8 Best Free Checking Accounts of July 2024

If you want to keep more of your money in your pocket – and I’m sure you do – there are some pretty awesome free checking accounts to consider.

You won’t be required to pay monthly service fees – even if your bank balances aren’t extremely high.

But the best thing is that some of these accounts offer perks like free services and interest on your money!

8 Best Free Checking Accounts

Here are the best free checking accounts you can open today:

  1. Discover Cashback Debit Checking
  2. Axos Bank Rewards Checking
  3. Chase Total Checking
  4. CapitalOne 360 Checking
  5. Ally Bank Interest Checking
  6. FNBO Direct Checking
  7. Quontic Checking
  8. Varo Bank Checking

1. Discover Cashback Debit Checking

The Discover Cashback Debit Checking account will save you money on banking and reward you for using your checking account.

Earn 1% cashback on up to $3,000 spent every month – as much as $30 just for using your debit card! That could add up to $360 a year – which you could use to start investing in some of the best passive income ideas.

You can open a Discover Cashback Debit Checking account with no minimum opening deposit – and there are no minimum balance requirements either.

Moreover, Discover allows you to manage your checking account online with a top-rated mobile app (4.9 stars on the App Store, 4.6 on Google Play) – and there are over 60,000 no-fee ATMs in the U.S.

Read more about the best online checking accounts.

Highlights
APY N/A, 1% cash back on debit spending
Minimum Deposit $0
Monthly Fees $0
Minimum Balance $0
Fee-Free ATMs 60,000 in U.S.

discover logo

Promotions: up to $360

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2. Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Lack of fees, solid rates, and domestic ATM reimbursements – Axos Bank Rewards Checking account has it all, and you need only $50 to open an account.

The account has no monthly balance requirements nor maintenance fees, and you can reap some excellent rewards, including up to a 3.3% APY (based on your banking relationship with Axos), online debit card management, and simple direct deposit set-up.

If you qualify for a higher APY – Axos Rewards Checking offers one of the best checking account APYs on the market.

Highlights
APY up to 3.30%
Minimum Deposit $50
Monthly Fees $0
Minimum Balance $0
Fee-Free ATMs ∞ Domestic (Fee reimbursement)

axos bank logo

Promotions: $100

Get Started

at Axos Bank

3. Chase Total Checking

Chase is well-known for its credit cards and frequently offers some of the best bank promotions. The main reason I couldn’t leave this one off the list is the sweet $300 sign-up bonus after you complete a direct deposit of at least $500 within 90 days. The offer expires on 04/17/2024.

You can avoid the $12 monthly fee with activities like maintaining a minimum balance of $1,500 or receiving $500 in direct deposit each month. Chase has more than 15,000 ATMs to make accessing your cash easy, too.

Chase offers online and text banking, customized account alerts, and many other banking products, such as savings, CDs, mortgages, lines of credit, and credit cards.

Note: If you have had trouble with checking accounts before, consider the Chase Secure Banking account, which currently offers a $100 bonus.

Highlights
APY N/A
Minimum Deposit $0
Monthly Fees $0, with qualifying activities, otherwise $12
Minimum Balance $0
Fee-Free ATMs 15,000+

chase bank logo

Promotions: $300 signup bonus

Get Started

at Chase

 

4. Capital One 360 Checking Account

Capital One 360 Checking Account is another excellent no-fee checking account offering seamless, on-the-go banking.

With a top-rated mobile app (4.9 stars on the App Store and 4.6 stars on Google Play), Capital One makes it easy to transfer money, manage accounts, and deposit checks while you’re out and about.

You won’t be charged any fees for any of these actions and won’t pay a fee for foreign transactions.

Capital One 360 allows you to earn an annual percentage yield of 0.10% on all balances.

Highlights
Monthly Fees $0
Minimum Deposit $0
Minimum Balance $0
Fee-Free ATMs 70,000+

capital one logo

Promotions: None

5. Ally Bank Interest Checking

Ally Bank offers a completely free checking account that gives your money a boost with pretty solid APY rates – 0.10% APY on balances of less than $15,000 – and 0.25% APY on balances of at least $15,000.

With Ally Bank Interest Checking Account, you won’t pay a dime to keep your account open – and there are no minimum balance or opening deposit requirements. You can withdraw money for free using any of Allpoint® ATMs nationwide. Plus, if you get charged fees at any other ATM in the U.S., Ally Bank will reimburse up to $10 per statement cycle.

Ally Bank has a top-rated mobile app (4.7 stars on the App Store, 3.5 on Google Play). Ally Bank is a popular choice for customers seeking competitive rates and a good customer experience.

Highlights
APY 0.10% – 0.25%
Minimum Deposit $0
Monthly Fees $0
Minimum Balance $0
Fee-Free ATMs 43,000+ Allpoint® ATMs

ally bank logo

Promotions: None

6. FNBO Direct Checking

If you’re looking for a free checking account with plenty of powerful features, you’ll find them at FNBO Direct. You have everything you need to handle your money with no monthly service fees, free online bill pay, customized alerts, and a free Visa debit card.

