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

7 of the Best Online Checking Accounts You Can Open for Free

Rebecca Safier • July 21, 2023

The best checking accounts for you offer a safe place to store your cash without having to worry about monthly maintenance or overdraft fees. Here are our top picks.

Annual Percentage Yield (APY) rates and other account details in this blog are for informational purposes only and are accurate as of June 2, 2023. Check the latest account details and agreements before signing up for any financial product.  The use of any third-party trademarks is for informational purposes only. Chime has no sponsorship, endorsement, or affiliation with any of the financial institutions referenced herein. 

A checking account offers a convenient place to store and access cash for your everyday expenses. However, some checking accounts come with maintenance fees that can drain your balance and take away from your hard-earned dollars.

Fortunately, there are options for checking accounts that don’t come with monthly fees, don’t require a minimum balance, and don’t charge an opening fee. We’ve gathered some of the best nationally available, FDIC-insured checking accounts with no monthly fees.

Read on for all the details, including the pros and cons and who each account may be best for.

Easy online banking

  • Checking Account with no monthly fees
  • 50,000+ fee-free ATMs~
  • Chime Visa® Debit Card
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Ally® Spending Account

Ally offers an online checking account with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit. There are also no minimum balance requirements, and Ally Bank doesn’t charge overdraft fees.

An Ally checking account’s annual percentage yield (APY) begins at 0.1% and it increases to 0.25% if you have a balance of $15,000 or more. Ally is an online bank and offers mobile check deposits, but you can’t make cash deposits.

You’ll have access to more than 43,000 Allpoint ATMs for withdrawing money. If you withdraw from an out-of-network ATM, Ally Bank will reimburse you for up to $10 in ATM fees each statement cycle.¹

ProsCons
No monthly fee, minimum deposit, or minimum balanceNo brick-and-mortar locations
No overdraft feesCan’t make cash deposits2
ATM reimbursement up to $10 per statement cycleAPY is lower on balances below $15,000

Who should consider this account: an Ally checking account may be a smart option if you’re comfortable doing your banking online or through a mobile app and don’t need the option of in-person banking.

Chime® Checking Account

Chime’s online checking account comes with no monthly service fees and doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open. You can manage your money with 24/7 mobile banking and take out cash at more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs.³

You can also take out cash at several retailer locations, including Walgreens, CVS, and 7-Eleven. Plus, you can deposit cash at any Walgreens location.4

Chime doesn’t charge overdraft fees and will allow you to overdraft up to $200 without fees if you qualify for the SpotMe® feature.5 The checking account comes with a Chime Visa® Debit Card. You can set up daily updates to track your balance and easily block transactions if you lose your debit card.6

With a Chime checking account, you can also get paid up to two days early with direct deposit.7

ProsCons
No monthly fees or minimum depositsChecking account doesn’t earn interest
Can take out and deposit cash at Walgreens and other storesNo brick-and-mortar locations
No overdraft fees

Who should consider this account: Chime’s checking account could be the right choice if you’re looking to easily withdraw and deposit cash, not worry about overdraft fees, and access your paycheck up to two days early.

Open a Chime Checking Account with no monthly fees to easily manage your money with 24/7 mobile banking.

Capital One 360 Checking® Account

Capital One’s 360 Checking Account has no monthly maintenance fees, minimum deposit to open, or minimum balance requirements. It earns 0.10% APY across all balances and doesn’t charge overdraft fees.

Along with mobile check deposit and online banking, Capital One also has physical branches, along with Capital One Cafes, that you can visit for coffee and financial advice. You can withdraw your money fee-free at more than 70,000 Capital One, MoneyPass, and Allpoint ATMs.8

ProsCons
No monthly fees, minimum deposit, or minimum balanceNo ATM fee reimbursement
Option to bank in person at physical branchesSome other banks offer a higher APY on checking accounts
Access to more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs

Who should consider this account: Capital One is an all-around solid choice for anyone looking for a bank account without minimum deposit or balance requirements. With a Capital One checking account, you have the option of online, mobile, and in-person banking.

Discover® Cashback Debit Account

Discover is another option for an online checking account with no monthly maintenance fees or a minimum deposit to open. There are also no minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees. You’ll have access to more than 60,000 Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs but won’t receive reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees.

A unique feature of Discover’s checking account is the cash back you can earn on debit card purchases. Discover offers 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.9

ProsCons
No monthly fees, minimum deposits, or minimum balance requirementsNo physical branches for in-person banking
1% cash back on debit card purchases (up to $30 each month)No ATM fee reimbursement
No overdraft fees

Who should consider this account: This account could be a good fit if you’re comfortable with online banking and want to earn cash back on your debit card purchases.

SoFi® Checking

SoFi offers a competitive APY of up to 1.20% on its checking account with no monthly fees, minimum deposits, or minimum balance requirements. If you open a checking account with SoFi, you’ll have access to more than 55,000 no-fee ATMs and could receive your paycheck up to two days early.

