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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.

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

Interest

Fees

Physical locations: No

Customer service

Additional features

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

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

Physical locations: No

Customer service

Additional features

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

Interest:  APY for all balances

Fees

Physical locations: Yes

Customer service

Additional features

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

Physical locations: No

Customer service

Additional features

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

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

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

Physical locations: No

Customer service

Additional features

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

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

Physical locations: Yes

Customer service

Additional features

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:

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

ATM access

Interest:  APY

Fees

Physical locations: Yes, in select states

Customer service

Additional features

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

Interest

Fees: None

Physical locations: No

Customer service

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

Additional features

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

Interest: Non-interest-bearing account

Fees

Physical locations: No

Customer service

Additional features

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:

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

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.