The free doesn’t stop there, though. FNBO also offers:

  • Free incoming wires
  • Free stop payments
  • Free debit card fraud monitoring
  • Access to over 2 million ATMs
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Direct deposit

There’s a minimum $1 opening deposit requirement, and the account pays a 0.15% APY on all balances.

Highlights
APY 0.15%
Minimum Deposit $1
Monthly Fees $0
Minimum Balance $0
Fee-Free ATMs 2 Million ATMs

fnbo logo

Promotions: None

7. Quontic

Quontic is a digital bank that offers a fee-free checking account with high-interest rates and no overdraft fees. All accounts are FDIC insured, and you can earn an APY as high as 1.10% if you have at least ten qualifying debit card transactions monthly. If you fail to make ten debit card transactions monthly, the rate drops to 0.01%.

There is a minimum opening deposit requirement of $100, and customers can access an ATM network of 90,000 ATMs. You can bank online or on the mobile app and use features like remote check deposits, money transfers, and bill pay.

Highlights
APY 0.01% – 1.10%
Minimum Deposit $100
Monthly Fees $0
Minimum Balance $0
Fee-Free ATMs 90,000 ATMs

fnbo logo

Promotions: None

8. Varo Bank Checking

Varo Bank believes in providing free banking to easily access your funds. Their checking account has no monthly, overdraft, or hidden fees. You can access direct deposit funds up to two days early and send free transfers via Zelle.

You can do all your banking transactions in the mobile app, including depositing checks and linking external bank accounts. With 40,000 fee-free ATMs and FDIC insurance up to $250,000 per depositor, there’s not much to worry about when banking with Varo.

It takes less than two minutes to open an account on your phone, and you can add your debit card to your mobile wallet so you’re ready to spend right away.

Highlights
APY N/A
Minimum Deposit $0
Monthly Fees $0
Minimum Balance $0
Fee-Free ATMs 40.000

varo bank logo
Promotions: None

Get Started

at Varo Bank

What Is a Free Checking Account?

A free checking account is a bank account that doesn’t have a monthly service fee. If it does, it should have a way to waive the fee, such as meeting a specific monthly balance or a certain number of debit card transactions.

Most free checking accounts also don’t charge overdraft, ATM, or statement fees. Most of the services they offer are free, but always read the fine print to be sure, as most banks sneak miscellaneous fees in there.

Checking Account Fees to Watch For

When opening a new checking account, always watch for these fees:

  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • ATM withdrawal fees
  • Non-network ATM withdrawal fees
  • Statement fees
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Account closure fee

Pros and Cons

Free checking accounts sound like they are perfect, right? Like any bank account, though, there are pros and cons to consider.

Pros

  • Typically has few requirements, including minimum balance requirements
  • You keep all your money without paying fees
  • Usually has a free ATM network
  • May have other benefits, such as free checks, budgeting features, or pay interest

Cons

  • You may need to meet a certain balance or a certain number of debit card transactions to waive the monthly fee
  • May not have all the features you need in a checking account

How to Open a Checking Account

It’s usually easy to open a checking account, especially at an online bank. Most banks, even those with brick-and-mortar locations, have an online application that allows you to open a bank account in a few minutes.

To open it, you must provide your name, birth date, Social Security number, email address, occupation, phone number, and address. You must provide a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license. You’ll also need your method of funding, whether an external bank account, cash, or a check to deposit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Free checking accounts are the best way to maximize your money. Here are some common questions about how they work.

What are the minimum deposit and balance requirements?

Every bank has different requirements, but overall, the banks in our list don’t have any minimum deposit or balance requirements. If they do, the requirements are low, usually $100 or less.

Can you open a checking account online?

Today, most banks allow you to open a bank account online as long as you can prove your identity and have the funds to deposit into the account. It usually takes only a few minutes to open the account and get it set up.

What should you look for in a checking account?

When looking for a checking account, pay attention to the APY if you have a high balance and the monthly fees charged. If you want more than just a checking account, consider the features, such as budgeting tools, customized alerts, and ATM access.

Ensure the checking account you choose costs as little as possible, but doesn’t create a lot of stress to meet the requirements.

How do banks make money on free checking accounts?

Banks make money on free checking accounts by reinvesting your money elsewhere. They’ll earn interest on loans they fund. They will also likely earn money from other banking products checking account customers typically open because keeping all banking products at one bank is easier.

How We Chose the Best Free Checking Accounts

We analyzed all factors when choosing the best free checking accounts, including fees, monthly balance requirements, features, and interest paid. We only chose FDIC-insured banks and tried to stick to banks with an extensive ATM network.

Finding the Best Free Checking Account for You

Paying for a checking bank account isn’t something you have to put up with – not when there are so many excellent free options that can help you save money, as well as allow you to earn solid interest rates.

Which free checking account you choose depends on your financial needs and the extras you want. The most important thing is to do your homework before you decide – and get clear about your financial needs.

If you want a high APY, make sure you can hit the account minimums. It’s also always a good idea to keep a checking account buffer.

Remember that many free checking account providers are online banks – so there are no physical branches. If you don’t think you’ll ever need to go in and see a customer service representative face-to-face, then you will find it convenient!

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