Best joint checking accounts of April 2023 (2023)

The typical case for joint checking accounts is straightforward: it’s easier to manage two people’s money if there’s one account into which all income flows, and one account from which to pay the bills. However, there is another reason to do so: a happier marriage. Research shows that committed couples in long term relationships are better off if they bank together.

In the spirit of convenience and love, we combed through more than 300 accounts offered by the top banks and credit unions in the nation, looking at fees, ratings and access options to come up with the best joint checking accounts to find the best one for you, and yours.

Annual percentage yields (APYs) and account details are accurate as of March 21, 2023


  • Sofi Checking and Saving Account

  • Axos Bank Essential Checking

  • Aspiration Spend and Save

  • nbkc Bank Everything Account

  • LendingClub Rewards Checking

  • Compare the best checking accounts

  • National average for interest-bearing checking accounts

  • Methodology

  • Why you can trust us

  • Why some banks didn’t make the cut

  • What is a joint checking account?

  • What to look for when choosing a joint account

  • How to choose the best joint account

  • Pros and cons of a joint checking account

  • Should you and your partner get a joint checking account?

  • Joint checking account costs

  • How to open a joint checking account

  • Joint checking account requirements

  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Sofi Checking and Saving Account

Best joint checking accounts of April 2023 (1)

Blueprint Rating


1.20% to 4.00%

Minimum deposit


What you should know

As its name suggests, the Sofi Checking and Saving Account are a duo; sign up for one account and you get the other.

This joint banking product, though, works very well for joint checking account users. There’s little in the way of costs, meaning no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees or minimum balance fees. You’ll have access to more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs, as well as free overdraft coverage of up to $50 on debit card purchases if you have more than $1,000 in monthly deposits.

Currently when you sign up, you’ll earn a $50 bonus if you have direct deposits totalling between $1,000 and a penny less than $5,000 over a 25-day evaluation period (starting from your first direct deposit) and a $250 bonus if you receive more than $5,000. You’ll earn 1.20% APY on your checking balance and up to 4.00% on your savings if you use direct deposit (or 1.20% if you don’t).

You and your spouse can use automatic saving tools together, including Vaults, which lets you set goals and track your progress.

Pros and cons


  • Earns interest.
  • Few fees.
  • Automatic savings tools.


  • No physical branches.
  • No standalone checking accounts.
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Axos Bank Essential Checking

Best joint checking accounts of April 2023 (2)

Blueprint Rating



Minimum deposit


What you should know

One of the more annoying bits of sharing a checking account with your spouse is justifying expenses. Thankfully Axos Bank Essential Checking likely won’t add to that dynamic.

You’ll receive unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, and that’s if you happen to miss one of Axos’ 91,000 fee-free ATM locations. There’s no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees or non-sufficient fund fees, lessening the damage if you accidentally overdraw on your account. You needn’t worry about minimum balance requirements, either.

The account also offers all the features you’d expect in a modern checking account, including automatic bill pay, the ability to easily make peer-to-peer payments, early direct deposit and no minimum monthly balance requirement, so your funds aren’t tied up.

Pros and cons


  • No monthly balance minimums or maintenance fees.
  • Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements.
  • Well-rated app (4.5 out of 5 stars).


  • No APY.
  • No debit card rewards.

Aspiration Spend and Save

Best joint checking accounts of April 2023 (3)

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Blueprint Rating



Minimum deposit


What you should know

Aspiration Spend and Save makes sense for those couples who want a low fee checking account, and are also interested in promoting the environmentalist cause through banking.

First and foremost, though, the costs. There’s no monthly maintenance fee, no overdraft fee and non-sufficient funds fee. (Aspiration does prompt you to pay a fee of what you believe to be fair; we recommend $0.) You’ll be connected to a network of more than 55,000 ATMs, though there’s no reimbursement when you utilize an out-of-network ATMs.

Account holders earn 1% APY on their balance, which, while not earth-shattering, is better than nothing, which is what you’ll get from most checking products. You will have to spend $500 in debit purchases each month; we recommend you set up a revolving payment, such as a car loan, so you don’t have to think about it. Meanwhile, your deposits are insured up to $2.25 million, providing an added sense of security for some during rocky times.

As for the environmental aspect, Aspiration pledges your deposits won’t be used to fund fossil fuels, donates 10% of its fee revenue to charity, and provides debit cards made from recycled plastic.

