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Axos Rewards Checking: $150 Welcome Bonus With Up to 1.25% APY

Account holders can earn up to 1.25% APY on account balances when they complete qualifying activities.

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High interest rates are typically reserved for high-yield savings accounts, but in most cases, you won’t get much interest with a checking account — and that’s if you earn any interest at all. With Axos Bank, however, you’ll earn up to a 1.25% annual percentage yield (APY) with its Axos Bank Rewards Checking account.

What’s more, for a limited time, new accountholders can earn a welcome bonus of $150 when they complete qualifying activities.

Here’s what you need to know to determine if this rewards checking account is a good fit for you.

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Axos Rewards Checking Review

Axos Bank, Member FDIC, is a leading online bank with several impressive banking products, and its Rewards Checking account is one of them. This Axos checking account beats out some of the best high-yield savings accounts with its 1.25% APY, and you don’t have to worry about dealing with pesky fees.

That said, it takes some work to maximize the account’s APY. So it’s important to understand your banking habits to determine whether the account is a good fit for you.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the rewards the account’s name is referring to aren’t cash back like you might expect.

There are some bank accounts that offer cash-back checking (and Axos Bank has one), but the Rewards Checking account take on rewards is its high-yield APY.

$150 Welcome Bonus

Currently, there is a limited-time offer to earn $150. To access this bonus, apply for a new Rewards Checking account using this partner link, and use the promo code HOLIDAY on your application.

After that, you’ll need to receive qualifying direct deposit(s) that total a minimum of $1,000 each calendar month during the first three months your account is open (including the month in which you first open the account). It’s worth noting that these funds must be new to Axos Bank; if you already bank with Axos, you won’t be able to transfer funds from another account.

Each month you receive qualifying direct deposits, you’ll earn a $50 bonus payout within 10 business days following the end of the statement cycle.

This offer is available until 12/31/22.

Interest-Earning Checking: Up to 1.25% APY

This interest-bearing checking account offers up to 1.25% APY, which stacks up well against some of the best high-yield savings accounts. To earn that maximum APY on the account, though, there are three requirements you need to satisfy.

Tier: Receive monthly direct deposit of $1,500 or more
APY: 0.40%
Tier: Use your Axos Visa® Debit Card for a total of 10 transactions of $3 or more per month or sign up for Account Aggregation/Personal Finance Manager (PFM) in online banking
APY: 0.30%
Tier: Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Managed Portfolios Invest Account
APY: 0.20%
Tier: Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 per month in an Axos Self Directed Trading Invest Account
APY: 0.20%
Tier: Use your Rewards Checking account to make your full monthly Axos consumer loan payment
APY: 0.15%
Total APY: 1.25%
Maximum interest-earning balance: $50,000

The monthly direct deposit requirement must be met to be eligible to earn any interest during the statement cycle, regardless of whether the other interest-earning requirements are met.

For each of the other tiers you satisfy, you’ll earn an APY consistent with the schedule above on your balance for the month. This means you’ll need to do some legwork to make sure you qualify for the full APY each month. However, if you regularly use a debit card as your primary payment method and you can easily meet the direct deposit requirement with your paychecks, you may not have to keep track.

Average percentage yields (APY) fluctuate as financial institutions adjust their rates with the market. It’s one of the primary reasons to shop around for the account that best meets your goals. If you’re interested in locking in your money at a specific APY, consider a certificate of deposit (commonly referred to as a CD). The CIT Bank No-Penalty CD is a popular option with risk-averse investors who want flexibility with their savings.

Just make sure you compare CD rates to what you can get with this and other interest-bearing accounts before you pull the trigger on a new account.

No Monthly Fees

In addition to a high interest rate, the account also offers:

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees
  • No monthly minimum balance requirement

It’s pretty easy to find other checking accounts with no monthly fee, especially with online banks and credit unions. However, the ATM fee reimbursements and no overdraft and non-sufficient fund fees are impressive, especially considering the account’s APY on top of it.

Keep in mind, though, that you will be charged an ATM fee every time you withdraw cash — Axos Bank doesn’t have in-network ATMs; so they’re technically all out-of-network ATMs. But every ATM fee will be reimbursed by the bank, as long as it was incurred in the U.S.

International ATM fees are not reimbursed, but the account still maintains its no-fee status because those fees are charged by the financial institutions that own the ATMs.

Having no overdraft fees is also a huge plus. While more and more online banks are skipping overdraft fees, it’s still a major moneymaker for the banking industry.

Minimum Deposit to Open Account

You’re required to make a minimum deposit of $50 when you open your account. However, after that, there’s no minimum balance requirement.

Benefits and Tools

The account’s interest rate and fee structure is its main value proposition, but you’ll also get some other important (but standard) banking features:

Switch Kit: If you’re planning to open an account with Axos, you’ll get a step-by-step checklist to help you move all of your banking over from your current account.
Online Bill Pay: You can set up your monthly bill payments with each lender and utility company individually, or you can manage them all in one place with Axos.
Mobile Banking: Download the Axos Bank mobile app and you can manage your account and deposit checks anywhere, anytime.
Other Financial Products: In addition to the Rewards Checking account, Axos Bank also offers several other checking accounts, savings and money market accounts, mortgage, auto and personal loans, and even investment management.

One notable exclusion, though, is that you can’t make cash deposits.

