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Checking Accounts
With all the recent increases in checking account fees and requirements, it's become increasingly difficult to find free checking accounts or even just cheap, low-fee checking. To help you out, we've compiled offers from all sorts of banks and credit unions to help you find the best checking account for your financial needs. We'll do the math to give you a personal recommendation of which checking account is the cheapest. You can also check out our state-by-state list of banks and credit unions offering completely free checking accounts or read up on overdraft fees at the largest banks.

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Showing 1-10 of 70 Results
Checking Account Account Benefits Fees dollarsign
Federally insured by the FDIC
No monthly fees
No ATM Fees from Simple
Mobile app available
Free bill pay
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $0.00 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $0.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $0.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $0.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $2.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
  • See your spending as it happens. Push notifications with every swipe.
  • Know what's Safe-to-Spend® by automatically factoring in upcoming bills, scheduled transactions, and transfers.
  • Save money automatically. Start a Goal, and each day Simple sets aside a small amount to help you reach it.
  • No monthly fees. No minimum balances. No overdraft charges. No hassles.
  • All the features you need: 55,000 fee-free ATMs, free direct deposit, photo check deposit, lightning quick mobile apps.
  • Simple does not charge ATM fees, but the ATM itself might. Use Allpoint ATMs to avoid all fees.
See complete Simple – Mobile Banking details
Federally insured by the FDIC
No monthly fees
No ATM Fees
Mobile app available
No foreign transaction fee
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $0.00 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $0.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $0.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $25.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $0.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
  • There is no flat fee to use overdraft - you only need to pay interest if the account balance drops below zero and triggers use of an Overdraft Line of Credit
See complete Capital One 360 – 360 Checking details
Federally insured by the FDIC
No monthly fees
Earns interest
No ATM Fees
Mobile app available
23,000 surcharge-free ATMs
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $0.00 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $25.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $0.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $25.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $0.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
See complete TIAA Direct – Interest Checking details
Federally insured by the FDIC
No monthly fees
No ATM Fees
Mobile app available
Free bill pay
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $0.00 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $0.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $0.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $0.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $0.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
See complete Moven – Mobile Bank Account details
Federally insured by the NCUA
Some out of network ATM fees waived
Account pays some interest
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Membership eligibility
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $1.50 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $25.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $0.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $20.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $5.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
  • Requires opening a savings account ($5 balance) to establish membership
  • Out of network ATM: 8 fees waived per statement cycle
See complete Affinity Federal Credit Union – Affinity Checking details
Federally insured by the NCUA
No monthly fees
Free iTunes downloads & Amazon.com purchases
5,000+ CO-OP Shared Branches available
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Membership eligibility
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $1.75 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $30.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $25.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $10.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $25.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
  • ATM refunds and free online downloads apply when you meet the following qualifications each month:
    • Have at least 15 signature-based debit card purchases post and settle
    • Be enrolled and receive monthly e-statement notice
  • Early closure fee will be charged if the account is closed within 6 months of opening
See complete Aspire Federal Credit Union – Kasasa Tunes details
Federally insured by the NCUA
No monthly fees
Earns interest
Unlimited nationwide ATM fee refunds
5,000+ CO-OP Shared Branches available
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Membership eligibility
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $1.75 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $30.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $25.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $10.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $25.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
  • ATM refunds and reward interest rates apply when you meet the following qualifications each month:
    • Have at least 12 signature-based debit card purchases post and settle
    • Be enrolled and receive monthly e-statement notice
    • Have at least one direct deposit or automatic payment (ACH) post and settle
  • Early closure fee will be charged if the account is closed within 6 months of opening
See complete Aspire Federal Credit Union – Kasasa Cash details
Federally insured by the NCUA
Some out of network ATM fees waived
Account pays some interest
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Membership eligibility
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $1.50 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $25.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $0.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $20.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $5.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
  • Requires opening a savings account ($5 balance) to establish membership
  • Out of network ATM: 8 fees waived per statement cycle
See complete Affinity Federal Credit Union – Green Rewards Checking details
Federally insured by the FDIC
All out of network ATM fees waived
Account pays some interest
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $0.00 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $9.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $0.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $15.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $0.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
  • Out of network ATM: All third-party surcharges are reimbursed
See complete Ally Bank – Interest Checking Account details
Federally insured by the FDIC
Earns interest
Some ATM fees waived
$0.00 / mo

Open Now
Fee Breakdown
Fee Frequency Per Year
Monthly fees $0.00 12 $0.00
ATM fees $1.50 0 $0.00
Overdraft fees $25.00 0 $0.00
Early closure $25.00 0 $0.00
Stop payments $20.00 0 $0.00
Paper statements $0.00 0 $0.00
Debit card replacement fee $5.00 0 $0.00
Annual Cost dollarsign - - $0.00
Account Details
  • No monthly fee if you sign up for direct deposit and use your debit card 8 times each month
  • 6 out of network ATM fees waived per month
  • Early closure fee applies if account is closed within 6 months of opening
See complete Nationwide Bank – E-Checking details
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Checking Accounts: What You Need to Know

By John Gower

Do you have a job? Bills to pay? Taxes to file? If you answered yes to any of these, a checking account is a must. Aside from a savings account, checking accounts are one of the most basic and essential financial tools for adults and teens.


Unfortunately, these accounts are far from standardized. Fees, features, and requirements all differ vastly from one account to another, and from one bank to another. Chances are, the first checking account option you stumble upon is not actually the best fit, so it’s essential to do your homework before choosing where to deposit your money. The first step to getting the most of your checking account is to understand a little bit more about yourself.

Your needs

What are your basic requirements in a bank and an account? Consider the following to narrow down your options.

  • Demographic - Many banks and credit unions offer accounts tailored for certain ages, including teens, college students, and even senior citizens. Special accounts like these often carry benefits you wouldn’t otherwise receive.
  • Type of institution - Do you prefer a nationally-available bank, a local credit union, a community bank, or maybe an online bank? Each of these groups comes with a certain set of advantages and disadvantages.
  • Other Features - Keep an eye out for some key checking account benefits that fit your lifestyle and preferences. For example:
    • Are you a tech geek who lives on their phone? Choose an account that offers a mobile banking app.
    • Are you a sucker for rewards? Look for accounts that earn interest, offer a new account bonus, or award points for certain activities.

Your habits

How you live your financial life will affect which checking account is the best option, thanks to certain fees and requirements. Read on for more details, then use the filters and calculator option in the tool above to see how your financial habits can affect the total cost of your checking account.

  • Typical minimum balance - Many checking accounts carry a monthly fee that may be waived when you maintain a certain minimum balance each month. If you know how much you typically can keep in your account, you can look for one that will waive fees for doing so, potentially saving hundreds each year. If you know your balance fluctuates often and may dip close to zero, then an account with no monthly fees will be best, and one with a low overdraft fee will be even better in case you make the occasional slip-up.
  • Direct deposit - Direct deposit is another way that many banks allow customers to waive monthly checking fees, so if your job offers this option and you haven’t already signed up, do it before you start shopping around.
  • ATM usage - Do you travel or use cash often? If so, look for a bank with a large surcharge-free ATM network to avoid pesky $1-$3 charges for each withdrawal.