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Best Tax Software in 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

The most sweeping tax reform legislation in decades was passed in 2018, and this is the first tax year when filers will feel the impact as they set out to prepare their taxes.

The impact on taxpayers will vary based on the individual. Some folks may get a bigger refund than expected, while others may owe extra money (especially if you’re a homeowner in a state with high property taxes). To help reduce any friction in the tax filing process and ensure that your records are filed correctly, choosing the right tax software is key. Software has only gotten better year after year, and in our third annual tax software roundup, we sought to find you the best tax software options out there.

We personally used all 13 of the products mentioned in this article. Our recommendations of the best tax software are specifically based on the following factors:

  1. How well the software meets the needs of the intended user (simple filers, stock traders, etc.)
  2. Price vs. product offerings
  3. Which has the best functionality (such as user interface, most imports, best navigation, etc.)

Which tax software fits your needs? Find out below. Please note, the prices for tax software change regularly. As the April 15th tax filing deadline approaches, prices for the software tend to increase.

Note: The prices reflected in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

The Best Tax Software of 2019

Best free tax software

Of the 13 tax software packages we reviewed only two allow all users to file state and federal taxes for free.

Winner: Credit Karma Tax

Credit Karma TaxCredit Karma Tax has a clean user interface, limited jargon and easy navigation which makes it a top choice for free filers. Additionally, the built-in calculators make Credit Karma appropriate for even complex filers such as those with rental properties or side businesses. This year, Credit Karma Tax also offers an audit assistance guarantee which can be an excellent bonus for this free service.

Runner-up: DIY Tax

DIY Tax, also known as FreeTax.com, is a free service offered by Liberty Tax Service. DIY Tax has built in calculators to support stock traders and rental property owners, and it has excellent support articles. Despite the positives, its user interface is harder to use than the Credit Karma Tax interface. Experienced filers may be able to navigate the software, but newer filers should stay away.

Best tax software for basic filers

We consider “basic filers” to be W-2 employees who don’t need to itemize their taxes, and who only earn income from a W-2 job and interest from bank accounts. Our tax software recommendations for these filers are completely free (for simple filers), and the offer the easiest to use interfaces.

Winner: H&R Block Free

H&R Block FreeH&R Block is one of the most robust software solutions for people with W-2 jobs. Its free version allows you to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, student loan interest deduction, the Child Tax Credit and the Dependent Care Credit, and the Retirement Saver’s Credit.

Runner-up: TurboTax Free Edition

TurboTax Free Edition offers a simple question and answer navigation style which makes it easy to file your taxes. Using the free edition you can claim the earned income tax credit and a child tax credit (but not dependent care credits). Filers who don’t need to itemize or claim other credits will find that TurboTax offers a great experience

Best tax software for students and recent grads

Most students and recent grads have fairly simple tax returns, but many will need to claim the Student Loan Interest Deduction, the Retirement Saver’s Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. These recommendations offer the easiest to use platforms that are free for students and recent grads.

Winner: H&R Block Free

H&R Block Free If you’ve got student loan interest, you can claim an “above the line” deduction for it. However, most tax filing services require you to pay for this deduction. With H&R Block Free edition, you can claim the Student Loan Interest Deduction, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Retirement Saver’s Credit and other critical credits to lower your tax burden. The one drawback to H&R Block Free is that you can only enter W-2 and interest income while still qualifying for the free service. If you’re a side hustler, look to the runner-up, Credit Karma Tax

Runner-up: Credit Karma Tax

H&R Block Free is easier to use than Credit Karma Tax, but Credit Karma Tax is completely free for all users. If you’re a student or recent grad employed in the gig economy (driving for Uber, or renting out a room on Airbnb, etc.), Credit Karma Tax is the best choice for you.

Best tax software for itemizers

In 2019, fewer people than ever before will itemize their taxes. That’s because the new tax laws increased the standard deduction, and the deduction for state and local taxes is limited to $10,000. However, if you’re someone who pays state and local taxes, has mortgage interest to deduct and gives charitably, you may pay less to the federal government by itemizing your taxes.

Read more: Should You Itemize Your Taxes This Year?

Winner: Credit Karma Tax

Credit Karma Tax People who qualify to itemize can use Credit Karma to file their state and federal taxes for free. Credit Karma makes it easy to claim deductions for state and local taxes, mortgage interest and charitable contributions. The interface is clean, and Credit Karma Tax offers free audit assistance guarantees. That means a tax specialist will help you if the IRS audits you. This is an important bonus for itemizers in 2019.

Runner-up: TaxSlayer Classic

TaxSlayer Classic has an easy to use question and answer interface that rivals top contenders H&R Block and TurboTax. Using the interface, you’re unlikely to miss even the most obscure of tax deductions. However, TaxSlayer Classic costs $17 to file your federal taxes and $29 for state taxes, and it doesn’t come with audit protection like Credit Karma Tax.

Best tax software that offers audit protection

The IRS has the right to audit anyone, but people with complex taxes run a greater audit risk. No tax software (or accountant) can prevent you from getting audited. However, some tax software will give you access to a tax specialist or accountant if you undergo an audit. These are the software services that can lend a hand if you need it.

Winner: Credit Karma Tax

Credit Karma Tax In addition to being a free tax filing software, Credit Karma Tax offers a free audit assistance guarantee. If you’re nervous about the potential for an audit, filing with Credit Karma Tax is a good move in 2019.

Runner-up: FreeTaxUSA Deluxe

FreeTaxUSA Deluxe costs $6.99 for federal filing and $12.95 for state filing, and this price includes an audit assistance guarantee. If you’re audited, FreeTaxUSA’s audit specialists will help you understand the issues and help you prepare for the audit. FreeTaxUSA is a software worth considering if you want audit assistance.

Best tax software for stock traders

If you buy and sell stocks, bonds, or options outside of your tax-advantaged retirement accounts, you need a tax software that can handle all your information. Tax software for traders must allow users to import their brokerage statements and have internal calculators that minimize capital gains. Please note, if you only sell a dozen or so positions per year, you may want to consider a free service like Credit Karma Tax.

