05/23/2012 12:40 pm ET Updated May 23, 2012

High-Yield Checking Accounts Identified By Bankrate Survey

High-yield checking accounts might be as rare as Sasquatch these days, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

An annual survey from, a website that tracks financial rates, identified 57 banks or credit unions in the United States that offer high-yield checking accounts. Of those, 23 offer accounts that are available to customers nationally who can open an account over the phone.

In the last three years, the APY for accounts like these has dropped to 2.05 percent today from an average rate of 3.30 percent in 2010. Though it seems low, that rate is still 34 times higher than the current national average for an interest-bearing checking account, which is .06 percent.

But before you rush to move your money, nearly all the high-yield accounts have some kind of strings attached. Some require a minimum number of debit card transactions per month, while others require an electronic deposit or payment. Most have some kind of balance cap for the high interest rate, ranging between $10,000 and $15,000.

"For accountholders that can routinely meet the monthly requirements, high-yield checking accounts are a no-brainer cash investment," said Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst for "Investors should calibrate the balance they plan to hold in the account with an APY offering that maximizes their return."