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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.

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. Here are some to watch for:

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

Advice

Look to online-only banks to avoid fees. Their lower overhead allows them to offer banking services at a lower cost compared to brick-and-mortar banks.

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 these accounts with a $0 deposit.

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

2. Axos Bank

Axos Bank’s no-fee, no-minimum checking account is called Essential Checking, and it has the features you need most.

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.

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

4. Chime

Here’s what you can expect when you open a free checking account with Chime.

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

5. Discover

The Discover Cashback Debit account is a robust option for fee-weary consumers. In fact, this account pays you via cash-back rewards. Here’s what else you’ll get:

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

6. E-Trade

The E-Trade Checking account is a non-interest-bearing account with these 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:

8. One

One offers envelope budgeters an easy way to organize their expenses into categories called Pockets.

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

9. Varo

Varo is a full-service online bank geared especially toward those who deposit cash infrequently, as you’ll have to make those deposits when checking out at Green Dot Reload @ the Register participating retailers or purchasing Green Dot MoneyPaks at those locations. But there are no account fees, and you can apply online or via the app in just a few minutes.

What To Consider When Opening a Checking Account

Fees aren’t the only thing you need to watch out for when you open a new checking account. Here are some other factors to consider:

Earn Perks With A New Checking Account

Kelli Francis contributed to the reporting for this article.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their circumstances.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 2, 2022.