2017 RANKING OF BEST SECOND CHANCE CHECKING ACCOUNTS
The Benefits of Opening a Second Chance Checking Account
Unless you’ve faced challenges or obstacles when it comes to opening a checking account, you may not realize just how essential it is to your life. A checking account is used to maintain money without having to carry cash.
Checking accounts provide safety and security for your money, and they also make it easier to budget and manage because of available online tools and mobile apps.
Checking accounts are required to set up direct deposits with your employer or to receive any deposits from the government. They can be used to pay your taxes directly, and they’re linked to debit cards which provide the opportunity to shop online and make purchases at a wide variety of retailers.
Unfortunately, many consumers have bad credit or a poor checking account history, so banks will often reject them when they try to open an account.
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So, what’s the solution?
Increasingly, many of the nation’s leading banks are offering second chance bank accounts. These 2nd chance bank accounts offer many of the privileges of a conventional checking account, but they’re specifically for people who don’t qualify for a traditional account.
The following list highlights some of the best second chance bank accounts and second chance banks from around the country, including large national banks as well as smaller community institutions.
- Axiom Bank – Opportunity Checking
- BBVA Compass – Easy Checking
- Capital One – Capital One 360 Checking
- Citizens National Bank – Clean Slate Checking
- First National Bank and Trust – Renew Checking
- OneUnited – Unity Checking
- Peoples Cash Solutions – Second Chance Checking
- PNC Bank – Foundations Checking
- United Bank – Gateway Checking
- US Bank – Easy Checking
- Wells Fargo – Opportunity Checking
- Woodforest National Bank – Second Chance Checking
This list is sorted alphabetically (click any of the above names to go directly to the detailed review for that bank)
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Methodology for Selecting the Best Second Chance Checking Accounts
When you feel as if there are obstacles that prevent you from opening a checking account, you’re likely to begin searching for 2nd chance checking opportunities. We created this list with the needs of the second chance checking consumer in mind.
This ranking is based on a set of standardized criteria that we felt would be of value to our consumers. This includes the fees that are charged to account holders, conveniences and access to features such as online banking, and whether or not there are options such as debit cards and overdraft fees.
We explored these features and many others and created the following ranking list of the top 2nd chance checking accounts. Our list is designed to offer widely varied accounts at many different types of banks so there’s something to suit the needs of nearly any consumer.
Click here for a detailed explanation of our methodology: AdvisoryHQ's Methodology for Selecting Top Second Chance Checking Accounts.
Top 12 Second Chance Checking Accounts
(List is sorted alphabetically)
Axiom – Opportunity Checking
BBVA – Easy Checking
Capital One – 360 Checking
Citizens National Bank – Clean Slate Checking
First National Bank and Trust – Renew Checking
OneUnited – Unity Checking
Peoples Cash Solutions – Second Chance Checking Account
PNC – Foundation Checking
United Bank – Gateway Checking
US Bank-Easy Checking
Wells Fargo – Opportunity Checking
Woodforest National Bank – Second Chance Checking
Detailed Review – Top Ranking Banks That Offer Second Chance Checking Accounts
After carefully considering the best banks with second chance checking, we created the following list of the top 12. As you continue reading, you’ll find detailed reviews for each of our picks as well as specifics of some of the factors we used in our decision-making process.
Axiom Bank Opportunity Checking Review
Based in Central Florida, Axiom Bank is a community financial organization that’s federally chartered and offers a full range of retail banking products and solutions. Retail banking includes not only checking but also other deposit accounts, money markets, and more. The majority of the Axiom Bank branch locations are located inside Walmart Supercenters for added accessibility.
As well as offering second chance checking accounts, Axiom also provides business services and online banking for added customer convenience. Its signature second chance checking account is called Opportunity Checking.
Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as a Second Chance Bank Account
Listed below are details of why Axiom was included in this ranking of the top banks with second chance checking options.
Low Service Fee
Many banks that offer second chance checking options also charge account holders high annual fees and service fees to maintain their accounts. One of the reasons Axiom’s Opportunity Checking was included in this ranking is because associated costs are relatively low.
The monthly service charge for holding an Opportunity Checking account is only $10 per month, and the annual fee is only $12. This makes it more attainable for anyone to open this account, without having to worry about paying extremely high fees each month.
Additionally, account holders can access more than 50,000 in-network ATMs throughout the world at no charge, and they can take advantage of no-fee telephone banking.
