Best Bank Account for Couples – Low-Fee, High APY Picks for 2023

Sections of this topic

    Couples can benefit from shared funds for family expenses and planning for the future. The best bank account for couples should offer added incentives in the form of interest or minimal fees. This article looks at the choices for couples currently available.

    Best Bank Account for Couples

    Our Methodology

    When looking at the best bank account for couples, we looked at monthly fees and balance requirements for each account. We also wanted to identify checking accounts with the potential to pay out interest, or at least offer savings accounts that complement them well. Lastly, we deeded it important to transfer and withdraw funds from the most locations possible.

    Check out a more detailed explanation of our methodology here.

    Bank Account

    Fees

    Minimum Balance

    APY

    Other Available Accounts

    ATM Network

    No monthly fees, $20 per outgoing wire, $15 for expedited delivery

    $0

    0.10% for accounts under $15,000, 0.25% otherwise

    Savings, Money Market, CDs, Mortgages, Loans, Investments

    43,000 no-fee ATMs

    No monthly fees, $35 for domestic and $45 for international outgoing wires

    $0

    Up to 1.25% if requirements are met

    Savings, Money Market, CDs, Mortgages, Loans, Investments

    Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements

    No monthly fees, $25 for domestic and $50 for international outgoing wires, $10 dormant account fee

    $0

    0.25%

    Savings, CDs, Mortgages, Loans, Investments

    Over 80,000 fee-free ATMs

    $0 to $12 monthly service fee, $34 overdraft fee, up to $50 wire transfers

    $1,500 to avoid fees

    0%

    Savings, CDs, Mortgages, Loans, Investments, Home Equity

    Over 16,000 fee-free ATMs

    No monthly fees, $20 per domestic wire out, $40 per international wire out

    $0

    0.10% from $2,500 to $100,000, 0.15% on balances beyond that

    Savings, CDs, Loans, Mortgages, Auto Refinancing

    Free ATMs worldwide

    No monthly fees, $30 outgoing wire transfers

    $0

    0%

    Savings, CDs, Money Market, Retirement

    Over 60,000 fee-free ATMs

    $5 monthly fee if balance is below minimum, $25 overdraft fee, up to $45 for wire transfer

    $500

    0.10% to 2.25

    Savings, CDs, Mortgages, Home Equity

    Over 88,000 fee-free ATMs

    Ally bank logo

    Ally Interest Checking: Best Overall Bank Account for Couples

    4.8

    Ally has minimal account fees and offers a clear list of what it does charge. Best of all, there’s no minimum balance required to start up or maintain an account. For a checking account, its interest rate stands well above the competition. You will have to hold onto your cash since Ally has no physical location nor the means to deposit it. If you’re in a hurry, some transactions may move more slowly than you’d like.

    Why we chose it: Ally Interest Checking gives couples access to a nice APY while avoiding unnecessary fees.

    • High APY rate
    • No monthly fees
    • No minimum account balance
    • No physical locations
    • Can’t deposit cash
    • Online transfers can take up to three days

    Fees

    Ally limits its fees to outgoing domestic wires ($20) and expedited deliveries ($15), which is lower than other top banks, such as Axos and Alliant Credit Union. Nearly everything else, including overdrafts, incoming wires, and low balances doesn’t cost you a thing. The bank also doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees, no matter your balance.

    Minimum Balance

    There’s no limit on the amount of money you need to keep in your account at any given time. Whether high or low, Ally won’t ding you for your balance.

    APY

    Ally blows the 0.03% industry standard out of the water, offering between 0.1% and 0.25% depending on your monthly balance. Once your checking eclipses $15,000, you’ll start receiving 0.25% interest as long as you can maintain that number. Compared to Chase and Discover’s 0%, 0.25% feels like a breath of fresh air.

    Other Available Accounts

    In addition to interest checking, Ally has savings, money market, CDs, and investment accounts to tuck money into. The bank can also serve mortgages and loans to those in need. Here’s a list of the best mortgage lenders for you.

    ATM Network

    The online-only bank boasts 43,000 fee-free ATMs around the country you can use to collect funds. This is a bit on the lower side next to Presidential and Alliant’s 80,000+ machines. Unfortunately, there’s no way to use the machines to deposit money back into your account. 

    Axos logo

    Axos Bank Rewards Checking: Best Bank Account for Couples That Use ATMs

    4.6

    There are countless ATMs scattered across the United States, and Axos lets you use any one of them for free. This helps alleviate the lack of physical locations and charges for personal checks. After setting up your account, you’ll never have to worry about monthly fees or keeping a minimum balance. While the APY can reach record heights, you have to jump through some hoops to get there.

