4 best free online checking accounts with no opening deposit

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In a Nutshell

A free online checking account doesn’t charge any fees or have any minimum balance requirements. If you’re looking for a free online checking account with no opening deposit, here are four options you can consider.
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A checking account can be a helpful tool — making it easier for you to pay your bills and manage your money.

But many bank accounts come with fees and other costs that aren’t always advertised. Monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees and nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees can eat away at your savings and make you feel less financially secure. 

Fortunately, there are an increasing number of free online checking accounts available. A free online checking account typically doesn’t charge the common fees mentioned above, or at least waives opening or minimum balance requirements. If you’re looking for a free online checking account with no minimum deposit rules, here are four options to consider.

Ally: Best for high-interest checking

Ally’s high-interest checking account comes with a 0.25% APY, which is much higher than what you’d get with the average checking account. Ally’s interest checking account doesn’t come with many fees, and the bank is upfront about the fees it does charge. The account comes with early direct deposits, a debit card, complimentary checks and online banking.

  • No minimum balance requirements There are no minimum balance requirements to open or maintain your Ally checking account.
  • Free ATM access — As an Ally customer, you have access to more than 43,000 Allpoint® ATMs nationwide. And if you need to visit another ATM, you’ll receive up to $10 in ATM reimbursements per statement cycle. 
  • Few fees Ally doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees or incoming wire transfer fees. But the bank does charge fees for returned deposit items, expedited delivery and outgoing domestic wires.
  • Overdraft protection — There are no overdraft fees, but if you want to protect yourself from a possible overdraft, you can sign up for the CoverDraft service. You’ll link your checking account to an Ally savings or money market account, and the bank will automatically transfer the funds if you overdraft.
  • Mobile check deposit If you need to deposit a check, you’ll just take a photo and deposit the check right from your smartphone.

Capital One: Best for mobile banking

Capital One’s 360 Checking allows you to open and manage your account online, but you also have the option to visit one of the bank’s physical branch locations. When you sign up as a Capital One customer, you’ll have access to online and mobile banking. And you can use more than 70,000 no-fee ATMs across the country.

  • Access to the mobile app — As a Capital One customer, you can use the mobile app to view your transactions, monitor your TransUnion credit score and receive alerts about your account.
  • Minimal fees — The bank doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees or foreign transaction fees, but there may be charges for additional services including overnight check delivery or a stop-payment request.
  • Get paid early — If you sign up for direct deposit, you can receive your paycheck up to two days early.
  • Overdraft protection — If you want to avoid overdraft fees, you can either auto-decline transactions that would cause you to overdraft or set up an automatic transfer from a savings or money market account. You can also enable no-fee overdrafts on certain approved transactions.
  • Send cash with Zelle — You can send cash for free with the Zelle app.

Axos: Best for account security

The no-fee Essential Checking from Axos Bank comes with a number of helpful features, including unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, no overdraft fees and early direct deposit.

  • Robust security features — Your Axos checking account comes with security features that include two-step authentication, SSL encryption, automatic logout and account monitoring for potential fraud.
  • Direct Deposit Express — With Direct Deposit Express, you can receive your paycheck up to two days early. This is an automatic feature that lets you access your funds while the bank processes your payment.
  • Peer-to-peer payments — You can send payments to friends or family directly from your account with their mobile number or email address.
  • Automate your bills — The automatic bill pay feature lets you auto-pay your bills directly from your account.

Huntington National Bank: Best for overdraft relief

There are no fees to open or maintain a Huntington National Bank Asterisk-Free Checking account. And you can take advantage of numerous helpful features, including early pay, overdraft relief and what the bank says is an intuitive mobile app.

  • Overdraft relief — If you overdraw your account by $50 or less, you won’t be charged an overdraft fee. If you overdraw your account by more than $50, Huntington gives you a 24-hour window to take care of it and avoid the $15 overdraft fee.
  • Access the mobile app — You can use the mobile app to check your balance, pay bills and transfer money between accounts.
  • Check deposit availability — If you deposit a check of $500 or less, you’ll receive instant access to the funds.
  • Standby cash — Huntington Bank offers a credit line for qualified customers. You may qualify for a line of credit between $100 and $1,000 that you can pay back over three months. And there’s no interest charges if you set up automatic repayments.

What is a free online checking account with no opening deposit?

A checking account is an account where you can make deposits and withdrawals. Checking accounts are usually used for daily expenses like gas and groceries.

Some banks charge fees to open a checking account and require you to maintain a minimum balance each month. A free bank account doesn’t include a monthly fee to maintain the account.

What to consider when looking at free online checking accounts

The best free checking account for you depends on your needs. Look for one that’ll fit your lifestyle and help you reach your financial goals. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Which bank meets your specific needs? Your needs may differ from someone else’s, so it’s important to find a bank and checking account that works best for you.
  • Does the bank have the features you need to manage your money? It can be helpful to have money management tools such as overdraft protection, early paycheck options or a handy mobile app.
  • Are there other fees to worry about? While there may not be an opening deposit, are there other fees that the bank charges for the account?

How we picked these free checking accounts

To determine the best free online checking accounts, here are some of the criteria we looked for.

  • No monthly maintenance, ATM, NSF or overdraft fees
  • FDIC-insured up to $250,000
  • A wide network of fee-free ATMs
  • Physical branches available
  • Available across the country
  • Additional features like a mobile app, early deposit or online banking

Open a Credit Karma Money™ Spend account for free

Credit Karma Money™ Spend is an online checking account that’s free to open — with no penalties, overdraft fees or minimum balance requirements. And if you’re hoping to get access to your paycheck early, you can set up direct deposit to get your paycheck up to two days early and federal benefits up to five days early.

About the author: Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who specializes in finance and business. She covers a variety of personal finance topics, including building credit, credit cards, personal loans and student loans… Read more.