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Do you hate being charged by a bank for them holding on to your money?

Many banks charge customers for having an account with them. This of course means less money in your account. This can be really frustrating.

Luckily, many banks have seen how this is harmful to customers. Some banks may still require a minimum deposit for account holders, or have other requirements, but after that, they do not charge customers for banking with them. This can be a blessing for people just joining the workforce, or have been hit with unemployment or cut hours; every penny saved is important in these situations.

The following list is several banks that offer customers free checking accounts. In some situations, they may even reward you with bonuses that mean more money in your account. 

From online banks to in-person banks, here are the 14 best free checking accounts to consider. 

1. BBVA

BBVA

BBVA offers a great free checking account for those living in the continental United States (sorry Alaska and Hawaii). They offer the convenience of online banking with the flexibility of traditional deposit accounts. With thousands of ATMs and a partnership with 7-Eleven, BBVA offers some great banking solutions for customers.

All you need to get started is a $25 minimum deposit. They offer fee-free Visa Debit cards, which you can use anywhere. With the Simple Cash Program, you can earn rewards from participating vendors. You can also take advantage of the BBVA ClearBenefits program for $4 a month. 

The program provides valuable services such as cell phone protection, identity theft restoration and insurance. You can also opt-in on several overdraft options that can either decline overdraft purchases, transfer funds from other BBVA accounts or offer you a line of credit.

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2. Capital One 360 Checking

Capital One 360 Checking

Capital One 360 Checking accounts offer some great banking options for customers. Capital One is one of the country's largest financial service providers and offers this great checking option for customers. They offer no minimum deposit, no maintenance fees and overdraft protection to help protect your money.

You can also earn 0.10% interest on your balance monthly. They offer mobile deposits through their app, so you don’t have to mess with a bank line. You can also use thousands of ATMs without having to pay annoying ATM fees.

3. Chime

Chime

In recent years mobile banking has become a major trend. 

Most banks now have mobile apps to help their customers to easily do their banking from anywhere. Chime was one of the first banks to embrace this business model based on mobile banking for its customers. They allow for completely free mobile banking with no minimum deposit, and you can earn 1.0% APY in interest. The only downside is banking is done completely on their app as they have no physical locations. 

Chime has virtually no fees, so you will not have to pay a dime to use their services under normal circumstances. You have free P2P transfers, electronic bill pay and compatibility with Venmo and Paypal apps. 

While they do not have overdraft protection, they also do not charge a fee. Most overdraft charges will simply be declined, though some transactions such as paying at the pump for gas may cause a negative balance. 

              

 

4. Ally 

Ally

If you wish to do all your banking completely online, Ally is one of your best options. They are one of the most trusted banks when it comes to online banking. They have great no-fee checking and mobile check deposit using their app. You can also earn 0.25% APY on your account balances monthly. 

They stand by their brand with great customer service and online banking products. They require no minimum deposit or minimum balances for their customers. You can receive up to $10 a month in ATM reimbursements to help you to access money when you need cash in hand. 

5. Level

Level

Level is trying to become a leader in mobile and online checking. They offer completely free checking accounts, which accrue interest and also have cashback debit rewards as well. 

They also make banking easier with no maintenance fees, overdraft fees, minimum balance requirements and $4 in monthly ATM fee reimbursement. You can also take advantage of several rewards such as 1.00% cashback on online and credit purchases on your Level Debit Card with a monthly direct deposit of $2,500 a month.  

 

6. Chase Total Checking

Chase Total Checking

Chase is one of the most well-known and most trusted names in finance. They offer many money solutions for their clients.  Chase Total Checking is also offering $200 sign up bonuses for new clients! Think about what you could do with a couple of extra hundred bucks in your pocket. 

That being said, there are some minimum requirements to keep your account free (if not, you will be charged $12 a month). All you need to do to maintain free status is to do one of three things: keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more, have monthly direct deposits of at least $500 or an average daily balance of $5,000 across multiple Chase accounts (checking, savings, credit, etc.).  

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7. Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Discover Bank Cashback Card

One of the best-known credit companies, Discover also offers banking account solutions. You can set up a debit account with them with no fees or minimum balance. They also offer access to thousands of ATMs nationwide and mobile banking options and no-fee check ordering.

When you need checks or a replacement card quickly, Discover offers expedited delivery at no cost to customers. You can also earn up to 1% cashback on up to $3,000 in debit purchases each month. 

8. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union

Credit unions are great, as they can offer better interest rates than most banks. 

However, most credit unions have narrow membership requirements, such as being in a certain profession. Alliant Credit Union has broad membership criteria along with great interest rates and integrated technology. They offer 0.25% APY on High-Rate Checking and 0.65% APY on savings accounts. Their rates are some of the best around, allowing you to earn money while banking with them. There are no monthly fees, and you simply have to have one electronic deposit per month.

There are a few drawbacks, however. 

First, they do not participate in shared branching with any banks, meaning you will be charged a fee for using non-member ATMs, though you can be reimbursed up to $20 a month in ATM fees. There is also a $28 overdraft fee, with no limit to daily charges. That means you will need to make sure to monitor your spending or risk having multiple charges if you go over.