Pros and cons


  • Your deposits are insured up to $2.25 million.
  • Few fees.
  • Focus on environmental sustainability.


  • APY requires $500 of qualifying debit card transactions monthly.
  • No physical branches.

nbkc Bank Everything Account

Best joint checking accounts of April 2023 (4)

Blueprint Rating



Minimum deposit


What you should know

The Everything Account marries checking and savings features in one place, allowing you to spend, earn interest and save.

Your debit card gets you access to 37,000 ATMs nationwide and your funds (until you spend them) earn 1.50% APY. If you venture outside of an nbkc ATM, you’ll receive $12 in monthly reimbursements. You can set savings goals and track your progress on them, plus there aren’t any monthly or overdraft fees to drag them down nor minimum balance requirements to tie them up.

Should you ever need account help, nbkc has a “Talk to a Human” option at the top of its website, which likely helped it achieve the A+ rating it earned from the Better Business Bureau.

Pros and cons


  • Competitive checking account interest rate.
  • Few fees.
  • Monthly $12 ATM fee reimbursements.


  • Only four branch locations (two in Kansas and two in Missouri).
  • Small ATM network.
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LendingClub Rewards Checking

Best joint checking accounts of April 2023 (5)

Blueprint Rating


0.10% to 0.15%

Minimum deposit


What you should know

Consumers typically face a trade-off: they tend to naturally spend less with cash (or debit cards) than credit products, but debit cards don’t offer rewards. LendingClub Rewards Checking, though, is one of the few products we surveyed that offered significant cash back on debit purchases (1% on all eligible purchases), which gives disciplined shoppers the best of both worlds. In order to qualify, though, you either need to maintain an average monthly balance of at least $2,500 or receive at least $2,500 in direct deposits. As a bonus, if your balance is $2,500 and up, it reaps 0.10% APY; while balances of $100,000 and up earn 0.15% APY.

Of course, checking account rewards wouldn’t be worthwhile if the account charged fees. LendingClub Rewards Checking, however, doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance or overdraft fee. There aren’t an especially high number of fee-free ATMs, roughly 20,000, but you’ll receive an unlimited number of ATM reimbursements.

Pros and cons


  • Cash back and APY.
  • Few fees.
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.


  • Limited number of fee-free ATMs.
  • $2,500 required in direct deposits or average balance to earn rewards.

Compare the best checking accounts

AccountStar ratingAPYMinimum deposit
SoFi Checking and Savings Account51.20% to 4.00%$0
Axos Bank’s Essential Checking4.80%$0
Aspiration’s Spend and Save Account4.81.00%$0
nbkc bank Everything Account4.81.50%$0
LendingClub Rewards Checking4.70.10% to 0.15%$25

National average for interest-bearing checking accounts

The national average for interest-bearing checking accounts sits at a paltry 0.06% APY as of March 20, 2023, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In your overall financial plan, you should use a savings account to earn interest rather than a checking account. Yet, some interest is better than no interest.

Savings productNational deposit rate
Interest checking0.06%
Money market0.54%
Three-month CD0.67%


We looked at more than 60 data points for over 300 checking accounts offered by 119 financial institutions, including Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Discover, TD Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs and USAA.

We evaluated each to create a star rating. A perfect score of 100 would get five stars; a score of 80 would get four stars and so on. Here are the categories we analyzed, what exactly we looked at for each and how we weighted them.

Fees: 50%

We believe that fees, or the lack thereof, are the most important consideration when selecting a checking account. While finding a bank that charges absolutely nothing is impossible, there are plenty with low service fees and no monthly maintenance fees.

Here’s how we added up and analyzed charges.

  • Monthly service fees (23%).
  • The ability to waive monthly fees (7.50%).
  • NSF fee (5%).
  • Overdraft fee (5%).
  • Out-of-network ATM fee (5%).
  • All other fees (2.50%).

As shown above, we heavily weighted the service fee as, once you choose a bank account, you can’t really opt out of an automatically recurring fee, unless you have the option to jump through a hoop or two, which can be a drag.

Customer experience: 20%

We rated accounts highly that had positive customer experience metrics — reviews matter.

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) grade (9%).
  • Trustpilot rating (9%).
  • Live chat availability (2%).

Digital experience: 10%

Following customer demand, banks are continuing to digitize their services. Deloitte reports that mobile channel digitization has increased between 2020 and 2022 across the 16 categories it evaluated in 193 banks.

