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Best Banks for Joint Accounts for December 2023

A joint checking can make managing shared expenses easier, but there are some disadvantages to keep in mind.

A joint bank account is a type of shared account that gives you and another person full access to deposited money and banking features in one place. 

This type of account can be a convenient tool if you need to manage money with a family member, businessperson or partner. In the latter case, a joint account can be helpful for a couple “if there’s inequality in terms of one person earning more money than the other person,” said Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino, a personal finance coach who goes by “Soledad” and the founder of Wealth Para Todos. “Having two people on the account can create some equality,” she added.

No matter your reason for opening a joint checking account, experts don’t recommend putting all of your cash into a joint checking account. Doing so hinders your financial autonomy. 

Read on to discover the best joint bank accounts.

Comparing the best joint bank accounts

BankAPYMinimum deposit requirementMinimum balance requirementMonthly feePhysical locations
SoFi Checking0.50%$0$0$0No
Ally Interest Checking0.10% to 0.25%$0$0$0No
Alliant High-Rate Checking0.25%$5$0$0No
Capital One Money Teen Checking0.10%$0$0$0Yes
Wells Fargo Everyday CheckingN/A$25$0$10 (can be waived)Yes
Connexus Xtraordinary AccountUp to 1.75%$5$0$0Yes
Rates as of Nov. 17, 2023.

More details on the best joint bank accounts

SoFi Checking

SoFi Checking

Best overall

SoFi is a neobank that offers competitive APYs on its checking and savings accounts. When you open an online joint checking account, you’ll automatically get a high-yield savings account, too. SoFi doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees and it also doesn’t have a minimum balance or deposit requirements for its joint checking account. You’ll earn up to 4.60% APY on your joint savings account, and up to 0.50% APY on your joint checking account. As of Nov. 13, when you open a bank account and set up direct deposit, you may also qualify for a welcome bonus of up to $250.

This online joint bank account also lets you round up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference to your SoFi high-yield savings account. 

SoFi’s joint checking account also comes with $50 in overdraft coverage, as long as you have monthly deposits of at least $1,000. And you can get paid up to two days early. However, though SoFi has over 55,000 fee-free ATMs, you’ll pay third-party fees at an out-of-network ATM. 

APY: 0.50% APY for joint checking; 4.60% APY for joint savings

Minimum deposit required: No

Minimum balance requirement: No

Monthly fee: No

ATM access: 55,000 ATMs within the Allpoint Network. Out-of-network fees aren’t reimbursed.

Physical locations: No

Ally Interest Checking

Ally Interest Checking

Best online joint banking account

Ally’s joint checking account has no monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements or overdraft charges. But you can expect a few standard banking fees, for services such as outgoing wire transfers, same-day bill pay and expedited delivery.

Account balances less than $15,000 earn 0.10% APY and balances of more than $15,000 earn a 0.25% APY. If you want to automate savings, Ally can automatically round your transactions up to the nearest dollar, then transfer the change to an Ally high-yield joint savings account -- which can earn up to 4.25% APY.

Ally’s CoverDraft℠ gives you overdraft protection for up to $100 (or $250 if you set up qualifying direct deposits). You may qualify 30 days after you deposit $100 into the checking account. Then you can increase your overdraft protection amount after two months of direct deposits.

Ally offers in-network ATMs at Allpoint ATMs, and you’ll get reimbursed for up to $10 in ATM surcharges. However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to deposit cash directly into your account. You can only transfer funds from another Ally account, external bank account, check or wire transfer. And since Ally is an online-only bank, if you want access to a physical branch, it’s best to consider another option.

Read our full review of Ally Bank.

Joint checking APY: Earn 0.10% on balances less than $15,000, then 0.25% on balances more than $15,000.

Minimum deposit required: $0

Minimum balance requirement: $0

Monthly fee: $0

ATM access: Use Allpoint ATMs for free. You’ll be reimbursed up to $10 per statement cycle for surcharge fees at out-of-network ATMs.

