: $10 

Minimum Balance: $0

Balance To Avoid Fees: $0 (no fees) 

APY: 0.25%

How To Open an Account: If you have a Social Security number, valid ID and previous home address, you can open a Bank5 Connect account online in about 10 minutes. You’ll also need to provide a source of funding. 

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MidFirst Bank: eChecking

Why Consumers Like It: MidFirst Bank offers a very high APY on balances all the way up to $20,000, and there are easy ways to avoid paying the $10 monthly fee. 

Benefits:

  • High 1.00% APY on balances up to $20,000 
  • Free online bill pay
  • Free mobile check deposits

Drawbacks:

  • $34 overdraft fee
  • To avoid the monthly fee of $10, you need either a $500 minimum balance or $250 in monthly direct deposits
  • Low APY on balances of $20,000 or more 

Fees: $10

Minimum Deposit: $100 

Minimum Balance: $0

Balance To Avoid Fees: $500

APY: Up to 1.00%

How To Open an Account: To open a MidFirst eChecking account, you must schedule an appointment with a bank officer. You can also contact the bank directly at 888-MIDFIRST.

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First Internet Bank logo 2019
First Internet Bank: Interest Checking

Why Consumers Like It: Up to $10 in monthly ATM fee reimbursements and a high APY make First Internet Bank’s Interest Checking account a compelling option.

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Benefits: 

  • High APY for all deposits
  • Up to $10 in ATM fee reimbursements monthly 
  • Free online and mobile bill pay
  • Free first order of checks

Drawbacks: 

  • High $10 monthly fee without $500 average daily balance
  • $30 overdraft/NSF fee

Fees: $10 

Minimum Deposit: $100  

Minimum Balance: $500

Balance To Avoid Fees: $500  

APY: 1.00%

How To Open an Account: Customers can open a First Internet Bank checking account online. You must be a legal U.S. resident and at least 18 years of age. You also need to have a valid Social Security number and government-issued ID.

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LegacyTexas Bank: Maximum Checking

Why Consumers Like It: The Maximum Checking account from LegacyTexas Bank ticks all the boxes when it comes to a great online checking account: no account fees, a high APY and no ATM fees anywhere. 

Benefits: 

  • High APY of up to 1.00%
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No ATM fees anywhere
  • No minimum balance requirement

Drawbacks:

  • Requires monthly direct deposit or online bill payment 
  • $35 overdraft fee 

Fees: $0 

Minimum Deposit: $100

Minimum Balance: $0

Balance To Avoid Fees: $0

APY: Up to 1.00%  

How To Open an Account: You can open a LegacyTexas Maximum Checking account online. You’ll need to agree to account disclosures and agreements and provide personal and financial information to get the process started. You’ll also need to designate a beneficiary and fund your account. 

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BancorpSouth: Performance Checking

Why Consumers Like It: BancorpSouth’s Performance Checking offers a top-tier APY if you meet certain requirements. You also get ATM fee reimbursements and helpful online tools.

Benefits:

  • Top-tier APY available
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Up to five ATM fee reimbursements per period
  • Online budgeting tool

Drawbacks: 

  • Top APY requires qualifying activities, including a minimum of 12 debit card purchase transactions, enrollment in online statements, and a direct credit or debit 
  • Top APY only applies on first $30,000 deposited
  • $36 NSF/overdraft fees 

Fees: $10 

Minimum Deposit: $50 

Minimum Balance: $0 

Balance To Avoid Fees: $1,000 

APY: Up to 0.75% 

How To Open an Account: You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien to open an account online with BancorpSouth. The process takes about 10 minutes and requires a Social Security number, previous home address, valid driver’s license and U.S. checking or savings account information.

Related: Are High-Yield Savings Accounts Worth It? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

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Do All Checking Accounts Pay Interest?

Checking accounts are meant for day-to-day banking, so deposited funds don’t normally remain in the account for very long. That’s why many banks don’t pay interest on regular checking accounts. If they do, rates are usually pretty low.

But because the financial services industry is very competitive, some banks offer high checking account rates to lure business away from competitors. That’s one of the primary motivations for many banks on this list.

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What Is a Good Interest Rate on a Checking Account?

A good interest rate on a checking account is one that pays above the national average. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the average rate on an interest-bearing checking account as of April 27 is only 0.04%. To be one of the best-paying checking accounts, it must pay a much higher rate, as demonstrated in the table above.

Local, regional and national banks can offer promo rates at any time that might become among the highest available. Shop around for the best rates and be aware of any promotional terms or restrictions.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Checking Account

There’s no single checking account that’s the absolute best for all people. While banks have some leeway as to the types of features and benefits they can offer, no bank can afford to give away everything to customers. As a result, some banks might offer lower fees or higher APYs while others might offer free services. Before deciding on a bank or checking account, it’s important to understand what your banking needs are and to match those needs with the right bank.

That being said, there are some touchstone categories that most checking account holders consider important when comparing different banks. The best checking accounts tend to have some combination of the following:

  • Low maintenance fees
  • High APY
  • No overdraft fees
  • No ATM fees
  • Reimbursement of third-party ATM fees
  • Free and unlimited checking
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Free and easy transfer capabilities
  • Free bill pay

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How Are Banks Able To Offer High-Interest Checking?

Banks offer high APYs for a simple reason: to lure customers away from other financial institutions. Any interest that a bank pays out to customers has to come out of its profit, so banks must calculate how much they can afford to pay to customers and still remain profitable. High-interest checking accounts are often found at online banks, which have lower costs due to their lack of physical locations.

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Which Is the Best High-Yield Checking Account for You?

The best high-yield checking account for you is the one that best meets your overall banking needs. Whether you prioritize a bank with no fees, one with ATM fee rebates or one with the highest APY available, chances are that one of the banks listed above can fit the bill.

Up Next: Best New Bank Promotions and Bonuses Available Now

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More From GOBankingRates

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of March 12, 2020.

GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their circumstances.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.