8 Free Checking Accounts With No Minimum Deposit

Stop paying bank fees with these free checking accounts.

Most people need a checking account, and nobody likes fees or minimum deposits. GOBankingRates identified banks with free checking and no minimum-deposit requirements so you can find the best checking account for your needs. What’s more, all these accounts have no minimum balance requirements.

If you want a free checking account with no deposit, here are some of the best banks to consider:

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Minimum Deposit at a Glance

In the past, free checking accounts were often restricted to no-frills accounts, but that’s changed. Now it’s possible to find completely free checking accounts — and several that you can open with no deposit.

Best Free Checking Accounts with No Minimum Deposit: April 2020
Bank + Product NameFeeMinimum DepositMinimum Balance RequiredHow To Apply
Ally Bank Interest Checking$0$0$0Learn More
Axos Bank Essential Checking$0$0$0Learn More
CapitalOne 360 Checking$0$0$0Learn More
Charles Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking$0 $0$0Learn More
Discover Checking$0$0$0Learn More
First National Bank Freestyle Checking$0$50 online, $0 in branch$0Learn More
Simple Bank Checking$0 $0$0Learn More
Huntington Bank Asterisk-Free Checking$0$0$0Learn More


See More: 10 Banks Offering Free Checking With No Minimum Balance

 

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Best Free Checking Accounts of 2020 — Individual Reviews

As you might guess, many banks with free checking are online banks, which have lower costs than traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Totally free checking accounts are fairly standard in terms of the amenities offered, but a few offer some surprising features.

Ally Bank Interest Checking

Ally Bank’s Interest Checking is one of the few on this list that also pays interest, but it only pays up to 0.50%. The account also includes complimentary standard checks, a debit Mastercard and online bill pay. Customers can use Allpoint ATMs free of charge.

Why Consumers Like It: Accounts are easy to set up and use, plus customer service earns high marks.

Benefits:

  • Plenty of options for sending and receiving money
  • Online bill pay

Drawbacks:

  • No cash deposits

Fees:

  • Returned deposits, $7.50
  • Overdraft items, $25
  • Excessive transactions, $10 each
  • Outgoing domestic wire, $20

Minimum Deposit: $0

APY: 0.50%

How To Open an Account: Open an Ally Bank Interest Checking account.

More: Ally Bank Review — Is It the Right Bank for You?

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Axos Bank Essential Checking

Axos Bank — formerly known as Bank of Internet — offers a free checking account with great perks. Direct Deposit Express means customers receive their paychecks up to two days earlier than at other banks. This account also comes with unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements and a suite of personal finance tools that can help you manage all your accounts.

Why Consumers Like It: Direct deposits are available up to two days early.

Benefits:

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursement
  • No overdraft fees

Drawbacks:

  • Early direct deposit is limited to payroll payments.

Fees:

  • Rush delivery for a replacement debit card, $50
  • Stop payments, $10 for unassisted online requests
  • Outgoing wire transfers, $35

Minimum Deposit: $0

APY: None

How To Open an Account: Open an Axos Bank Essential Checking account.

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Capital One 360 Checking

The Capital One 360 Checking account charges no fees, has no minimum balance requirement and pays interest — the trifecta of bargain checking accounts. It also offers a free debit card, and you can avoid ATM fees by using one of more than 39,000 Capital One ATMs. This account also offers online and mobile banking, including mobile check deposit. Granted, the annual percentage yield for account balances is just 0.10%, but it’s better than nothing.

Why Consumers Like It: Capital One’s award-winning mobile app makes it easy to track balances and pay bills.

Benefits:

  • Online and mobile banking
  • Overdraft protection
  • No minimum balance

Drawbacks:

  • APY isn’t as high as for other online accounts

Fees:

  • Cashier’s check, $20
  • Stop payment, $25
  • Outgoing wire transfer, $30
  • Overdraft fee, $30

Minimum Deposit: $0

APY: 0.10%

How To Open an Account: Open a Capital One 360 Checking account.

Check Out: Capital One Review — Is It the Right Bank for You?

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Charles Schwab logo 2017

Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking

The High Yield Investor Checking account from Charles Schwab comes with something that none of the others offer: a brokerage investment account. You won’t pay a fee or need to deposit a minimum amount to open the accounts. You get 0.03% APY on your balance, and you can transfer money from your checking account to your brokerage account and vice versa. You also get a free debit card, online and mobile banking and bill pay.

Why Consumers Like It: A single login makes it easier to manage multiple accounts, and there is no charge to transfer money between accounts.

Benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Unlimited ATM rebate

Drawbacks:

  • Customers must have a brokerage account.

