Overview: How to Open a Free Checking Account with No Deposit (Free Online Checking Accounts)


Opening a checking account is one of the most basic steps towards financial independence. From the time that we get that first job as a teenager, many of us take our first paycheck with us to open an account at our local bank.

A lot of brick-and-mortar banks in today’s world, however, are beginning to charge a host of expensive and sometimes hidden fees for people who open a checking account. Choosing to open a free checking account online with no deposit is a great way to avoid those fees. 

In this brief article, Advisory HQ will look at the reasons of why it is preferable to open a free checking account online with no deposit, as compared to more traditional options. Next, an in-depth look will be provided of the five best banks that allow you to open a checking account with no deposit.

Lastly, we will compare the process of choosing to open a free checking account with no deposit in person versus opening a free online checking account with no deposit.

free online checking account with no deposit

Image Source: BigStock

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Benefits of Choosing to Open a Checking Account Online with No Deposit

Checking accounts used to typically be free. All you had to do was show up at your local bank with some sort of ID, and your local hometown banker would set you up with your account. However, many brick-and-mortar banks have recently begun to add a number of fees and charges to the checking accounts they offer. 

Some banks ask for a minimum initial deposit of several hundred dollars while others have high transaction fees, overdraft penalties, restrictive foreign withdrawal fees, and a number of additional fees and hidden charges that make your checking account another added expense. Opening a free checking account with no deposit can seem almost impossible. 

On top of that, most checking accounts offered by regular banks provide such minimal interest rates that, unless you have a couple hundred thousand dollars sitting in your account, you are probably only making a couple cents per month – not nearly enough to compensate for all of the fees and charges that you are paying. Luckily, it is possible to find free checking accounts with no opening deposit by searching the web. 

These free checking accounts with no deposit usually offer better interest rates. Banks that offer free checking accounts with no opening deposit online usually have lower overhead costs than brick-and mortar-banks, thus allowing you to draw better interest on your account. 



Furthermore, if you choose to open a checking account online with no deposit, you can avoid having to save up money before opening your account. Many employers prefer setting up direct deposit payments to their employees’ checking accounts.

If you don’t have a checking account set up, and your employer urgently needs an account in order to pay you, you may even be forced into borrowing the several hundred dollars that many banks require as a deposit for opening an account with them. 

What’s more is that many banks that offer a free checking account with no deposit also offer a number of other perks. Instead of having to make a large initial deposit to open your account, some of the banks that we will review below even offer you a cash bonus for opening a free online checking account with no deposit with them.

These banks with free checking accounts with no deposit also generally have lower overdraft fees, no monthly maintenance fees, free online bill pay, and other incentives and advantages all offered for free or for a minimum cost. 

We live in a mobile world today, and it is estimated that, on average, a person living in the United States will move 11.4 times during his or her lifetime. If you bank with local, hometown banks, that means that you will have to open a new checking account each and every time you move. Another benefit of choosing to open a free checking account with no deposit with a big name bank is that you won’t have to go through the hassle of changing banks. 

Most banks with free checking accounts with no deposit are large name banks that have a huge network of ATMs across the country and around the world. They also have brick-and-mortar branches in almost every major city around the nation which will allow you to keep your account regardless of where you move to. 

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How to Open a Checking Account Online for Free with No Deposit

When you head to your bank to open a checking account, the bank employee will usually offer you a number of different options for different checking accounts available. Banks usually try to get their clients to sign up for a checking account that comes with a number of fees and a high minimum deposit. 

It is kind of like the cashier at McDonalds who always offers to super-size your meal.  Banks are businesses and want to sell you their “products” that will help them make more money. For that reason, most banks won’t let you know up front that you can indeed open a checking account with no deposit with the bank.

The first step then to open a free checking account with no deposit is to ask your bank if it does in fact offer that option. If you have chosen to do your banking online, search the bank’s website for how to open a free checking account online with no deposit.

If you can’t find that option anywhere, write an email asking if the bank offers the option.

According to bizmove.com, “Banking institutions often will drop or lower checking fees if paychecks are directly deposited by your employer. Direct deposit offers the additional advantages of convenience, security, and immediate access to your money.”