Winner: TaxAct Premier+

TaxAct Premier+  TaxAct Premier+ allows stock traders to import tax forms from most major brokerages, and it is a bit less expensive than competitors- $39.95 for federal filing and $39.95 for state filing.

Runner Up: H&R Block Premium – Online version

H&R Block Premium online software costs $49.99 for federal filing and $36.99 for state filing. But the price is well worth for active traders. H&R Block allows you to import all major forms from many financial institutions.

On top of allowing users to import tax documents, H&R Block also has accurate accounting for short-term gains and losses. This functionality helps investors minimize the tax they owe.

Best tax software for real estate investors

Real estate investors need to calculate depreciation on their properties, and they need to amortize certain expenses and deduct others. If you’ve sold property in the last year, you’ll also need to calculate your capital gains taxes. With all these moving parts, filing taxes can be confusing for real estate investors. The best tax software for real estate investors needs to feature helpful support articles, intuitive depreciation and amortization calculators, and as many import features as possible.

Winner: TurboTax Premier

TurboTax PremierTurboTax Premier costs $59.99 for federal filing and $39.99 for state filing, but despite the high cost, real estate investors will love it. The real estate portion of TurboTax is superior to all other interfaces on the market. If you use QuickBooks software to manage your real estate accounting, you can connect it directly to TurboTax. If you don’t, you can still upload a Schedule E or use the robust calculators embedded in the software.

Runner-up: Credit Karma Tax

Credit Karma Tax isn’t nearly as easy to use as TurboTax Premier because you cannot connect the software to any accounting app. However, it still offers plenty of functionality for real estate investors. Plus, it’s totally free. It’s built-in calculators make it easy to depreciate or amortize expenses. Its question and answer section also help real estate investors determine whether they qualify for the qualified business income deduction.

Best tax software for self-employed people

Are you a freelancer or contractor? If so, you know that you can deduct many business-related expenses. This means that taxes can get messy in a hurry. The best tax software for self-employed people makes it easy to claim business deductions. It will also offer robust explanations that will help you understand amortizing equipment expenses and whether you qualify for a home office deduction.

Winner: TaxSlayer Classic

TaxSlayer Classic TaxSlayer Classic has one of the easiest to use interfaces in the market, and it’s Classic level makes filing self-employment expenses easy. Plus the Classic level comes with IRS inquiry assistance (audit assistance) for a full year after filing. At just $17 for federal filing and $29 for state filing, TaxSlayer is a bargain for people

Runner-up: TurboTax Self-employed

TurboTax Self-employed offers incredible value to self-employed users. It’s the most expensive product on the market ($89.99 for federal filing and $39.99 per state), but it comes with incredible service. User can reach out to certified tax specialists with an questions, and users who file before the April 15th deadline can get a free subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed. When you combine those advantages with TurboTax’s unparalleled user interface, the software can be a great choice despite the price tag.

Runner-up: Credit Karma Tax

Credit Karma Tax doesn’t have all the functionality of TurboTax or TaxSlayer, but it is completely free. If your business has straightforward accounting, Credit Karma Tax may offer all the functionality you need.

Best tax software for small businesses

Sole proprietors and single member LLCs can use tax software for self-employed people, but if you’re part of a partnership, a corporation, or a multi-member LLC, then you need more than the standard tax software that we reviewed above.

Corporations need software that supports Form 1120. S Corporations (with more than one member) need tax software that supports Form 1120S. Partnerships and multi-member LLCs need software that supports Form 1065.

Since business tax software is different from individual tax software, MagnifyMoney reviewed just three packages. The software packages include TurboTax Business, H&R Block Premium and Business and TaxAct for Small Businesses.

Winner: H&R Block Premium and Business

H&R Block Premium and BusinessH&R Block Premium and Business costs $89.95 for the federal and State software (this includes up to five federal e-files. State e-filing costs $19.95 per state. Additional state programs are $39.95 each. H&R Block offers an excellent interview style user interface that DIY business owners need. Plus the software allows users to create employee forms, and it supports the major forms for businesses, plus the form for nonprofit organizations. For most business owners that want to file their own taxes, H&R Block Premium and Business offers excellent value for the price.
Credit Karma Tax is a completely free filing service, and it has a decent user interface. Unfortunately, it has had several technical glitches this year, and Credit Karma has struggled to respond in a timely manner. If you run into trouble, you may want to try a different filing service.

Runner-up: TurboTax Business

TurboTax Business is one of the most expensive software packages on the market. It costs $159.99 for the federal software (which includes up to five federal e-files). On top of that, you’ll pay $59.99 per state and $19.99 per state e-filing fee. However, for most business owners the interface may be worth the price. TurboTax Business offers the same interview style interface that consumers love, but it offers increased functionality. Small business owners will especially love that they can use it to create unlimited W-2 forms and 1099-MISC forms.

Tax Software pricing, plans, and insights

In 2019, MagnifyMoney reviewed 13 unique tax software packages, and selected the best tax software options from those packages. Below, you can learn more about the each tax software, it’s pricing structure, and what to expect when you use it.

Credit Karma Tax

Credit Karma TaxCredit Karma Tax offers free federal and state filing for all users. Credit Karma also offers an audit assistance guarantee for its users. The software doesn’t allow any imports, but it’s clean user interface is easy to use and includes helpful knowledge bubbles that explain tax jargon. Users also can get free technical help when filing through Credit Karma Tax.

Superlatives: Best free tax software, Best tax software for itemizers, Best tax software that offers audit protection, Runner-up best tax software for real estate investors, Runner-up Best tax software for self-employed

DIY Tax

DIY TaxDIY Tax offers free federal and state filing for everyone. It’s user interface is cluttered and the navigation can prove to be confusing. However, the calculators in the software are accurate.

However, real estate investors and small business owners need to be careful with this platform. The depreciation and amortization calculators can be confusing. The software comes with limited technical assistance, but they push Liberty Tax Service offices for more robust tax support. The software doesn’t come with an audit support guarantee.

