Quontic Bank High Interest Checking Review: An interest-earning online checking account

Man sitting in his office, using his mobile phone to check is Quontic checking account.Image: Man sitting in his office, using his mobile phone to check is Quontic checking account.
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Quontic Bank checking account at a glance

Physical locationsNone — Quontic Bank is an online bank
Getting startedQuontic boasts a quick three-minute application and a $100 opening deposit
Monthly service feeNone
Overdraft feesNone
Other feesWire transfers ($25–$35), stop-payment order ($20)
How to depositMobile app, direct deposits, ACH transfers, Zelle, wire transfers
How to withdrawPaper checks, ACH transfers, bill pay, ATM, debit card, Pay Ring, Zelle
Notable featureMake at least 10 debit card purchases (at least $10 each) per month, you’ll earn 1.10% APY — 0.01% APY otherwise

Quontic Bank is a relatively obscure online bank that’s launched some big innovations. It’s a Community Development Financial Institution designed to increase access to quality banking products in underserved communities. It does that by offering mortgages with flexible underwriting and high-APY deposit accounts, including savings, CDs and money market accounts.

In this article, we’ll talk about Quontic checking accounts, which may be different than what you might have seen before. Two of them offer cash back and Bitcoin rewards, and the third — the bank’s high-interest checking account — offers APY rates on your everyday spending. We’ll be focusing on the high-interest checking account.

5 things to know about a Quontic Bank checking account

Aside from not charging any overdraft fees, here are a few things that set the Quontic high-interest checking account apart.

1. You can earn a great rate, but you’ll need to put in some work

As of December 2022, the National Credit Union Administration shows that the national average annual percentage yield on interest checking accounts is 0.15%. Quontic’s high-interest checking offers a rate of 1.10% APY.

There is a catch, of course — to earn that rate for the month, you’ll need to make at least 10 eligible debit card purchases of $10 or more. If you don’t, there isn’t any penalty or monthly maintenance fee like with some other interest-bearing checking accounts; rather, you’ll earn a measly 0.01% APY instead of much higher 1.10% APY. 

2. Help meet spending requirements with the Quontic Pay Ring

If you’re a fan of wearable tech or you’re someone who forgets their wallet a lot, you may enjoy this new banking hardware innovation: the Pay Ring. It works like other contactless payment methods, but in this case, it’s an actual ring that you wear on your finger. To pay, you’ll use a knocking motion centered on the contactless icon on the payment terminal to complete your purchase.

And most importantly, paying with your ring does count toward your monthly debit-swipe requirements.

3. Quontic Bank is for-profit, but community-centered

Quontic Bank got its start as New York–based Golden First Bank until a real estate entrepreneur bought and rebranded it in 2009. It’s still a privately owned company today, but it’s also community-focused. One of the things that separates Quontic from many other banks is its participation in the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, a U.S. Treasury program that aims to promote economic growth in underserved and disadvantaged communities across the nation. In 2020, Quontic Bank was awarded nearly $800,000 in a grant to help it expand its CDFI program through its banking products and mortgages, which may be more easily attainable for people who can’t meet traditional underwriting requirements.

4. Quontic Bank can replace some, but not all of your banking needs

A full-service bank offers just about every type of deposit account and common loan type you might need. Quontic Bank offers many of the standard banking products and loans but not all.

With Quontic, you can access …

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Money market and CDs
  • Conventional loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • Community development loans
  • Mortgage refinancing

5. You’ll have access to an extra-large ATM network

Most banks and credit unions offer access to the Allpoint or CO-OP ATM network. In addition to that, you can freely use ATMs in the MoneyPass network, SUM program network or Citibank machines located in certain popular retailers like Target and Kroger without any additional fees from Quontic. Altogether, that’s a large network of 90,000+ free ATMs.

Is Quontic Bank an online bank?

Yes. Even though Quontic Bank does operate a few brick-and-mortar office locations, they’re just that — offices, and not branch locations where you can do your banking in person.

In lieu of physical bank branches you can walk into, Quontic Bank offers robust online and mobile banking support. You can even sign up for text banking, which allows you to get account details like your balance by sending the bank a text message. 

Is Quontic Bank a legitimate bank?

Yes. Although it seems similar to other fintech companies that look like banks but actually aren’t, Quontic Bank is a real bank that offers interest-bearing checking accounts. It’s registered with the FDIC so your deposits are fully insured up to the federal limits.

Not sure if Quontic Bank is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Ally Bank: For more freedom in withdrawing cash, Ally Bank goes a step further and will refund you up to $10 in ATM fees each month if you happen to use an out-of-network machine.
  • M1 Finance: If you’re willing to pay an annual fee to earn even more rewards, consider the M1 Spend account that offers interest and 1% cash back on debit card purchases.

About the author: Lindsay VanSomeren is a freelance writer living in Kirkland, Washington. She has been a professional dogsled racer, a wildlife researcher, and a participant in the National Spelling Bee. She writes for websites such a… Read more.