We rewarded accounts that performed well on:

  • Apple’s App Store average rating (3.50%).
  • Google Play Store average rating (3.50%).
  • Availability of online bill pay (1%).
  • Ease of online banking access (2%).

Access: 10%

While some people only need a banking app and a debit card, in-person transactions can be preferred and even necessary at times. We scored banks with a wide-ranging ATM network higher and also gave some points to those with available bank branches.

  • ATM Network (7.00%).
  • Branches (3.00%).

Why you can trust us

The lead banking editor, Taylor Tepper, has over a decade of personal finance experience, including writing award-winning pieces at Money Magazine and being published in the New York Times, Time, Fortune, Bloomberg and NPR.

Jenn Jones, the deputy banking editor, brings years of writing and analytical skills to bear, as she was previously a senior writer at LendingTree, a finance manager at World Car dealerships and an editor at Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ.

Why some banks didn’t make the cut

Not only does every bank and credit union offer different benefits and disadvantages, but each checking account varies. Only the best made this list.

Many of the most well-known financial institutions didn’t make the cut because they charge fees. They can do this as they’re a defacto option for many Americans who are willing to pay fees for the brand name or because they don’t realize there are no-fee options.

Smaller banks and credit unions are typically more competitive as they seek to attract deposits.

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What is a joint checking account?

A checking account itself is a waystation to hold money as it comes in, before you divide it up and send it out to pay bills, buy things or increase your savings and investments.

A joint checking account is one that has two owners. Both people have equal rights to the account, meaning both can make deposits and withdrawals. Either one can withdraw all or part of the funds at any time, no matter who made the deposits.

Getting one with a trusted partner can be ideal. Unlike with independent accounts, you and the co-owner won’t need to send funds back and forth, and each person can see exactly where, when and who made money moves. This helps with transparency and, possibly, encouragement and accountability.

Co-owners are often spouses or related as parent and child since you are essentially sharing the money.

What to look for when choosing a joint account

Low fees. Monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, non-sufficient fund fees and a plethora of other nickel-and-dime items can eat away at your hard-earned income. The best accounts don’t have any monthly fees and charge little for extra services.

Rewards. While the strongest purchase rewards tend to be offered by credit cards and the strongest yields by securities, it doesn’t hurt to pick a joint checking account that offers cash back or interest.

Minimum requirements. Be sure that you both can meet the account requirements needed to keep it open and/or to qualify for rewards and possible fee waivers. Joining finances with another person can cause either or both of you to change your financial habits, so keep an eye on any minimum you both need to maintain.

Access. Consider how both you and your joint checking account co-owner will access the funds. If you don’t care about the size of an ATM network, check that your checking account co-owner feels the same.

Insurance coverage. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insure your deposits at banks and credit unions, respectively.

“This coverage applies to $250,000 per owner, per account type for each financial institution,” said Seth Mullikin, CFP at Lattice Financial in Charlotte.

For example, a couple could have $1 million in deposit insurance at the same bank; each owner with an individual account of $250k and then a joint account of $500k, he explained.

Use the FDIC database, or NCUA’s Credit Union locator, to research your bank’s deposit insurance policy.

How to choose the best joint account

Out of the 4,127 FDIC-insured banks and 4,853 NCUA-insured credit unions, you likely only want to have a joint bank account with one or two of them.

  1. Determine the features that you and your co-owner want. Do you want low minimum balance requirements? Does your partner want cash-back debit card rewards? Knowing what you’re after is vital to determining what “best” means to both of you.
  2. Do some research. Now that you know what you’re looking for, check out top banks and credit unions. Dig a little deeper into the aspects that you care about to be sure that there are no strings attached to them that turn you off. Check out the fees for services you may use often, like wire transfers.
  3. Pick a finalist or two. When you’ve matched what you want with what’s available, you’ve found your contenders. Keep in mind that you’re not limited to only having one joint checking account. You can have multiple joint accounts if you wish.

Pros and cons of a joint checking account

A joint checking account can be a powerful tool, but it requires you to have a strong bond of trust with your co-owner.


  • Easily share expenses. Rather than sending money back and forth to cover mutual expenses, such as rent, you can pay it out of the joint account.
  • Contribute toward savings goals together. It can be motivating to see your savings grow twice as fast with another person adding their efforts.
  • Gain financial transparency. Both account owners can see every financial transaction that happens in the account — deposits, withdrawals and debit card spending.
  • Have peace of mind with survivorship benefits. If one co-owner passes away, the other automatically has full ownership of the joint account assets.


