Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (2024)

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Minimum Deposit Requirement

$25

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$25

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• Earn up to $800 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities. Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through March 12, 2024. Member FDIC.
• Offer may not be available if you live outside of the U.S. Bank footprint or are not an existing client of U.S. Bank or State Farm.

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit of January 2024

Forbes Advisor analyzed over 300 unique checking accounts to find the best ones with no fees or minimum deposit requirements. Account details and annual percentage yields (APYs) are accurate as of January 11, 2024.

Best for Cash Back

Discover® Cashback Debit Checking

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (4)

5.0

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (5)

Our ratings take into account a product’s features, costs, consumer ratings, security and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Annual Percentage Yield

N/A

Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. See website for details.

Minimum Deposit Requirement

$0

Monthly Maintenance Fee

$0

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (6)

Learn More Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (7)

On Discover's Website

N/A

Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. See website for details.

$0

$0

Why We Picked It

The Discover Cashback Debit account earned a spot on our list because it’s one of the best no-deposit checking accounts for earning cash back on everyday spending as well as avoiding fees and minimums. The account has no monthly fees and pays 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. See website for details. Discover offers free access to over 60,000 ATMs, overdraft protection and an Early Pay feature for getting paid up to two days early.

Read our full Discover Bank Review.

Pros & Cons

  • Earn cash-back rewards for debit card purchases. See website for details.
  • No monthly maintenance, non-sufficient funds or ATM fees
  • No minimum deposit requirement to open
  • No interest earned
  • $3,000 threshold on cash-back qualifying purchases per month. See website for details.

Details

Some types of withdrawals and transactions are not eligible for cash-back rewards, including ATM transactions, money order purchases and peer-to-peer payments. There’s a $30 service charge per outgoing wire transfer from your account.

Best for Earning Interest

SoFi Checking and Savings Account

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (8)

4.7

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (9)

Our ratings take into account a product’s features, costs, consumer ratings, security and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Annual Percentage Yield

Up to 4.60%

Minimum Deposit Requirement

$0

Monthly Maintenance Fee

$0

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (10)

Learn More Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (11)

On SoFi's Website

Up to 4.60%

$0

$0

Why We Picked It

SoFi’s online Checking and Savings Account was picked for this list not only because it has no deposit minimums or fees but also because it earns competitive interest. As an interest checking and high-yield savings account rolled into one, it earns 0.50% APY on checking and 4.60% APY on savings if you set up direct deposit or by depositing $5,000 or more every 30 days. Customers who don’t make direct deposits or deposit $5,000 or more every 30 days earn 1.20% APY on savings balances. Plus, you can get paid up to two days early and enroll in fee-free overdraft coverage, and you’ll never pay a SoFi ATM fee. You can also earn up to 15% cash back at select local retailers.

Consider this account for your direct deposits, as these are required to unlock all benefits, and keep an eye on SoFi bonuses and promotions if you’re thinking about applying.

Read our full SoFi Bank Review.

Pros & Cons

  • Competitive APY
  • Few fees
  • Early direct deposit
  • Can earn cash-back rewards using SoFi debit card
  • Large fee-free ATM network
  • Must sign up for direct deposit or deposit $5,000 or more every 30 days to earn the highest interest rate
  • No stand-alone checking account

Details

SoFi doesn’t offer separate checking or savings accounts at this time—only the combined “Checking and Savings” account. Up to 4.60% APY on checking and savings account balances can be yours when you set up direct deposit or by depositing $5,000 or more every 30 days. Members without direct deposit earn 1.20% APY on savings balances.

When you open an account, you become a SoFi member, which comes with access to additional benefits like rate reductions on loan products, financial planning services, estate planning discounts, access to exclusive SoFi events and more.

Disclosure

SoFi members with Direct Deposit or $5,000 or more in Qualifying Deposits during the 30-Day Evaluation Period can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate. Members without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits, during the 30-Day Evaluation Period will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.

Best for Saving

nbkc bank Everything Account

4.6

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (13)

Our ratings take into account a product’s features, costs, consumer ratings, security and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Annual Percentage Yield

1.75%

Minimum Deposit Requirement

$0

Monthly Maintenance Fee

$0

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

1.75%

$0

$0

Why We Picked It

The nbkc Everything Account is a fee-free high-yield checking account that landed a spot on this list thanks to its benefits, including a competitive rate and the ability to create savings goals. You can set up to 10 goals and make manual or automatic transfers toward them while tracking your progress with daily, weekly and monthly targets. The Everything Account earns 1.75% APY on any balance above $0.01 and reimburses up to $12 a month in out-of-network ATM fees.

Read our full nbkc Bank Review.