Physical locations: No


Alliant High-Rate Checking

Alliant High-Rate Checking

Best digital credit union option

If you have your sights set on a savings goal, Alliant’s high-rate checking account can help. To earn interest, you’ll need to opt in for eStatements instead of paper statements and receive at least one qualifying electronic deposit (direct deposit, ATM deposit, mobile deposit or a transfer from another bank account) into your account each month.

We also like that Alliant offers overdraft protection services, including Courtesy Pay and Overdraft Protection, for free. In addition, this bank has joint teen checking accounts for parents with no monthly service charges, monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. Your first box of checks is free, there are 80,000 in-network ATMs and you’ll get up to $20 a month in rebates for out-of-network ATM surcharges.

Alliant is a digital credit union that offers online and mobile banking service, so if you prefer managing your money with your partner or kid in person, it’s best to consider another option. Plus, you’ll need to become a member to get access to Alliant’s rates and APYs. The easiest path to membership for most includes becoming a member of Foster Care to Success. When you sign up, Alliant will pay the one-time $5 membership fee on your behalf. You’re also eligible for membership if you:

  • Are a current or retired employee from Alliant business or organization partners
  • Are a spouse or immediate family member of an Alliant member
  • Live or work in one of the communities near the Chicago headquarters

Learn more about Alliant Credit Union on our Best Credit Unions list.

Joint checking APY: 0.25%

Minimum deposit required: $5

Minimum balance requirement: $0

Monthly fee: $0

ATM access: Access to 80,000 in-network ATMs. You can get up to $20 each month reimbursed for out-of-network ATMs.

Physical locations: No

Capital One Money Teen Checking

Capital One Money Teen Checking

Best joint account for teenagers

Parents that want to give their kids some financial freedom and flexibility should consider Capital One’s Money Teen checking account. You’ll earn interest on your balance, and there are no minimum requirements or maximum amount of interest you can earn. Parents also have control over their kids’ spending limits -- though Capital One does cap daily limits to $500 for those under 18 and $5,000 for those over 18.

Other money management perks include an online feature to separate spending and savings by distributing money between your child’s “Spendable” and “Set Aside” accounts. Parents can also lock and unlock the Money Teen account and change the debit card PIN. Keep in mind that only the kid will receive a debit card.

Capital One lets you manage this account at a physical branch, online or via the mobile app.

The account comes with a few standard checking features, including paying with Zelle, direct deposit and transfers. Capital One account doesn’t charge for electronic transfers or foreign transactions. However, there are a few fees, including a $10 cashier’s check fee and surcharges for out-of-network ATMs.

Read our full review of Capital One Bank.

Joint checking APY: 0.10%

Minimum deposit required: $0

Minimum balance requirement: $0

Monthly fee: $0

ATM access: 700,000 fee-free ATMs

Physical locations: Yes

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Best for in-person banking

Wells Fargo has several joint checking account options, but we recommend the Everyday Checking account because it has fewer fees compared to the bank’s other options.

The account requires a $25 minimum deposit and a $10 monthly maintenance fee. But there are a few ways you can waive the fee.

  • $500 minimum daily balance
  • $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits
  • A linked Wells Fargo Campus ATM or Campus Debit Card
  • Primary account owner is 17 to 24 years old

Even though this account comes with more fees and fewer perks compared to other banks with joint account options, Wells Fargo offers more branch locations -- which may be more convenient if you prefer in-person banking.

The Everyday Checking account comes with overdraft protection, but if you want more discounts, rewards and perks, we recommend the Prime Checking account. It has a $25 monthly maintenance fee.

Joint checking APY: N/A

Minimum deposit required: $25 (Everyday Checking)

Minimum balance requirement: $0 (Everyday Checking)

Monthly fee: $10 (Everyday Checking)

ATM access: 12,000 in-network ATMs, and you won’t be reimbursed for out-of-network ATM surcharges.