Customer Service

Axos Bank has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but that doesn’t mean the customer service is always stellar. As of May 2021, customer reviews on the bank’s BBB profile average 1.09 out of 5 stars.

If you have questions about this or other Axos Bank accounts, you can reach customer service by calling 844-999-2967.

FDIC Insurance

Axos Bank is a Member FDIC bank, which means that if the bank fails, your deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, per ownership category. In other words, if you have a joint account with someone at Axos Bank and another account where you’re the sole owner, you’re insured up to $250,000 on each account for a total of $500,000.

Online-Only Bank

A major perk of opting for an online-only bank is that all major bank resources, from debit card management and replacement to related services like borrowing and investing, can be handled from the comfort of your home.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that because Axos is an online bank, it doesn’t have any physical branches. If you prefer in-person service or the ability to make cash deposits, switching to an online bank may not be appealing to you.

Other Axos Deposit Accounts

Axos Bank is a full-service bank that offers other checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgage loans, personal loans, auto loans and even investment accounts. The bank also offers some banking products for small businesses.

If you want to compare this checking account to the other ones that Axos offers, here’s a quick summary of each.

Axos Bank CashBack Checking

Axos CashBack Checking account offers up to 1% cash back on all of your transactions that are signature-based, which means you don’t enter your PIN to complete the transaction. Account holders can earn up to $2,000 per month, which is an extremely high limit — you’d have to spend $200,000 per month to max that out. However, you’ll need to maintain an average daily balance of at least $1,500. Otherwise, you’ll get just 0.5% back. This account also offers no monthly fee and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

Axos Bank Rewards Checking

With the Axos Rewards Checking account, you can earn up to 1.25% APY on your balance — an interest-bearing checking account is a rarity in general, so getting a high-interest one may be worth your while. The amount you earn depends on how much you have direct deposited into the account each month and how often you use your debit card. The account requires just a $50 minimum deposit to open, and it also offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements. You can read our full review here.

Axos Bank Essential Checking

With Axos Essential Checking account, you’ll get the same no-fee benefits with many of the same features. Instead of interest, though, you’ll get your direct deposits up to two days in advance. Read our full review of Essential Checking.

Axos Bank High-Yield Savings

Savings accounts are an excellent place to store your emergency fund and other short-term savings, but the average savings account interest rate in the U.S. is typically nothing consumers get excited about. That’s what makes the 0.61% APY offered by Axos High-Yield Savings so special. Read our full review of this savings account.

Axos Bank High-Yield Money Market

If you want a hybrid of checking and savings, a money market account could be a good fit. With Axos High-Yield Money Market, you’ll get a 0.25% APY, no matter what your balance is — some money market and high-yield savings account will give you tiered rates instead of a flat rate like this. You’ll also get check-writing privileges and a debit card as you would with a checking account. But because of the savings component, withdrawals and transfers are limited to six per month. You’ll need a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open the account.

Axos Bank First Checking

Axos First Checking is designed specifically for teenagers between 13 and 17. It offers a 0.10% APY, and account holders can get up to $12 in domestic ATM fees reimbursed every month. The account also has some controls that limit your child’s access to the cash in the account to help curb overspending.

Axos Bank Golden Checking

If you’re 55 or older, this account is tailored for you. Axos Golden Checking account is an interest-bearing account that offers a 0.20% APY, as well as up to $8 in domestic ATM fee reimbursements monthly. You’ll also get free personal checks, which may be more appealing to older consumers who prefer that method of payment. There’s a minimum deposit of $50 to open this account.

Take your time to compare these checking accounts, as well as accounts from other banks and credit unions, to find the right option for you.

About Axos Bank

Axos Bank was formerly Bank of the Internet USA and BofI Federal Bank, one of the first digital banks in the world when it was founded in 1999. The bank has no physical branches but provides all of your banking needs online and through its mobile app.

Because the FDIC-insured bank saves money on the overhead costs associated with brick-and-mortar branches, it can provide higher bank account interest rates to its customers, as well as more fee-free features.

The Bottom Line: Is Axos Bank Rewards Checking Right for Me?

In this Axos Bank review, we’ve covered all of the benefits the bank offers with its Rewards Checking account, as well as some of the other financial products the bank offers.

The ability to get your ATM fees reimbursed and to earn a high yield on your balance. It also has no monthly maintenance fee or any other fees, which gives it a big advantage over most competing checking accounts.

But Axos Bank is an online-only bank, so there are some limitations, especially if you use cash regularly.

Before you apply, take some time to compare other banks to make sure you find the best fit for you.

If you want to take advantage of all the features the Axos Rewards Checking account provides, visit Axos Bank’s website. You’ll need your Social Security number, a valid ID and other personal information to create an online account and submit an application. You’ll also need an existing bank account you can use to transfer money to fund your new checking account.

After you open the account, you’ll need to change your direct deposit information and all of your recurring charges from your old checking account over to the new one. Make sure you don’t forget subscriptions and premiums that occur less frequently, such as auto insurance and annual subscriptions. Check out our Axos Bank promo codes to potentially save more once you open an account.

Also, consider opening an Axos Bank High-Yield Savings account. The interest rate isn’t as good at 0.61% APY, but there are no hoops to jump through to get that rate.

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Ben Luthi
Ben Luthi
Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.

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