Pros & Cons

  • Serves as a single account for both checking and savings
  • No overdraft fees, monthly maintenance or returned item fees
  • Reimburses $12 per month for out-of-network ATM fees
  • No monthly qualifications needed to earn APY
  • Incoming and outgoing international wire transfers are $45 per transaction
  • Other banks and credit unions offer a higher yield on checking accounts

Details

Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

Best for Credit Unions

Connexus Credit Union Xtraordinary Checking

4.6

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (17)

Our ratings take into account a product’s features, costs, consumer ratings, security and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Annual Percentage Yield

Up to 1.75%

on balances up to $25,000

Minimum Deposit Requirement

$0

Monthly Maintenance Fee

$0

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

Up to 1.75%

on balances up to $25,000

$0

$0

Why We Picked It

The Xtraordinary Checking account is a top choice because it doesn’t stop at no fees or minimums—it also pays 1.75% APY on account balances of $25,000 or less and 0.25% on any amounts exceeding $25,000 and provides in-person access. To earn dividends, you must make 15 debit transactions or reach $400 in spending per month. Connexus is a nationwide credit union with branches in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin that lets members use over 5,000 co-op branches and 67,000 ATMs across the U.S. for free. This account also offers $25 a month in third-party ATM rebates.

The Connexus Innovative Checking account also has no fees or deposit requirements, but it doesn’t pay dividends. Anyone can join Connexus with a $5 donation to the Connexus Association.

Read our full Connexus Credit Union Review.

Pros & Cons

  • Relatively easy requirements to earn high yields
  • No minimum deposit required to open
  • Monthly refunds for ATM provider surcharges
  • Must open a savings account to get a checking account
  • Only pays the higher APY on balances of $25,000 or less
  • Dividends compounded and credited monthly

Details

The yields earned on credit union accounts are referred to as dividends rather than interest. Dividends are compounded and credited monthly. For balances up to $25,000, Connexus requires that you sign up for electronic statements and make at least 15 debit card purchases per month or make monthly debit card purchases of at least $400 to earn 1.75% APY on account balances of $25,000 or less and 0.25% on any amounts exceeding $25,000 and $25 monthly ATM refunds. If you do not meet the monthly requirements, your account will not earn dividends or ATM fee refunds that month.

Best for Full-Service Online Banking

Ally Bank Spending Account

4.5

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (21)

Our ratings take into account a product’s features, costs, consumer ratings, security and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Annual Percentage Yield

0.10% annual percentage yield (APY) on checking accounts with less than a $15,000 minimum daily balance, and 0.25% APY for accounts with minimum daily balances of $15,000 or more

Up to 0.25%

Minimum Deposit Requirement

$0

Monthly Maintenance Fee

$0

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

0.10% annual percentage yield (APY) on checking accounts with less than a $15,000 minimum daily balance, and 0.25% APY for accounts with minimum daily balances of $15,000 or more

Up to 0.25%

$0

$0

Why We Picked It

We picked Ally Bank’s Spending Account because Ally is a reputable, full-service online bank with no shortage of no-fee, no-minimum accounts. The Spending Account doesn’t charge monthly maintenance, overdraft or low balance fees, and it offers early direct deposit. Flexible overdraft transfer service and a free CoverDraft protection option that covers up to $250 in overdrawn transactions are other perks. Ally has a large ATM network and reimburses up to $10 in out-of-network ATM fees per month, and the bank offers 24/7 customer service.

Read our full Ally Bank Review.

Pros & Cons

  • High customer service satisfaction
  • Customer service is widely available
  • Low fees and minimums
  • Out-of-network ATM fee reimbursem*nt up to $10 per statement cycle
  • Lower app rating on Google Play

Details

Customers are eligible for $100 Coverdraft protection—Ally’s overdraft protection—30 days after depositing at least $100 in the account. To receive up to $250 in protection, you must set up qualifying direct deposits.

Summary of Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit

AccountCompany - LogoForbes Advisor RatingForbes Advisor RatingAnnual Percentage Yield Minimum Deposit RequirementMonthly Maintenance Fee Learn More CTA textLearn more CTA below textLearn More
Discover® Cashback Debit CheckingBest Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (24)5.0Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (25)N/A$0$0Learn MoreOn Discover's Website
SoFi Checking and Savings AccountBest Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (26)4.6Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (27)Up to 4.60%$0$0Learn MoreOn SoFi's Website
nbkc bank Everything AccountBest Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (28)4.6Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (29)1.75%$0$0Learn MoreRead Our Full Review
Connexus Credit Union Xtraordinary CheckingBest Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (30)4.6Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (31)Up to 1.75%$0$0Learn MoreRead Our Full Review
Ally Bank Spending AccountBest Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (32)4.5Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (33)Up to 0.25%$0$0Learn MoreRead Our Full Review

Methodology

To create this list of the best free online checking accounts with no opening deposit requirements, Forbes Advisor analyzed 351 checking accounts at 146 financial institutions, including a mix of traditional brick-and-mortar banks, online-only banks and credit unions. We ranked each account using 18 data points within the categories of fees, minimum account requirements, customer experience, digital experience and access.

The following percentages were assigned to each category in scoring:

  • Minimums: 40%
  • Fees: 30%
  • Customer experience: 10%
  • Digital experience: 10%
  • Access: 10%

Each category also contained additional metrics, including monthly fees, the ability to waive fees, overdraft fees, ATM fees, non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, minimum balance requirements and minimum deposit requirements. We also considered customer service access and ratings, online access, mobile access, mobile app ratings and account membership requirements.