              

 

9. Simple

Simple

If you are one of those people that want to diversify your banking experience but don’t want any complicated transactions, Simple makes banking, well...simple. There is no minimum balance or deposit to get started with them. Their digital banking model puts banking, budgeting and savings under one roof. You can also take advantage of one of the best APY rates around for all your accounts at 0.80% with the Simple Protected Goals Account.

Their no-fee checking accounts allow you to keep your money where it belongs. You also earn 0.10% APY on all account balances, which will put a little more money in your wallet. 

Their Safe to Spend feature allows you to monitor what money is coming in and what scheduled withdrawals are approaching (bills, etc.). This feature is great for those of us who need a little help in budgeting and managing our money. And if you do happen to go a little over in your spending, Simple does not charge overdraft fees. The only fees you may need to be careful of is third-party ATM fees from vendors.

Related: When To Use A Personal Loan To Consolidate Credit Card Debt [With Expert Advice]

10. Wealthfront

WealthFront

Wealthfront has become a popular Robo-advisor over the last several years. They recently began to offer high-interest checking accounts. This is a great way to begin earning money for banking with them, with interest rates of 0.35% APY. They also allow you to get your paycheck up to two days early with their direct deposit options. They provide no account fees for banking with them, and you can get started for as little as $1.

Wealthfront also has very few fees that customers need to worry about and there are no maintenance fees or overdraft fees for customers. Though you will want to check their terms for any other possible fees for other services. You also can make payments to friends or vendors with integration with Paypal, Cashapp, Venmo and similar apps.

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11. Varo

Varo

Varo bank has some of the best rates around. There is no minimum balance or deposit requirements, and there are no monthly fees. If you open a Varo Savings Account and meet certain requirements (complete at least 5 Varo Visa Debit Card purchases per month; receive at least $1,000 direct deposit per month; and a balance of $10,000 in savings), you can earn 2.80% APY. If you do not qualify for 2.80%, you can still earn 1.14% APY. You can also get your money up to two days earlier with a direct deposit. \

You can also take advantage of no overdraft fees up to $50 when you enroll and qualify for No Fee Overdraft. You just need to make sure to pay the balance within 30 days, which will be taken out of your next deposit. You will also be charged $2.50 for using an out of network ATMs. 

12. USAA Bank Classic Checking

USAA Bank Classic Checking

American service members and DOD employees, along with their families, can take advantage of the great services at USAA Bank. They offer free checking, free check ordering, online BillPay and ATM fee reimbursements. There is a minimum deposit of $25 to join and is only limited to service members, DOD, and immediate family. 

USAA offers free overdraft protection and no minimum balance fees. You can also earn up to $15 in ATM reimbursements for non-USAA ATMs each month. USAA Bank gives back to those who serve their country to make banking easier.

Related: How to Manage your Finances [Now and Later in Life]

13. E*Trade Checking

E*Trade Checking

E*Trade is one of the leaders when it comes to electronic stock trading and investing. They also now offer free non-interest-bearing E*Trade Checking Accounts. With a minimum deposit of $100, you can enjoy no minimum balances or monthly maintenance fees. You can sign up for interest-bearing checking with E*Trade with a 0.05% APY, but some requirements include maintaining an average monthly balance of $5,000.

E*Trade makes online banking with their app and great customer service. Along with their checking services, they can also help you in investments and saving for your future.

14. Nationwide My Checking

Nationwide My Checking

Nationwide is known as one of the best insurance companies in the country, and has begun to dip their toes in the banking world with a partnership with AXOS Bank. Their free My Checking accounts have no fees and help you boost your savings as well. All you need is an initial deposit of $100 to begin taking advantage of all they offer.  There are no monthly balance requirements or maintenance fees. They also provide unlimited ATM reimbursement fees, mobile check deposits, and are mobile-friendly with their easy to use app. 

You can also earn a great APY by combining your My Checking with a My Savings account. You can raise your interest rate from 0.60% to 0.80% APY. If you already have Nationwide insurance, this is a great way to combine them for your banking needs.  

It’s your Money, Keep it!

When it comes to our money, most of us want to hang on to as much of it as possible. That being said, these fourteen financial institutions will help you to keep as much of your money in your pocket, or at least in your account, as you can. 

Make sure before you decide on which bank to use, you ask questions like minimum opening deposit amounts, the cost of ATM withdrawals, cost of wire transfers and foreign transaction fees and the opportunity for cashback rewards. 

Some banks will even reward you with perks for banking with them. Of course, this is only one part of responsible money management. Learning how to budget your money properly will help your savings stretch much further than any bank account. 

You might also be interested in: 11 Top High-Yield Savings Accounts [Who Doesn’t Love Watching Their Money Grow?]

The 14 Best Free Checking Accounts:

  1. BBVA
  2. Capital One 360 Checking
  3. Chime
  4. Ally 
  5. Level
  6. Chase Total Checking
  7. Discover Bank Cashback Debit
  8. Alliant Credit Union
  9. Simple
  10. Wealthfront
  11. Varo
  12. USAA Bank Classic Checking
  13. E*Trade Checking
  14. Nationwide My Checking
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Posted 
Oct 12, 2020
 in 
Money
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