Axiom Bank offers Opportunity Checking account holders the option to utilize an Axiom Bank Debit MasterCard. These debit cards include MasterCard SecureCode technology, which is a feature designed to protect online shoppers when they use their card.
These cards are also chip-enabled, and other MasterCard features available to debit card holders include:
- MasterCard Global Service, which is 24/7 service to help with lost and stolen card reporting, emergency card replacement, emergency cash advances, and assistance locating ATMs
- MasterCard Airport Concierge which includes a Meet and Greet agent who assists with flight connections
- Extended Warranty Protection doubles most manufacturer or store warranties for up to an additional year
For most checking account holders, the ability to access a 2nd chance checking account online is incredibly important. Online banking options ensure it’s convenient to manage money, and this also offers consumers the opportunity to maintain more visibility and control over their money, helping them make stronger financial decisions.
Axiom Bank offers access to second chance checking accounts online. Features of online banking from Axiom include:
- No cost when you have a personal checking or savings account
- Secure encryption for the utmost protection of financial information
- You can log in to see if a check has cleared
- Transfer funds between your Axiom Bank accounts
- Download your account information into financial management software
- View account balances
Also available to consumers who hold a second chance checking account from Axiom is the Bill Pay feature.
With Bill Pay, there is no reason to write checks or use stamps to pay bills. Instead, you can manage your payments quickly and easily online. Bill Pay from Axiom is available at no cost to account holders, and it’s accessible 24/7. It’s possible to set up advance and recurring payments, and payments are usually credited faster than with checks.
Payee information can also be saved for the next time, making it even easier to make payments.
BBVA Compass Easy Checking Review
One of the largest US banking franchises, BBVA Compass maintains 688 branches throughout the U.S., including in Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. BBVA Compass is recognized as a leading Small Business Administration lender and also offers services for individuals under personal banking, small businesses, commercial products and services, and global wealth management.
The second chance checking account available from BBVA is called “Easy Checking,” and it offers standard features that are appealing to checking account holders to help them regain their financial standing.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank This as One of the Best Second Chance Checking Accounts
Below are key reasons BBVA Compass was included as one of the best banks with second chance checking accounts.
For most consumers, particularly those people searching for the best 2nd chance banks, features are important. Second chance banking customers don’t necessarily want to sacrifice on the features that make a checking account so useful and beneficial. This is something understood by BBVA Compass.
Its Easy Checking account includes the following features:
- Unlimited check writing
- Complimentary online banking
- Complimentary mobile banking and bill pay
- One complimentary Visa debit card
- No fee to use any BBVA Compass ATM
Account Upgrade Benefit
Easy Checking account holders can take advantage of an upgrade benefit when they’ve had an open account for 12 months. These account holders can request an upgrade from a BBVA Compass Easy Checking account to another consumer checking account if they meet a few requirements at the time of their application.
The first requirement is that their BBVA Compass Easy Checking account is in active status. The second is that the account has a positive balance.
This account provides an excellent opportunity to build your checking history, more effectively manage your finances, and ultimately upgrade to a premium account option from BBVA Compass.
BBVA Compass ClearChoice Savings
Along with an Easy Checking account from BBVA Compass, another beneficial account is the ClearChoice Savings account, which is a basic savings option that includes earned interest on the entire balance as well as flexibility and access to funds when needed.
The minimum opening deposit is only $25, and the quarterly service charge can be waived if account holders have an automatic, monthly recurring transfer of $25 or more from a BBVA Compass checking account.
Another way to waive the service charge is by maintaining a minimum daily collected balance of $500 or more in the account.
Features include online and mobile banking access as well as direct deposit options.
The BBVA Compass Easy Checking account offers the opportunity to enroll in direct deposit, which is a convenient way to receive your paycheck, Social Security or other income by an automatic, direct electronic deposit into your checking account.
Your money is available the same business day as a deposit is requested, without the worry of a cut-off time, and users don’t have to worry about lost or stolen checks.
It’s also easy to set up direct deposit with BBVA Compass, and online forms are available for regular paychecks/retirement and pension payments as well as a form for Social Security/VA/government payments.
Capital One 360 Checking Review
With a broad selection of financial products and services for consumers, small businesses, and corporations, Capital One delivers high-quality service as well as a strong reputation. The company is one of the nation’s top 10 largest banks based on deposits, and its headquarters are in McLean, Virginia.
