We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.
Joint checking accounts are checking accounts offered by banks that allow more than one person to manage the money in the account. Opening one is no different from opening an individual checking account, except that all parties accessing the account will need to provide their information. These accounts are often opened by couples in long-term relationships, and it's not uncommon for business partners or parents and children to share joint accounts.
Whatever your reason for needing a joint checking account, you’ll need to find the right one for your situation. For instance, the type of account that a couple may need will likely differ from the type of account business partners may need.
We looked at more than two dozen joint checking account options and narrowed them down to our top four options based on fees, customer service, ease of setup, and overall convenience.
The 4 Best Joint Checking Accounts of 2022
Best Overall : Ally
Ally's low fees, generous APY, and high customer service ratings make it our best overall pick for joint checking accounts.
No overdraft fees
No minimum balance requirements
ATM reimbursement available
No local bank branches available
Cash deposits are not an option
Formerly GMAC, Ally was rebranded in 2010 to focus on online banking. Ally’s joint checking account is easy to set up and can be managed directly from your phone. Ally offers a high annual percentage yield (APY) compared to many other options and has high customer reviews. All of this, plus Ally’s simple application and management processes, make it our best overall joint checking account.
Ally can act as a full-service bank for many customers, offering high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and personal loan options for your car, house, or other miscellaneous needs. Ally has excellent customer service. You can easily sign up online for a joint checking account without any monthly fees or minimum deposit amounts.
Overall, Ally offers a joint checking account option that’s competitive with both traditional banks and other online-only options. Ally can be an excellent choice for those looking for a convenient, low-fee joint checking account.
Best Online Account : Axos
Axos is an established online bank offering multiple joint checking account options, including a Rewards Checking account that earns up to 1.25% APY.
Generous APY available
Offers ATM reimbursements
No local bank branches available
Multiple requirements to earn highest APY for Rewards Checking
Axos is an online-only bank with a full array of financial options, from checking accounts to mortgage loans. With five personal checking options, including a joint checking account for parents and their minor child or between business partners, Axos offers something for everyone. We chose Axos as the best online account because of its 20 years of online banking experience, numerous account options, zero-fee checking, and above-average customer ratings.
Axos’ checking accounts come with no fees, unlimited ATM reimbursements, and a 1.25% APY. However, account holders will need to meet certain requirements to earn that APY, including maintaining minimum balances across multiple Axos accounts and meeting certain debit card spending requirements.
Axos also offers a high-yield savings account and investment portfolios, as well as personal loans to pay off credit card debt, refinance a house, or purchase a car. You must be 18 years of age to apply for all of their accounts except the teen checking account.
Axos has an excellent online account option, making it easy to manage your account from anywhere. To sign up, you need to complete an online application, and no minimum deposit is required.
Best for Teens & Students : Capital One
The Capital One MONEY Teen Checking account offers minimal fees and the option to track spending in real-time, making it a good choice for families.
No minimum balance requirement
Lower APY than some competitors offer
No option to apply at a local branch
Capital One's MONEY Teen Checking account is our best joint checking account for teens and students because it provides parents with great features like no fees and text alerts sent to both you and your teen so you can see your child's spending in real-time. The account comes with a 0.10% APY on all balances, allowing teens to slowly grow their account over time and get a better understanding of the importance of saving over spending.
A Capital One joint checking account is easy to set up via an online application, and you can fund the account with online or mobile check deposits. The bank has also designed an intuitive, easy-to-navigate app that gives new account holders money management tools for tracking spending patterns and setting savings goals. Parents can even reward their teens with a small deposit when they achieve their goals.
Capital One’s account requires at least one joint account holder to be at least 18 years old, and that person must be the parent or guardian of the minor account holder. All account holders must be at least eight years old.
Capital One has a plethora of other financial tools from credit cards to savings accounts and auto loans. They are a great source to help your teen go from their first checking account to their first car loan.
Best Credit Union Account : Alliant
Alliant is our pick for best credit union for a joint checking account due to its valuable account features and high praise from customers.
Offers a generous APY
No monthly service fees
Real-time fraud alerts
No local branches available
Has requirements to earn APY
Because Alliant is a credit union—a type of non-profit financial institution—it differs from normal banks. Credit unions don’t necessarily offer better fees or interest rates, but during bad economic times your rates and services will likely remain the same, even as traditional banks might lower interest rates or take away other benefits. Alliant is our best credit union joint checking account because of its online offerings, easy-to-use mobile app, no monthly fees, $20 in monthly ATM rebates, and strong 0.25% APY. To earn interest, account holders will need to agree to receive e-statements and make at least one electronic deposit per month.
Alliant has received numerous accolades, mostly for its online banking experience. Many credit unions have been slower to adapt to online banking, not developing a solid app or online banking experience for their members. Alliant has gone above and beyond to make sure its app is not only available but is the best in its class. Alliant competes with many traditional banks by letting you manage your account entirely from your mobile device.
You can apply for an Alliant joint checking account online, but you must first become a member of the credit union. To be eligible, you must be a relative of an existing Alliant member, become a member of a select partner organization, live or work in a qualifying community, or be a member of a partner charity. Once you qualify, you’ll just need to provide a government ID to prove you’re at least 18 years of age, along with either your Social Security number or tax ID number. The entire process can be completed in less than 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Joint Checking Account?
A joint checking account is a bank account that allows more than one person to manage deposits, withdrawals, and account changes. Anyone who is an account holder on a joint checking account has the right to any money kept in that account and typically must report that money as a jointly held asset.
How Do Joint Checking Accounts Work?
Opening a joint checking account involves providing your own and the other account holder's personal information. This may include your name, address, date of birth, and Social Security or tax ID number. At the end of the process, you may be asked to deposit funds into your account, with the minimum required amount varying by the bank. Many financial institutions will require at least one joint account holder to be over the age of 18 and some will require all account holders to be of legal age.
Managing your account is as simple as abiding by whatever rules your bank provides, such as keeping enough money in the account to cover both your spending and the minimum amounts you’re bound to before being charged any fees.
How Do Joint Checking Accounts Differ From Individual Accounts?
FDIC insures coverage of a joint account at a higher rate. Each co-owner of a joint account is insured up to $250,000, meaning a couple can safely keep $500,000 in the account and be protected should anything like a market crash impact your financial institution.
Another key difference between the two is that creditors of any account holder could potentially access the funds in the account. For example, if your co-account holder winds up with a financial judgment against them, the money in your account may not be safe. There are also almost no protections or recourse if one account holder drains the account without your knowledge.
How We Chose the Best Joint Checking Accounts
We looked at more than two dozen joint checking accounts and narrowed them down to the top four you see on this list. We looked at how easy it is to set up an account, the reputation and customer reviews of the bank, what the fees were, and what additional features the checking account offered. We found that the best banks typically have minimal, if any, fees for normal banking and were easy to set up and manage online.