  • There’s greater potential to overdraw. With two people’s bills and debit cards drawing on the account, you can face a greater risk of overdrafts (and overdraft fees).
  • Their debt may become your problem. If your co-owner owes money, the creditors can stake a claim to the funds in the joint account to cover those debts.
  • Transparency means a lack of privacy. How you spend your money can be personal. Seeing that a co-owner doesn’t share your same financial sense could cause strife.
  • A split relationship can split funds. If your relationship with the co-owner ends, either of you could claim half of the assets in the joint account, even if you contributed less than half.
  • Greater assets could reduce benefits. All of the assets in a joint account are considered to be owned by each co-owner. A sudden gain in wealth could reduce a co-owner’s ability to receive benefits like college financial aid or Medicaid.

Should you and your partner get a joint checking account?

Joint checking accounts offer awesome convenience and benefits to people who trust each other with money. You don’t need to be family, you don’t need to be married or dating, but you do need to have a strong relationship with honest communication.

By opening a joint account, both of you are trusting that your co-owner won’t drain the account and say bye the next time you have a disagreement.

To that end, you stand to gain different benefits from joint accounts depending on the relationship you have with your partner. Keep in mind that having a joint account doesn’t mean that you can’t still have separate, independent accounts.

Committed couples

Sharing the responsibility and the workload of managing finances can be a relief. Splitting living expenses, vacation costs from one pool of money is easier than having to do some potentially complicated math and transfer funds.

Talk with your partner about expectations — who will commit how much each month, how much should be set aside for savings and investing, and what’s acceptable regarding spending patterns and transaction amounts. Figure out when it’d be nice (or necessary) to check in before completing a transaction or signing up for another account that will be tied to the joint one.

“Once you have an account, the bank will try to cross sell you,” said Sarah Behr, registered investment advisor (RIA) and founder of Simplify Financial Money in San Francisco. “It benefits the bank more than it benefits the consumer.”

Parents with young children

In many cases, the best way to learn is by doing it. With a joint account, you can help your children learn about banking and money, while still having some control.

Subtypes of joint accounts, including youth and teen banking accounts, are specially designed to provide metaphorical bumper guards. For example, Capital One’s Money Teen Checking allows the adult to set spending limits, lock and unlock the debit card, and control the child’s access to Zelle.

Adult children with aging parents

If your parents struggle to manage their finances, perhaps forgetting to do things on time (or at all), a joint checking account could let you manage their bills without having to pay out of your own pocket.

A joint account with your parent may allow you to:

  • Pay their bills on time online.
  • Swipe the debit card when you pick up their medication or groceries.
  • Monitor transactions and flag suspicious activity.

A sudden, unexpected drop in your parents’ checking account funds could mean there’s fraud afoot or a scammer is involved. By monitoring transactions, you’ll be able to stay on top of things and potentially stop or reverse a problem.

Business partners

If your business is just getting off the ground and you don’t want to open a business checking account yet, you and a partner could open a joint checking account.

Having one pot of money to manage can be advantageous to moving things forward quickly. All the transparency a joint account provides can also make accounting easier when you and your business eventually have to file taxes.

Joint checking account costs

A joint account has all the same potential costs as a regular checking account.

Monthly maintenance fee. Sometimes called a service fee, this fee traditionally pays to keep the account open and operational. Many banks no longer charge it. For those that do, the fee is generally less than $10 each month.

Overdraft fee. If your account balance dips into the negatives (also called overdrafting), you not only have to make up the difference, you also have to pay a fee for each transaction that sends your account below zero or further below zero. According to the FDIC, overdraft fees typically cost $35.

Non-sufficient fund fee (NSF). In this case, if the bank doesn’t allow your account balance to become negative but you don’t have enough funds, the transaction won’t go through and the bank will charge you an NSF, which, on average, cost $34 each, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Wire fees. Transferring funds by wire almost always incurs a fee. While the exact fee can vary greatly, the median cost to receive a domestic wire in 2022 was $5 and the cost to send one was $25. International wires are more expensive. For example, TD Bank charges $30 for incoming international wires and $50 for outgoing international wires.

Out-of-network ATM fees. The average fee for going out-of-network to use an ATM hit a high in 2019 at $4.72. Now, that number has fallen and many banks offer ATM fee reimbursements.