DIY Tax is sponsored by Liberty Tax Service, and you will see ads for its offices in the software. However, filing in a Liberty Tax office isn’t free.

Superlatives: Runner-up Best Free Filing Service

eSmart Tax

eSmart TaxeSmart Tax and DIY Tax are the same software package. However, you have to pay for eSmart Tax. Why would you pay? The Deluxe and Premium packages offer unlimited phone or email support from tax specialists. This is important if you need tax questions answered. However, in most cases, eSmart Tax is a software package to avoid, it’s simply too expensive to be considered worthwhile.

 

FreeBasicDeluxePremium
Price$0 Federal
$29.99 State
$34.95 Federal
$36.95 State
$45.95 Federal
$36.95 State
$59.95 Federal
$36.95 State
Best For1040EZHomeowners, people with dependents, sole proprietorsStock market investors without capital gains or lossesFreelancers, real estate investors, people who sold a home in the previous years

Superlatives: None

TaxSlayer

TaxSlayerTaxSlayer has an incredible question and answer user interface and helpful support articles. When it comes to itemizing deductions or finding credits, it is one of the easiest to use tax software packages on the market.

Unlike most tax software, TaxSlayer supports all forms on its second-tier Classic level. This means that anyone could complete their entire tax return at a relatively low price. TaxSlayer’s Premium and Ultimate levels gives you access to live chat support, audit protections, and help from tax professionals. The Self Employed tier offers similar but it doesn’t offer audit protection.

However, TaxSlayer has one demerit. It doesn’t allow you to see internal calculations for depreciation and amortization. That makes TaxSlayer inappropriate if you’re a real estate investor or self-employed.

TaxSlayer is also the only software company offering an interest free advance on your refund is TaxSlayer. With TaxSlayer you can get an advance of $500 or $1,000 after the IRS accepts your file. The loan is deposited on a TaxSlayer Prepaid Visa® Card powered by Green Dot. The card charges a $7.95 monthly fee, so you’ll want to use your refund quickly. After your refund appears, TaxSlayer will repay itself and then deposit the remainder of your ` in your bank account.

 

Simply FreeClassicPremiumSelf employedUltimate
Price$0 Federal
$0 First State ($29 each additional)
$17 Federal
$29 State
$37 Federal
$29 State
$47 Federal
$29 State
$57 Federal
$29 State
Best For1040EZAll others (itemizers, stock market investors, real estate investors, self-employed, etc.)Comes with audit assistance, ask a task professional, and live chat support

Superlatives: Best for self-employed, Runner-up Best for Itemizers

TaxAct

TaxAct TaxAct uses simple questions, helpful knowledge articles, and easy navigation to help you complete your taxes. It’s even easy to import your prior year’s taxes into the software. The one area where TaxAct shin

Despite all these praises, the software stumbles somewhat on its real estate coverage. The depreciation calculator seems clumsy in certain areas. Plus, it’s interface isn’t as easy to use as most of the top software packages, but it’s prices are nearly as high.

Overall, TaxAct tends to be a software to avoid unless you’re an active stock trader.

 

FreeBasic+Deluxe+Premier+Self- employed+
Price$0 Federal
$0 State
$9.95 Federal
$19.95 State
$29.95 Federal
$39.95 State
$34.95 Federal
$39.95 State
$49.95 Federal
$39.95 State
Best For1040EZ, 1040A (no dependents, claiming standard deduction)People with dependents claiming the standard deductionPeople with student loan interest, other itemizers.Real estate investors, stock market investorsSelf-employed people and contractors.

Superlatives: Best for Stock Traders

OLT.com

OLT.comOLT.com offers bargain basement pricing, but it shows in the interface. It’s clumsy user interface only allows you to import prior year tax forms from its own database. Its support articles send you to the even more confusing IRS website.

However, OLT.com offers a few bright spots. The health insurance coverage is easy and accurate. It is the only tax software that makes it easy to claim the premium tax credit for part of the year. Also, the real estate depreciation calculators are flexible enough to deal with complex circumstances. In most cases, we don’t recommend OLT.com since there are free options that offer better service.

 

FreePremium
Price$0 Federal
$9.95 State
$7.95 Federal
$7.95 State
Best ForAll major schedules supportedAnyone who wants audit support

Superlatives: None

1040.com

1040.com - Tax Software Pricing According to 1040.com, tax filing should be smart and simple, and to a certain extent, 1040.com delivers. The software is friendly and informative. It offers free live chat and email technical support. It also offers support articles that are approachable and informative.

Unfortunately, it’s friendly interview style interface starts to falter if you’re a real estate or stock market investor. The software doesn’t have built-in calculators which makes it inappropriate for people with complex filing situations.

Although 1040.com is easy to use and has a decent interface for people with simple filing situations, it’s not a recommended software. Users in most filing situations can find less expensive software options that deliver more value.

 

Free$24.95$44.95
Price$0 Federal
$0 State
$24.95 Federal
$19.95 State
$44.95 Federal
$24.95 State
Best For1040EZStock market investorsSelf-employed, real estate investors, itemizers

Superlatives: None

H&R Block Online

H&R Block OnlineH&R Block is one of the biggest names in tax software for good reason. People with complex tax returns will love the value that H&R Block offers. H&R Block offers unlimited technical support to all filers, and phone and chat tax support for those who pay. The only disappointment is that H&R Block online filing customers do not get a free in-person audit support. This is reserved for those who purchase a $119.99 (plus $36.99 per state) Tax Pro Review service.

However, H&R Block offers easy navigation, helpful interview questions, and robust articles that can help you untangle even the most complex filing situation. H&R Block’s built-in calculators are flexible enough to deal with uncommon tax situations. Plus, you can import most major forms, including prior year’s tax returns from competitors. H&R Block’s software isn’t quite as easy to use as TurboTax, but it’s less expensive in most situations.