Capital One offers a suite of primarily online-based products called Capital One 360, and among those products is the 360 checking option. Also part of Capital One 360 are savings and investment accounts.
Key Factors That Enabled This Checking Account to Rank as One of the Best Second Chance Checking Online Accounts
Detailed below are reasons 360 Checking was included on this list of 2nd chance checking accounts online.
Fees and Minimums
Capital One 360 Checking is an account option that lets consumers earn interest on their everyday cash. At the same time, it also carries no fees and no minimum balance requirements, making it a simple and inexpensive way to bank.
Users have access to more than 40,000 free ATMs throughout the nation, and if an account holder has an overdraft occur, there are no fees. Instead, they just pay interest on the amount they borrow to cover the overdraft.
The annual interest rate earned on this account is tiered, so the more there is in your account, the more you earn.
Online Bill Pay
With Capital One’s online bill pay services, account holders save time, and they also receive the advantage of coverage if their scheduled payments don’t make it to the recipient on time. Capital One will cover late fees if payments arrive late.
As well as bill pay, account holders can customize text and email alerts so they can stay on top of their accounts and their transactions. Some of the alerts that account holders can opt to receive include daily balance summaries and low balance alerts.
Another convenient option available with 360 Checking is mobile check deposit, so you can avoid the bank altogether and deposit checks from anywhere.
Free CreditWise Access
With a Capital One 360 Checking account comes free CreditWise access. CreditWise is a signature mobile product from Capital One that shows consumers their current credit summary, including their score.
CreditWise also features insights that show consumers what impacts their credit score and how much the impact is. It also lets account holders monitor changes in their credit.
This is an incredibly beneficial feature for anyone, particularly for second chance checking customers who want to learn more about staying on track with their finances and building a strong financial future.
Capital One Wallet
Part of being a checking account holder with Capital One is access to Wallet, which is a mobile app that helps customers keep track of their spending in real-time.
Wallet includes instant purchase notifications, receipt photo capture, the ability to digitize gift cards, and in-depth purchase details. Details available on purchases include the merchant’s full name, address, contact information, and map location.
The primary difference between Capital One Wallet and mobile banking is that Wallet lets users see their spending as it’s happening and also maximize any Capital One rewards programs they’re part of.
Citizens National Bank Clean Slate Checking Review
Citizens National Bank is a local, community bank based in Mississippi, with 26 physical locations as well as online banking options. CNB has a history dating back to 1888, and since then, it has grown to have more than $1 billion in assets. CNB offers not only second chance checking account options but also a range of personal services, small business banking, and wealth management.
The signature second chance banking product available from Citizens National Bank is called “Clean Slate Checking,” which is specifically aimed at helping diverse consumers get a fresh start when it comes to their finances.
Key Factors That Allowed This to Rank as One of the Best Banks with Second Chance Checking Accounts
Below are some of the primary reasons Clean Slate Checking from CNB was included on this list of second chance banks and accounts.
Along with being an excellent second chance bank account because of the option to open an account with as little as $50, with Clean Slate Checking, account holders also have the option to apply for a traditional checking account after 18 months of good standing.
There are no per item fees on transactions, and they are unlimited. There is also a small monthly maintenance fee of $9.95. This can be reduced by $2 when account holders set up a recurring direct deposit.
Clean Slate Savings
Something that’s unique about the options from CNB is the Clean Slate Savings account. Many banks don’t have dedicated second chance savings accounts in addition to checking accounts, which is a distinction of CNB.
Consumers complete the Money Smart Program modules available from CNB, which includes “Check It Out,” “Money Matters,” and “Pay Yourself First,” and they can then open a Clean Slate Savings account with no monthly service charge.
The account can be opened with as little as $100, and it helps account holders earn interest on their balance.
As part of 2nd chance banking with CNB, account holders receive access to a free e-Package.
This includes the following features and capabilities:
- Free online banking to view account balances, transfer funds, and more
- Receive instant access to e-Statements, reducing clutter and helping you remain organized
- Participate in the Free Click for Cash program, which lets account holders activate offers in their Online Banking account and then earn rewards for shopping with their CNB Visa Check Card
- Free mobile banking, including bill pay options
- Free text banking to check balances, transfer funds, receive low balance alerts, and more
FinanceWorks is a Quicken product that helps Clean Slate Checking customers learn more about their money and how to manage it more effectively. Along with being able to connect your Clean Slate Checking account, FinanceWorks can be linked to more than 5,000 financial institutions and creditors so that you can manage all of your accounts in one location.
