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These Banks Let You Get Your Paycheck Two Days Sooner with Early Direct Deposit

Receiving an early paycheck has its perks, but you could risk an overdrawing if your check doesn’t arrive when you expect.

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Getting paid a few days early can loosen some of the financial strain you’re feeling. Some banks let you get paid sooner with early direct deposit. That means if you normally get your paycheck on Friday, you’ll see the funds in your account on Wednesday -- two days sooner. 

Early direct deposit is a free service that’s setting many online-only banks apart -- along with competitive APYs and minimal fees. With the cost of everyday essentials continuing to climb, having access to your money sooner comes with a slew of benefits for your savings and bills. But only if your bank offers it, and if your payer sends the information on time. Here’s how early direct deposit works and which banks offer it.

What is early direct deposit?

When your paycheck is sent via direct deposit, you automatically receive the funds in your bank account on your payday without the hassle of a paper check. With early direct deposit, you can get your Automated Clearing House, or ACH, direct deposit sooner than the scheduled date -- usually one to two days earlier. But just because your bank offers it, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get your money before payday. 

If your bank doesn’t receive the information from the payer -- your employer -- early enough to deposit your funds early, you may not be able to take advantage of early direct deposit, said Terrance Hutchins, founder of Logos Financial Group, a financial planning firm. “The bank will only credit your account when they actually receive the information from the payer,” said Hutchins. 

Best banks with early direct deposit

BankMonthly maintenance feeMinimum depositAPYOverdraft coverage
AxosN/A$2503.30%No overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees. 
Ally N/A$00.25%No overdraft fees. Overdraft coverage is available if requirements are met. 
Capital OneN/A$00.10%, depends on your balanceNo overdraft fees. Capital One determines whether or not to cover your transaction. If so, you’ll need to transfer money to cover it.
Chase$4.95$0N/AIf your account is overdrawn by at least $50 and it’s not covered by the next business day, there’s a $34 nonsufficient funds fee. 
Chime N/A$02.00%No overdraft fees, but you can enroll in SpotMe to have up to $200 in overdraft coverage. 
Fifth Third Bank N/A$0N/ASeveral overdraft protection options, but there’s a $37 overdraft fee and a $25 extended overdraft fee.
LendingClub N/A$25N/ANo overdraft fees.
SoFi N/A$02.25%No-fee overdraft coverage. SoFi covers up to $50 when you set up qualifying direct deposits. 
VaroN/A$0N/AVaro Advance offers a $20 advance, but fees apply after that. 

Rates are accurate as of March 10, 2023.

Ally

Ally

Ally is an online-only bank with a high-yield checking account that offers early direct deposit for free. You’ll be automatically enrolled to receive your paycheck up to two days sooner after your account receives two qualifying direct deposits. Ally allows you to receive up to eight direct deposits per statement cycle (typically one month). You’ll want to keep this limit in mind if you’re sharing this account.

There’s no minimum deposit or monthly maintenance fee required. And Ally offers a competitive APY that’s higher than most traditional checking accounts. You also have surcharge-free ATM access at Allpoint ATMs and up to $10 reimbursed for out-of-network ATMs each statement cycle. And you get overdraft coverage if you meet the direct deposit requirements. 

Since Ally is an online-only bank, if you have questions about your paycheck, you’ll need to reach out online or call customer service at 1-877-247-ALLY (2559)

What we like:

  • Competitive APY
  • Up to $10 in out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed per statement cycle
  • No minimum deposit 
  • No minimum balance 

What we don’t like:

  • No physical branches 
  • Must meet requirements to be enrolled in early direct deposit
Axos Bank

Axos Bank

Axos offers Direct Deposit Express to deposit your funds up to two days early with an Essential Checking account. All direct deposits qualify for early direct deposit -- including tax refunds and government benefits.

Beyond getting your paycheck sooner, this account comes with several perks. You’ll have unlimited out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements. And this account comes with a 3.30% APY, which is higher than most high-yield savings and checking accounts. Plus, there aren’t any minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees. Axos has a few physical branches, although locations are limited.