 

FreeDeluxePremiumSelf-employed
Price$0 Federal
$0 State
$29.99 Federal
$36.99 State
$49.99 Federal
$36.99 State
$79.99 Federal
$36.99 State
Best ForNew filers, people with dependents, people with student loan debt.Best for itemizersReal estate investors, self-employed people with less than $5,000 in expenses, stock market tradersSelf-employed with more than $5,000 in expenses

Superlatives: Best for Simple Filers, Best for Students and Recent Grads, Runner Up Best for Stock Traders

TurboTax

TurboTax If you’re looking for the Cadillac of tax software, TurboTax emerges as the winner. The interface is easy to use no matter how complicated your tax situation is. And anyone who pays for the service can get help from tax professionals. And the professional help is a step above most other providers. With your permission, support staff can “draw” on your screen to guide you through tough situations.

Real estate investors, self-employed people and small business owners will appreciate TurboTax’s robust interface. However, TurboTax is consistently the most expensive software, so only users who really need TurboTax’s features should pay for the high price.

 

FreeDeluxePremiumSelf-Employed
Price$0 Federal
$0 State
$39.99 Federal
$39.99 State
$59.99 Federal
$39.99 State
$89.99 Federal
$39.99 State
Best ForW-2 employees, people with children but no dependent care costs.Itemizers, people with dependent care costsInvestors, real estate investorsSelf-employed

TurboTax also offers TurboTax Live where you can get help from a CPA. Federal costs range from $49.99 to $169.99 for federal filing and $29.99 to $39.99 for state filing. This offer is available when you create an account with TurboTax.

Superlatives: Best for Real Estate Investors, Runner-up Best for Simple Filers, Runner-up Best for Self-Employed.

FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSAFreeTaxUSA and TaxHawk offer the same tax software at the same price. They are owned by the same parent company, and you can even move your profile from one site to the next. The websites offer a decent user experience, and experienced filers will find everything they need to complete their taxes.

FreeTaxUSA offers two pricing tiers. Both levels support all major tax forms. Users can also access chat support from tax and technical specialists from both levels. However, upgrading to the Deluxe level will give you priority access to tax specialists, and it gives users audit support.

The name might lead you to believe you’re getting free tax filing, but you’ll have to pay at least $12.95 for state filing. Nonetheless, FreeTaxUSA is a great bargain — especially if you have a complex filing situation.

 

FreeDeluxe
Price$0 Federal
$12.95 State
$6.99 Federal
$12.95 State
Best ForAll major schedules supportedAnyone who wants audit support

Superlatives: Runner-up Best Audit Protection

Jackson Hewitt Online

Jackson Hewitt OnlineJackson Hewitt brings the neighborhood tax filing office online. They feature excellent knowledge articles and easy interview style tax filing. It’s easy to import your taxes from any major competitor or from Jackson Hewitt. This makes switching to Jackson Hewitt Online easy.

Jackson Hewitt Online has some excellent features including built-in calculators make depreciation and amortization easy. It also offers live chat tech support to all its customers. However, the navigation and built-in knowledge articles are subpar. Those drawbacks make Jackson Hewitt online somewhat difficult to use.

Overall, the Jackson Hewitt Online software is a middle of the pack software, and most users can find better software at lower prices.

It’s important to note that this review is only for the online Jackson Hewitt software package. Magnify Money did not review Jackson Hewitt office preparations.

 

Free$29.99$49.99
Price$0 Federal
$0 State
$29.99 Federal
$36.95 State
$49.99 Federal
$36.95 State
Best For1040EZ

Superlatives: None

Liberty Tax Online

Liberty Tax  Online Liberty Tax Online is identical to DIY Tax and eSmart Tax, but the price is quite a bit higher. While the clunky user interface doesn’t make tax filing easy, the high price tag actually might be worthwhile to some consumers. Unlike Liberty Tax’s other software projects, Liberty Tax Online comes with a Double Check Guarantee.

With the double check guarantee, users can fill out their tax return online and then visit a Liberty Tax retail location. In the Liberty Tax retail outlet, a tax professional will review the user’s form before filing. If you miss anything important, a certified professional can help you out. All of Liberty Tax Online’s packages come with audit assistance guarantees as well.

 

SimpleBasic EditionDeluxePremium
Price$24.95 Federal
$35.95 State
$34.95 Federal
$39.95 State
$54.95 Federal
$39.95 State
$79.95 Federal
$39.95 State
Best ForW-2 Income only.Itemizers, Self-employed people with less than $5,000 in expensesSelf employed peopleStock market traders, real estate investors, people who sold a home in the previous year

Superlatives: None

ezTaxReturn

ezTaxReturnezTaxReturn has a clean and fairly easy to use interface for people with simple filing situations, but it doesn’t support state returns in every state. Plus, the software is a mess for people with complex filing scenarios need to avoid it. ezTaxReturn doesn’t have built in calculators to depreciate rental property or business depreciation. Additionally, the software only supports one rental property. It also doesn’t support many capital gains calculations such as wash sales, options trading, or selling a rental property.

The only way to qualify for ezTaxReturn’s free offer is if you qualify for the earned income tax credit (EITC), and you don’t have dependents, and you only have W-2 or interest income. Since knowing whether you qualify for the free software can be a challenge, it’s best for most people to avoid ezTaxReturn in 2019.

 

FreeAll others
Price$0 Federal
$0 State
$29.95 Federal
$19.95 State
$39.95 Federal + State
Best ForSimple filers in some states*Anyone else who qualifies.

*ezTaxReturn supports these states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin. Free returns for Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Utah.

Superlatives: None

Tax Software FAQs

Tax-related identity theft is the number one reported form of identity theft. However, most theft isn’t the direct result of using online software. Any time you apply for a credit card or use online banking, your information enters the digital world. If this information gets stolen, you’re at risk. Nobody can eliminate the possibility of identity theft, but you can work to protect yourself.

Part of protecting yourself involves only giving out your information on trusted websites. When you file your taxes, you provide all your personally identifiable information to a software service. You need to know whether or not that information is safe.

Every software company that we reviewed is an Authorized IRS e-File provider. This means that these sites comply with the security and business standards set forth by the IRS.

