8 Banks With Free Checking and No Minimum Balance

Finding banks with free checking and no minimum balance requirements isn’t easy, as you’ve probably already noticed.

Banks often charge monthly maintenance fees – just to keep your account open. They can waive these fees for you – but only if you meet requirements like keeping a minimum daily account balance.

But there are plenty of banks with free checking and no minimum balance requirements out there.

We’ve rounded up the top bank accounts without maintenance fees or requiring a minimum balance to open.

8 Best Banks With Free Checking and No Minimum Balance Requirements

Here are the top banks that offer free checking with no minimum balance requirements:

  1. Ally Bank: Best Free Checking Account
  2. Capital One 360 Checking: Best Customer Experience
  3. Chime: Best Banking App to Open a Checking Account
  4. Alliant Credit Union: Best Credit Union with No Balance Requirement
  5. Discover Cashback Debit: Best Free Online Checking Accounts
  6. Axos Rewards Checking: Best Free Checking Account that Earns Interest
  7. Varo Bank: Best Bank with No Fees
  8. FNBO Direct: Best Green Checking Account

1. Ally Bank Ally Bank

  • Minimum deposit requirements: $0
  • ATM access: 43,000
  • Offers bonuses: Yes

Ally is one of the best online-only banks, and its free high-interest earning accounts are becoming very popular.

The Spending Account is free, so there are no minimum balance requirements or account fees. The APY is 0.10%, with a minimum daily balance below $15,000, and it increases to 0.25% APY if you can keep an average daily balance of $15,000 or above.

Your Ally account is FDIC-insured, and interest compounds daily. Since it’s an online bank, Ally lets you manage all banking functions using online banking or a mobile application. You won’t find any branches to bank in person. However, Ally offers consistently positively reviewed customer service, which includes 24/7 phone and live chat.

Some of the best features of Ally’s app include mobile check deposits, direct deposit, an ATM locator, your balance history, and Zelle, a person-to-person money transfer service.

Ally uses Allpoint ATM networks, which consist of more than 43,000 ATMs, and it gives up to $10 out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements.

2. Capital One 360 Capital One

  • Minimum deposit requirements: $0
  • ATM access: 70,000
  • Offers bonuses: Yes

Capital One 360 offers a no-fee checking account. It has no service fees or minimum balance requirements, making it one of the best accounts on our list.

Its online banking and mobile banking app is compatible with both Apple and Android devices, which are highly rated and equipped with fast mobile deposit, bill pay, an ATM finder, spending alerts, and more.

One nice thing about Capital One 360 is you can meet with advisors, get account assistance, and enjoy a coffee at Capital One 360 cafes in select areas.

In addition, this checking account will give you access to more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs since you can use Capital One 360, Moneypass, and Allpoint ATMs for free nationwide. However, this bank won’t reimburse any out-of-network ATM usage fees.

Capital One 360 checking account also offers your first checkbook free and no foreign transaction fees. Account holders earn a 0.10% annual percentage yield on all balances, while it might not be the highest APY, it’s interest on a checking account, which is rare.

3. Chime Bank Chime

  • Minimum deposit requirements: $0
  • ATM access: 60,000
  • Offers bonuses: Yes

If you want to get technical, Chime isn’t a bank per se. It’s an electronic commerce company, which constitutes a valid alternative to traditional banks.

Chime is a top-rated financial technology company dedicated to helping you manage your account balances and transfer money from anywhere in the world.

Its deposit accounts are FDIC-insured through its partner banks, Stride Bank and the Bancorp Bank, for up to $250,000. Chime doesn’t have brick-and-mortar branches – it’s online-only. Since it doesn’t have physical locations, Chime concentrates its efforts on the online experience.

Thanks to its intuitive design and usability, Chime’s mobile app has an average rating of 4.8 in the App Store and Google Play Store, with more than 1 million reviews. In addition, withdrawing money with Chime won’t be a problem. They have more than 60,000 free ATMs available nationwide.

Chime prides itself on not having any hidden fees. They also offer an overdraft program called SpotMe® that allows you to go over up to $200 on debit card purchases (with approval) and 2-day early access to your direct deposit funds.

4. Alliant Credit Union Chime

  • Minimum deposit requirements: $5
  • ATM access: 80,000
  • Offers bonuses: Yes

If you are open to considering a credit union account instead of a bank account, Alliant is a good option for banks with free checking and no minimum balance. Alliant Credit Union has no brick-and-mortar locations, so you must be comfortable using their online banking.

Luckily, both the online banking and mobile app are highly rated. It is super easy to get help from customer service when you need it by phone, email, and online. Alliant prides itself in being upfront about all the fees they require. They offer complete transparency and excellent customer service.

Alliant’s interest-bearing checking account earns 0.25% APY, provided you opt for e-statements and set up monthly recurring deposits into the account. You also get free access to over 80,000 ATMs and up to $20 in ATM fee reimbursements monthly.

Anyone can become a customer of Alliant (even if you live outside of Chicago, where its headquarters are). The only real requirement to join Alliant is donating $5 to Foster Care to Success, and you have access to its affordable and interest-bearing checking account.

5. Discover® Bank Discover

  • Minimum deposit requirements: $0
  • ATM access: 60,000
  • Offers bonuses: Yes

Discover® Bank is one of the banks with free checking and no minimum balance and is an online bank that offers full-service banking, lending, and retirement products. On top of being completely free, the Discover Cashback Debit checking account also allows you to earn rewards. It offers no yield but gives you 1% cashback on a maximum of $3,000 monthly debit card purchases, which is one of the highest rewards offered on checking accounts.

