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The 10 Best Free Checking Accounts in the U.S.


It's getting harder to find checking accounts that are really free of charge. Most banks now charge a monthly fee for maintenance just for keeping your bank account open. While some offer free accounts, there are usually other associated charges for certain services that make sure you're going to pay for using it. It's not difficult to amass bank charges of $20 or more every month. If you're not aware of what all the fine print on the contract you agree to means, it's easy to rack up extra charges if your account dips below a certain dollar amount, if you don't use the required number of transactions in a month, or even if you exceed certain types of transactions within a statement period. Where can you find a checking account that is really free? We've done our research and come up with a list of the 10 best free checking accounts in the US that might interest you.

1. Ally Bank Interest Checking

Ally Bank is one of the first online banks to open its doors for business for internet customers. There are no minimum balances and no ATM fees, like most other banks require. They are one of the most popular checking account providers. If you happen to get an overdraft, the fees are a remarkably low $9.00 per transaction which averages at about a third of the cost or less than the average brick and mortar banking institution. They offer the convenience of echeck depositing, bill paying options and funds transfer services. Your account is credited interest for account balances on $15K or less at a rate lf .10 annually or .60% if thee amount is over $15K. Possible fees that can usually be avoided are $15 for a stop payment, a 1% transaction fees for international transactions and $20 for outgoing wires.

2. Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account

Bank5 does require a small minimum amount to open a checking account. You must deposit at least $10 into the account but after this, there is no minimum daily balance required. They return an interest yield of .76% if you do maintain a balance of $100 or more, which is much higher than most banks. Their mobile app isn't as good as some others, which lodges it in the second best spot, but their ATM reimbursement charges policy for up to $15 per month and debits reward program that lets you earn one point for every $2 spent on signed and Pinless debit card transactions makes up for this.

Possible fees include $5.71 for each returned deposit, $15 for a stop payment, $1 per month if you go with the paper statement option and a $25 charge for each cash withdrawal made by a government agency if you are satisfying a garnishment.

3. Bank of Internet USA Rewards Checking

Bank of Internet USA offers a free checking account that allows you to make remote cash deposits via the Green Dot card's reloading option. You can use your debit card free for up to 10 transactions per month and you can accept monthly direct deposits of a minimum of $1000 each without a charge. You must open the account with a minimum of $100 to begin with but after this there is no requirement for a minimum daily balance. If you use your credit card a minimum of 15 times in a month, you earn 1.25% interest annually on your checking account balances. All US ATM fees are reimbursed with an unlimited amount. Possible fees include a $10 charge for replacing a debit car, $35 for each stop payment $10 for a cashier's check and up to $4.95 per reload when using the Green Dot reload option.

4. Independent Bank Free Rewards Checking

Independent Bank is based out of Texas and it offers banking services and products to people throughout the United States. There is a potential for earning up to 1.50% annual interest on balances when certain conditions are met. The minimum opening deposit is $100 but after this there is no minimum daily balance requirement. The bank does not ever charge a fee for ATM use an it provides reimbursements for All ATM fees by other institutions up to $20 in each billing cycle. It also offers mobile features such as check deposit, bill pay, ATM finder and texts alerts, with the account made compatible with Android and iPhone use. Possible fees include a $35 NSF fee for all non sufficient funds checks, a $25 fee for outgoing wire transfers and $35 for stop payment fees.

5. Capital One 360 Checking

This checking account requires a $50 minimum deposit for opening an account and no minimum daily balances thereafter. The mobile app is one of the best on the market today. It offers an intuitive mobile check deposit, person to person money transfers, an ATM finder and text alerts if requested. The possible fees associated with this account are $5 for statement copies, $9 for NSF/overedrafts and a $25 stop payment fee.

6. FNBO Direct Online Checking Account

This institution never requires you to maintain a minimum daily balance. The minimum opening deposit amount is just $1. There is no charge for using the bank's ATM for withdrawals but it doesn't reimburse fees charged by other institutions. It comes with a mobile platform that allows you to send fund directly to family and friends with no charge. It also offers bill pay and is Android and iPhone compatible.
Possible fees include $15 for outgoing wires, $10 for cashier's checks and high overdraft fees unless you choose overdraft protection for a one time fee that covers up to 4 overdrafts.

7. eOne Checking by Salem Five Direct

Salem Five Direct offers a cash back rewards program for debit card purchases.The minimum deposit required for opening an account is $100 with no minimum daily balance requirements. There are no fees for using ATMs and ATM charges by other financial institutions are reimbursed. The platform is Android and iPhone compatible but it's not the best on the market. Although it works well enough, it's a bit outdated. Your first five books of checks are free, which is another perk.
Possible fees include a $30 stop payment, $2.95 for each paper statement and $7.23 for each returned deposit.

8. EverBank Yield Pledge Checking

EverBank requires a high minimum deposit of $5000 and if you have this much to put into the account, you'll appreciate all the advantages that come with their services. They are a full service online bank that offers a "pledge" to maintain an annual yield consistent with the top 5% of all US banks and they've been true to their word so far. Their mobile app is based on an excellent platform and they offer an overdraft line of credit that is less expensive than traditional overdraft fees. They offer out of network ATM withdrawal fee reimbursements if a minimum balance is maintained, but do not if your account dips below the agreed upon amount. There is no minimum daily balance that is required, but the more you have in the account, the higher the annual interest yield. Possible fees include a $10 charge for debit card replacement, $30 for stop payments and $25 each for domestic wire transfers.

9. First Internet Bank Free Checking

The minimum amount required to open an account is $25 with no minimum daily balance requirement to keep the account open, but there are fees. There are a few drawbacks to this account if you don't maintain a $500 balance though. There is a $10 monthly maintenance charge which is waived when your balance stays at or above $500. They do not reimburse ATM fees charged by other institutions and there is a $4.95 per month fee if you choose to use their bill pay services. They do offer a decent mobile platform compatible with Android and iPhone. Their own ATM network is small, but they offer the first 50 checks for free when you open your account. Possible fees include a $30 charge for each overdraft, $3 for each paper statement, $5 per cashier's check and a $5 debit card replacement fee.

10. State Farm Bank Checking Account

State Farm Bank requires a small minimum requirement of $25 to open a checking account, but there are no minimum daily balance requirements after that. You get unlimited ATM fee reimbursements for fees charged by other institutions and a recurring direct deposit agreement with solid overdraft protection. There are no monthly maintenance fees but you won't earn interest unless you maintain a balance above $2,500. They do offer mobile check deposit. Possible fees include $5 for debit card replacement, $25 for NSF transactions if not signed up for overdraft protection and $20 for each stoop payment action taken.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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