    Why we chose it: The Axos Bank Rewards Checking account allows couples to draw funds from any ATM in the country without paying a penny. Members also benefit from zero monthly fees and the potential for a high-interest rate.

    • Unlimited free ATM use across the U.S.
    • No minimum balance
    • No monthly fees
    • No physical locations
    • Convoluted interest checking calculation
    • No free checks

    Fees

    Axos Bank avoids monthly fees on its Rewards Checking account, no matter how low your balance may go. You’ll never receive a charge for using an ATM, suffering an overdraft, or incoming wire transfers. Domestic and international outgoing wires cost $35 and $45 respectively, with a $10 fee for any returned deposits. It’s also one of the best free business bank accounts.

    Minimum Balance

    Like Ally’s $0 minimum balance, Axos Bank also doesn’t require a certain amount of money in your account. Unlike Ally, Axos does need a $50 initial deposit to get your account up and rolling.

    APY

    Members can achieve up to 1.25% APY with Rewards Checking if you meet certain conditions, blowing Ally’s 0.25% out of the water. It is possible to not earn any interest at all if you’re not careful. Here are the ways to earn some APY:

    • Monthly direct deposits totaling $1,500 or more: 0.40%
    • Minimum of 10 debit card transactions per month: 0.30%
    • Maintain a Managed Portfolio Account of $2,500 or more: 0.20%
    • Maintain an Invest Self Directed Trading Account of $2,500 or more: 0.20%
    • Have a loan and make the full monthly payment each month: 0.15%

    With the Rewards Checking account alone, it’s possible to earn up to 0.70% APY no matter what your account balance is. Should you want to raise the interest rate more, you’ll have to check out other account options.

    Other Available Accounts

    Axos features interest-bearing savings, money market, CD, and investment accounts for those interested. The online bank also offers the potential for loans and mortgages.

    ATM Network

    Axos’ ATM network reigns king, allowing free access to any machine in the country. Even if an ATM declares a fee, Axos will reimburse you the amount without question. You’ll never have to worry about hunting for a fee-free ATM again. Chase’s 16,000 ATMs don’t hold a candle to this level of service.

    Alliant logo

    Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking: Best Credit Union Account for Couples

    4.5

    Alliant introduces the comforts of a credit union on top of its APY to sweeten the pot. The rate comes alongside no minimum balance requirements and zero monthly maintenance fees. This account has high outgoing wire fees, and you’re stuck waiting until the end of the month for the dividend to roll in. The credit union doesn’t have physical locations, limiting access to online only.

    Why we chose it: Alliant helps keep fees down and customer service high as a non-profit credit union.

    • Good customer service team is always available
    • No monthly fees
    • No minimum balance requirements
    • High outgoing wire fees
    • Lower APY
    • Limited accessibility

    Fees

    You won’t worry much about fees with Alliant, as the credit union doesn’t charge a monthly rate for keeping your account. It waives overdraft fees, in-network ATM transactions, and even your first box of checks. Fees show up with outgoing domestic wires ($25) or international ones ($50) and are sprinkled throughout for things like inactivity and collections. Fees appear more frequently than with Ally and Axos’ top accounts.

    Minimum Balance

    Alliant users don’t have to worry about keeping a minimum balance. There’s never any fear of a monthly fee or the credit union closing your account if you don’t meet a certain threshold.

    APY

    Alliant’s APY is a respectable 0.25%, still nearly ten times the industry standard for checking accounts. This is a blessing when Chase’s Total Checking doesn’t offer a thing.

    Other Available Accounts

    Even as a credit union, Alliant offers many of the same account options as the big banks. Customers can pick up savings or investment accounts and CDs with High-rate Checking. Other options include loans and mortgages.

    ATM Network

    Alliant has over 80,000 ATMs in its extensive network across the country, much higher than Ally’s 46,000. Users shouldn’t have to look far to locate one that won’t charge to withdraw from.

    Chase Business logo

    Chase Total Checking: Most Accessible Bank Account for Couples

    4.2

    Chase Bank is one of the most popular in the country, with over 4,700 locations and an incredible online banking center. While it has thousands of ATMs in its network, the number pales in comparison to other banks out there. The Total Checking account can charge a $12 monthly fee and doesn’t offer any interest, but does have accounts for kids as young as 6 to get them started saving right.

    Why we chose it: Chase’s Total Checking account is easy to access from anywhere, with thousands of locations and a top-notch online platform.

