When was the last time your checking account made you some extra money? As Bankrate discovered in a recent survey, the average checking account yields just 0.06% in interest each year. Your money is earning essentially no interest, and it isn’t reaching its highest potential.
Your checking account should be making more out of your money – it should increase your funds and add interest to the bucks you have in the bank. There are checking accounts that will pay you as much as 5% in interest. You just need to know where to find them.
Move your money into a high-yield checking account for 2018, and you’ll be putting your income to better use. Imagine what you could do with an extra 5% back in your pocket.
How to Make The Most Out of a High-Yield Checking Account
The average American’s checking account is almost completely useless. In fact, you could store your cash in your mattress and reap the same benefits as a traditional checking account. Most of us deposit money into our checking account only to store it until it’s needed. As it sits in that account, it’s doing nothing.
The first step in making more money off of every deposit into your checking account is to assess the interest rate and the monthly fees. Many banks offer great interest rates, but charge a fee if you don’t carry a certain balance in your account or meet a certain number of purchase each month. These sizable fees aren’t going to help you make any money.
Student Loan Hero also recommends comparing the monthly fees with ATM fees, overdraft fees, and interest earnings before selecting a new account to open. If you don’t calculate how much your checking account will be spending, you might miss an important earnings factor: the account might eat up every cent of the interest you earn. For example, a checking account that offers 2% interest sounds great. However, if you’re paying $5 every time you use an ATM, you aren’t going to make any money.
It’s also important, as Bankrate points out, to determine whether you can meet the requirements necessary to earn your account’s highest yield. This can mean setting up a regular direct deposit, making specific purchases each month, or using the checking account instead of your traditional savings account.
The Best Checking Accounts with Interest Rates
Available at Northpointe Bank
Considered the best high-yield checking account by Bankrate, the Ultimate Account by Northpointe Bank offers an impressive 5% APY (or annual percentage yield). You’ll earn 5% interest on your account balance below $10,000. Though you will have to pay ATM fees if you use non-Northpointe machines, the bank does reimburse these fees up to $10 per month.
To get started, you simply need to visit a local Northpointe Bank branch and make a $100 deposit.
High 5 Checking Account
Available at First Financial Credit Union
At First Financial Credit Union, you can score another bank account with a 5% APY. There’s no minimum balance required, and no monthly fee. The High 5 checking account does limit your earnings–if you have more than $2,500 in your account, you won’t earn interest on any dollars over that cap.
In order to qualify for one of these checking accounts, you need to become a member of First Financial. Anyone who makes a donation to a nonprofit can join the credit union and open new accounts.
All Access Advantage Checking Account
Available at La Capitol Federal Credit Union
La Capitol Federal Credit Union offers the chance to 4.25% APY with their high-yield All Access Advantage checking account. You’ll earn that 4.25% on any balance up to $5,000 (balances totaling $5,001 or more will earn just 0.15%). This account does require an opening balance of $50, but offers reimbursements of $25 in ATM fees each month.
Pay a $20 fee, and you’ll become a full member of this credit union, able to take advantage of all of its benefits and perks.
Kasasa Cash Checking Account
Available at One American Bank
An entirely free checking account that offers high-yield perks, the Kasasa Cash option offers 3.50% APY. There are no fees, no monthly minimums or direct deposits required, and allows you to earn interest on any account balance up to $10,000. You’ll also get refunded any and all ATM withdrawal charges you rack up anywhere across the country.
To get started, you need to make a $50 deposit and open a new account.
Available at Aspiration
Aspiration’s Summit checking account isn’t as high-yield as the others on this list, but it does come with some great perks. Named the “Best Checking Account in America” by Money and called a top-ranked choice for checking by NerdWallet, Aspiration claims to offer 100 times the interest rate of big banks. There are no fees and it costs just $10 to get started.
The Summit checking account does offer 1% interest–which is far better than your average bank. In order to get that great interest rate, you’ll need to maintain a balance of at least $2,500 each month.
Earn More From Your Money With a Smarter Checking Account in 2018
Your current checking account is most likely not doing you any financial favors. Instead of letting your money sit, free of interest and any benefits, consider switching to a checking account that actually makes you more money. There are a number of different options, and you can find the right fit for your income or banking needs.
To get started, you’ll want to assess all of the different high-yield and interest-earning checking account choices online. After all, you don’t want to miss out on great perks like incredibly 5% interest or $0 in fees.