Physical locations: Yes

Connexus Xtraordinary Checking

Connexus Xtraordinary Checking

Another good interest-bearing checking option

You can choose from several Connexus checking accounts depending on your needs, but we recommend the Xtraordinary account if you’re opening a joint account, because it earns a competitive interest rate of up to 1.75% APY (for balances $25,000 or under).

To earn interest, you must make at least 15 debit card purchases or have at least $400 in debit card spending and e-statements per month. You’ll also only earn the highest APY for up to $25,000 -- though we’d recommend moving additional funds into a high-yield savings account.

The Connexus’ Xtraordinary account offers free Co-op and MoneyPass transactions and up to $25 in monthly reimbursements for out-of-network ATM surcharges. But if you don’t meet the account requirements, you won’t earn interest or receive the ATM surcharge rebates, in which case, we’d recommend considering Alliant or Ally.

There is a $4 overdraft fee per each day your account is overdrawn, but you can avoid this by linking your Connexus checking and savings accounts.

In addition to online banking, there are a few Midwestern Connexus branches for in-person banking, as well as 5,600 shared branches across the US.

Read our full review of Connexus Credit Union.

Joint checking APY: Up to 1.75% (for balances $25,000 and under)

Minimum deposit required: $5

Minimum balance requirement: No

Monthly fee: $0

ATM access: 67,000 in-network ATMs. You’ll be reimbursed up to $25 for out-of-network surcharges. However, you must meet account requirements to qualify for reimbursements.

Physical locations: Yes

What is a joint checking account and how does it work?

A joint checking account is a bank account for two or more people. Usually, joint accounts work best for couples, business partners, close family members or parents and children. Although a joint checking account has two account holders, it functions like a standard one. 

“You can open joint accounts at most banks and most big banks,” said Bola Sokunbi, founder of Clever Girl Finance. “When it comes to joint accounts, it’s just confirming that both of you are going to have access.”

In most cases, both account holders have equal access to the account to transfer and deposit cash or handle other banking services. However, depending on the account, parents often have complete control over spending limits and other features on their child’s account.

It’s important to note that both account holders are responsible for the account -- including any fees you incur. 

“You are both liable for the consequences of overdrafts, fees and other financial obligations as it pertains to this account,” said Shang Saavedra, founder and CEO of Save My Cents. So, holding each other accountable for transactions and spending thresholds is crucial to keep the account in good standing.

How to find the best joint account

Before you settle on a bank, it’s important to review multiple joint checking accounts at different banks to find the right fit for your financial needs. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing your account. 

FDIC or NCUA insurance 

Most banks and credit unions are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration, respectively. Each account holder is protected for up to $250,000 per person, per account. So a joint account that is FDIC- or NCUA-insured typically receives coverage for up to $500,000 ($250,000 per account holder).


Some banks charge additional fees that can eat away at your balance. For example, you may overdraft your account if your partner makes an unexpected expense. If you’re sharing the account, you’ll need to communicate and keep an eye on the account to stay on top of any account charges. 

Here are a few fees to look out for:

  • Insufficient funds.
  • Monthly maintenance (or service) fees.
  • Overdraft fees.
  • Out-of-network ATM fees.
  • Wire transfer fees.

You may avoid some of these costs by choosing an account with low or no fees, like Ally’s high-yield checking account. Some joint bank accounts also waive fees if you meet specific requirements. For example, Wells Fargo waives its monthly maintenance fee if you have a $500 minimum daily balance, at least $500 in direct deposits or meet other requirements. 

ATM access

If you need to deposit or withdraw cash often, make sure you have access to in-network ATMs in your area or select a joint checking account with no or low ATM fees. Most banks and credit unions have in-network ATMs to avoid paying extra for ATM use. Out-of-network ATMs usually charge a few dollars, but some banks waive these fees up to a certain amount. If both account holders need to withdraw cash from ATMs regularly, the fees can add up, so an account with a higher ATM rebate may make sense. 