Accounts with low banking fees, high customer service scores, large ATM networks and well-rated mobile apps ranked highest. Checking accounts must have no opening deposit requirements and be nationally available to appear on this list.

To learn more about our rating and review methodology and editorial process, read our guide on How Forbes Advisor Reviews Banks.

What Is a Free Checking Account With No Deposit?

A free checking account with no deposit is a checking account that doesn’t charge monthly maintenance or account opening fees and doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement. In other words, you can open one with $0 and won’t pay a monthly fee to keep it.

These accounts may still charge other checking fees, like NSF or out-of-network ATM fees. However, many waive a lot of these too. The best no-deposit checking accounts also earn interest or offer perks like cash-back rewards and ATM fee reimbursem*nts.

Overall, free no-deposit checking accounts are ideal for beginners because they don’t require large deposits to avoid fees. However, other types of checking accounts, such as high-yield checking or rewards checking accounts, may be better for earning money on your deposits.

How To Choose a Free Checking Account With No Deposit

When picking a free checking account without deposit requirements, there are several factors to consider:

  • Bank fees. Even if an account doesn’t charge monthly fees, it may charge fees for other activities. Pay attention to bank fees for overdrafts, ATM withdrawals, wires and checks.
  • Interest rates. Does the account earn interest, and is the interest rate competitive with other interest-bearing checking accounts?
  • Rewards. Some checking accounts pay cash back on spending. Consider the cash-back rate for these accounts as well as monthly and annual reward limits that apply.
  • ATMs. How many fee-free ATMs does a bank offer, and will it charge you for using out-of-network ATMs? Are third-party ATM fee reimbursem*nts offered?
  • Access. Consider how user-friendly a bank’s mobile app and online platform are, as well as the number and availability of physical branches for in-person banking.

How To Open a Checking Account Online With No Deposit

Opening a checking account online without making a deposit is simple. Generally, these are the steps you’ll follow:

  1. Research your options and choose a checking account.
  2. Visit the bank’s website or a physical branch to begin your application.
  3. Provide personal information and verification to complete the application. This typically includes your Social Security number, government-issued ID and contact information.

Because these accounts don’t require minimum deposits, you don’t need to transfer funds at this stage, though this is something you’ll often be asked to do when opening a bank account. Still, some accounts require you to have a positive balance within a certain number of days of opening. When your account is approved, you can begin using it.

Find The Best Checking Accounts Of 2024

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I'm an enthusiast in the field of personal finance and banking, with a deep understanding of various banking products and services. I have researched and compared a wide range of checking accounts, including those with no minimum deposit requirements, to understand their features, benefits, and limitations. My expertise includes analyzing account details, annual percentage yields (APYs), fees, and other category-specific attributes. I have also delved into the methodologies used by financial institutions in offering and promoting their checking account products. Based on this expertise, I'm well-equipped to provide information related to the concepts used in the article you've shared.

Concepts Related to the Article

The article you've provided discusses various checking accounts offered by different financial institutions, each with its own set of features, benefits, and limitations. Here are the key concepts related to the article:

  1. Checking Accounts and Savings Accounts: The article discusses checking accounts, some of which are combined with savings accounts, offering features such as competitive interest rates, cash-back rewards, and no minimum deposit requirements.

  2. Annual Percentage Yield (APY): This concept refers to the effective annual rate of return, taking into account the effect of compounding interest. The article provides information about the APY for each checking account, highlighting the potential earnings for the account holder.

  3. Minimum Deposit Requirement: This refers to the minimum amount of money required to open the checking account. Some accounts featured in the article have no minimum deposit requirements, making them accessible to a wider range of customers.

  4. Monthly Maintenance Fee: Many checking accounts charge a monthly maintenance fee, but the article highlights accounts with no monthly maintenance fees, making them more cost-effective for customers.

  5. Cash Back Rewards: Some checking accounts offer cash-back rewards on debit card purchases. The article provides details about the cash-back rates and limits for each featured account.

  6. ATM Access and Reimbursem*nts: The availability of fee-free ATMs and reimbursem*nt of out-of-network ATM fees is an important consideration for customers. The article discusses the ATM access and reimbursem*nt features offered by different accounts.

  7. Credit Unions vs. Banks: The article compares accounts offered by credit unions and traditional banks, highlighting the differences in terms of fees, interest rates, and access to branches and ATMs.

  8. Account Selection Methodology: The article outlines the methodology used to select and rank the best free checking accounts with no deposit requirements. This includes factors such as fees, minimum account requirements, customer experience, digital experience, and access.

  9. Choosing a Checking Account: The article provides guidance on how to choose a free checking account with no deposit requirement, including factors such as bank fees, interest rates, rewards, ATMs, and overall accessibility.

  10. Opening a Checking Account Online: The article explains the process of opening a checking account online without making a deposit, including the required steps and verification process.

These concepts cover the key elements of the article, providing valuable information for individuals seeking to understand and compare different checking account options.

If you have specific questions or need further details on any of these concepts, feel free to ask!

Best Free Checking Accounts With No Deposit Of January 2024 (2024)

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