Personal Finance

6 Best Joint Bank Accounts: Checking and Savings Accounts for Couples

A joint bank account can help couples reach their shared goals and manage household expenses. However, it’s important to carefully consider if this is the right move for you.

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At some point, you might decide it’s time to combine your finances with another person. In that case, it’s a good idea to get a joint bank account that can help you manage your money together and take care of shared expenses.

If you’re looking for some of the best joint bank accounts, here are some solid contenders.

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6 Best Joint Checking Accounts

After reviewing dozens of checking accounts, we narrowed it down to bank accounts that would be appropriate for different situations, including taking into account APY, fees, and other items. The recommendations on this list should be a good starting point for many different situations.

BrandBest for
Chase Total CheckingAll-purpose joint account including an account for kids
LendingClub BankFee-conscious couples
Discover Cashback DebitRewards for using your debit card
CIT BankInterest-earning checking account
BBVADifferent checking account options to choose from
Axos Rewards CheckingNo fees for overdrafts or non-sufficient funds plus options for earning interest

1. Chase Total Checking®

Chase, with access to more than 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs, is one of the most accessible bank accounts out there. Plus, you can access bill pay and mobile banking services fairly easily. There is a monthly fee of $12 with this account, but its fairly easy to have it waived when you have certain direct deposits of at least $500 per month or have a daily balance of $1,500 or an average daily balance of $5,000 when combined with other products, including investments. As a couple, hitting these thresholds can be fairly simple. If you and your partner are looking for an all-purpose joint account with a major bank, this is a great choice.

On top of this, Chase Total Checking comes with a bank account for kids at least 6 years old and their own debit card. So, if you’re looking for a joint account that benefits the whole family, this can be a good choice.

Read more about it in our Chase Total Checking Review.

2. LendingClub Bank

With LendingClub Bank, each person can receive their own debit card, making it easy to access the money.

Not only are there no monthly maintenance fees for the Rewards Checking account, but there are also no ATM fees ever with unlimited fee reimbursement when you use other banks’ ATMs. Plus, LendingClub Bank offers a free first order of checks (if you still use those) and unlimited wire transfers. For fee-conscious couples, this can be a huge plus.

On top of being accessible online and via mobile, LendingClub Bank also offers early direct deposit, allowing you early access to your money, and the account earns interest. Both partners can have their direct deposits sent to the LendingClub Bank account, creating earlier access to your money as a couple.

The interest earned is fairly small, with 0.10% APY on accounts of $2,500 to $99,999.99 and 0.15% APY on account balances of at least $100,000. You also get unlimited cash back of 1% on debit card signature purchases. With two people using the account, this can make it easier to grow your balance and get more cash back.

Visit LendingClub Bank or read our review of LendingClub Bank here.

3. Discover Cashback Debit

Discover is an all-around joint bank account. Not only are there no fees for this account, but it also comes with 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. So, not only do you get a great account to help you pay bills, but you also get rewards for using your debit card a plus for couples that aren’t interested in using credit cards for the rewards. A debit card for each partner can help you reach that threshold and maximize your cash back rewards.

On top of that, Discover offers access to more than 60,000 ATMs in the United States without fees. You can also manage your banking online and through the mobile app. For couples who like to keep up with things on the go and want access through ATMs without paying fees, this can be a great choice.

Read More: Discover Cashback Debit Review

4. CIT Bank

CIT Bank is another bank that offers no-fee joint banking. With one of these accounts, you can avoid monthly fees, plus avoid ATM fees. On top of that, CIT can refund up to $30 per month on ATM fees paid at other banks’ ATMs. This makes it accessible to use CIT, no matter your situation. Plus, you get access online and via mobile, making it easy to manage your account from anywhere. Both partners get a debit card with CIT Bank, at no extra charge. Additionally, you can both see what’s going on with the account by choosing to have statements delivered to two different email addresses.

CIT Bank also pays an annual yield on its checking account. If you have an account with less than $25,000 in it, you earn 0.10% APY. For accounts with more than $25,000, you earn 0.25% APY. You do need a minimum opening deposit of $100 to get started, though. However, with two people using the account, you might be able to reach the threshold for a higher APY sooner, as well as have an easier time getting the $100 you need to get started.

Visit CIT Bank or read our full CIT Bank Review.

5. BBVA

BBVA may have an online application, but it focuses mainly on customers in seven states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. However, if you decide to go with BBVA, you can open an account with as little as $25. On top of that, there are different checking account options. The Premium option costs $19 per month unless you take steps to waive the fee. However, there are two other fee-free accounts.

The BBVA Online Checking account comes with no monthly Service Charge and can be a good fit for those who live outside the seven states listed and want access to the account, and 64,000 fee-free ATMs. Plus, the account comes with a cash back rewards debit card, allowing you to earn rewards while engaging in your regular spending. With two debit cards, one for each partner, you can rack up the cash back debit rewards without the need for credit card spending.