None of the software packages we reviewed will sell your personal information to a third party. Each of the software packages we reviewed requires you to use multi-factor authentication. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your personal information. These websites are as secure as possible, but they are not 100% safe.

If you think you’ve been the victim of tax fraud, contact the IRS immediately at 1-800-908-4490 to work with the IRS resolution specialists. You will need to file an identity theft affidavit that explains that someone filed taxes in your name.

If you don’t want to use tax software, you can choose a paper filing option. Each state requires you to mail your check to a different office.You can also use the IRS’s free electronic fillable forms. However, these offer limited guidance and can be difficult to use. With so many other free options, these should be a last resort.

Finally, you can hire a professional tax preparer to do your taxes for you. Be sure that the person you hire is in the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.

An accountant can save you time, headache, and in some cases, money. Tax professionals must follow the tax code, but their specialized knowledge helps them pick up on deductions or credits that you might miss on your own.

In general, the more complex your tax return, the more you may want to hire an accountant. If you choose to hire an accountant, be sure that they are an authorized tax return preparer. They should sign your return as an authorized preparer.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Hannah Rounds
Hannah Rounds |

Hannah Rounds is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Hannah here

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Best of, Earning Cashback

10 Best 5% Cash Back Credit Cards for September 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

Cash Back Credit Cards for 2017
iStock

Credit card rewards programs come in so many varieties that it can be difficult to find the best cards for your spending habits. A basic, flat-rate card that earns you a certain percentage of cash back on all purchases is probably the simplest bet out there. Typically, rates range from 1-2%. Not shabby, especially if you use that card exclusively. But it’s not exactly something to write home about either.

There are even better cash back rewards offerings out there, some as high as 5%. But with these high-rewards cards, there’s almost always a catch, since most don’t offer 5% cash back across the board.

Every few months, the cards offer a few select shopping categories that can earn 5% cash back. Once those few months are up, the categories change. For example, a card could offer 5% cash back on groceries, gas and airfare from January to March, then switch those categories to wholesale stores, restaurants and gyms from April to June.

Additionally, there are often caps on how much of your spending can qualify for the 5% rewards rate. So if the cap is $1,500, for example, everything past that amount won’t qualify for the higher reward.

The key to maximizing these great cashback card offers is to find ones that offer cash in the categories you use the most. We dug around and found 10 cards that offer at least 5% cash back in some of the most common spending categories including gas, groceries and entertainment.

Access to bonus 5% Categories: Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

The information related to Chase Freedom® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Freedom®

Regular Purchase APR
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

How it works: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. This translates to a maximum return of $75 per quarter on the 5% bonus category. You earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases outside of the bonus categories. You can also Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Earn 5% back in these categories through the end of 2019:

  • January to March 2019: Gas stations, tolls and drugstores
  • April to June 2019: Grocery stores and home improvement stores
  • July to September 2019: Gas stations and select streaming services
  • October to December 2019: Department stores, Chase Pay, Apple Pay

Another area where the Chase Freedom® shines is in how it allows customers to redeem their rewards. The cash you’ve earned converts into Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. Every $1 equals 100 points. You can easily use the cash and apply it to your monthly statement. Or you can convert them into points and use them on travel, gift cards, merchandise, and other services through the Chase Freedom® rewards dashboard.

They make it super simple to redeem points on the go through the Chase Freedom® Mobile app. While you’re shopping, you can pick the merchant from the list on of eligible merchants on your app (popular ones include Nike, Regal Cinemas, Lowe’s, Starbucks and Best Buy). Then tell the app how much cash you want to use. You’ll get a custom e-gift card that you can present at checkout to pay for your purchases.

chasefreedommobileapp

Plus, you can stack the points earned on your Chase Freedom® card with your points on other Chase rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That just increases the spending power of your points.

The Fine Print: You can’t beat 5% cash back for your spending, especially with no annual fee. The downside is you have to remember to activate the category each quarter by subscribing to the program. But, if you set a reminder to do so, you can earn money without too much effort.

The original 5% cash back card: Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Regular APR
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

How it works: With the Discover it® Cash Back you earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like grocery stores, gas stations, Uber and Lyft, restaurants, or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum. The 5% is limited to $1500 spending per quarter, 1% after that. Activation is required.

Earn 5% cash back in these categories through the end of 2019:

  • January to March 2019: Grocery stores
  • April to June 2019: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft
  • July to September 2019: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October to December 2019: Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com

Using your rewards: Cash back from the Discover it® Cash Back is tracked in dollars and cents. You can immediately apply your cash back earnings to your bank account or as a statement credit toward your bill (note: your minimum payment will still be due). There’s also no minimum rewards value if you want to redeem them for charitable donations.

The fine print: You can only earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of spend each quarter you activate. Once you’ve hit that cap, you’ll earn 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.. This adds up to a $75 maximum return on your rotating bonus categories. There is no annual fee.

Extra perks: As an Intro Offer, Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up and no limit to how much is matched.

Best for gas and restaurants in 2019: Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

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Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

Regular Purchase APR
11.25% - 15.25% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 3 bonus points, or 5% cash back, respectively, for every dollar they spend on purchases for movies, restaurants, and home improvements (up to $1,500 per quarter).

How it works: The Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union lets you earn 3 bonus points, or 5% cash back, respectively, for every dollar they spend on purchases for movies, restaurants, and home improvements (up to $1,500 per quarter). Notably, it offers both gas and restaurants in two quarters. As a bonus New card holders earn 10,000 bonus points for $500 in purchases during first 90 days.

Earn 5% cash back in these categories through the end of 2019:

  • January to March: Groceries and gas expenses
  • April to June: Movies, restaurants and home improvement
  • July to September: Gas and education expenses
  • October to December: Restaurants, hotels and airfares

Using your rewards: This offer stands out as a decent companion card for maximizing cash back. When coupled with the Chase Freedom® or Discover it® Cash Back, you can maximize cash back in different areas during one quarter.

For an example, you can turn to the Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union for 5% at restaurants in Q4. Then pull out the Discover it® Cash Back to make purchases at Amazon.com for another 5% the same quarter.