Users can manage their cash flow, so they know how much they have available to spend or save until they get paid again. There are budget and graphic visualization tools that show where account holders are spending their money, and FinanceWorks offers tools to help users manage their bills in one place and schedule email reminders to make sure they’re paid on time.
First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking Review
First National Bank and Trust Company (FNBT) has a history dating back to 1882, and since then, it has remained a family-run business serving clients throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. FNBT has more than $1 billion in assets and is built on a motto of providing sound advice with best-in-class banking products.
FNBT was included on this list of second chance banks because of its Renew Checking account, which is designed to offer people with a less-than-perfect checking history the opportunity to rebuild their finances and create a fresh start for themselves.
Key Factors That Enabled Us to Rank This as One of the Top Second Chance Bank Accounts
Cited below are key reasons that FNTB and the Renew Checking account were included in this ranking of leading 2nd chance bank accounts.
Renew Checking includes a slew of features comparable to what you would enjoy with a traditional checking account so that renewing your finances and creating a fresh start doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice.
Features of Renew Checking include:
- Eligibility for an upgrade to other checking accounts from FNBT after 12 months of good standing
- The minimum balance to open the account is only $25
- There is no monthly minimum balance requirement
- The set-up fee is only $15 and only charged one time
- The monthly service fee is low and can be lowered even further when account holders set up a direct deposit
Debit MasterCard with Rewards
The Renew Checking account also comes with a Debit MasterCard with Rewards. This debit card allows account holders to get access to cash from more than 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs that are part of the Allpoint and MoneyPass networks. Users can make purchases anywhere MasterCard is accepted, and debit cardholders are automatically enrolled in FNBT’s free rewards program.
The rewards program lets users shop and make purchases as they normally do, and they then earn points for each purchase. For every $100 in signature-based or credit transactions, users receive one point. For every $100 spent on PIN or debit transactions, cardholders receive a ½ point.
A quarterly points certificate is received by mail, and users can redeem their points for merchandise.
Free Mobile Banking and Mobile Apps
FNBT is a local, community bank, but it offers technology and convenience as well. Renew Checking account holders can use the Mobile App for iPhone, iPad or Android and manage their accounts on the go.
The app also provides options for mobile deposits and simplified money transfers, bill pay, and the ability to send money to other people.
In addition to banking through the mobile app, account holders can receive text alerts that will let them know, for example, if their balance is low.
Account holders can utilize Apple Pay when they have a Debit MasterCard and an iPhone 6. With Apple Pay, users get contactless payment capabilities and distinctive security features built right into their phone.
Users don’t even have to swipe their debit card to make a payment. Instead, they use their fingerprint and Touch ID to make secure transactions. Rather than using your debit card number to make a purchase, you receive a Device Account Number, which is used to process your payment.
This means your debit card information is never shared with merchants or transmitted when you make a purchase.
OneUnited Unity Checking Review
OneUnited is a bank that serves urban communities throughout the U.S., and, along with the goal of helping build and strengthen the communities it serves, OneUnited also strives to improve financial literacy. There are OneUnited offices in Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami, but the majority of what’s offered are 2nd chance checking accounts online.
As well as Unity Checking, OneUnited also offers a savings account option and a secured credit card. Under the umbrella of United Checking are the United e-Gold Checking account, the Unity e-Style Checking account, and the signature second chance checking account option called United U2 e-Checking.
Key Factors That Led to the Inclusion of This as One of the Best Banks with 2nd Chance Checking Accounts Online
The following highlights some of the reasons that OneUnited and the U2 e-Checking Account were selected for this ranking of the best second chance checking accounts online.
Along with being a 2nd chance checking account that doesn’t rely on ChexSystems records for approval, the U2 e-Checking account also includes features such as free online banking and free mobile banking. OneUnited can keep costs and fees low for customers since it is based online, and it doesn’t have the overhead costs of traditional banks that can lead to high fees and expenses just for doing business with a particular financial institution.
The minimum to open this 2nd chance checking account is only $50, and account holders can receive cash without paying a surcharge at more than 25,000 ATMs throughout the nation.
The capabilities and offerings of the OneUnited mobile app are extensive so that account holders can do essentially every banking task right from their mobile device, all for free. With the mobile app, users can gain more control over their money and can also take advantage of conveniences like Mobile Remote Deposit Capture, which provides the ability to take a picture of a check to deposit it.