    • Over 4,700 branch locations
    • Stellar mobile banking services
    • Has accounts for kids
    • $12 monthly fee
    • No APY
    • Fewer ATM locations

    Fees

    For those unprepared, Chase’s Total Checking account does have a $12 monthly fee. This is steep compared to the likes of Ally and Axos that don’t charge a thing. However, it’s not too hard to get around this fee if you meet one of the following requirements:

    • Monthly deposits totaling $500 or more
    • A balance of $1,500 or more each day of the month

    Alongside the monthly fee, you’ll be charged $34 any time you overdraft your account. Wire transfers can cost up to $50 per transaction, whether incoming or outgoing.

    Minimum Balance

    Chase Total Checking does not require a minimum balance to keep your account open. If you want to avoid monthly fees, you’ll want to keep at least $1,500 in there at all times.

    APY

    Unfortunately, Chase’s Total Checking does not offer any APY for members, a sharp contract to Axos’ 1.25%. As a result, it’s best to pair the benefits of this checking account with one of Chase’s many savings options.

    Other Available Accounts

    Chase lives up to its reputation as a large bank with several checking, savings, and investment account options. It’s also possible to snag a CD or look into loans and home equity plans.

    ATM Network

    Chase keeps its ATM network close to its chest and only lets customers use Chase-branded ATMs for free. Fees at non-Chase ATMs can reach $2.50 or $5.00 per transaction. With only 16,000 machines to choose from, Chase pales in comparison to Alliant and Presidential.

    LendingClub logo

    LendingClub Rewards Checking: Best Bank Account for Couples Wanting Cash Back

    4.1

    LendingClub understands there’s nothing like earning money for buying what you already need. The platform offers 1% cash back on all purchases with its debit card but does require members to meet specific requirements. Its checking account does not charge monthly fees and will reimburse you for ATM use anywhere in the world. The interest rate is a little low, and there are limited options for other accounts should you wish to diversify your money.

    Why we chose it: LendingClub’s Rewards Checking gifts members with interest and cash back on purchases made with its debit card.

    • 1% cash back on debit card purchases without limit
    • Worldwide ATM rebates
    • No monthly fees
    • Limited account offerings
    • Low interest rate
    • High requirements for cash back

    Fees

    Customers don’t have to worry about monthly fees with LendingClub, no matter what that account balance may be. As with most checking accounts, wire transfer fees can get out of hand if not careful.

    Minimum Balance

    Like Ally and Axos, LendingClub doesn’t require a monthly balance to maintain an account. There’s no minimum needed to avoid fees, either.

    APY

    LendingClub’s APY starts at 0.10% if you have at least $2,500 in your account. If you exceed $100,000, the rate jumps to 0.15%. While lower than Ally and Axos, even 0.10% is significantly higher than the industry standard.

    Other Available Accounts

    Unlike Ally and Axos, LendingClub doesn’t offer a wide range of bank accounts. Fortunately, members aren’t completely without options. It’s also possible to set up a personal loan or a mortgage for those big purchases.

    ATM Network

    Although LendingClub doesn’t have its own ATM network, it allows members to make use of ATMs around the globe for free. It will pay back any fees domestic or foreign ATMs may charge.

    Discover bank logo

    Discover Cashback Debit: Best Bank Account for Couples Wishing to Avoid Fees

    4.0

    While most bank accounts limit fees, Discover’s Cashback Debit goes way beyond the norm. You won’t even receive charges for things like debit card replacement or reordering checks. Early direct deposit allows you to pocket extra income before heading out the door for a weekend getaway. While the account does offer cash back, it caps at $3,000 per month and doesn’t pay out any interest.

    Why we chose it: Discover eliminates fees from all but outgoing wire transfers while offering cash back and early direct deposit.

    • Minimal fees
    • Early direct deposit
    • No minimum balance
    • Cashback caps at $3,000 per month
    • No APY
    • Online access only

    Fees

    Discover puts its foot down on fees, charging nothing for things like check reordering that even Ally has a price for. Other than out-of-network ATMs, the only fee you’ll see from Discover’s Cashback Debit is on outgoing wire transfers. A $30 flat rate for wires is significantly less than Chase or Alliant’s $50 international outgoing transfers.

    Minimum Balance

    There are no minimum balance requirements for a Discover Cashback Debit account. You won’t receive a charge even if your funds fall critically low.

    APY

    Unlike Ally’s 0.10% to 0.25%, Cashback Debit doesn’t have any APY. You may wish to drop extra funds in an interest-bearing savings account instead.

