9 Best Free Checking Accounts With No Minimum Balance

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Keeping cash on hand never goes out of style, and a checking account is the best place to keep it instantly accessible for bills and day-to-day expenses. But some checking accounts have minimum balance requirements that keep your cash tied up, and you also might encounter monthly fees that make those minimums even harder to maintain.

GOBankingRates has put together a list of checking accounts that don’t have minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Not only do the accounts let you bank the way you want to, but they also let you hold on to more of your cash.

9 Best Free Checking Accounts With No Minimums

Here’s a look at the 9 best free checking accounts with no minimum balance requirements. As a bonus, you can open most of these accounts with no minimum deposits.

Ally Bank Best Online Savings Accounts

1. Ally Bank

Ally Bank’s interest-bearing checking account has lots of perks to help you manage your money. Deposit checks from your smartphone, or transfer money using Zelle or Ally Skill for Amazon Alexa. Open an online savings account and Ally Rounds Ups will round up your checking transactions and deposit the extra amounts into your savings account.

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

ATM access

  • No fee at over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs in the U.S.
  • Automatic reimbursement for up to $10 in other domestic ATM fees

Interest

  • APY for accounts with a daily balance of at least $15,000

Fees

  • Outgoing domestic wire transfer: $20 per transfer
  • Expedited delivery: $15
  • Account research fee: $25 per hour

Physical locations: No

Customer service

  • Phone: 877-247-2559, available 24/7
  • Wait time displayed on the website’s contact page
  • Email and live chat for account holders

Additional features

  • Expedited paychecks — get paid up to two days early
  • Overdraft protection up to $250 and no overdraft fees
  • Debit card controls available

2. Axos Bank

Axos Bank’s no-fee, no-minimum checking account is called Essential Checking, and it has the features you need most. Axos also prioritizes security by offering biometric authentication, antivirus protection, account monitoring and other security measures.

ATM access

  • Free withdrawals at approximately 91,000 locations
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

  • Paper statements: $5
  • Wire transfers: $35 for outgoing domestic and $45 for outgoing international

Physical locations: No

Customer service

  • Evo virtual assistant
  • Phone: 844-999-2967

Additional features

  • Get access to funds up to two days early via Direct Deposit Express
  • Referral bonus for inviting friends
  • Peer-to-peer payments directly from your account with just their email or phone number
Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

3. Capital One

Capital One offers a free 360 Checking account that includes integration with Zelle for easy peer-to-peer payments, plus additional features to make banking easy.

ATM access

  • Over 70,000 fee-free ATMs
  • No fee for out-of-network ATM use

Interest:  APY for all balances

Fees

  • Cashier’s check: $10 from Capital One location or $20 expedited delivery
  • Wire transfer: $30 for outgoing domestic

Physical locations: Yes

Customer service

  • Phone: 877-383-4802
  • Automated service available 24/7
  • Online chat with digital assistant Eno

Additional features

  • Real-time alerts about account activity
  • Debit card with $0 fraud liability, plus lock and unlock features
  • Receive paycheck up to two days early
  • Deposit money on the mobile app or at an ATM, physical location or CVS store

4. Chime

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by, and debit cards issued by, The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.

ATM access: Over 60,000 free in-network ATMs1

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

  • ATM and over-the-counter withdrawals: $2.50 at non-network machines

Physical locations: No

Customer service

  • Phone: 844-244-6363, 24/7
  • Via Chime mobile app
Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

Additional features

  • Overdraft protection up to $200 with no fees2
  • Get your paycheck up to two days early3
  • Debit card settings available online
  • Deposit cash at Walgreens stores4

5. Discover

As of Dec. 19, 2022, Discover has closed its free checking account to new customers. However, the Discover Cashback Debit account is a robust option for fee-weary consumers, so you may want to sign up for the email list to be notified when it reopens

ATM access

  • Over 60,000 domestic ATMs
  • Free withdrawals

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

  • Outbound wire transfer: $30

Physical locations: No

Customer service

  • Phone: 800-347-7000
  • 24/7, including evenings, weekends and holidays

Additional features

  • 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month
  • Integrate with digital wallets like Apple Pay
  • Helps remove personal information from online searches

6. E-Trade

The E-Trade Checking account is a non-interest-bearing account serviced by Morgan Stanley Private Bank, National Association, Member FDIC with these features:

ATM access

  • Use any ATM
  • No fees are charged by E-Trade

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

  • Wire transfer: $25 per outgoing made by phone

Physical locations: Yes

Customer service

  • Phone: 800-387-2331

Additional features

  • Free checks
  • Money transfers via the E-Trade platform
  • Free bill pay
  • Same-day wire transfers

7. FNBO Direct

The FNBO Direct Online Checking account features standard online and mobile checking services with just a nominal $1 deposit to open, as well as the following:

ATM access

  • No fee at any Allpoint ATM

Interest:  APY

Fees

  • Overdrafts: $20, maximum four per day
  • Wire transfers: $15 for domestic outgoing
  • Popmoney service fee: $10 for next-day delivery and $5 for check issuance

Physical locations: Yes, in select states

Customer service

  • Phone: 877-370-3707
  • Secure email via FNBO Direct website

Additional features

  • No stop-payment fees
  • PopMoney money transfer service
  • Digital payments via Apple Pay, Visa SRC and Samsung Pay
  • Account alerts

8. One

One offers envelope budgeters an easy way to organize their expenses into categories called Pockets along with other features, such as cash back on some purchases.

ATM access

  • Access over 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network
  • Fee-free access for eligible direct deposit customers — or $3 for non-eligible customers

Interest

  • 1.00% APY on Save Pocket up to $5,000 without a qualifying direct deposit or up to $25,000 with a qualifying direct deposit

Fees: None

Physical locations: No

Customer service

  • Phone: 855-830-6200, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST, 7 days a week 
  • Email
  • Chat: Available 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST, 7 days a week 
  • Submit a request for assistance via its website

Additional features

  • The app integrates checking and savings
  • Up to three free custom Save Pockets
  • Overdraft protection up to $200 for direct deposit eligible customers
  • Receive your paycheck up to two days early

9. Varo

Varo is a full-service online bank with no account fees, and you can open an account online or via the app in just a few minutes.

ATM access

  • Over 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs
  • No foreign transaction fees

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

  • $2.50 per out-of-network ATM transaction
  • Up to $5.95 retail service fee to deposit at checkout or use MoneyPaks

Physical locations: No

Customer service

  • Phone: 877-377-8276
  • Email

Additional features

  • Receive your paycheck up to two days early

Are Free Checking Accounts Really Free?

That depends. A no-fee checking account might be free of monthly maintenance fees but have other, avoidable fees that can add up if you’re not careful. A couple of the most common fees to watch for include:

  • ATM fee: Usually charged when you use an ATM that’s outside of your bank’s network. In some cases, you’ll be charged by your bank and by the machine operator. You can avoid ATM fees by sticking with your bank’s own ATMs or withdrawing some cash each time you make a purchase with your debit card so that you always have some on hand.
  • Overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees: Charged when you spend more than you have in your account, whether by writing a check, withdrawing money from an ATM or using your debit card to pay for a purchase. It’s not uncommon for banks to charge $35 per occurrence — and charge you for several occurrences per day, in the event several charges come back before you’re able to make a deposit. Avoid these fees by keeping track of your balance.

What Is the Easiest Checking Account To Get?

As more banks are offering free bank accounts that don’t require a minimum balance, it’s becoming easier for anyone to get a bank account. Most of your decision will be based on personal preferences surrounding online or physical banking. In most cases, you can fill out a simple form to open a free checking account online and then fund your account using a bank transfer. It’s a straightforward process, but you should thoroughly research accounts and compare your options before signing up.

FAQ

  • What bank does free checking accounts?
    • Ally Bank, Axos Bank, Capital One, Discover, E-Trade, FNBO Direct and Varo are all banks that offer free checking accounts.
  • What big banks have free checking accounts?
    • Some bigger banks that offer free checking accounts are Capital One, Ally Bank and Axos Bank.
  • What banks have free checking with no minimum balance?
    • Ally Bank, Axos Bank, Capital One, Discover, E-Trade, FNBO Direct and Varo are all banks that offer free checking accounts with no minimum balance requirement.

Taylor DeJesus contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 19, 2022. 

1Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

2Chime SpotMe is an optional service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.

3Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

4The retailer that receives your cash will be responsible for transferring the funds for deposit into your Chime Checking Account.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.
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