Best Free Online Checking Accounts
Finding free checking accounts these days is relatively simple, as banks compete for customers who are fed up with fees. Trying to decide which free checking account is right for you can be tricky, however, with so many to choose from. While some brick-and-mortar banks offer decent free checking accounts, we’ve found online checking accounts to be best overall - in most cases offering not only free checking, but free interest-bearing checking accounts.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite free checking accounts to help you narrow down your search.
Capital One 360
As a trusted financial brand, Capital One offers a large network of ATMs across the United States, allowing for easy access to your funds, anytime, day or night. Capital One’s 360 account comes with no hidden fees, no minimums, and you earn interest on your funds at the same time.
While Capital One is an online bank, they do a great job of offering customers a big-bank feel. The 360 account is a great all-around option for people who want easy access to their own money without paying steep fees. Worried about ATM access with an online bank? Capital One has upwards of 40,000 no-fee ATMs around the country. Compare that to Chase, which has roughly 16,100 ATMs and the choice is clear.
Ally Interest Checking
Aside from having no minimum balance to open an account, no monthly fees and no ATM fees, Ally Interest Checking also offers Popmoney®, a service that lets you effortlessly move money between Ally accounts or send money to non-Ally accounts. That means you can pay just about anyone using email or text. And did we mention you’ll also earn interest with your checking account?
Customers who opt for Ally Bank will enjoy 24/7 life customer support, which means you talk to a real person when you call, and deposits are easy using Ally eCheck Deposit. All-in-all, Ally Interest Checking is one of the best we’ve seen.
While most banks offer mobile services, GoBank takes mobile banking to a new level with a completely mobile-first banking strategy. GoBank has tailored its banking to center around people who primarily bank on the go. Hate typing your password into your mobile banking app every time you want to check your balance? With GoBank’s Balance Bar, your balance is available at a glance, without the need to log into an app. The Fortune Teller feature is another favorite, allowing you to set a simple budget and check your budget before you spend. Simply enter the amount you’re considering spending, and the app will give you a “yay” or “nay” based on your budget.
The one drawback to GoBank is that no interest is earned on checking. That said, the many other innovative features offered by GoBank still make them one of the best free checking options around. Mobile-centered features combined with mobile check deposits, online bill pay and a massive network of free ATMs, GoBank is a clear top-pick for mobile bankers everywhere.
Everbank Yield Pledge® Checking
Though you’ll need a $1,500 minimum opening balance to start up your free checking account at Everbank, the trade-off is the highest interest you’re likely to find in a free checking account. For the first year, you’ll enjoy 1.10 percent interest on all balances, which is 15 times the national average. You’ll also enjoy mobile banking, including mobile check deposits, zero ATM fees (with unlimited ATM reimbursements as long as you maintain a $5,000 minimum balance) and no minimum balance to earn interest on your funds.
The minimum balance requirements may make Everbank Yield Pledge® Checking less accessible to some people, but the interest payoff alone is well worth the investment if you can swing it.
Bank5 Connect High Interest Checking
Another free checking account with high interest rates, Bank5 Connect High Interest Checking offers 0.76 percent APY on any balance over $100, and also reimburses up to $15 in ATM fees per month. Unlike Everbank, Bank5 does not require a high minimum balance, either. As a Bank5 customer, you’ll enjoy mobile check deposits, free online bill pay, free mobile banking, free first order of checks and absolutely no monthly maintenance fees.
If you’re looking for a high-yield checking account, but can’t manage a high minimum balance requirement, Bank5 is a great choice