    Other Available Accounts

    Discover has a handful of savings, money market, and CD accounts that can generate interest on your hard-earned money. If you’re thinking long-term, there are also options for retirement investing available.

    ATM Network

    You can make use of over 60,000 ATMs around the country completely free of charge. While Discover won’t change for using them, some out-of-network ATMs may come with a fee. Here, Discover doesn’t stand too far off from Presidential’s 88,000 in-network.

    Presidential Bank logo

    Presidential Bank Advantage Checking: Best Bank Account for Couples Wanting High Interest

    4.0

    Presidential Bank’s Advance checking can reach heights of 2.23% interest on a checking account as long as your balance remains between $500 and $25,000. Freedom from monthly fees and 88,000 ATM locations help you better control your money. You will need to keep a minimum account balance to meet interest rate requirements and avoid monthly payments. If you write paper checks, Presidential Bank will charge you for using more than three in a given month.

    Why we chose it: Presidential Bank’s Advance Checking offers one of the highest interest rates out there while avoiding most banking fees.

    • Insanely high interest rate
    • Over 88,000 ATM locations
    • No monthly fees
    • Account has a minimum balance requirement
    • Must meet prerequisites to earn a high interest rate
    • Only three free paper checks per month

    Fees

    Fees are few and far between for the Advance Checking account as long as you’re careful. You need to maintain at least a $500 balance to avoid a $5 monthly fee, and you’ll also receive charges for overdrafts or if you send outgoing wires.

    Minimum Balance

    Advance Checking has a $500 initial deposit requirement, contrary to Ally not requiring a thing, and members will want to remain above that line to do away with a monthly fee. It’s worth noting that any funds exceeding $25,000 won’t earn the high interest rate.

    APY

    APY rates change depending on the funds in your account. Even if you can’t maintain a $500 balance, you’ll still receive 0.10% interest each month. Users between $500 and $25,000 have found the sweet spot, earning 2.23% interest on that full amount. Compare this to Axos bank, capping out at 1.25% if you’re able to meet all its requirements.

    Any funds in excess of $25,000 still generate interest, but at 0.75% instead. Even this rate crushes the industry standard of 0.03%!

    Other Available Accounts

    Should you need to look beyond checking accounts, you won’t find a whole lot here. Presidential Bank does have savings accounts and CDs with varying interest rates among them. It’s also possible to obtain a mortgage or line of credit.

    ATM Network

    Presidential Bank sees over 88,000 ATMs dotted throughout the countryside. You can use any one of these ATMs completely fee-free. Other ATMs may have a surcharge for use with a Presidential Bank card. Next to Ally or Chase, Presidential takes the cake with ATM options.

    Methodology for the Best Bank Account for Couples

    Several factors go into making bank accounts stand out. We considered each of the following when building our list of the best bank accounts for couples. 

    • Minimum Requirements: A good bank account for couples needs to be easy to open. The best bank accounts should not have high initial deposits or unrealistic balance requirements that make them difficult to use.
    • Fees: The bane of every bank account, fees seem counterintuitive when financial establishments should help funds grow. While some accounts nickel and dime you, the best ones avoid monthly fees and charges that chip away at hard-earned cash.
    • Interest Rate: Interest rates make banks more appealing than burying your paycheck in the backyard. Although some institutions offer high rates, it’s important to understand all the hoops you must travel through to unlock them.
    • Account Types: Banks and credit unions don’t stop at a solitary account, and you may not want to either. Having plenty of account options for your money allows for diversity and additional perks along the way.
    • ATM Network: If your money’s sitting in a bank, chances are you want to access it from time to time. ATMs provide a shortcut to pulling out much-needed cash, as long as there are enough of them. The best bank accounts for couples have tens of thousands of ATMs littered across the country, if not the world. 
    • Accessibility: Alongside ATMs, members need regular access to account information to transfer funds and make changes. If a bank doesn’t have a lot of physical locations, it should at least have an intuitive website you can visit from anywhere.
    • Other Rewards: Be on the lookout for bonuses that make an account even more appealing, such as overdraft forgiveness or ATM reimbursement. Some even go so far as to offer cash back or regular dividends.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Best Bank Account for Couples

    Finding the right bank for you and your spouse can be a complicated process. The answers to these frequently asked questions should help point you in the right direction.

    Bottom Line on Best Bank Account for Couples

    Joint bank accounts are an excellent way for spouses to share money, goals, and dreams. It allows families to keep all expenses together and keep better tabs on earnings. The best bank accounts for couples do the above with minimal fees and perks to make couples’ lives even easier.