Even though this account is a step above the rest and you’ll automatically be enrolled in early direct deposit, you’ll need a minimum of $250 to open an account -- which is more than what most online and traditional banks require.

What we like:

  • All direct deposits qualify for early direct deposit
  • Competitive APY
  • Unlimited out-of-network ATM reimbursements
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly maintenance fees

What we don’t like:

  • $250 minimum deposit
  • Limited physical branch locations
Capital One

Capital One

Capital One’s early direct deposit requires opening its 360 checking account. You’ll get your direct deposits up to two days sooner, automatically. The account doesn’t require a minimum deposit or monthly maintenance fee and also earns interest, though your rate will depend on your balance. This feature is not available for savings accounts. 

We also like that Capital One offers many of the same convenient and competitive features of online-only banks, but offers access to over 70,000 ATMs and 700 branches for in-person banking. 

What we like:

  • No minimum deposit 
  • No monthly maintenance fee 
  • 70,000 ATMs and 700 physical branches 

What we don’t like:

  • Early direct deposit not available for savings accounts 
  • APY will depend on balance
Chase

Chase

If you want physical branch access or you already bank with Chase, you may be able to get early direct deposit. To qualify, you’ll need to sign up for a Chase Secure Banking account, which automatically enrolls you into early direct deposit. Automated Clearing House credit transactions qualify for direct deposit, but Chase relies on your payer’s code to determine if your payment qualifies -- a common standard. 

The Chase Secure Banking account doesn’t require a minimum deposit or monthly balance threshold. However, this account requires a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee and won’t earn you interest on your checking deposits. You’ll also have access to over 16,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches nationwide, but you won’t get reimbursed for any out-of-network ATM fees at non-Chase ATMs.

What we like:

  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No minimum deposit
  • 16,000 ATMs and 4,700 physical branches 

What we don’t like:

  • Must have a Chase Secure Banking account to qualify for direct deposit 
  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee 
  • No ATM reimbursement for non-Chase ATMs 
  • No APY on checking deposits
Chime

Chime

When you set up a high-yield checking account and direct deposit through Chime, you’ll automatically be enrolled in early direct deposit to get your funds up to two days early. 

Chime doesn’t require a minimum deposit to get started, and it offers a 2% APY on your checking account -- much higher than other high-yield or traditional checking accounts. No minimum deposit or balance is required. 

It’s important to note that Chime is a financial technology company -- not a bank. However, your deposits with Chime are still FDIC-insured. Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank offer banking services for Chime. Chime doesn’t offer any physical branches, but 60,000 fee-free ATMs are available. 

What we like:

  • Automatically enrolled in early direct deposit 
  • APY available for checking account 
  • No minimum deposit 
  • No minimum balance requirement 
  • 60,000 ATMs 

What we don’t like:

  • No physical branches, banking services offered by other providers
Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank requires a Fifth Thirds Momentum checking account to get your direct deposits up to two days early with Early Pay. You may even be able to get your federal tax refund up to five days early. As long as you set up an eligible direct deposit, you’re automatically enrolled in early direct deposit, but not all Automated Clearing House deposits qualify.

You can open and manage a Fifth Third account online for free, which is helpful if you don’t have a physical branch location near you. There are over 1,200 branches available across 11 states and 40,000 ATMs. You won’t have to pay a monthly maintenance fee. However, there’s a big downside to this bank: It charges a $37 overdraft fee per transaction, with a maximum charge of three overdrafts per day. If the overdraft isn’t paid within five business days, you’ll be charged an additional $8 per transaction. This bank also charges a $25 extended overdraft fee if your account remains overdrawn for seven consecutive days. 

What we like:

  • Get your tax refund up to five days early with early direct deposit 
  • No monthly maintenance fee 
  • 40,000 ATMs and 1,200 physical branches 

What we don’t like:

  • Not all ACH deposits may qualify
  • Requires a Fifth Third Momentum checking account 
  • Hefty overdraft fees 
  • Physical branches only available in 11 states
Lending Club

Lending Club

When you set up direct deposit with Lending Club, you’re automatically enrolled in early direct deposit. You can get your deposits up to two days sooner with LendingClub’s high-interest checking account. 

