It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find truly free checking accounts. At many banks, you’re now required to pay a monthly maintenance fee for the privilege of keeping your checking account open. Such fees can range from a few dollars to $20 or more, depending on the bank and other associated perks. To avoid these fees, you may need to maintain a high minimum daily balance, make regular deposits of a certain size or frequency, or execute a minimum number of transactions in a statement period.
Fortunately, it’s still possible to find free checking accounts. You just have to know where to look. Many online banks offer legitimately free, FDIC-insured (up to $250,000 per account) accounts with few restrictions and plenty of sweeteners. Some even pay noticeable interest.
If you’re looking for a checking account that won’t eat away at your deposits, take a closer look at these options available to customers throughout the United States.
Best Free Checking Accounts
1. Simple Checking Account
Competitive Yields on All Balances in Your Protected Goals Account; Virtually No Fees
Simple is a digital banking platform that centralizes banking, budgeting, and saving under one virtual roof. If there’s a headline here, it’s the very competitive yields on all balances in Simple’s Protected Goals Accounts – Simple’s answer to the traditional savings account.
Simple’s standard checking account doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee, regardless of balance, and you won’t find any miscellaneous nickel-and-dime fees at Simple either. The Safe-to-Spend feature is a head-slappingly straightforward tool that automatically accounts for account inflows and near-term expected outflows (scheduled bills out to 30 days from the present), ensuring you always know how much you can safely spend before the next payday. Meanwhile, trackable spending makes budgeting a breeze, and shared accounts empower couples to manage household finances with ease.
- Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum opening deposit and no minimum daily balance.
- Account Opening Bonus: Earn up to $500 when you open new Protected Goals Accounts with qualifying activities. To earn a $250 bonus for each new Protected Goals Account ($250 for Individual and $250 for Shared), open a new Protected Goals Account by 4:59pm PT on 8/31/19. Then, deposit $10,000 or more into the new Protected Goals Account by 4:59pm PT on 9/16/19 (the deposit must post by that time). Finally, maintain a balance of at least $10,000 in the new Protected Goals Account through 4:59pm PT on 12/31/19. If you meet the bonus requirements, you’ll receive a $250 bonus by 1/14/20. Your account must be open and in good standing at the time of the bonus credit. There’s a limit of one $250 bonus per Protected Goals Account.
- Yield: 2.02% APY on all balances in your Protected Goals Account.
- Rewards and Incentives: With normal use, your account is totally free to use and enjoy, though third-party ATM owners may charge fees beyond Simple’s control.
- Mobile Features: Mobile check deposit, fee-free instant P2P transfers to other Simple users, fee-free third-party transfers and payments using apps like Square and Venmo, mobile payment app compatibility. The mobile app is Android- and iPhone-compatible.
- Overdraft Options: Simple does not charge overdraft fees. Use the app’s Safe-to-Spend feature to monitor your spending and ensure you have sufficient funds to complete the transactions you attempt.
- Possible Fees: Third-party ATM fees (charged by the owner, not Simple).
2. BBVA Online Checking
Cash Back on Select Purchases Through Simple Cash Back; No ATM Fees at 64,000 Locations
BBVA Online Checking is a truly free checking account available nationwide with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. With a minimum opening deposit of just $25, no ATM fees at more than 64,000 AllPoint®, participating 7-Eleven® and BBVA USA ATMs around the United States, and a fee-free Visa debit card, BBVA Online Checking is a great choice for folks looking to blend the convenience of online banking with the flexibility of traditional deposit accounts.
Enroll in the free Simple Cash Back program to earn cash back on purchases made with participating BBVA partners. For a $4 monthly fee – money well spent – you can enroll in the BBVA ClearBenefits program and take advantage of potentially valuable services like cell phone protection and identity theft restoration and insurance…..Read More>>