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10 Best Free Checking Accounts

The top 10 best free checking accounts provider consists of online and traditional banks, though online banks are out performing their traditional counterparts these days. There are very few absolute free checking accounts, any free account comes with certain conditions. Some ask you to maintain a minimum balance while some to deposit certain minimum amount. Absolute free checking account can be defined as the free account without any conditions such as discover bank cashback checking account. This list consists of only those banks which serves in most of the parts of America and are close to the term absolute free. Most of the customers do not want to pay monthly fee so many banks and credit unions trick them by waiving the fee provided they fulfill certain criteria which the bank knows that some customers at least for sure will pay the fee for some months in a year. These are all strategies to acquire customers in the name of free checking accounts. After doing a thorough research and surveys we have personally visited few of the banks and hand picked the 10 best free checking accounts.

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Best Free Checking Account

 

1. Discover Bank : Founded in the year 1985, one of the best banks in America which owns Discover and Diners Club cards. As per our review Discover bank's cashback checking account is one of the the best free checking account with no minimum deposit, no monthly fee, no hidden fee and 1% cashback on debit card purchases every month. So, there is no worry of any charges or deposits to maintain a checking account with them.

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. Free debit card
  4. 1% cashback
  5. 60,000+ ATMs
  6. Online, Mobile Applications
  7. Offline paper check
  • Disadvantage
  1. No overdraft protection plan
  2. No yield or interest
  3. No cash deposit except in Delaware branch.
  4. Discover debit card has less acceptance in the market.

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2. Capital One Bank : It comes under one of the top 100 fortune 500 companies, the bank has more than 700 branches in the United States. Capital One Bank offers almost any financial products from debit cards to mortgage. Also, the bank is the fourth largest auto lender in America. Let's come to the point, they offer free checking account called "Capital One 360 Checking" which is again absolute free with no opening charges, no monthly fee, tiered APY, and loads of features.

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. Free debit card
  4. 39,000+ ATMs
  5. Online, Mobile Applications
  6. Offline paper check
  7. Tiered APY (0.20%, 0.75% and 1.00%)
  8. Overdraft protection
  9. Out of Network ATM fee reimbursement
  10. Check deposits by mobile
  • Disadvantage
  1. Paper statement fee $5
  2. Stop payment $25

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3. USAA Bank : USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association, is a very old financial group founded in the year of 1922 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, United States. They provide a free checking account, however, there is an opening amount of $25. This checking account has no monthly fee, no minimum balance, overdraft protection, online and mobile banking and other special features for Military Serviceman.

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. Free debit card
  4. 60,000+ ATMs
  5. Online, Mobile Applications
  6. Check deposits by mobile
  7. Free monthly paper statement
  • Disadvantage
  1. Account opening fee $25
  2. No Rewards

4. Ally Bank : They provide the absolute free online checking account with no deposit, no monthly fee, no hidden charges and no out of network ATM fee. They offer online banking, android, iOS The bank was founded in 1919, and is named among the largest banks in the United States. 

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. APY upto 0.60%
  4. Free debit card
  5. 60,000+ ATMs
  6. Online, Mobile Applications
  7. Check deposits by mobile
  8. overdraft protection
  • Disadvantage
  1. No bonus
  2. No rewards
  3. Stop payment fee %15

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5. Bank 5 Connect : One of the best online bank for checking, savings and CD with high annual percentage yield. The features consists of no maintenance fee, no minimum deposits, low overdraft fee, out of network ATM fee reimbursement, rewards and yield of upto 0.76%. You can open an account with $10.

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. APY upto 0.70% on $100 or more
  4. Free debit card
  5. 8,000+ ATMs + reimbursement for third party network
  6. Online, Mobile Applications
  7. Check deposits by mobile
  8. overdraft protection
  • Disadvantage
  1. Paper statement fee $1
  2. Interest starts at $100
  3. Stop payment $15

6. Bank of Internet USA : This is the oldest online bank in the United States and requires $100 to open a checking account, however, there is no monthly fee, no minimum balance to maintained, no hidden charges, no overdraft or NFS and tiered yield of upto 1.25%. Reimbursement of any number of ATM transactions can be done.

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. Conditions based yield
  4. Free debit card
  5. 8,000+ ATMs + reimbursement for third party network
  6. Online banking, mobile banking
  7. Check deposits by mobile
  8. overdraft protection
  • Disadvantage
  1. No account opening bonus
  2. $100 to open an account
  3. stop payment fee $35

7. Charles Schwab Bank : Founded in the year of 1971 the bank offers online investor checking account which pays flat 0.20% without any conditions. The best features are reimbursement of unlimited ATM transactions both domestic and international, no fee for international debit card transactions and no hidden charges or any criteria for waiving of fees.

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. No opening amount
  4. yield flat 0.20%
  5. Free debit card
  6. Unlimited ATM withdrawal reimbursement domestic and international
  7. Free international debit card transactions
  8. Online banking, mobile banking
  9. Check deposits by mobile
  10. overdraft protection
  • Disadvantage
  1. No FDIC deposit insurance

8. Simple Bank : An American origin FDIC insured bank which provides checking account to American citizens. The bank do not charges any monthly fee, no opening amount, no minimum deposit, no overdraft fee and no wire transfer, however, yield is very low. 

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. No opening amount
  4. Free debit card
  5. 40,000 ATMs
  6. Free international debit card transactions
  7. Online banking, mobile banking
  8. Check deposits by mobile
  9. overdraft protection
  • Disadvantage
  1. No physical branches
  2. yield 0.01%

9. FNBO Bank : FNBO allows you to open a checking account with $1. The yield is 0.65% irrespective of the balances in the account. Also there is no any kind of maintenance or minimum balance fee. You should go for FNBO Direct online free checking account if you are interested in high yield.

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. No monthly fee
  3. No opening amount
  4. Yield flat 0.65%
  5. Free debit card
  6. Online banking, mobile banking
  7. Check deposits by mobile
  8. overdraft protection
  • Disadvantage
  1. Third party ATM withdrawal fee
  2. Wire transfer fee %15 

10. First Internet Bank : $25 is all you need to open a free checking account with First Internet Bank. You need to maintain a balance of $500 to waive monthly maintenance fee, it is not an absolute free checking account but you can earn interest of 0.55 %.

  • Advantage
  1. No minimum deposit
  2. Monthly fee can be waived by maintaining daily balance of $500
  3. Yield flat 0.55%
  4. Free debit card
  5. Online banking, mobile banking
  6. Check deposits by mobile
  7. overdraft protection
  • Disadvantage
  1. Conditional monthly fee waiver
  2. Paper statement fee $3

 

About the Author
Paul William
Author: Paul William
I am an American Economist (Ph.D. MIT). Over 1981-88, I was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the City University of New Work. I have also assisted the Republic Government of USA I have worked in several countries in Europe and Africa as a consultant. I have also been a consultant for a variety of U.S. agencies. These include the D.C. Public Service Commission, the D.C. Department of Energy and Wind and Solar Energy California.

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