The mobile app also lets users pay their bills, view and activate any cash back offers they may have, and locate ATM locations.
Users describe the app as being amazing in terms of functionality as well as ease of use.
As well as being one of the leading banks that offer second chance checking, you can also open a second chance bank account online that’s designed to make saving money simpler.
There are three primary savings account options available from OneUnited.
The first is United e-Gold Savings, which features a higher-tiered interest rate and a $1,000 minimum to open. It also includes a free ATM card, free online banking, and free mobile banking. The United e-Style Savings is free with direct deposit and requires only a $100 minimum to open.
The United Gold e-CD is a savings option with automatic renewals, competitive interest rates, no monthly account maintenance fees, and monthly deposits of interest to the account you choose. It requires a $1,000 minimum opening deposit.
United Visa Secured Credit Card
What’s excellent about second chance banking with OneUnited is that customers can simultaneously open a second chance bank account online while also taking advantage of second chance credit card options.
The Unity Visa Secured Credit Card provides reporting to the three major credit bureaus, participation in the How to Rebuild Credit Program, and many other benefits.
It's advantageous when compared to something like a prepaid debit card because it allows customers to rebuild their credit and finances holistically over time.
Peoples Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking Review
Peoples Cash Solutions is unique from any other name on this list of second chance banks because it’s an online banking institution that’s designed primarily for those people who have been denied a checking account for bad credit, bankruptcy or ChexSystems or TeleCheck issues. Peoples Cash Solutions allows customers to receive the benefits of traditional banking in a way that’s designed for second chance needs.
Peoples Cash Solutions is part of Peoples Bank based in Paris, Texas, which has been recognized as one of the state’s top-performing community banks. The Second Chance Checking account offers the benefits of a checking account, particularly as compared to prepaid products and non-bank programs.
Key Factors Leading Us to Rank This as One of the Best Second Chance Banking Options
The list below represents reasons this was selected as one of the best banks that offer second chance banking, as well as a leading second chance checking account.
Second Chance Checking from Peoples Cash Solutions is one of the most benefits-packed second chance bank accounts. Some of the many benefits available to account holders include:
- Free point-of-sale (POS) transactions
- No charge for cash back at POS
- No load fee
- No account opening fee
- No minimum balance requirements
- No per-check writing fee
- Free check book
- No credit check
- Free monthly paper account statements
- Free customer service support during business hours
- No application fee
- Free Debit MasterCard
Also, the monthly service fee is incredibly low, particularly compared to other 2nd chance bank accounts.
Online Money Transfers
If you have the regular need to send money to friends and family members, this checking offers that option for free. This helps customers avoid money transfer fees that are typically charged by other vendors.
As an account holder, you can obtain a separate account for other family members as well and then transfer funds to these accounts without additional expenses. Transfers can also be set up on a recurring basis.
Also part of the features available through this account is Free EZ Bill Pay, which doesn’t have any bill payment vendor fees and is easy and efficient to use.
Peoples Cash Solutions accounts come with a Debit MasterCard. You can withdraw money at any ATM and make purchases anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Card holders can also shop online.
All newly issued Debit MasterCards include the following features:
- Zero Liability protection for fraudulent purchases
- MasterCard ID Theft Protection (includes expert resolution service, ID theft alerts, and, in some instances, emergency wallet replacement)
- MasterCard Airport Concierge
- MasterCard Travel Services
- MasterCard Global Service
Peoples Cash Solutions aims to bring value to the lives of customers, and one way they do that is through the Money Essentials program.
Money Essentials provides customers with easy-to-understand information about a range of financial services as well as the fundamentals of financial knowledge. This helps account holders manage their accounts in the right way and learn more about money management in a way that will benefit them well into the future.
Examples of topics covered by Money Essentials include:
- How to use checks
- Steps for writing checks
- How to use your Debit MasterCard to pay bills
- What does available balance mean?
- What are pending transactions and authorization holds?
- How to reconcile your account
- Common definitions and terminology
PNC Foundation Checking Review
PNC Bank has a history of more than 160 years, and this leading financial institution has more than six million customers, including individual consumers and small businesses. This is a highly accessible national bank, with customers across 19 states and D.C. as well as more than 2,600 branch locations.
