Best Free Checking Accounts (2017)
This review and comparison ranking of the best free checking accounts (banks with no checking account fees) is a follow-up to other account reviews that we’ve published, including Best Banks to Bank With, Best Checking Accounts for Small Business Banking, Best Credit Union Accounts in the US, Best CD Accounts, and Top Money Market Accounts with High Rates.
In this article, we present and review the two kinds of free checking account banks below.
Before we go into the comparison details between these types of banks with free checking accounts, let’s first address the often-asked question of which checking account is best – an online or a traditional free checking account.
Online vs. Local/Traditional Free Checking Account
There are a wide range of pros and cons to opening an online checking account versus going with a free checking account at your local bank.
One key benefit to opening a free checking account with a local bank is your ability to walk into a branch whenever you choose and conduct a transaction.
Image Source: BigStock
In addition, if you prefer personal banking, where you can meet and know your bank tellers and banking staff in-person, then your preference would probably be a free account at your local bank.
Online banks, on the other hand, have little to no branches, so their overall costs are much lower than local banks.
As such, they are able to pass these savings on to you. This is the key reason why free checking accounts offered by online banks also come with a much higher account interest yield than what you could earn at banks like Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo or at your local credit union or bank.
If you are more comfortable performing most of your transactions online and are interested in earning a higher annual percentage yield (APY) on your free checking account, then you’ll want to sign up for a free checking account with an online bank.
List of Best Free Checking Accounts – Top Online Banks
The eight online banks listed below are the most popular banks that provide free checking accounts with no deposit requirements.
Click on the link at the bottom of the table for a detailed review of these free checking account online banks.
List of the Best Online Free Checking Accounts
Discover Bank Cash Back Free Checking (up to $120 cash back a year)
up to $120 cash back
Click here: Detailed Review of the Top Online Free Checking Account Banks for a detailed review of the banks above, including the high yielding free checking accounts that they offer.
Traditional Banks with Free Checking Accounts
The list below presents large and established banks in the US that provide a wide range of checking accounts including accounts with waived monthly fees.
- Bank of America (MyAccess Checking)
- Capital One (360 Free Checking)
- Chase (Total Checking)
- Citibank (Basic Checking)
- PNC Bank (Virtual Wallet)
- SunTrust (EZ Checking)
- TD Bank (Convenience Account)
- U.S. Bank (Gold Checking Account)
See below for a detailed review of these top traditional banks with free checking accounts.
Detailed Ranking Table – Traditional Banks with Free Checking Accounts
Most traditional US banks will charge you a monthly account fee or a minimum balance account fee to cover their costs of providing you with debit cards, checks, ATMs, tellers, and other banking services.
Despite this, the AdvisoryHQ News research team identified numerous ways in which you can still maintain a free checking account with a local or major traditional bank.
Most traditional banks on our list of free checking account banks will waive the monthly fees if you meet some specified requirements, which usually involve direct deposits or maintaining a minimum balance.
Fees to Waive
How to Waive the Fee
Bank of America MyAccess Checking
Chase Total Checking
Citibank Basic Checking
PNC Virtual Wallet
SunTrust EZ Checking
TD Bank Convenience Account
U.S. Bank Gold Checking
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Best Free Checking Accounts – Online Banks
As mentioned earlier, the online banks reviewed and presented in this article just don’t provide free checking accounts with no deposit requirements. Most of the accounts they provide are also high interest yielding checking accounts.
In the table below, we’ve reviewed these accounts and included a column to outline the high yields offered on these accounts.
List of the Best Free Checking Account Online Banks
High Yield Rates
Comparison Review – Online Free Checking Accounts
Discover Bank Cash Back Free Checking
Up to $120 cash back
Click on the above image to open a high yield free savings account, or click here for an additional review of Discover Bank
Bank of Internet USA Free Checking Account
EverBank Free Checking Account
Bank5 Connect High Yield Free Checking
FNBO Direct Free Online Checking Account
Ally Bank High Yield Free Checking Account
Salem Five Direct eOne Free Checking Account
Capital One 360 Free Checking
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