These Banks Offer Free Checking Accounts With No Minimum Balance

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Everyone needs a basic checking account. It’s the account you use to pay the bills, go to lunch and the other expenditures of everyday life.

What you don’t need are random fees just for having that account. A monthly maintenance fee? Your checking account doesn’t need an oil change.

The other thing you don’t need is a minimum balance requirement. That basically means you have a set amount of money that you don’t get to use. Ever. At least not until you close the account. Or, if you do dip into that balance, you get more fees. Ugh.

Keep it simple with a bank that offers a free checking account with no minimum balance. Luckily, there are plenty of good options.

8 Free Checking Accounts with No Minimum Balance

1. Ally Interest Checking Account

Why you want it: You keep a higher balance in your account.

Features: Ally’s Interest Checking has most of the standard features like:

  • No maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Easy online access

As its name suggests, you’ll earn interest with this account. For balances under $15,000 you’ll earn .1%, which isn’t all that remarkable. But, if you tend to have $15,000 or more on hand, you can earn .5%.

Another nice perk is that Ally will reimburse you for up to $10 worth of ATM fees charged by other banks per statement cycle.

2. Axos Rewards Checking

Why you want it: Free stuff — plus interest.

Features: Axos Rewards Checking is a no-fuss account that carries no non-sufficient fund fees, in addition to no maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirements. AND you can earn up to 1.00% APY. Interest begins accruing immediately. You’ll also get unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

3. Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account

Why you want it: You already invest with Charles Schwab.

Features: Okay, when you think Charles Schwab, you probably don’t think about checking accounts. That could change. Their High Yield Investor Checking is a free account with .15% APY on your balance. It also features unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide. That’s pretty cool if you travel a lot.

There is one little catch. You need to have a Schwab One brokerage account linked to your checking to avoid the maintenance fees. It may not be for everybody, but if you already invest, why not take advantage of it?

4. NBKC Personal Checking Account

Why you want it: You are all about that interest rate.

Features: The NBKC Personal Checking Account gives you all the basics plus a $12 per month allowance for those pesky ATM fees. Where this account sets itself apart is with a 1.01% interest on all balances with no minimum. That’s a pretty sweet deal. It also features $0 overdraft and non-sufficient funds charges, so if you tend to overextend your money, you won’t get dinged.

This account has a minimum opening deposit of $5, but you can probably swing that, right?

5. Discover Cashback Debit

Why you want it: You like the sound of “cash back.”

Features: The Discover Cashback Debit account boasts no fees ever, for anything. Its real selling feature is 1% cash back on up to $3,000 debit card purchases each month. Think about it. If you pay your mortgage, insurance payments and car payments with your card each month, you could be getting $30 back.

If that doesn’t seem like much, just think of it as free Netflix and HBO Go every month. Sounds good now, right?

6. Chime®

Why you want it: You want your paycheck to show up early.

Features: This online banking app is slick and streamlined. No fees, no minimums and no overdraft penalties. Where the Chime® Account separates itself from the pack is with its feature that gives you your paycheck two days early**. When you sign up for direct deposit*, Chime will put the money in your account as soon as they receive notice of the payment. No waiting for it to clear. That means you’ll have the money available to use up to two days sooner than your coworkers.

While everyone else is waiting for Friday, you could be living it up on hump day. Read our full Chime review.

7. USAA Free Checking

Why you want it: You appreciate customer service

Features: You know that USAA offers auto insurance to eligible members, but did you know it does banking as well? You don’t have to be an active or former military member, either. If your parent was in the military and a USAA member, you’re eligible. Once you sign up for a free checking account, your spouse and kids become eligible, too. This account comes with all the bells and whistles including early paydays for new recruits and a Quick Balance Widget that lets you check your balance without logging on.

It does require a $25 minimum opening deposit.

8. T-Mobile Money

Why you want it: It could pay for your phone bill.

Features: Wait, isn’t T-Mobile a phone company? Yes, but they also offer their customers a pretty sweet banking deal with T-Mobile Money. This no-fee, no minimum bank account comes with a whopping 4% APY for account balances up to $3,000 and 1% after that. That’s $120 per year for a $3,000 balance. If you carry a significant balance in your account, you may just earn enough interest to pay your cell phone bill — and you don’t even have to have your cellular through T-Mobile to get a bank account.

Plus, they’ll spot you $50 if you accidentally overdraft without any penalty.

Tyler Omoth is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

*Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. 

**Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.