11 Free Online Checking Accounts: No Opening Deposit Required


A checking account is essential for managing personal finances, but be cautious of monthly maintenance fees and minimum initial deposit requirements. These costs can accumulate over time, potentially straining your budget.

Shop around for banks and credit unions that offer no-fee checking accounts, along with no opening deposit, to maximize your financial flexibility.

11 Free Online Checking Accounts With No Opening Deposit

The following checking accounts are free to open and don’t require an initial deposit. They also come with other features, like a free debit card, online and mobile banking, and much more.

1. SoFi

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  • Up to $250 sign-up bonus with direct deposit
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Earn up to 4.50% APY
  • Early pay with direct deposit
  • Free access to over 55,000 ATMs

SoFi offers a Checking and Savings account loaded with an array of customer-centric features. Customers can enjoy no overdraft fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no monthly charges.

Additionally, SoFi ensures easy cash access with over 55,000 ATMs across the Allpoint® Network available at no cost.

Moreover, by setting up a direct deposit, you can enjoy the convenience of receiving your paychecks up to 2 days earlier, a common feature among digital banking platforms.

What sets SoFi’s Checking and Savings account apart is the highly competitive interest rates it offers: a 4.50% APY on savings and a 0.50% APY on checking balances, with no minimum direct deposit amount to qualify for this rate.

An additional perk comes with the SoFi debit card, offering up to 15% cash back at local establishments, adding yet another reason to consider using SoFi’s services.

For a limited period, SoFi offers an enticing sign-up bonus of up to $250 for new account holders who make qualifying direct deposits, amplifying the appeal of this online banking option.

2. Chime

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  • No minimum deposit
  • No minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fee
  • Over 60,000 fee-free1 ATMs
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposits2

Chime is a user-friendly mobile app with a Visa® debit card. The Chime Checking Account boasts no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, and no foreign transaction fees.

There are no physical locations, but consumers do have access to the bank’s network of 60,000 ATMs across the country.

Chime makes it easy to make cash deposits and transfer money with its mobile app. You’ll get access to automatic deposits, online transfers, and ATM withdrawals.

3. Upgrade

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  • No minimum deposit
  • No account fees, transfer fees, or overdraft fees
  • Maximize rewards with direct deposits and get paid up to 2 days early
  • Up to 2% cash back on purchases

The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account has no monthly fees, no ATM fees, and no transfer fees. Plus, you’ll get up to 2% cash back on everyday debit card purchases.

If you use an out-of-network ATM, Upgrade will give you a rebate on up to five ATM fees per month if you meet certain conditions.

Upgrade is a financial technology company, not a bank. Premier Savings accounts are provided by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC. Your funds are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

4. Current

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  • Build credit and earn points with every swipe
  • No minimum deposit or maintenance fees
  • Earn 4.00% APY on your savings
  • Access to over 40,000 ATMs with no fees

Current is one of the fastest-growing mobile banking solutions in the U.S., with over one million members. The fintech company does not use ChexSystems or pull your credit report.

With Current, you can build your credit effortlessly with every regular debit card transaction, and the best part? No borrowing or credit checks.

Some features of this free checking account from Current include free overdraft protection of up to $200, access to 40,000 Allpoint ATMs, and no minimum balance requirements or hidden fees.

You can also get paid up to two days early with direct deposit and earn up to 15x points, and get cashback. With Current Pay, you can transfer money instantly to other Current account holders. 

5. GO2bank

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  • No minimum deposit
  • Overdraft protection
  • Earn up to 7% cashback
  • Budgeting tools and mobile check deposit

GO2bank offers a free online checking account with no minimum deposit, no monthly fees (with eligible direct deposits), and no overdraft fees up to $200.

Account holders can access over 90,000 ATMs nationwide for free and earn up to 7% cashback on qualifying purchases.

With GO2bank, you can also receive your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit. Plus, the app offers budgeting tools, bill pay, and check deposits. It’s easy to sign up and manage your account entirely through the GO2bank mobile app.

How to Choose the Best Free Online Checking Account With No Opening Deposit

Choosing the ideal free checking account with no opening deposit is an important financial decision. Given the rise of online banks offering a multitude of free checking accounts, the right choice can vary depending on several factors. Here are essential factors to weigh in your decision-making process:

No Opening Deposit and Low Minimum Balance Requirement

A bank account with no deposit requirement removes the initial financial hurdle, making it easier to get started. Additionally, look for free checking accounts that have a low or no minimum balance requirement, giving you greater financial flexibility in the long run.

No Monthly Maintenance Fees

Avoid deposit accounts that charge monthly maintenance fees. This helps you keep more of your money for your own use rather than spending it on fees.

Competitive Interest Rates

Though rare for checking accounts, some do offer interest. If available, a competitive interest rate can be a beneficial feature, allowing your balance to grow over time.

Fee-Free ATM Access

One of the perks of choosing online banks for your free checking account is their typically broad ATM networks. Search for an online bank account that provides widespread, fee-free ATM access. This ensures you’re never too distant from your cash and eliminates the inconvenience of additional fees when you need to withdraw money.

Strong Online and Mobile Banking Capabilities

A well-designed online banking platform and mobile app are crucial for effective financial management. Look for user-friendly features that allow you to pay bills, check your balance, monitor transactions, and transfer money between accounts.

Account Alerts and Notifications

Automated alerts for activities like low balances or suspicious transactions add an extra layer of security and awareness to your account management.

FDIC or NCUA Insured

Make sure your account is either FDIC (for banks) or NCUA (for credit unions) insured. This provides you with the maximum legal protection for your deposits.

Customer Support

Finally, consider the level of customer support provided. Whether it’s a live chat feature or a 24/7 hotline, timely and effective support can be crucial in addressing any issues or questions you may have.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.

1. Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply with Chime except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

2. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. Chime generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

Paige Cerulli
Meet the author

Paige Cerulli is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in publications like Business Insider and Bing. She lives in Massachusetts and enjoys playing the flute and horseback riding in her free time.