The fine print: Once again, you’ll need to monitor your spending habits to get the most cash back from a revolving category card. If you choose to use this card along with another one, a good practice would be labeling the cards in your wallet to ensure you use the right one for the right purchases in a given quarter.

One final caveat: While there is no annual fee, Nusenda is a credit union, so you will have to go through the process of applying for membership.

Pick your own cash back categories: U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

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U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Annual fee
$0*
Rewards Rate
5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card has a revolving cash back program that’s unique in comparison to the others above because you get options.

Earning cash back: You can earn 5% cash back in two categories of your choosing each quarter limited to the first $2,000 of spend. Then you can choose another category with no cap to earn 2% cash back. On all other purchases, you earn 1% cash back.

The categories for an unlimited 2% cash back (choose one each quarter) are:

  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores

The categories for 5% cash back up to $2,000 (choose two each quarter) are:

  • Home utilities
  • Ground transportation
  • Select clothing stores
  • Cell phone providers
  • Electronics stores
  • Car rentals
  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Fast food
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Department stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Movie theaters

Using your rewards: You can redeem cash back for gift cards, statement credit or a deposit into a U.S. bank savings, checking or money market account. The first time you redeem $100 in cash back in a single transaction, you get a $25 Cash+ Bonus.

The Fine Print: The same opt-in revolving category applies here, except you must also remember to choose your categories. There is no annual fee. The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is another good example of a card you may want to couple with another that gives you higher cash back for necessities, i.e., groceries. But, for diverse spenders who can benefit from the 5% category options, the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is worth considering.

Ideal for typical business expenses: SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

How it works: The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express* gives 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores, 3% cash back on the category of your choice from a list of eight, 1% cash back on other purchases. 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% applies thereafter. The eight categories are:**

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
  • Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

**Terms and conditions apply.

Earning cash back: You have to choose your 3% category within two months of signing. If you don’t choose one, the default is gas stations. The combined annual maximum spend for the 5% and 3% categories is $50,000. On all other purchases, you get 1% cash back.

Using your rewards: Cash back will appear as a credit automatically on your statement. The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express card has no annual fee, so you’ll earn cash back with a generous annual maximum of $50,000 (see Rates & Fees).

The fine print: You must remember to choose your 3% cash back category every year. If you select one this year and forget to do so next year, you’ll be locked into the same 3% category for another 12 months until you make a switch. There is no annual fee.

*The information related to the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Note that this offer is no longer available.

5% cash back for the Amazon Prime enthusiast: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card

The information related to Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card

Regular Purchase APR
16.24% to 24.24% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

How it works: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card is open to Amazon Prime Members, so it’s somewhat exclusive. Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. Buying items on other merchant websites that have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card payment option enabled will not earn you 5% cash back.

Using your rewards: The cash back you rack up will apply as a credit to your statement.

Do the math: If you’re not already an Amazon Prime Member, it’s probably not worth signing up to become one just for the card unless you intend to spend big bucks on the site or at Whole Foods Market. You need to spend $2,380 per year at Amazon.com for the 5% cash back to cover the $119 annual membership fee.

The fine print: The fine print of what you can and can’t buy to earn 5% is the only gotcha here. But, if you shop a lot at Whole Foods Market or on Amazon.com often and stick to the rules, you’ll see a nice return from this card. There’s no annual fee for the card, but you must be an Amazon Prime member, which costs $119 a year ($59 for students).

Good fit for the regular Target shopper: Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

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Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
25.15% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% at Target & Target.com

How it works: For Target shoppers, there’s the Target REDcard™ Credit Card. It gives you a discount of 5% at Target & Target.com (minus any other discounts or promotions). Purchases that won’t earn 5% cash back include:

  • Prescriptions, over-the-counter items located behind the pharmacy counter and clinic services
  • Target Optical™ eye exams
  • Target gift cards and prepaid cards, Stockpile, Gift of College and lottery gift cards
  • Previous purchases
  • Certain restaurant merchants in Target stores, such as D’Amico & Sons Italian Kitchen and Pret A Manger
  • Target credit account payments, Target Debit Card cash back and cash advances on the Target Mastercard
  • Shipt membership fees
  • Gift wrap and shipping and handling charges on Target.com purchases
  • Wireless protection program purchases and deposits required by mobile carriers

Earning and using rewards: The program is pretty simple as far as how Target gives you money back. Your 5% will apply to eligible purchases in your shopping cart at checkout. In addition to 5% cash back, this program includes free shipping from Target.com and 30 extra days for returns.

The fine print: No red flags with the REDcard other than watching out for the purchases excluded from cash back listed above. For faithful Target shoppers, this no annual fee card with the 5% discount may be a no brainer.

Most straightforward 5% rewards card just for gas: Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

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Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

Regular Purchase APR
11.50% - 18.00% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Unlimited 5% cash back on gas and 1% cash back on all retail purchases.

How it works: The Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card makes our list with the most straightforward, no cap rewards program. You can Unlimited 5% cash back on gas and 1% cash back on all retail purchases.

Using your rewards: Cash back will appear on your statement as a credit.

The fine print: This rewards program is offered by a credit union in Kentucky. You’ll have to take a few extra steps to qualify for membership. If you don’t live in Kentucky or have family in Kentucky, membership is open to anyone that joins the American Consumer Council. There is no annual fee for the card, but you will need to become a member of the credit union.

6% cash back for the heavy grocery shopper: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
14.99%-25.99% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 12 months
Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

How it works: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is our top pick for cardholders who want to maximize cash back on groceries. With this card, you get 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, along with 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit (e.g., taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). Cardholders also earn – NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

Welcome offer: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Using cash back: Cash back builds as Rewards Dollars you can redeem for statement credit in increments of $25.

The fine print: There is an annual fee of $95 per year.

Only advantageous for military service members living on base: USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

USAA®Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

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USAA®Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

Regular Purchase APR
13.90% - 27.90% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined. Earn 2% on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

How it works:USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card lets you earn 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined. earn 2% on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year. unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. USAA membership is available to active and former military and their eligible family members.