6. Axos Rewards Checking

Axos gives you up to 1.25% APY on your account, while receiving access to a low-fee account. Not only do you get ATM fee reimbursement on domestic machines, but there are also no fees for overdrafts or non-sufficient funds. You also don’t have to worry about maintenance fees. While you do need $50 to open an account, there are no minimum balance requirements.

Axos bases its rewards checking APY on different tiers of activities that you can do each month. As a couple, you can coordinate how to increase your APY with different activities. The more you do, including direct deposits and debit card transactions, you can see a higher APY. You can both use the account to maximize your ability to get a higher APY, or you can decide which one of you is likely to achieve the requirement and use the Axos joint bank account in conjunction with other accounts. This can be a good way to move forward with your money.

Visit Axos Bank or read the full Axos Bank Review.

How We Came Up with this List

After reviewing dozens of checking accounts, we narrowed it down to bank accounts that would be appropriate for different situations, including taking into account APY, fees, and other items. The recommendations on this list should be a good starting point for many different situations.

What Makes the Best Joint Checking Account?

When looking for the best joining checking account, it’s important to take into account a number of factors, including your own personal needs and preferences as a couple. But some of the items to consider include:

  • Low or no bank fees: Start by looking at fees. Are there monthly maintenance fees? If so, is it relatively easy to get those fees waived? Look for an account that won’t charge you to access your own money. Additionally, consider ATM fees. Look for an account that won’t charge you to use ATMs, and that will reimburse you for using another bank’s ATM. This is especially important if you choose an online checking account.
  • Local or national: Check to see what access you get to your money. A local bank can have a more personal touch, but you might run into problems when you travel. National access can provide peace of mind and access no matter what. If you do go with a local institution, find out if they belong to an ATM network that’s national, or if they offer reimbursement for fees.
  • Online access: Being able to manage your money from anywhere is a huge deal. Find out if there’s online and mobile access. You want to make sure you can see your account balances and move your money as needed.
  • Additional perks: Look for other perks, like online bill pay, checking accounts with debit cards for your kids, special financial planning help, or other items that fit your lifestyle.
  • Sign-up bonuses: Some banks offer sign-up bonuses of up to $500. This can put extra money in your joint checking account. When taking advantage of a sign-up bonus, however, make sure that you read the fine print and follow the directions for actually receiving the bonus.
  • Customer service: Pay attention to customer service access. Can you speak with someone on the phone or get access to live chat? What about in-person help in local branches? Review your needs to see what is likely to make the most sense for your situation.

Some of these items might have more importance to you than others. Carefully think about your own priorities to determine what matters most to you.

What is a Joint Bank Account?

A joint bank account is one in which two people have equal access to the money. When you have a joint bank account, you can both deposit money or take it out. Generally, each person has their own debit card and can access the account that way, on top of being able to access it through checks and in-person withdrawals.

How Do Joint Bank Accounts Work?

Just like any other bank account, joint bank accounts work by allowing you to keep your money in an accessible format. The main difference is that, instead of only one person having access to the account, both people have equal access to the joint bank account.

It’s possible to put together various scenarios to make a joint bank account work. Each person can deposit regularly, or you can initiate transfers. Additionally, it’s possible to set up direct deposits with a joint bank account. Then, when you want access to the money, you can get it. However, because more than one person is authorized to access the account, it’s possible for issues to arise if there isn’t clear communication.

Related: Things to Consider When Combining Finances

Types of Joint Bank Accounts

In general, you can get access to joint bank accounts in similar ways to how you’d have a single bank account. You can usually get joint bank accounts for:

  • Checking: This allows you more transactions in the account, and is meant for everyday use. You use this account to pay bills and take care of other regular spending.
  • Saving: Joint savings accounts allow both partners to put in money for similar goals, or to withdraw the money as needed. However, savings accounts come with withdrawal limits and are not generally used for daily transactions.
  • CDs: It’s also possible to get joint certificates of deposit. With a joint CD, you both agree to put assets in a timed deposit account and keep it there for the term. However, it’s important to note that a joint account means that one partner could take the money out early, triggering early withdrawal penalties.

When reviewing your situation and needs, figure out which accounts make the most sense for you as a couple.

Pros and Cons of Joint Bank Accounts

Before you move forward with a joint bank account, make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages.

  • Easy to manage joint expenses: A joint bank account makes it easy to manage shared household expenses.

  • Access if the other person is incapacitated: If you or your partner can’t manage the money, a joint account makes it easy to access the funds needed to make decisions and keep paying expenses.

  • Avoid probate: If one partner passes on, the joint account remains the other’s — no need for probate.