Expedited mail fee. If you need something tangible ASAP, like a replacement credit or debit card, overnight delivery will likely cost you several dollars.

How to open a joint checking account

Choosing the financial institution you want may be intuitive or may take a while, but most banking account applications take only a few minutes.

1. Pick a provider

Your options include banks, credit unions, brokerages and online-only institutions that offer everything from high yields to brandname clout. Once you match what you’re looking for to what’s out there, you’ll go to the next step.

2. Apply for the joint account

Both you and your future banking partner will need to supply this data so it’s clear to the bank to whom the accounts assets will belong. We go into more detail on this in the next section.

  • Provide personal details. You’ll need to give your names, addresses and Social Security numbers to the bank you chose.
  • Agree to terms and conditions. Whether in person or online, you’ll both need to sign the bank’s contract that establishes the relationship.

3. Get approved and set up the account

In most cases, approval should be immediate and you’ll have the ability to set things up.

Pay the appropriate fees (if any). For accounts that do charge fees or for credit unions that require a membership donation, you typically have to pay only a nominal amount. If you don’t have to pay at the start, then you’ll need to have the funds to cover it in the account at the end of the first monthly period.

Make a deposit. If the bank requires that you make an initial deposit or maintain a set balance, you’ll need to transfer cash to fund the account. Of course, you can put more money into the account than you need to. If you’re in person, you could literally hand over dollars; if you’re online, you could transfer funds, which brings us to the next point.

Establish account connections. For the sake of transferring cash with ease, tie your joint checking account to other joint or individual financial accounts, which can be at that same financial institution or with others. Savings accounts, mobile wallets (like Venmo and Apple Pay) and investment accounts could all be connected.

Set up direct deposit and bill pay. To automatically fund the joint account, you and your partner can go ahead and set up direct deposit. If one or both of you don’t want your entire paycheck going to the joint account, you could set up an automatic fund transfer from another account that will siphon off only a percentage of your entire deposit. Once your account has some green in it, you could set up bill pay so money automatically goes where it needs to.

Activate debit cards. Within a week, you should receive your debit cards and any checks via the mail. You may be able to pick them up at a bank branch as well.

What if you’re not approved?

Your joint checking account application may be turned down if you or the co-owner have a banking history with red flags. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the company ChexSystems keeps a consumer report on your banking history, much like other firms do with your credit history. If you or your partner have previous unpaid bank fees and unfunded accounts, look into second chance banking.

Joint checking account requirements

Each person needs to provide some data and a signature to open a joint checking account.

Personal information

Regulatory agencies like the FDIC require that banks keep records of account holder information for several reasons, including fraud prevention and insurance coverage for your funds.

  • Name and birthday. Your full, legal name and your birthday.
  • Government ID number. If you don’t have a Social Security number, a taxpayer identification number (TIN), driver’s license number, military ID, alien identification card or passport number may suffice.
  • Residential address. This needs to be your street address, not a P.O. box.
  • Contact details. Your phone number and email address.

In the rare case, the bank may ask that you provide further information to prove your identity. It could request that you upload a photo of your ID card or that you provide a copy of your rental agreement, mortgage statement or utility bill.

Terms and conditions

This is the legal, enforceable contract in which you, your joint account co-owner and the bank establish a financial relationship. It outlines all of the rules and regulations, stating who has what rights over the account. It may also include the minimum requirements and the fees.

Ideally, both joint owners will read over the papers before signing, but, even if you skip down to the dotted line, you’ll both need to sign before you can open the account.

Transfer funds

If your bank requires you to make a minimum deposit to start off, or requires a set minimum balance at all times, you’ll need to fund the account as part of the opening process. If you joined a credit union, you may also need to make a donation as part of the membership requirements. Either way, the institution will guide you in this process and accept your money gladly.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

You can open a joint account with anyone you trust who has a U.S. government-issued ID number, such as a Social Security number, though doing so with someone you don’t absolutely trust comes with risks.

In most cases, if one of the joint account holders dies, the other person automatically holds sole ownership of the account and its assets.

The process can differ depending on the bank, but, generally, both owners need to provide consent by going in person to a banking branch and signing a form for the account to close.

A joint checking account can be a good idea when you trust a person with whom you often need to exchange and manage money.

Yes, each account holder of a joint checking account receives a debit card.

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