Setting up direct deposits of $1,000 or more into your SoFi checking account could also earn you a welcome bonus of up to $250. That will also qualify you for SoFi’s overdraft coverage and protection.10

ProsCons
No monthly fees, minimum deposit, or minimum balanceNo physical branches for in-person banking
Welcome bonus of up to $250 for qualifying direct depositMust set up direct deposits of at least $1,000 per month to qualify for the welcome bonus and overdraft coverage and protection
APY of 1.20% across all balances

Who should consider this account: A SoFi checking account could work for you if you’re looking for an online bank account that offers a decent APY and a welcome bonus incentive.

nbkc® Everything Account

The nbkc Everything Account is a checking account with no monthly fee that earns 1.50% APY. It doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit and gives you access to more than 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs.

If you opt for an out-of-network ATM, nbkc will reimburse you for up to $12 per month in ATM fees.11 This Kansas City-based bank operates four branches in Kansas and Missouri, but its checking account is available nationwide and comes with online and mobile banking.12

ProsCons
High-yield checking account with 1.50% APYOnly four branches, which are located in Kansas and Missouri
ATM fee reimbursementSmaller ATM network than some other banks

Who should consider this account: nbkc is a viable option if you’re looking for a high-yield checking account with no monthly fees. Kansas and Missouri residents who live near an NBKC branch may also appreciate the option of in-person banking.

FNBO® Direct Online Checking Account

FNBO offers an online checking account that offers an APY of 0.15%. It requires a minimum opening deposit of just $1. This account comes with a FNBO Direct Visa® Debit Card.13

This checking account is available nationwide, but FNBO only has branches in eight states: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.14

ProsCons
No monthly fees or minimum balanceNo ATM fee reimbursement
Earns 0.15% APYBranch locations in only eight states
Access to over two million ATMs

Who this account is best for: Check out this account if you want access to more than two million ATMs or live close to an FNBO branch and want the option of in-person banking.

Avoid monthly fees with online checking accounts

If you’re wary of monthly bank account fees, don’t let that stand in your way of opening a checking account. Many user-friendly options for bank accounts don’t charge monthly maintenance or service fees, regardless of your account balance.

Plus, many of these accounts make it easy to access your cash from fee-free ATMs and don’t charge overdraft fees if your balance dips below $0.

Once you’ve set up your account, you might focus on improving your credit score. There are a few ways to boost your credit, like opening a secured credit card.

As you make on-time payments on your card, you’ll see your credit score improve over time. To learn more, check out these best cards to build credit.

FAQs

Are there any bank accounts with no monthly fees?

There are a variety of bank accounts that don’t charge monthly service fees. Many of these bank accounts also don’t require a minimum opening deposit or balance. 

Can I open a bank account with zero money?

Yes, some banks allow you to open a bank account with no minimum deposit. Some other banks only require a nominal opening deposit, such as $1 or $5.

What checking account can I open without a deposit?

Some checking accounts you can open without a deposit include Chime, Ally Bank, Capital One, Discover, and SoFi.

Easy online banking

  • Checking Account with no monthly fees
  • 50,000+ fee-free ATMs~
  • Chime Visa® Debit Card
Get Started

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

While Chime doesn’t issue personal checkbooks to write checks, Chime Checkbook gives you the freedom to send checks to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Chime Checkbook details.

By clicking on some of the links above, you will leave the Chime website and be directed to a third-party website. The privacy practices of those third parties may differ from those of Chime. We recommend you review the privacy statements of those third party websites, as Chime is not responsible for those third parties' privacy or security practices.

Third-party trademarks referenced for informational purposes only; no endorsements implied.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

The use of any trademarks, logos, or trade names are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement by the owner.

1 Information from Ally Bank's “Interest Checking Account" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.ally.com/bank/interest-checking-account/

2 Information from Ally Bank's “Deposits FAQs" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.ally.com/help/bank/deposits/#:~:text=No.,don't%20accept%20cash%20deposits

3 Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

4 Once the retailer accepts your cash, the funds will be transferred to your Chime Checking Account.

5 Chime SpotMe® is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member's Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime's discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won't cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions. [Links: STRIDE || BANCORP]

6 Information from Chime's “Online checking account" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.chime.com/checking-account/

7 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.

8 Information from Capital One's “360 Checking Account" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.capitalone.com/bank/checking-accounts/online-checking-account/

9 Information from Discover's “Checking account" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.discover.com/online-banking/checking-account/

10 Information from SoFi's “Online Checking Account" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.sofi.com/banking/checking-account/

11 Information from NBKC Bank's “The NBKC Everything Account" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.nbkc.com/personal/everything-account

12 Information from NBKC Bank's “Locations" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.nbkc.com/locations

13 Information from FNBO Direct's “Online Checking Account" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.fnbodirect.com/online-checking-account/

14 Information from FNBO's “States with FNBO Branch Locations" as of June 2, 2023: https://www.fnbo.com/branch-locations/states

~ Out-of-network ATM withdrawal and over the counter advance fees may apply.

Address: 101 California Street, Floor 5, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States.

No customer support available at HQ. Customer support details available on the website.

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