Digital or mobile banking

Mobile or online banking can be helpful when both account holders need to access the account from anywhere. Most banking apps are free and can handle basic services, such as depositing checks, transferring money and more. Joint bank accounts generally have separate logins for each person to manage the shared account and other individual accounts, such as savings or credit card accounts. 

Online vs. in-person banking

Make sure you and the other account holder are comfortable accessing and managing money at the bank you choose. Traditional brick-and-mortar banks offer the benefit of in-person banking, but online banks generally offer higher yields and fewer fees because they have lower overhead costs. Consider what you need from a bank, whether that be in-person assistance or the ability to bank from anywhere, and compare your options before opening an account. 

Account alerts 

Most banks offer features that make managing the account and the expectations easier for both account holders. Soledad recommends setting up text alerts for both account owners when setting up a joint account or committing to consistent money dates where you review your transactions together. That way you and your partner stay in touch on recent spending to avoid any financial confusion. 

With a joint checking account, it’s best to have clear expectations, said Soledad. “That means discussing when money can be withdrawn from the account, how much and the process for withdrawing the money in the account,” said Soledad. You and your partner may also clarify if there’s a certain threshold you shouldn’t exceed without talking first.

How to open a joint checking account 

Once you narrow down your preferred bank and account, it’s time to apply. You can generally apply for a joint checking account online or in-person, depending on the bank. You’ll need a few documents from both account holders to get started, including:

  • A government-issued ID or passport.
  • Social Security card or Tax Identification Number.
  • Proof of your address.
  • Phone number and email.

Some banks require a minimum deposit amount to open an account. If so, check the approved methods, such as ACH, wire transfer or cash.

Usually, you’ll open a joint account the same way you’d open a traditional checking or savings account. When filling out your application, you’ll check a box that asks if you want to add a co-owner, joint owner or additional account holder. That lets the bank know to list two people on the account instead of one. From there, you’ll be asked to provide select information about the co-owner to add them. When applying, it’s important to make sure the account is set up properly, said Sokunbi, founder of Clever Girl Finance

“Make sure it has both of your names on the account,” Sokunbi added. That way, both of you will be able to make deposits, withdrawals and do anything related to the account without the other person’s permission, she said.

Should you get a joint bank account with your partner or spouse? 

“For couples who would like to have more transparency into each others’ money lives, having a joint checking account makes it easier for you to be able to see when money is being added and spent,” said Saavedra, founder and CEO of Save My Cents. This is especially true if you plan to fund and pay all of your bills from the account.

But even if the account is primarily for paying bills, it’s best to think about any other goals for joining finances before opening one together. It may be to hold each other accountable for spending or to more easily pay bills. Regardless of the reason, both partners will need to track money coming in and going out to keep the account in good standing. And if you’re unaware of how each person spends money, merging finances like this for the first time will create a learning curve, said Saavedra. 

It’s also important to be really clear with expectations around the purpose of the account and how to access it in order to minimize conflict, added Soledad. Not having money conversations regularly can be detrimental, especially if your goals aren’t aligned.

“It is so important, before you decide to manage your finances with another person, for you to be very clear about your own financial wounds, your own money goals and your own money beliefs,” said Soledad. For instance, one person may want to set aside money for early retirement while the other person may choose to put more money in sinking funds to travel more now. Not being aligned while sharing funds could make it hard to manage money together, Soledad said.

Alternatives to joint checking accounts

If you don’t want to have a joint checking account, you can have individual checking accounts. But you’ll be the only person who can withdraw and deposit money. 

You may also choose only to have a joint account for certain expenses, such as rent, bills or shared expenses like groceries.