PNC includes access to 9,000 nationwide ATMs and has award-winning consumer banking technology. One of its offerings for people searching for second chance banking is called Foundations Checking. Foundations Checking isn’t advertised but is available by visiting individual PNC branch locations.
Key Factors That Enabled This to Rank as One of the Best Second Chance Checking Accounts
In considering the best banks that offer second chance checking accounts, the following are key reasons PNC and Foundation Checking were included on this list of second chance bank accounts.
Money Management Course
As a condition of opening a Foundation Checking account, according to media outlets like CNN, customers are required to take a 90-minute money management course. This course can be taken in a branch or through a PNC nonprofit partner. This can actually be an excellent resource to help account holders learn the fundamentals of strong money management, and then once the course is completed, the consumer can open a checking account.
The PNC checking account includes many of the benefits of a traditional checking account once you complete the course.
As well as the course on money management, the Foundation Checking option is unique from many other second chance bank accounts because it gives account holders the opportunity to upgrade much sooner.
If the account holder demonstrates responsible management and remains in good standing for a period of six months, he/she can then move on to a standard checking account.
This, paired with the relatively low fee charged for the Foundation Checking account, makes it one of the premier options for a consumer looking for the best 2nd chance banks and accounts.
Quicken and QuickBooks
When you bank with PNC, you can take advantage of opportunities to integrate your account information with personal financial software, including Quicken and QuickBooks.
Users can gain 24/7 access to their PNC Bank accounts, download their balances and transaction information, and track spending, tax data, and net worth. This feature also lets users pay bills, transfer funds between their internal accounts, stop payments, and order checks.
The electronic register can be used to manage checking accounts, and you can build a stronger financial foundation with tools for budgeting and planning your future.
PNC Bank Visa Debit Card
When you open an account with PNC, you receive a PNC Bank Visa Debit Card. This card is not only convenient but also includes money management tools available through online and mobile banking.
There are built-in privacy and fraud protections, and you may become eligible to participate in the PNC Purchase Payback Program, which offers spending rewards and discounts.
The card is also equipped with signature Visa Zero Liability Fraud Protection.
United Bank Gateway Checking Review
United Bank has been serving communities throughout Florida and Alabama since 1904, making it a well-established community bank that integrates convenience and technology with personalized customer service. Personal banking products and solutions are widely varied at United Bank and include checking and savings accounts, CDs, personal loans, mortgages, safe deposit boxes, and more.
Gateway Checking is an account designed specifically for consumers seeking out second chance checking options, and it’s ideal for people who have not only had issues with other accounts but may also have poor credit history.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank This as One of the Top 2nd Chance Checking Accounts
Below are factors leading to the inclusion of United Bank and Gateway Checking on this list of banks that offer second chance checking accounts.
Specific Gateway Checking features include the following:
- Online banking is included
- Online Bill Pay is available for $4.95 per month
- There is a dedicated smartphone app that includes Mobile Check Deposit
- Statements are itemized
- E-Statements are available
- 24/7 Telephone BankLine Service is available
Also an option for Gateway account holders is possible eligibility for an account upgrade within six months.
Mobile Check Deposit
While United Bank is a regional community bank, it has many of the technological features and offerings of much larger financial institutions.
One of those is Mobile Check Deposit, which is a relatively unique option at a community bank.
With Mobile Check Deposit, both personal and business customers can take a picture of the front and back of their check, select the account where it will be deposited via the mobile app, and then make the deposit.
It is important to note, however, that Gateway Checking account holders may have to pay a $2 fee for mobile deposits, but when they become eligible for an account upgrade, this may be waived.
Online banking is free, and it lets account holders see all of their information and transactions in a centralized location. They can track all of their spending and deposits for better money management, and there are also options for viewing check images, transferring funds, and paying bills.
Some of the specific transfer and bill pay options include Person-to-Person Transfers, Bank-to-Bank Transfers, and Expedited Bill Pay.
With mobile banking, the features are similar, and account holders can also find the nearest ATM or branch location and freeze their debit card if it’s lost or stolen.
Gateway account holders may also want to open a savings account at United Bank, and options include the Personal Savings account, with a minimum opening deposit of $100, and interest compounded and paid quarterly.
The Christmas Club is a flexible savings account with a maximum balance of $10,000 and a competitive APY. The account must be linked to a checking account at United Bank for November distribution.
Also available is the Saver CD, which is a certificate of deposit that can be built upon with an automatic draft that comes out of a United Bank Checking account.
