Hand tapping a card on a payment terminal.

CNN Underscored reviews financial products based on their overall value. We may receive a commission through our affiliate partners if you apply and are approved for a product, but our reporting is always independent and objective.

Our quick take: The Axos CashBack Checking account offers a cash-back-earning debit card, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements and no monthly maintenance fees, making it competitive against traditional checking accounts from major banks.


  • Earns up to 1% cash back on most debit card purchases.
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
  • $50 minimum balance for account opening.
  • No monthly fees.


  • Cash back applies only to signature-based purchases.
  • Account does not earn interest.
  • Earning 1% cash back requires an average daily balance of $1,500. Lower balances earn 0.5% cash back.
  • No physical branches.

Best for: Those who don’t mind an online-only banking experience in exchange for ATM fee reimbursements and cash-back rewards on debit card purchases.

What is the Axos CashBack Checking account?

Person using a bright red ATM.

The Axos CashBack Checking account is a relatively unknown banking product that packs quite a punch for consumers in search of a more rewarding banking experience. The account charges no monthly maintenance fees and its debit card earns cash-back rewards.

Since Axos has no branches, customers have access to mobile banking and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. The latter can be especially appealing for frequent travelers who might not have easy access to a single bank’s ATM network everywhere they go.

Being able to use any ATM without fees is a definite advantage of the Axos CashBack Checking account. However, what makes this account unique is that it earns cash-back rewards on signature-based debit card purchases. Customers earn 1% cash back on most purchases as long as they maintain a $1,500 average daily balance. If the balance dips below that threshold, cash-back earnings drop to 0.5%.

There is a limit of $2,000 in cash-back earnings per month, which won’t be an issue for most customers since it only limits earnings beyond $200,000 spent per month. That said, you will not earn rewards on debit card purchases that require entering a PIN.

While Axos is smaller than many of the big-name banks, the CashBack Checking account is still FDIC-insured. You can have peace of mind knowing your funds are protected against a bank failure or other financial crisis.

The Axos CashBack Checking account is a good way for customers to save money while still enjoying the convenience of using a debit card for everyday purchases. With its competitive rewards program and convenient online banking platform, it’s great for those who want a fee-free checking account that earns rewards.

Advantages of the Axos CashBack Checking account

Hand tapping a blue credit card on a payment terminal

One of the key advantages of the Axos CashBack Checking account is that it earns up to 1% cash back on purchases made with its debit card. The maximum you can earn with your debit card is $2,000 per month, which is a very high limit that most people won’t exceed.

Some consumers are averse to credit cards because of the potential to accrue debt. As such, a rewards-earning debit card can be a great way to earn cash back while enjoying the convenience of using a debit card. You also don’t have to worry about paying your monthly bill on time in order to avoid late fees and interest. Whatever you spend is automatically deducted from your checking account.

Another benefit of Axos CashBack Checking account is that it has no monthly maintenance fees and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. Axos Bank will reimburse customers for any fees that other ATM operators charge them. This is a massive advantage for people who travel frequently and don’t want to be restricted to using one bank’s ATM network.

Related: American Express checking account earns rewards with a debit card

Disadvantages of the Axos CashBack Checking account

Hands holding multiple $100 bills over a pink background.

One significant disadvantage of the Axos CashBack Checking account is that it requires a $1,500 balance to earn the maximum 1% cash-back rewards. Customers who do not meet this requirement will only earn 0.5% cash back on signature-based purchases.

If you do find yourself routinely dipping below the $1,500 required balance, then you might want to consider a Discover checking account. It’s a free checking account with no minimum balance requirement that earns 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases every month.

While the Axos CashBack Checking account offers generous ongoing rewards, it doesn’t offer new customers a bonus for opening their accounts. Meanwhile, banks like Citi offer upwards of $2,000 if you can meet the deposit requirements. This is worth noting if you plan on making a large deposit, since most banks are eager to acquire such customers and provide high cash bonus incentives.

Another potential disadvantage of the Axos CashBack Checking account is its lack of physical branches. While the account can be managed entirely online, some customers may prefer to have the option to visit a physical branch for assistance or to make deposits.

Further, the account also doesn’t earn interest like some of the other Axos checking accounts do. This means customers are missing out on potential returns from high-yielding accounts. With the current high rate of inflation, your money is losing value just sitting in the bank. You might consider pairing the Axos CashBack checking account with a high-yield savings account.

It’s always good practice to explore other products to see if there is one that better suits all of your banking needs. While the Axos CashBack Checking account has a lot going for it, its drawbacks make this step especially prudent.

Should you open an Axos CashBack Checking account?

Whether you should open an Axos CashBack Checking account depends on your individual needs and preferences. The account is a great option if you want to earn cash back on debit card purchases, avoid monthly maintenance fees and have access to unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.

However, it’s important to consider the potential disadvantages before opening an account. This includes the high balance requirement for maximum cash-back rewards and the lack of physical branches. Compare the account’s features with other banking options to determine if it fits your needs.

Learn more about and open the Axos CashBack Checking account.

Looking for a new credit card but don’t want to pay an annual fee? Check out CNN Underscored’s list of the best no-annual-fee credit cards to consider right now.

Get all the latest personal finance deals, news and advice at CNN Underscored Money.