Being an online bank, Discover allows you to manage your funds entirely online. Its mobile banking app has high ratings and is compatible with Apple iPhones and Androids. It includes mobile deposits, bill pay, the possibility to freeze your account remotely, Apple Pay, and Zelle for money transfers.

As is often the case with online banks, Discover has 24/7 customer service available, so you don’t have to worry if you aren’t an online banking expert. Discover® Bank Cashback Debit Account comes with access to over 60,000 ATMs worldwide.

Discover also has convenient overdraft protection. It lets you connect your checking account with another Discover deposit account to transfer funds between the two automatically. In addition, Discover offers early access to your direct deposit funds.

6. Axos Bank Axos

Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account offers an outstanding up to 3.30% APY – as long as you meet some optional requirements.

These include making at least ten debit card purchases, maintaining a minimum balance in their Self-Directed Trading platform, or paying an Axos loan with your Axos checking account. If you can meet the requirements, it’s well worth opening this account.

Like the other accounts, it requires no monthly maintenance fees or minimum daily balances. You will need $50 to open the interest-bearing Rewards Checking account but don’t worry about recurring fees afterward.

Axos also has a mobile app allowing check deposits, bill pay, and online debit card management. Axos customers get unlimited ATM fee reimbursements for all out-of-network ATM fees charged in the United States. It also includes both incoming and outgoing wires online for free, which is rare.

7. Varo Varo bank logo

  • Minimum deposit requirements: $0
  • ATM access: 40,000
  • Offers bonuses: Yes

Varo Bank made our list of banks with free checking and no minimum balance because they charge nothing. They want customers to keep their earnings and even provide 2-day early access to direct deposits.

Varo Bank has no overdraft fees (they don’t allow overdrafts), and you can easily transfer funds to friends and family for free using Zelle. In the Varo Bank app you can make mobile deposits, link accounts, and track your spending.

Varo Bank has a large ATM network of 40,000 ATMs, and the bank is FDIC-insured. This means your account is protected up to $250,000 per depositor in the event of bank failure. Applying for this free online account takes only a few minutes, and you can instantly begin using your card in your mobile wallet for ease of use!

8. FNBO Direct fnbo bank logo

  • Minimum deposit requirements: $1
  • ATM access: 2 million
  • Offers bonuses: Yes

FNBO Direct makes earning interest on your checking account balance easy without worrying about minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees. Their online checking account pays 0.15% APY on balances over $1 and has no monthly service fees.

You may have to sacrifice slightly, though, as the bank went green, so they don’t have paper checks. This means you must conduct all transactions online, but they offer a robust online banking program, BillPay, and customized account alerts.

FNBO Direct also offers digital payments, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Visa SRC. You can set up direct deposit and automatic transfers to your savings account to ensure you save each month to reach your financial goals.

Important Things To Look For In a Checking Account

Here’s what to consider when looking for the best banks with free checking accounts and no minimum balance.

  • Online banking and mobile apps: Look for robust online and mobile banking features, including remote deposit, customized alerts, and free transfers using services like Zelle.
  • No monthly fees: Most online banks don’t charge monthly service fees, or if they do, they have ways to waive them. Read the fine print to ensure you can avoid fees altogether.
  • No ATM access fees: Look closely at a bank’s ATM network to ensure you can get fee-free withdrawals. If not, read about the bank’s ATM fee reimbursement policy to keep your fees to a minimum.
  • Direct deposit: Look for the option to set up direct deposit and have early access to it. Most banks allow up to 2-day early access.
  • No monthly balance requirements: Only choose bank accounts that don’t require a minimum monthly balance to avoid unnecessary fees.
  • Interest-bearing accounts: Look for accounts with interest-bearing options, but read the fine print to determine how you earn it to ensure you can meet the requirements.
  • Perks offered: Some banks offer extra benefits such as cashback rewards, rebates, free checks, free international transactions, or early direct deposit access.

Common Checking Account Fees

When considering the best banks with free checking and no minimum balance, it’s important to consider the fees a bank charges.

Most banks in our list charge very few fees, but these fees are common, so look at the big picture when choosing an account.

  • Stop payment
  • NSF fees
  • Wire transfer (incoming may be free at some banks)
  • Paper checks
  • Paper statements
  • Overdraft
  • ATM

Frequently Asked Questions

Which banks offer no-fee checking accounts?

Most of the banks mentioned above are virtually free, meaning they waive most of the fees, but sometimes not all. There is rarely a free checking account that is truly 100% free.

Discover® Bank is one of the banks with the lowest fees nationwide on its checking account online. It has no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fee. There are no fees for insufficient funds, stop payments, incoming wires, official bank checks, or replacement debit cards.

What bank has no monthly fees?

The banks and credit unions in our list have no monthly fees. However, like any bank, other fees may apply, depending on the account and the financial institution.

For example, the Capital One 360 checking account has no service fees or minimum balance. However, you can incur some fees for stop payments or bounced checks. Ally also has no recurring monthly fee but charges fees on returned deposit items, international transactions, stop payments, and outgoing wires.

Our Methodology

As you can imagine, there are many factors to consider when looking for banks with free checking and no minimum balance. We are very methodical in our research when looking for the banks for our list.

Here are some of the factors we consider:

  • Minimum opening balance requirement
  • Monthly average balance requirement
  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • ATM network and non-ATM network fees
  • Features, such as mobile deposit, Zelle, and direct deposit
  • Other fees besides monthly maintenance fees
  • Benefits, such as cashback or interest earned

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