To sign up for this checking account, you’ll need to deposit at least $25, but there are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements after that. You’ll also earn interest, but your APY will depend on your balance. Checking balances between $2,500 and $99,999.99 earn 0.10% APY, while balances over $100,000 earn 0.15%. LendingClub doesn’t have any physical branches, so you’ll need to manage your account online. 

What we like:

  • Automatically enrolled in direct deposit 
  • No minimum balance requirement 
  • No monthly maintenance fee 
  • High-interest checking account available 

What we don’t like:

  • $25 minimum deposit 
  • No physical branches 
  • APY depends on the account balance
SoFi

SoFi

SoFi’s checking account lets you get paid up to two days sooner. For a limited time, you can earn $250 if you direct deposit at least $5,000 into a new checking account in a 25-day period. You’ll also earn $50 if you deposit at least $1,000 within the same timeframe. Unlike some other banks on this list, SoFi also offers a competitive APY on your checking account. 

Plus, if you overdraw your account, SoFi will cover up to $50 with no additional fees. To qualify, you’ll need qualifying direct deposits for overdraft coverage. The account doesn’t require a minimum deposit, but you won’t have in-person banking access. You’ll still have access to 55,000 Allpoint ATMs and Greendot locations to withdraw and deposit cash -- but depositing comes with a $4.95 fee per deposit by the retailer. You can pay the fee with your debit card or a direct payment to the merchant.

You also receive a checking and savings account when you sign up, which could be helpful since SoFi’s savings account offers a high APY. But if you’re not interested in a new savings account, you might want to look elsewhere.

What we like:

  • Limited-time welcome bonus available 
  • Overdraft protection up to $50 with no additional fees
  • 55,000 Allpoint ATMs and Greendot locations available 
  • No minimum deposit 
  • No minimum balance requirement 
  • Competitive APY on checking and savings accounts 
  • Early direct deposit available for checking and savings accounts 

What we don’t like:

  • $4.95 cash deposit fee 
  • No physical branches 
  • No standalone checking account available
Varo

Varo

Varo offers early direct deposit so you’ll get your paychecks up to two days early. That includes funds from your tax refund, pension and government benefits. One perk that sets Varo apart is being able to set up early direct deposit to your Varo checking or savings account. 

Since Varo is an online bank, you won’t have access to in-person banking service, but you can deposit checks via its online app and make transactions at Allpoint ATMs. 

However, there are a few fees to be aware of -- including $5.95 for cash deposits with third-party service providers and $2.50 for over-the-counter cash withdrawals. Varo doesn’t charge overdraft fees, but it also won’t approve you for charges that exceed your account balance. And unlike other online-only banks, Varo doesn’t offer a competitive APY or reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees -- you’ll be charged $3 for ATM withdrawals. 

What we like:

  • Set up early direct deposit for checking and savings account 
  • Early direct deposits available for tax refunds, pensions, government benefits and more
  • Allpoint ATMs
  • Varo Advance covers up to $20 as a small line of credit in case you overdraw

What we don’t like:

  • Fees for cash deposits, cash withdrawals and out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • No physical branches 
  • No competitive APY
  • Your transactions can be declined if you have nonsufficient funds

Benefits of early direct deposit

Getting your money a few days sooner can help significantly, especially as prices continue to rise on everyday essentials from groceries to housing. While it won’t add extra money to your budget, it can help if your bills are frequently due right before your paydays. 

Early direct deposit gives you a chance to pay a bill or set aside savings sooner, Hutchins adds. If you’re running short on cash and need to pay an outstanding balance soon, the extra days can make sure you can make the payment on time without worrying about a late fee. “These are incremental things but a few days a month over the course of years could add up nicely in your favor,” says Hutchins. 

Drawbacks of early direct deposit 

Depending on your financial situation, there may be a few drawbacks to early direct deposit. 

