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 deposit requirements. These costs can accumulate over time, potentially straining your budget.

Shop around for banks and credit unions that offer free checking accounts 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 a 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 $300 sign-up bonus with direct deposit
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Earn up to 4.60% 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, 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 4.60% APY on savings and a 0.50% APY on checking balances, with no minimum direct deposit amount to qualify for this rate.

For a limited time, SoFi offers an enticing sign-up bonus of up to $300 for new customers who make qualifying direct deposits, amplifying the appeal of this online banking option.

2. Upgrade

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  • No minimum deposit
  • No monthly fees, overdraft fees, or transfer 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 transactions.

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.

3. First Tech Federal Credit Union

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  • Earn up to 5.00% APY
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Over 30,000 fee-free ATMs

First Tech Rewards Checking presents an appealing option for those seeking a beneficial banking experience without usual restrictions. This account delivers high-yield interest and numerous financial perks on a unified platform.

There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fee. Members have the opportunity to receive a $300 bonus by establishing a qualifying payroll direct deposit of at least $1,000 monthly for three consecutive months.

A key attraction of First Tech is its competitive interest rate, which goes up to 5.00% APY on both checking and savings accounts for certain balances, markedly surpassing many traditional and online banking institutions.

Moreover, First Tech provides convenient access with nearly 30,000 CO-OP network ATMs across the country for free withdrawals. It also offers increased financial flexibility and security with features such as instant fraud monitoring and complimentary overdraft transfers.

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 ATM locations, 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. 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.

The online application typically takes just a few minutes to complete. There are no physical locations, but consumers do have access to the bank’s network of 60,000 ATM locations 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.

Benefits of Opening a Checking Account Online

The digital era has transformed how we handle our finances, making it easier than ever to open a checking account online with no deposit. This shift towards virtual banking platforms offers a plethora of advantages, particularly for those who value convenience and efficiency in their financial dealings. Here are the key benefits of opting to open a bank account online, especially when no deposit is required.

  • Unmatched convenience: The ability to open a bank account online eliminates the need to visit a physical branch. This is a game-changer for those with busy lifestyles or limited access to traditional banking services.
  • Cost savings: By choosing to open a bank account online with no deposit required, you can often benefit from lower fees. Online-only banks typically have reduced overhead, allowing them to offer services more economically than traditional banks.
  • Immediate account access: When you open a bank account online, you usually benefit from a streamlined setup process. This means you can start managing your finances almost immediately after account creation.
  • State-of-the-art security: Online banks invest heavily in advanced security measures to safeguard your financial data, providing a secure environment to manage your funds.
  • Effective financial management tools: Online checking accounts are equipped with tools that help in budgeting and tracking expenses, simplifying the management of your financial life.
  • Ease of deposits: Easily deposit checks with mobile check deposit, which typically just requires a quick snap of the check with your smartphone.
  • Seamless integration with financial apps: Most online bank accounts can integrate with various financial apps, making it easier to oversee your entire financial landscape from one place.
  • Early access to funds: Many digital banks offer the perk of early paycheck access when you set up direct deposit, a feature particularly beneficial for those who need quicker access to their funds.
  • Eco-friendly banking: By electing to open a bank account online, you contribute to reducing paper waste, aligning with a more environmentally conscious approach to banking.
  • Reliable customer support: Online-only banks ensure that comprehensive customer support is readily available through multiple communication channels.

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 a number of factors. Here are essential factors to weigh in your decision-making process:

  • No opening deposit & low minimum balance: 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. By doing this, you keep more of your money for yourself instead of spending it on fees.
  • Competitive interest rates: While uncommon, some checking accounts offer interest, which can grow your balance over time.
  • Fee-free ATM access: Opt for a free checking account with a wide ATM network and no withdrawal fees for convenient access to cash.
  • Online and mobile banking: Look for user-friendly features that allow you to pay bills, check your balance, monitor transactions, and transfer money between bank 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 insurance: Verify that the account is insured by the FDIC (banks) or NCUA (credit unions) for deposit protection.
  • Reliable customer support: Consider the availability and quality of customer support, such as live chat or 24/7 phone assistance.

How to Open an Online Bank Account With No Opening Deposit

Step 1: Choose a Bank that Suits Your Needs

Consider your banking needs and preferences. While traditional banks and credit unions might ask for a minimum deposit, many online banks do not. Above, we’ve listed the top U.S. online banks that let you open an account without any opening deposit, offering flexibility and convenience. Additionally, we’ve included a credit union which requires membership eligibility.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

To open a U.S. bank account, you’ll need to verify your identity. Commonly required documents include:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN);
  • A valid driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, or other government-issued ID;
  • Access to a smartphone and a valid telephone number for account security and notifications.

Step 3: Install the Bank’s Mobile App

Most online banks operate primarily through mobile apps. Download the app of the bank you have chosen on your smartphone. This app will be your primary tool for managing your account and performing transactions.

Final Step: Complete Your Identity Verification

Once you submit your identification documents, the bank will verify your status as a U.S. taxpayer. Expect to receive a verification code via SMS or through a two-factor authenticator app. This step ensures the security of your account and confirms that the account is being opened on your personal device.

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.