Life is so much easier when you don’t have to stress over managing your money, especially if you can do so for free. When people start working and making money, they want to open a free checking account that doesn’t charge recurring fees. With a checking account, people can manage all their transactions regularly. Without the monthly maintenance fee, people can worry less and forget about the hassles.
Opening a free checking account doesn’t mean everything will be for free. You might come across out-of-network charges, overdraft fees, minimum balance requirements, foreign transaction fees, or other penalties.
Researching and reading the fine print before opening a checking account is important. You want to understand how the bank works, what to keep an eye on, and other options.
Over the years, financial institutions have moved away from free checking, but some banks (32%) still offer them.
First Citizens Bank is an over 100-year-old family-controlled bank with a community focus.
- No monthly fees
- No minimum balance
- Low opening balance
- Free digital and mobile banking
- Access your account digitally, at branches, or at ATMs
- Link checking and savings accounts for overdraft protection
Like a traditional checking account, a free one allows you to deposit, withdraw, and manage your money without monthly maintenance fees. This option makes people want to open one because they can avoid unnecessary fees while enjoying the convenience of a checking account.
You’ll enjoy features like check writing, debit card access, and online banking.
Before opening a checking account, look for any sneaky hidden fees and ask yourself some questions:
- Is there a fee when opening the account?
- Are there recurring monthly fees?
- Do you need to have a minimum account balance?
- Is there a minimum number of transactions?
- Are there any ATM fees?
With a free checking account, individuals don’t have to worry about monthly fees and can allocate most of their hard-earned money toward savings, investment, or other financial goals. Many traditional banks charge a monthly fee for their checking account, which can add up significantly over time. Imagine paying $5 monthly; that’s $60 a year gone.
Online banking lets you check your bank or statements whenever you want. It is even more convenient if your bank allows you to pay bills and send money to others. Many banks offer online and mobile banking, allowing individuals to manage their accounts from anywhere—people who are always busy love to have a convenient option.
While some traditional checking accounts require a minimum balance, a free checking account typically has a low to no minimum balance requirement.
Free checking accounts are not known for high-interest rates, but some offer options that can be better than traditional checking accounts. Some accounts can earn interest when you let your money sit in the account. Of course, it isn’t as high as savings accounts, but they still allow you to earn some money.
When choosing a checking account, there will be banks that require a transaction limit, such as free monthly withdrawals or the number of checks that can be written. You want to be aware of these limits to choose which bank aligns with your transaction values.
While the majority of the banks have accessibility to ATM networks, you still want to make sure you are not using an out-of-network ATM because that can result in an additional fee. Some banks have partnerships with other banks or ATM networks, which can provide you with a more extensive network of ATMs to use for free.
If you don’t have a checking account and have been leaving your money somewhere safe, you may be interested in a checking account with security.
Every bank has its own policy when it comes to overdrafts. Some accounts may decline the transaction if it exceeds the balance, and others may offer overdraft service.
SoFi Bank is a famous online bank that offers a range of financial products and services, including personal loans, student loan refinancing, investment accounts, and, most importantly, free checking accounts. The bank has become increasingly popular recently, particularly among millennials seeking a modern banking experience.
With no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balance requirements, and free ATM withdrawals at over 55,000 locations worldwide, SoFi Bank’s checking account is an excellent option for people who want to avoid fees and unnecessary charges.
When managing your finances, choosing a bank like Broadway Bank that offers reliable and affordable banking services is essential. With this account, you won’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.
Plus, you can enjoy a range of convenient banking services, such as unlimited check writing and free online banking, and the list goes on!
Capital One is a leading financial institution that offers various services, such as credit cards, loans, and savings accounts.
In addition to being free, Capital One’s checking accounts also come with several essential features that make managing your finances more manageable. For example, you can access free online and mobile banking, which allows you to check your account balance, transfer funds, and pay bills from anywhere at any time.
You’ll also have access to over 40,000 ATMs nationwide, so you’ll never have to worry about finding a nearby ATM when you need cash.
Discover is a popular bank that people have. With a no-fee checking account, you don’t have to worry about getting charged every month. Discover also offers a variety of benefits, such as getting your paycheck up to two days early, sending money with Zelle, FDIC insured, mobile-first banking, 60,000+ fee-free ATMs, and fraud protection. You can be worry-free when you open an account with Discover.
Chime is an award-winning financial app and technology company, not a bank or financial institution. With Chime, you can receive many benefits like direct deposits for up to two days, savings interest, access to 60,000+ ATMs, sending payments, and building credit. It is also FDIC-insured, so your money will be protected.
The best part is not having monthly or foreign transaction fees and fee-free overdrafts up to $200.
If you like Chime, you can qualify for a savings bank account after you open a checking account.
Axos Bank is an FDIC-insured online checking account that doesn’t require a monthly fee or minimum deposit. Clients who meet specific balance requirements can get high-interest rates on their deposits and get the chance to earn a 3.30% Annual Percentage Yield (APY).
With no monthly balance requirement and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, it makes an ideal account for customers.
Last but not least is Ally Bank. It is an online-only bank that offers a variety of financial products and services, such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, auto loans, and more.
If you plan on opening a checking account or savings account, you don’t have to worry about the monthly fees. With the checking account, you don’t have to stress about a minimum deposit or required balance. With savings, you can get higher annual percentage yields than traditional ones.
Without the monthly maintenance fees, you only need to worry about the costs of optional services and excessive transactions.
Don’t let a seemingly great deal blind you to the fine print. Do your research and compare options to find the right account for you. Finding the right free checking account is a savvy financial decision, providing a straightforward and cost-effective way to manage everyday transactions.
While exploring options is necessary, you must consider other features to see what fits your financial needs. With a little effort, you can enjoy the convenience of a free checking account and keep your hard-earned money where it belongs – in your pocket!
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks and was republished with permission.
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Prakash Kolli is the founder of the Dividend Power site. He is a self-taught investor, analyst, and writer on dividend growth stocks and financial independence. His writings can be found on Seeking Alpha, InvestorPlace, Business Insider, Nasdaq, TalkMarkets, ValueWalk, The Money Show, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and leading financial sites. In addition, he is part of the Portfolio Insight and Sure Dividend teams. He was recently in the top 1.0% and 100 (73 out of over 13,450) financial bloggers, as tracked by TipRanks (an independent analyst tracking site) for his articles on Seeking Alpha.