  • Equal access: In some cases, equal access can be problematic, especially if your partner spends without your consent, or if they decide to clean out the account ahead of a disagreement.

  • Lack of privacy: If you want to maintain some privacy in your finances, joint bank accounts won’t allow you to, since your partner has equal access to the account.

Separate vs. Joint Savings

Depending on your situation, it can make sense to set up different accounts for different purposes. Carefully consider your circumstances and talk to your partner about your preferences.

A joint savings account can make sense for large shared goals, like a family vacation or saving up for a down payment on a house. However, you might also want to keep separate savings accounts for individual goals and spending. That way, you each have your own money to draw on, that you can use however you want.

This is also true of separate vs. joint checking accounts. Some couples aren’t comfortable with big pot accounts where everything goes in. Depending on how you and your partner manage money, it can make more sense to have a separate account for individual expenses and then a joint account for shared household and family expenses.

Related: Best Personal Finance Apps for Couples

When you figure out how each person contributes, whether it’s a savings account or a checking account, you need to come up with a system that’s equitable. This could mean a percentage of income, or a flat amount, depending on how you both feel and the way you divide up other family and household responsibilities.

The important thing, whether you use a joint, separate, or a combination of accounts, is that you’re both comfortable with the money situation and how you handle your shared and individual expenses.

How to Open a Joint Bank Account

Opening a joint bank account is similar to opening an individual account. You’ll need your addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and usually some sort of picture ID, like a driver’s license. Each of you needs to provide the same information since you’re both applying for the account.

If the bank uses Chex Systems, you’ll both be reviewed separately. Once you’ve been approved, you deposit money in the account and get the associated debit cards and other items.

How to Merge Bank Accounts After Marriage

If you decide that you want to combine your bank accounts after you get married, you can take a couple of routes:

  • Add your spouse to your bank account: Depending on the bank, it might be possible to simply add your spouse to your bank account and turn it into a joint account. Find out the process for doing this with your bank and move forward. This can be a simple way to merge bank accounts. However, the spouse who’s added might need to change their direct deposit information and other information, as well as move their money into the new account and close their old account.
  • Open a new joint bank account: You can also simply open a new bank account in both your names. Depending on the situation, this might make more sense. You can choose to close your individual accounts and move the money to the new joint account, or you can each maintain your separate accounts on top of having the new joint bank account.

The key is to talk to your partner and make sure you both agree on the process, as well as how you will manage your joint finances.

Avoiding Fights About Money

Money can be an emotional subject that results in a lot of fighting. While you might not be able to completely avoid disagreements, there are some things that can help you reduce problems related to money in your relationship:

  • Open communication: You need to communicate about money and make sure you’re on the same page.
  • Guidelines you both agree to: Setting amounts that require approval from your partner can be important if you want to avoid overdrawing a joint bank account and the resulting fight.
  • Money of your own: Figuring out a way for you both to have money of your own, that the other person cant judge you for using, can make a big difference as well.
  • Shared goals: Having shared financial goals is huge. If you’re both working toward the same things and committed to those things, you’re less likely to fight.

In many cases, having an in-depth conversation about money before you get married or combine finances is key. You need to be honest about finances, and understand where the other is coming from.

Joint Bank Accounts After Divorce

In general, you’ll have to get rid of the joint bank accounts after your divorce. However, minimal changes should be made to the accounts head of the divorce settlement. In a perfect world, both parties would be respectful and use the accounts only for bills until the divorce is final and the assets are divided up according to the settlement.

It’s important to pay attention to the process and to protect your assets when possible. However, you need to be careful about frivolous spending during the proceedings, since that will be taken into account. Once the assets have been divided, the joint accounts can be closed.

Learn More: How To Separate Finances During a Divorce

How to Close a Joint Bank Account

Depending on the bank, one person might be able to close the account. In other cases, you might need both partners. This might include notarized permission, or both people coming in to close the account.

It’s also possible to take one name off the account in some cases. Check with your bank to see what the process is. You might be able to have one person removed from the account without the need to close the joint account. Find out if special steps need to be taken, such as the removed person signing off.

FAQs

Does a joint account need both signatures?

In most cases, you don’t need both signatures for a joint account. These accounts offer individuals equal access.

What happens if a deceased person is on a joint account?

Usually, the remaining person can continue operating the account as normal, without the need for probate or to make changes.

Are joint accounts a good idea?

It depends on your situation. Carefully consider your circumstances and decide if it makes sense to have a joint account, even if it’s just for shared goals or household expenses.

Final Thoughts

A joint bank account can help couples reach their shared goals and manage household expenses. However, it’s important to carefully consider if this is the right move for you. If you decide to have some level of a joint account, there are some solid choices to start with.

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