Fees:

  • Overdrafts, $25
  • Returned deposits, $5
  • Rush delivery of debit cards, $15
  • Cashier’s checks, $10
  • Outgoing wire transfers, $25

Minimum Deposit: $0

APY: 0.03%

How To Open an Account: Open a Charles Schwab High Yield Checking account.

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Discover Checking

Discover Checking has an interesting twist. It pays you up to $3,000 a month to do the things you do with your checking account anyway. You get 1% cash back for purchases you make with your debit card. The mobile app gives you control over your account with the ability to freeze your debit card and deposit checks without going to the bank.

Why Consumers Like It: Earn cash back just for using a debit card for everyday purchases.

Benefits:

  • 24-hour customer service
  • Personal finance resources
  • No-fee checks
  • Free expedited delivery for replacement debit cards

Drawbacks:

  • You may not own or co-own more than two cash-back checking accounts.

Fees:

  • Outgoing wire transfer, $30

Minimum Deposit: $0

APY: None

How To Open an Account: Open a Discover Checking account.

Explore: Discover Bank Review — Is It the Right Bank for You?

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First National Bank Freestyle Checking

Freestyle Checking from First National Bank has no minimum deposit and no fees, and it also charges no ATM fees, although other banks’ fees might apply. First National will forgive one overdraft or returned item per year, and you don’t have to pay for checks. It also doesn’t charge for paper statements or for cashier’s checks, both of which could cost you at other banks.

Why Consumers Like It: First National offers access to online banking and local branches plus a good selection of financial products.

Benefits:

  • Complimentary safe deposit box
  • Free checks
  • Free paper statements

Drawbacks:

  • Bank’s website is cumbersome

Fees: None

Minimum Deposit: $0

APY: None

How To Open an Account: Open a First National Bank Freestyle Checking account.

Learn About: Best Banks With No Fees

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Simple Bank Checking

The Simple Checking account from Simple Bank is just that — simple. No monthly fees, no minimum balance and fee-free ATMs through the Allpoint network. The bank also offers useful budgeting tools such as Safe-to-Spend, which factors in your upcoming scheduled transactions like automatic payments and direct deposits, and then tells you how much you have left that you can actually spend.

Why Consumers Like It: The intuitive app interface is attractive and easy to use, and the budgeting tools are helpful for financial goal setting.

Benefits:

  • Mobile check deposit
  • Compatibility with digital wallets such as Venmo
  • Easy transfers between accounts

Drawbacks:

  • The bank might not offer enough services for some customers.

Fees: None

Minimum Deposit: $0

APY:  1.20%

How To Open an Account: Open a Simple Bank Checking account.

See: Simple Bank Review — No Fees and Helpful Budgeting Tools

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Huntington Bank Asterisk-Free Checking

Asterisk-Free Checking from Huntington Bank is free of maintenance fees, has no minimum balance requirement and comes with features like All Day Deposit and 24-Hour Grace. When you have a credit card, savings or money market account or credit line with Huntington Bank, it will transfer money from any of those accounts into your checking account to cover any overdrafts at no additional charge to you.

Why Consumers Like It: The bank gives a 24-hour grace period for customers to deposit money if they overdraw the account, and it credits deposits made at ATMs and through the mobile app before midnight the same day.

Benefits:

  • Extended hours for making deposits
  • Overdraft protection
  • Email and text alerts

Drawbacks:

  • $3 fee for using another bank’s ATM

Fees:

  • Non-Huntington ATM, $3.00
  • International transactions, 3% of transaction amount
  • Overdraft, $37.50

Minimum Deposit: $0

APY: None

How To Open an Account: Open the Huntington Bank Asterisk-Free Checking account.

Read: Best Checking Accounts of 2020

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Tips for Choosing the Best Checking Account

The best checking account is the one that suits your lifestyle and helps you meet your financial goals. The following tips can help you narrow your choices and guide you toward the best checking account for you.

  1. Determine what kind of bank best meets your needs. Online banks are convenient and often have better rates than brick-and-mortar banks with higher overhead costs. But an online bank might not be the right choice for you if you like the convenience of walking into a local branch or don’t feel comfortable using technology.
  2. Find out how the bank will help you manage your account. Online and mobile banking apps make it easy to keep track of your balances and spending habits, but some banks also offer more features such as budgeting tools.
  3. Read the fine print, and review the fee schedule. Even a free checking account might charge fees for certain activities such as requesting a cashier’s check or using an out-of-network ATM.

There’s no reason to pay a bank to hold your money between payday and the due dates for your bills. By choosing the right free checking account for your needs, you could save money and even receive some extra perks.

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

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About the Author

Karen Doyle is a personal finance writer with over 20 years’ experience writing about investments, money management and financial planning. Her work has appeared on numerous news and finance
websites including GOBankingRates, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, Equifax.com, and more.