US Bank Easy Checking Review
US Bank is part of US Bancorp, which is one of the largest banking institutions in the U.S. Based in Minneapolis, US Bancorp has more than $422 billion in assets, and it is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the U.S. Along with personal retail banking, US Bank offers a variety of mortgage, investment, and payment services to commercial and corporate institutions.
The signature second chance checking account from US Bank is called Easy Checking, and it offers fundament features that are appealing to a broad variety of consumers.
Key Factors Considered When Ranking This as One of the Best Second Chance Checking Accounts
In the list below are highlighted key reasons that US Bank’s Easy Checking was included in this ranking of the best accounts and banks that offer second chance checking.
Monthly Maintenance Fee
Easy Checking is designed to be a simple account with all the fundamental elements that second chance consumers are likely looking for. It does include a monthly maintenance fee of $8.95, but this can be reduced to $6.95 for account holders that opt to receive online statements instead of paper statements.
The monthly maintenance fee can be waived altogether with combined monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more, or an average account balance of $1,500.
The minimum opening deposit is only $25, and there is no charge for using US Bank ATMs.
When considering the top banks that offer second chance checking, accessibility and convenience were important. US Bank offers comprehensive online banking options as part of its second chance bank accounts. Features include:
- Users can view balances and transfer money
- Set up account alerts and access online statements
- Deposit checks from anywhere using DepositPoint
- Send money online using either US Bank Send Money or Western Union Money Transfer
- Use Bill Pay online to stay organized and make payments on time
The mobile banking app from US Bank is also available with many of the same features, including US Bank PhotoBanking, which lets users deposit checks and add biller details to their Bill Pay list by taking a picture with their mobile device.
While many 2nd chance checking accounts don’t have options for overdraft coverage, this is an area where the Easy Checking account is unique. You can opt into US Bank overdraft coverage so the bank will authorize and pay overdrafts on ATM and everyday debit card transactions even when there are insufficient funds in your account.
If you choose, you can also opt not to participate in this option, so transactions will be declined if there isn’t enough money in your account, but you also won’t have to pay overdraft fees.
Consumers can also opt to link an eligible savings account, line of credit or credit card to their checking account to transfer funds if there isn’t enough money in their checking account to cover a transaction.
US Bank Visa Debit Card
A debit card is an important part of a checking account and using one offers account holders flexibility and access to many shopping and purchasing opportunities.
The US Bank Visa Debit Card is accepted wherever Visa is accepted, and you can easily track all of your transactions.
The US Bank Visa Debit Card also includes built-in fraud protection in the event your card is ever lost or stolen or any unauthorized purchases are made.
Mobile wallet options are also available, including Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay. This makes purchases as convenient and secure as possible using mobile technology. With these Mobile Wallet options, users don’t have to show their card, their physical card is digitally encrypted, and a fingerprint code is required for a purchase. Additionally, retailers don’t store your payment information.
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking Review
Wells Fargo is a well-respected and large-scale national financial institution based in San Francisco. This bank was started more than 160 years ago and now has more than 8,800 locations, 13,000 ATMs, and $1.8 trillion in assets. It’s also frequently ranked as one of the most valuable and admired banks in the world by media outlets, including Fortune and The Banker magazine.
Wells Fargo isn’t just a leading financial institution – it’s also one of the largest national banks to offer 2nd chance banking, which is the Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Banks with Second Chance Checking
Listed below are highlights of why Wells Fargo and Opportunity Checking were included on this list of second chance banks.
Waived Monthly Service Fee
The Opportunity account does have a $10 monthly service fee, but account holders can enjoy a waived fee if one of the following is met:
- 10 debit card purchases or payments are made from the account during a statement cycle
- A minimum daily balance of $1,500 is maintained
- Total qualifying direct deposits of $500 or more for each fee period
There is zero fees for cash withdrawals at Wells Fargo ATMs, and cash withdrawals at non-Wells Fargo ATMs in the U.S. are only $2.50 each.
Opportunity Checking account holders can take advantage of overdraft options from Wells Fargo. One option is to link your checking account to a savings account, which will automatically transfer available funds to cover insufficient fees in your checking account.
Some consumers may also be eligible to take advantage of a line of credit account that can provide overdraft protection.
Wells Fargo doesn’t assess an overdraft fee on ATM and everyday debit card transactions, although the transactions may be declined. There are no overdraft fees if, at the end of nightly processing, the ending daily account balance and your available account balance are overdrawn by $5 or less, and there are no items returned for insufficient funds when all transactions are posted.
