What’s the Best High-Yield APY Checking Account Option?

Checking accounts typically offer an interest rate of near zero, which leads most of us to keep funds in a high-yield savings account instead. Someone who likes/needs to have quick access on large amount of funds from their regular checking account can use the two account method. Open a checking and savings account with a bank like Ally or Discover or some others, keep all liquid funds in the savings account, and make an instant transfer to the checking account when needed.

We once wrote that from all the high-yield accounts, there’s only one checking account with a decent yield. That’s the Memory Bank 1.60% .90% checking account. And I wrote a follow-up post when Memory Bank began maintaining an attractive money market account with an interest rate near the top of all available accounts. That makes it a nice place to keep funds longer term.

Readers have pointed out a few other options for those who like to keep a high amount of liquid funds available in their regular checking account:

  1. Memory Bank high interest checking account – rate is .90% at the time of this writing.
  2. Citi Elevate high interest checking account – rate is 1.00% APY at the time of this writing.
  3. Reader Tim suggests using Ally checking as your regular checking account, and keep all your funds in the linked Ally savings account (current interest rate is 2.20% on that). Enroll in the overdraft auto-transfer, and it’ll automatically pull any funds needed to cover checks or debits made on the checking account. Reader Arch notes that you can do a similar setup with Discover as well. Just keep in mind there is a limit of 6 withdrawals per month from a savings account.
  4. Reader Jeremy and David H tell of another option which is to use the Fidelity Cash Management Account as your main checking account. You can keep your money in the Fidelity Money Market Account, such as SPRXX (has recently been earning over 2% APY), and use the Fidelity ‘sweep’ option to automatically pull funds out of the money market fund to cover any debits or checks in your cash management account. Fidelity also has some nice ATM benefits as well.
  5. We recently wrote about the SoFi Money hybrid checking/savings account which (currently) earns an interest rate of 2.25% APY. They used to require spend and deposits to get that rate, but no longer. That makes them a terrific option to use as your regular checking account; much higher than the Memory Bank 1.6% rate. [There are other hybrid accounts like Wealthfront 2.50% which might be a good option.] Level Bank is another similar option as well.
  6. Readers note in the comments here that there are some checking accounts with requirements that offer a high yield on a limited amount of funds. If the requirements aren’t difficult for you and the limit works for you (in other words, you aren’t looking to  hold a very large balance), these could be even better the previously mentioned options since the rate or return is often  higher. The best examples would be the Orion FCU 4% rewards checking account on balances up to $30,000 or the Heritage Bank account which  is available nationwide and offers 3.33% APY rewards checking account on balances up to $25,000. Both require and ACH/DD and some debit transactions to get the rate.

[Post updated on 11/19/19.]

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A-rom (@guest_1024236)
July 27, 2020 14:53

@doctorofcredit, Please create a list high yield checking account. I see this page is not well updated

Amanda (@guest_1563573)
February 24, 2023 20:48

I’m curious if it would be possible to make a separate section on the high yield savings acct page for high yield checking accounts?

Especially if it highlighted ones that are good hub accounts, have good savings accounts, and allow high yield supplementary savings accounts. Aka good banks for everyday banking.

William Charles
Lightspeed (@guest_827755)
October 20, 2019 13:11

Radius refreshed their checking accounts recently; Rewards Checking is a 1+1 setup where you get 1% back on debits like you do with Discover Checking plus 1.2% APY.

They also have a pairing savings account, although this requires $25k for a decent yield (1.25% for $2.5k-$24,999; 2% for $25k+.)

LoveFreeStuff (@guest_718909)
February 7, 2019 15:36

I don’t have the time/interest for any accounts with qualifications. The MemoryBank checking has been great for me. Only downside is many of the ATMs in their system don’t accept cash deposits (maybe the region I’m in). Still worth it tho, I barely do any cash depositing.

den bish
den bish (@guest_718537)
February 6, 2019 20:13

Which Heritage Bank are you talking about?

Gly (@guest_718519)
February 6, 2019 19:38

What about buying treasuries? You earn 2.3%–2.6% APY depending on the duration and the interest is state-tax free.

Frank (@guest_718655)
February 7, 2019 00:19

My landlord doesn’t take treasuries :/

TJ (@guest_718489)
February 6, 2019 19:03

Alliant Credit Union at 65bps is one of the better options. Unfortunately they haven’t been raising the checking account rate though. It used to be a lot closer to the savings account rate.

SL (@guest_718452)
February 6, 2019 18:18

Alliant offers 0.65% on their Checking account in addition to 2.1% on Savings

5150d (@guest_718397)
February 6, 2019 16:58

If you have your checking accounts at CHASE you can open a Chase You Invest account and have your funds invested in VUSXX which is a 100% US Treasury Money Fund managed by Vanguard. Move funds back and forth as needed. VUSXX is currently paying 2.34% and is State Tax Free. In CA that equates to a 2.6% return.

are you sure
are you sure (@guest_718453)
February 6, 2019 18:24

Doesn’t this require buying and selling, which is $2.95 plus regulatory fees after the first 100 trades?

Jeremy (@guest_719722)
February 9, 2019 03:44

US Treasuries have no commission at YouInvest.

Jeremy (@guest_718463)
February 6, 2019 18:33

Not sure how you’re calculating that. Many in CA are in the 9.3% bracket. You still have to pay federal taxes on treasuries.

Jeremy (@guest_726480)
February 24, 2019 02:39

Vanguard Prime Money Market 7 day yield is 2.46% APY with 27% being treasury bills and 9.5% being “US Govt Obligations.”

JOHN (@guest_718359)
February 6, 2019 16:05

I currently use 2 different checking accounts that offer a combined 3% return, up to $40,000! A 3% return on $40,000 = $1,200 annually [if you max it out] The best part about these accounts is, they are accessible to everyone!

Old Missouri Bank: Kasasa Cash Checking
3.01% return on up to $25,000 = $750+ a year

Lake Michigan Credit Union: Max Checking
3% return on up to $15,000 = $450 a year

mcafeeee (@guest_718280)
February 6, 2019 14:37

The PNC virtual wallet account has been pretty nice. The growth account is currently paying 2.40% for me (TN resident). I send a DD to the spend account and then transfer excess funds over to the growth account each month.