“The biggest drawback of having an early direct deposit is assuming that you will get paid early and the money doesn’t actually come when you expect,” says Hutchins. “If you were counting on the money to hit on the 1st of the month, for example, and you scheduled a payment to come out that day, then it could be problematic if you didn’t have the excess funds to cover it.” 

So, if your bills are scheduled to automatically withdraw from your account on your estimated payday, but your early direct deposit doesn’t come through in time, you may overdraw your account. If your bank doesn’t have overdraft protection or charges for overdrafts, this could mean additional fees from your bank or merchant. 

How to choose a bank with early direct deposit 

If you’re looking for a bank with early direct deposit, start by looking at how soon you can get your paychecks sooner. Some banks will issue your money two days early, like most of the picks on our list, while others only allow one day. 

Next, take a look at which deposits qualify for early direct deposit. Many banks let you get most direct deposits sooner, including government benefits, retirement, employee paychecks and tax refunds. But you’ll want to make sure your direct deposit type is included before applying. 

It’s also important to look beyond early direct deposit access as the broader checking or savings account features to make sure it’s the right fit for you.. Here are a few features to consider: 

  • ATM access: Look for fee-free ATMs in your area to easily withdraw and deposit cash. Your bank may also offer ATM services via third-party merchants for free. 
  • Out-of-network ATM reimbursements: Some banks will cover up to a certain amount per statement cycle for fees that you may incur at out-of-network ATMs. 
  • No minimum balance: Banks that don’t require a minimum balance give you more leeway to avoid fees if you cannot meet the requirement all the time. Especially, if you’re waiting on your direct deposit to come in. 
  • Mobile app: A mobile comes with a few convenient features. If you choose a bank with direct deposit, you’ll be able to check your balance and get alerts when your check arrives. Other features include mobile check deposit, transfer funds and automatic bill payments. 
  • Physical branches: If you prefer in-person banking services, it’s best to choose a bank with locations nearby. However, if you’re comfortable with online banking, you’ll have minimal fees, a competitive APY and other perks.

Overdraft protection: This feature can help you avoid excess fees in case your direct deposit doesn’t come as early as planned or you accidentally overdraw. Some banks don’t offer overdraft protection or charge fees, but will decline your transaction if sufficient funds aren’t in your account.

Read more: Here’s How to Get Your Tax Refund Earlier This Year

The bottom line

If you want to open a bank account to take advantage of early direct deposit, find out if your existing bank already offers this feature and find out how to enroll. If it’s automatic, check with your employer or benefits provider to see what’s needed to get your money sooner. 

But if you’re already on the hunt for a new bank or checking account, remember to look at the broader checking or savings account benefits and requirements. Think about your banking needs, like in-person service, and beware of any fees.

Methodology 

We reviewed 15 banking options across traditional and online-only banks to determine the best banks that offer early direct deposit. Additional services, perks and features rise above the rest: ATM and branch availability, welcome bonuses and competitive APYs for accounts that offer early direct deposit. We also looked at just how simple it is to move money in and out of an account -- whether by direct deposit, mobile deposit or old-school cash deposit.

For early direct deposits, we looked at how many days sooner you can receive your money and which direct deposits qualify for this perk. We also only included banks that don’t charge a fee for early direct deposit.

We paid close attention to bank account fees that can eat away at your balance -- even if you get your money sooner. For any new account you’re considering, scrutinize the fee schedule, which will reveal any monthly maintenance fee, out-of-network ATM surcharges or overdraft fee. 

Some fees may apply only in certain conditions, such as not setting up direct deposit or not enrolling in electronic statements, for example. Such waivers should be carefully scrutinized. You won’t want to be in a position where missing your minimum deposit by a couple of bucks or keeping an account balance that’s slightly too low racks up a “monthly maintenance fee.”

Lastly, the banks on our list don’t have any hefty restrictions that make it difficult to qualify or set up an account. All of these banks have mobile banking access, even if physical branches are available, to make managing your account even more accessible.

Dashia is a staff editor 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.
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