Earning cash back: You Earn 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined. Earn 2% on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can redeem cash back in increments of $1 through the USAA Rewards Service Center online or over the phone.

The fine print: The USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card is light on the fine print. Just remember, the 5% category yearly maximum is $3,000 for combined gas and military base purchases per year and not per quarter. There is no annual fee.

The key to earning from any cash back card

In closing, regardless of which cash back card you choose, be sure to pay off your bill in full each month. That’s one underlying trap of any card rewards program. If you carry a balance over time, adding interest into the equation means you may end up paying the credit card company more than what you’re making in cash back.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Benét J. Wilson
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Benét J. Wilson is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Benét J. at [email protected]

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Best of

The Best Kasasa Checking Accounts in 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

A Kasasa checking account is a special type of banking product that is only available at certain credit unions and community banks. Kasasa checking accounts are free and offer various rewards, such as cash back or online shopping credits. Additionally, Kasasa checking accounts offer nationwide refunds on ATM withdrawal fees.

What is Kasasa checking account?

Developed by the Kasasa Corporation, a Texas-based financial services and marketing organization, Kasasa accounts help smaller banks compete against larger rivals by providing special features desired by consumers. In exchange for providing rewards and other benefits, Kasasa accounts require qualification. Typically, customers must enroll in online banking and/or electronic statements and undertake a certain number of monthly transactions, such as 12 debit card purchases and one or more ACH transactions.

While every Kasasa checking account comes with no monthly maintenance fees and national ATM fee rebates, the particulars of each individual bank or credit union’s account can differ. As banking is a competitive landscape, even among institutions that offer Kasasa accounts, rates and benefits will vary.

Here’s a look at the top Kasasa checking accounts, including both regionally available accounts and nationally available accounts. To select the best, we looked for Kasasa accounts that offered the highest APYs and generous rewards.

Top regionally available Kasasa checking accounts

InstitutionAvailabilityAPY

Kalsee Credit Union

Michigan4.25%

First Financial Bank

Arkansas and Mississippi4.07%

Peoples Bank

Louisiana4.01%

Bank of Frankewing

Tennessee4.00%

Liberty First Credit Union

Nebraska4.00%

Kalsee Credit Union Kasasa Cash+ Account

  • 4.25% APY
  • $0 minimum
  • $25,000 maximum
  • Available in the Kalamazoo, MI region

Kalsee Credit Union serves the Kalamazoo, MI region with a full menu of financial products. Kalsee offers four Kasasa accounts: Kasasa Cash+, Kasasa Cash, Kasasa Cash Back and Kasasa Saver. The credit union’s Kasasa Cash+ checking account earns 4.25% APY, the highest available rate we’ve found in our research.

To get the highest rate, you’ll have to open a Kasasa checking account, make 24 debit purchases per month, sign up for electronic account statements, log on to your account at least once per month, and receive direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 per month. You can earn the 4.25% APY on balances up to $25,000, while balances above this threshold earn 0.35% APY. In addition, Kalsee will refund up to $25 in ATM fees incurred at domestic ATMs.

Membership in Kalsee Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, or attends school in the Michigan counties of Allegan, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, or Van Buren. Membership also extends to anyone receiving a retirement annuity, pension, social security, or similar retirement payment from private or government sources, and live in, or belong to a retirement organization located in Kalamazoo County or an adjacent county.

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on Kalsee Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

First Financial Bank Kasasa Cash Account

  • 4.07% APY
  • $50 minimum
  • $15,000 maximum
  • Available in Arkansas and Mississippi

First Financial Bank is an Arkansas-based, community bank that serves local markets in Arkansas and Mississippi. The bank currently offers three types of Kasasa accounts: Kasasa Cash, Kasasa Cash Back and Kasasa Tunes. These accounts all have minimum opening deposits of $50, no monthly service fees, and unlimited rebates of ATM fees nationwide.

Kasasa Cash currently pays a 4.07% APY on balances of up to $15,000, with the rate dropping to 4.07% APY on balances above $15,000. You must be enrolled in and log in to online banking, accept electronic statements and make at least 12 debit card purchases monthly or else your rate on your entire balance will drop to 0.05% APY and you won’t earn your ATM fee rebates.

Kasasa Cash Back eschews the high interest rate and instead rewards customers with a 3% rebate on debit card purchases of up to $250 per month, as long as you meet the same qualifications outlined above. Kasasa Tunes provides rebates of up to $7.50 each month in iTunes, Amazon or Google Play purchases, with a one-time sign-up bonus of $10 in rebates.

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on First Financial Bank (AR)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Peoples Bank Kasasa Cash Account

  • 4.01% APY
  • $100 minimum
  • $15,000 maximum
  • Available to citizens of Louisiana

Peoples Bank has four branches in and around the Baton Rouge, LA area. Peoples Bank offers a Kasasa Cash account that pays an attractive yield of 4.01% APY. There’s no monthly service fee associated with the account, and in addition to the high interest you receive up to $20 monthly in ATM fee refunds. To earn this APY, you must have at least 15 debit card purchases post and settle within the qualifying period, receive electronic bank statements, log on to online banking at least once a month, and have at least one ACH payment post to the account every month.

If you fail to meet those requirements, you still earn 0.08% APY on your deposits. And even customers who meet the requirements will only enjoy the high interest rate on balances up to $15,000. If you have a higher balance, the part greater than $15,000 will earn an APY of 0.31%.

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on Peoples Bank (New Roads, LA)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Bank of Frankewing Free Kasasa Cash

  • 4.00% APY
  • $50 minimum
  • $20,000 maximum
  • Available in the south-central Tennessee region

Established in the Tennessee town of Frankewing in 1920, this small community bank offers a Kasasa checking account that offers a great APY. If you meet the qualifications for the account, you’ll earn an APY of 4.00% on balances up to $20,000 (and an interest rate of 0.40% on the amount of the balance greater than $20,000). In addition to the high APY, you also enjoy reimbursements of third-party ATM fees with a limit of $20 per month (and $4.99 per transaction).