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Debit Card
As with a traditional checking account, Opportunity Checking offers access to a convenient and secure Platinum Visa Debit Card. This card includes complimentary Zero Liability Protection, which means you aren’t liable for reported fraudulent purchases or ATM transactions. It also includes 24/7 monitoring.
These cards have chip technology for added security, and you can sign up to receive customized alerts, such as when a purchase is made online or outside the US, or when an ATM withdrawal is made.
Also part of a Wells Fargo debit card is Visa Checkout, which is a tool that simplifies online checkout. It makes online shopping not only safer but also faster and easier.
My Money Map
When you open a second chance checking account with Wells Fargo, you can also enjoy access to My Money Map, which is a digital suite of tools designed to help the consumer with budgeting and money management.
These tools offer the ability to track spending, budgeting and savings in charts that are easy to understand.
My Spending Report shows purchases made with any Wells Fargo account and Bill Pay. Budget Watch provides simplified resources to create and stay on budget, and My Savings Plan includes tools for automatically monitoring your progress as you work towards achieving your savings goals.
Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking Review
Woodforest National Bank has been serving the diverse needs of its customers and the communities it serves for 35 years. As active community bank, Woodforest is privately-owned, and the Employee Stock Ownership Plan is the largest shareholder. Woodforest has more than 740 branch locations in states throughout the U.S., including the South and Midwestern regions.
Personal banking solutions include checking, savings, and loans as well as online and mobile banking. Woodforest also offers the Second Chance account to help customers who want to re-establish their banking history.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Banks That Offer Second Chance Checking Accounts
Listed below are reasons that Woodforest and Second Chance Checking were included on this list of second chance banks.
Costs and Fees
While a Woodforest Second Chance Checking account does have some fees and costs associated with its usage, they are relatively low.
For example, the minimum deposit required to open this account is only $25, and the monthly maintenance fee is only $9.95 with an associated monthly direct deposit. Without a monthly direct deposit, the fee is $11.
There is also a flat one-time account setup fee to open the Second Chance Checking account.
Woodforest Debit Card
Second Chance Checking account holders receive a Woodforest Debit Card, which lets them make purchases worldwide and get cash anytime with ATM access. Users can also shop online and pay bills with Woodforest Debit Cards, and it tends to be not only safer than cash but also faster than writing checks.
These debit cards include a variety of fraud protections, including Zero Liability, debit card fraud alerts, and transaction fraud monitoring.
Using a debit card simplifies money management because purchases show up quickly in your online banking account information, and you can sign up to receive daily email balance notifications.
Online Banking Features
Online banking features available from Woodforest include the following:
- Bill payment
- Email notifications of balances, including whether they’re low or high
- Account alerts based on certain customized criteria
- Automatic security alerts
- One-time, recurring, and future transfer options
- Current activity and statements
- Check images
Using Woodforest’s online banking also allows customers to integrate their account information with Quicken and QuickBooks. All information can be quickly exported or downloaded into one of these software options, providing opportunities for financial planning, budgeting, and tracking of finances.
A Second Chance checking account from Woodforest does offer some opportunities for overdraft protection. However, if you don’t opt in to one of these services, your checks, ACH, and recurring bill payments are returned, and you’ll be charged an NSF fee. ATM and debit card transactions will be declined.
With the overdraft transfer fee, it’s $5 per overdraft covered by a transfer from a linked checking or savings account.
There are also options to use revolving lines of credit, and the Privilege Pay option lets customers opt in and have certain transactions covered even with insufficient funds, but fees are assessed as a result.
Conclusion – Top 12 Second Chance Checking Accounts
The ability to open and successfully maintain a checking account is an essential part of managing your finances and creating a better future for yourself. That’s one of the reasons second chance banks and second chance bank accounts are so important.
These unique accounts are designed specifically for people who may have had account or credit problems in the past but are ready to rebuild their history. The above second chance banking options are accessible, convenient, and mainly designed for the unique needs of customers who want a new opportunity to open and use a checking account.
They’re also excellent for those consumers who want to learn more about the fundamentals of maintaining a checking account and who want to potentially move onto a standard account.
The above list represents some of the very best options for consumers searching for valuable and beneficial second chance bank accounts that will not only accept their application but also provide them with a wide range of features and benefits.
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