While joint accounts can make it easy to see your complete financial picture, individual checking accounts also have their benefits, including autonomy. You may want to keep your savings or extra money you’re not ready to combine in another account to maintain your financial independence. For example, you can deposit part of your paycheck into your shared account and the rest into an individual checking or savings account. Or you can simply move money to a joint checking account as needed. 

“There’s a lot of couples who don’t even have their money intertwined,” said Soledad, who was previously in relationships where money and accounts were kept separate. “Our values weren’t aligned when it came to spending money, so a joint account would just create more issues,” she said. 

Have an open and honest discussion about how you plan to manage your individual and combined expenses, and consider your individual needs to decide if a joint account makes sense. If so, discuss how you plan to use the account to find the right one for your needs.

Pros and cons of a joint banking account

A joint bank account can be a good way to combine paychecks and manage money in one place. But there are also some disadvantages to sharing finances.


  • Joint effort to work toward financial goals

  • Save on banking fees that may be doubled with separate bank accounts

  • Potential to earn more in interest by keeping a higher balance


  • Less spending autonomy

  • Both account holders are responsible for each others’ spending habits

  • Both account holders are liable for any fees or overdrafts


You’ll receive an IRS 1099-INT form during tax season if you earn interest from a bank account. With joint bank accounts, the bank will only send this form to one of the account owners -- generally the primary account owner who opened the account. If your joint bank account is shared with a spouse, and you file your taxes jointly, it will be considered a joint expense and deducted from your shared tax return.

However, if you have a joint bank account with someone you are not married to or you file your taxes separately, the process is more complex. The primary account holder may pay the tax in full for the interest accrued. If this option doesn’t work, you can send the other person form 1099-INT with the proper split. 

It also depends on your state and how much an individual withdrew from the account during the year. We recommend talking to a certified professional accountant if you have any questions regarding your taxes.

You can apply for a joint bank account online if the bank allows it. But some credit unions and local banks may require you to open an account in person with both account holders present. Either way, you’ll still need all required documents for yourself and the other account holder.

The way you close the joint bank account will depend on the bank’s requirements for closing accounts. You may be required to close the account in person, by phone or online. Typically only one account holder is needed to close the account.

You can remove yourself from a joint bank account, but depending on the bank, you’ll need to make the request in person or mail a letter. Keep in mind that the money will equally belong to both of you and you may both need to sign a written acknowledgement that one person is being removed.

Joint checking accounts don’t affect your credit score or credit history. However, any unpaid debt will negatively affect your credit. 

How we research banks

More than two dozen options were examined across a broad range of categories in both traditional and online-only banks and credit unions to determine these picks for the best joint checking accounts. First, we required all selections to be either FDIC or NCUA-insured. We also prefer banks with low or no minimum balance or deposit requirements. We also looked closely at account fees, favoring those with no fees or lower barriers to maintaining an account. We also looked at online features, availability, ATM access and overdraft protection. Lastly, we considered accounts that earn APY, welcome bonuses and other perks. 

The banks, credit unions and neobanks we reviewed include: Alliant, Ally Bank, Axos, Bank of America, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris, Capital One, Chase, CIT Bank, Citi, Connexus, Discover Bank, LendingClub, Liberty Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Presidential Bank, Quontic Bank, Regions Bank, SoFi, TD Bank, TIAA (now EverBank) and Wells Fargo.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Dashia is a staff writer for CNET Money who covers all angles of personal finance, including credit cards and banking. From reviews to news coverage, she aims to help readers make more informed decisions about their money. Dashia was previously a staff writer at NextAdvisor, where she covered credit cards, taxes, banking B2B payments. She has also written about safety, home automation, technology and fintech.
Liliana Hall is an editor for CNET Money covering banking, credit cards and mortgages. Previously, she wrote about personal credit for Bankrate and She is passionate about providing accessible content to enhance financial literacy. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in journalism, and has worked in the newsrooms of KUT and the Austin Chronicle. When not working, she is probably paddle boarding, hopping on a flight or reading for her book club.