What are the requirements you need to meet in order to earn these rewards? Have at least one ACH credit or debit transaction each month, post and settle at least 12 debit card purchases per month, and be enrolled in and agree to receive electronic bank statements. If you don’t meet these qualifications, then the APY on your entire balance drops to 0.01% and you don’t receive the ATM reimbursements.

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on Bank Of Frankewing’s secure website

Member FDIC

Liberty First Credit Union Kasasa Cash Account

  • 4.00% APY
  • $50 minimum
  • $40,000 maximum
  • Available in eastern Nebraska

Liberty First Credit Union is the third largest credit union in the State of Nebraska. Liberty offers two types of Kasasa checking accounts: Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Tunes. Both accounts have no monthly service fees and refund up to $15 per month in nationwide ATM fees. Membership in Liberty First Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Lancaster or Seward County, and to employees of nearly 20 partner companies.

Kasasa Cash pays a high APY on balances of up to $40,000 if qualifying conditions are met, with balances above $40,000 earning a 0.15% APY. Every month, account holders must: be enrolled and receive electronic bank statements, log on to the online banking portal, settle at least 12 debit card purchases, and have at least one direct deposit ACH transfer post and settle. Account holders failing to meet these conditions still get a free checking account, but their APY drops to 0.05%.

The Kasasa Tunes account at Liberty First Credit Union has the same requirements as the Kasasa Cash account but pays out its rewards in the form of iTunes, Amazon or Google Play reimbursements, up to $5 monthly. In the first 30 days, the credit union offers a $10 music credit.

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on Liberty First Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Top nationally available Kasasa checking accounts

InstitutionAvailabilityAPY

One American Bank

Nationwide3.50%

Dover Federal Credit Union

Nationwide3.25%

Main Street Bank (MI)

Nationwide3.00%

Security State Bank

Nationwide3.00%

First Security Bank & Trust

Nationwide2.51%

One American Bank Kasasa Cash Account

  • 3.50% APY
  • $50 minimum
  • $10,000 maximum
  • Available nationwide

Based in Sioux Falls, SD, One American Bank was founded 135 years ago, before South Dakota had achieved statehood. Today this small regional bank packs a big punch, offering a nationally available Kasasa Cash checking account that earns a decent 3.50% APY on balances up to $10,000.

To earn your Kasasa reward APY, for each monthly qualification cycle simply do the following: Make at least 12 debit card purchase transactions of at least $5.00 each that post and settle to your account; receive electronic bank statements, account notices and disclosures; and log in to online banking at least one time.

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on One American Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Dover Federal Credit Union Free Kasasa Cash Account

  • 3.25% APY
  • $0 minimum
  • $30,000 maximum
  • Available nationwide

Headquartered in Dover, DE, Dover Federal Credit Union is the second largest credit union in the State of Delaware and serves banking customers nationwide. Dover FCU’s Kasasa Cash checking account pays a 3.25% APY on balances up to $30,000 as long as customers receive electronic statements, log in to online banking and settle at least 12 debit card purchases monthly. This accounts also rebates up to $25 per month in nationwide ATM withdrawal fees.

Membership in Dover FCU is open to anyone who joins the Friends of Bombay Hook association. You may also join if you are an active duty member of the U.S military with duty locations in Delaware; a civilian employee of the federal government working in Kent County or Sussex County, Delaware; or a member of the Delaware National Guard. Employees of over 400 partner companies are also eligible for membership.

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on Dover Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Main Street Bank (MI) Kasasa Cash Checking Account

  • 3.00% APY
  • $0 minimum
  • $30,000 maximum
  • Available nationwide

This small regional bank is based in Bingham Farms, MI, just north of Detroit. Their Kasasa Cash Checking account earns a decent 3.00% APY on balances up to $30,000 and doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open. One unusual perk that makes this account especially useful is that you receive unlimited reimbursements of up to $4.00 per transaction, for nationwide ATM withdrawal fees.

Qualifying for the reward APY is easy. Just make at least one direct deposit, ACH payment, or bill pay transaction per monthly qualifying period; post at least 10 debit card purchases in the month; and receive electronic bank statements and log into your account at least once per monthly qualifying period.

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on Main Street Bank (MI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Security State Bank Kasasa Cash Account

  • 3.00% APY
  • $0 minimum
  • $10,000 maximum
  • Available nationwide

Security State Bank is a full-service community bank located in Scott County, KS. Nevertheless, Security State’s Kasasa Cash checking account is available nationwide, and earns a respectable 3.00% APY. The Kasasa account has no minimum deposit to earn rewards, and a ceiling up to and including $10,000 to earn the APY. All you have to do is post 12 debit card purchases in each monthly qualification period, enrollment in electronic statements and log on to online banking every month to qualify for rewards.

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on Security State Bank (KS)’s secure website

Member FDIC

First Security Bank & Trust Kasasa Cash

  • 2.51% APY
  • $0 minimum
  • $50,000 maximum
  • Interest or cash back

First Security Bank & Trust has been serving the north central Iowa region for more than a century, and now they can serve you wherever you are with an attractive yield on a Kasasa Cash checking account. First Security offers a notably high maximum balance of $50,000 on which you may earn 2.51% APY. They’ll also refund up to $25 of out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees per month. To earn the reward rate, all you need to do is post at least one ACH transaction and 12 debit card purchases in each monthly qualifying period, in addition to receiving electronic statements and maintain a valid email address on record with the bank.

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on First Security Bank & Trust’s secure website

Member FDIC

The bottom line: Are Kasasa checking accounts worth it?

Kasasa accounts can offer great benefits to customers who qualify. If you’re already making the required transactions, such as 12 debit card purchases per month, Kasasa accounts are something of a no-brainer, as they offer rewards, carry no monthly fees and reimburse domestic ATM withdrawals.

However, for those who might have to stretch to qualify for a Kasasa account, it might pay to shop around, as there are plenty of competitor accounts that also charge no monthly fees. Each individual customer will have to weigh out the benefits of a high interest rate – or one of the other Kasasa rewards – against the transaction requirements.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here