If your bank of choice is requiring a substantial minimum deposit or minimum balance, ask it if that minimum deposit or balance can be erased if you set up direct deposit from your employer. Many banks will allow you to open a checking account online for free with no deposit if you also set up direct deposit from the get-go. 

Lastly, be on the lookout for hidden fees that some banks charge on their checking accounts. If a bank allows you to open a free checking account online with no deposit but then goes on to charge you exorbitant hidden fees and overdraft costs, you may have been better off with a more traditional account that required a minimum initial deposit but had less fees in the long run. 

Related: What Do You Need to Open a Bank Account? Complete Guide



Five Best Banks with Free Checking Accounts with No Deposit Required

So, where can you go to find banks with free checking accounts with no deposit required? Some local and regional banks are beginning to offer to their clients the ability to open a checking account online with no deposit in order to compete with the bigger name banks.

Ask your local and regional banks if they do offer a free online checking account with no deposit. If they don’t, or if you prefer a bigger name bank with a more national presence, then consider one of these four options below. 

Capital One’s 360 Checking account is one of the best free checking accounts with no opening deposit out there. There are absolutely no hidden fees or minimum balance requirements. On top of that, it will give you access to over 38,000 ATM machines around the world. You will also get a free Master Card debit card. 

If you have problems with overdraft fees, Capital One 360 Checking allows you the option of opening a separate savings account that the bank will automatically withdraw from in case you do pull more money out of your checking account than you have. 

Furthermore, if you do choose to open a free checking account online with no deposit with Capital One, it will offer you a $50 bonus if you use your bank-issued credit card 3 times in the first month and a half. 

First National Checking allows its clients to open a checking account with no deposit that also comes with a number of other perks.

ome of the features that come with this free checking account with no opening deposit are no monthly service fees, no minimum deposit to open or minimum balance requirement, free ATM withdrawals, a free Visa Debit card, and free bill pay. 

Additionally, if you open a free checking account online with no deposit with First National Checking, it offers you one overdraft forgiveness every year. Many of us can occasionally forget how much money we have in our checking account, and this forgiveness can come in handy for those slips of mind. 

Go Bank is a lesser-known bank that also allows it customers to open a checking account online with no deposit as long as you also set up direct deposit with that account. If you don’t set up direct deposit, Go Bank will charge you a yearly membership fee. 

One of the great perks of this free online checking account with no deposit is that it has an innovative and helpful mobile budgeting app. You can set up a budget for yourself, and then before you make a payment or purchase, the Go Bank app on you mobile phone will let you know whether or not that payment or purchase fits with your previously established budget. 

For folks who have a problem remembering and sticking to a monthly budget, this free checking account with no opening deposit offers a unique budget tool that will help you stay within your economic means. 

Chase Total Checking is another quality free checking account with no deposit that offers the best cash bonus for signing up for an account. If you decide to set up direct deposit to you Chase checking account, it offers a $150 bonus. 

Furthermore, this free checking account with no opening deposit also allows you to deposit checks into your account simply by taking a photo with your smart phone. If you open a checking account online with no deposit with Chase, you will also have access to over 15,000 ATMs around the world. 

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Free Checking Accounts with No Opening Deposit: Online Versus in Person

Some people simply prefer direct contact with their banks while others enjoy the freedom and versatility that mobile banking offers. It is possible to find a free checking account with no opening deposit both at brick–and-mortar banks and online.

The decision then between opening a free online checking account with no deposit with a big name bank or talking with your local hometown bank about the possibility really depends on your preferences and lifestyle.

free checking account with no opening deposit

Image Source: BigStock

If you are tied to one community and don’t plan on moving frequently, it may make sense to open a free checking account with no opening deposit in person. If, however, you prefer mobility and the versatility that online checking offers, you should choose to open a checking account online with no deposit with a bigger bank that has a national presence. 

Whichever bank you choose, a free checking account with no opening deposit can be an important part of your financial future as it allows you to manage your money more easily and avoid hidden charges that can become a burden. 

Read More: How to Open a Business Bank Account (Business Checking Accounts)



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