Best Free Checking Accounts for November 2022

Checking accounts are a vital service supplied by monetary establishments permitting customers to soundly retailer and handle their cash. Whereas having a checking account could also be a requirement for many individuals, paying to make use of one just isn’t. Accounts marketed as “free checking” by a financial institution or credit score union don’t cost the next charges: 

  • Minimal stability charges
  • Common transaction or service charges
  • Month-to-month service charges
  • Withdrawal or switch charges

By regulation, free checking accounts can’t cost the charges listed above or restrict the variety of transactions accessible monthly.

CNET acknowledges that maintaining extra of your hard-earned cash is important for constructing wealth and reaching your monetary objectives. Given the plethora of choices accessible nationwide, we have carried out the work to find the most effective picks totally free checking accounts. Let’s assessment the most effective free checking account choices accessible.

CNET’s picks for the highest free checking accounts

The typical month-to-month service payment charged for checking accounts nationwide is $16.19, based on a 2022 checking account and ATM payment research from CNET’s sister website Bankrate. That may put a dent in your assets over time. Some banks will waive service charges to realize the looks of free checking when sure standards are met, comparable to sustaining a minimal month-to-month stability or choosing e-statements. Solely accounts that supplied a purely no-fee checking account paid the best annual proportion yields and had been insured by both the Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Company or Nationwide Credit score Union Administration for as much as $250,000 made our listing of high free checking accounts.

Some banks additionally supply bonuses or rewards to open a free checking account. Phrases and circumstances range with every financial institution. 

High free checking accounts

Title APY Minimal preliminary deposit Bonus Areas Overdraft charges
Customers Credit score Union 3% $0 N/A Branches in Illinois, digital banking companies $30
Connexus Credit score Union 1.75% $0 N/A Branches by means of the Midwest, digital banking companies $45
Axos Financial institution 1.25% $50 N/A Digital solely $0
NBKC Financial institution 1.01% $0 N/A Branches in metro Kansas Metropolis, digital banking companies $0
Alliant Credit score Union 0.25% $25 $100 Digital solely $0
Ally 0.25% $0 N/A Digital solely $0
FNBO Direct 0.15% $1 N/A Digital solely $33
Capital One 0.1% $0 N/A Branches in 9 states, digital banking companies $35
Uncover 0% $0 1% money again Digital solely $0
Lake Michigan Credit score Union 3.00% $0 N/A Branches in Michigan and Florida, digital banking companies $30

Extra particulars on the highest free checking accounts

Customers Credit score Union

  • APY: 3.00%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $0
  • Variety of areas: 11 branches
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular and on-line banking companies can be found

This Illinois-based financial institution has 11 branches situated in Chicago and the encompassing suburbs. Cellular and on-line banking make this free checking account accessible nationwide. Membership eligibility is open to anybody. The credit score union is part of a nationwide community of 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

  • APY: 1.75%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $0
  • Variety of areas: 5,600 shared branches
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular and on-line banking companies can be found

Conexus Credit score Union is a part of the CO-OP Shared Department community which permits members to go to any credit score union within the community to handle monetary transactions. There are 67,000 surcharge-free ATMs within the community. Sustaining a minimal of 15 debit card transactions or a web spending complete of $450 monthly will qualify your free checking account for a 1.75% APY as much as balances of $25,000. Membership is open to anybody based mostly on standards listed on Connexus. 


  • APY: 1.25%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $50
  • Variety of areas: N/A
  • Cellular banking availability: Solely cell and on-line banking companies are supplied

Axos launched in 2000 as a digital financial institution. Headquartered in San Diego, its Rewards Checking is a totally no-fee checking account that may supply a aggressive APY of as much as 1.25% based mostly on necessities comparable to a qualifying, month-to-month direct deposit, 10 or extra debit card transactions monthly, and sustaining a minimal required stability in an Axos funding account. Rewards Checking clients additionally obtain limitless home ATM payment reimbursements.

NBKC brand

  • APY: 1.01%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $25
  • Variety of areas: 4
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular banking app accessible

NBKC has 4 branches situated in Kansas and Missouri. Cellular and on-line banking companies make its free checking Every thing Account accessible nationwide. Prospects may also withdraw cash at greater than 37,000 ATMs and qualify for $12 in ATM payment reimbursements monthly. It provides aggressive charges on deposit accounts, which may be opened through its web site.

Alliant Credit score Union

  • APY: 0.25%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $25
  • Variety of areas: N/A
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular banking app is on the market (on-line banking just isn’t accessible)

Membership is open to present or former workers of Alliant’s US accomplice companies. Go to Alliant for an entire listing of companies. Excessive-Price Checking accounts opened by Oct. 7, 2022, are eligible for a $100 financial institution bonus and $100 donated to a charitable group if a $100 minimal stability is maintained by means of the tip of February 2023. Excessive-Price Checking account clients even have entry to greater than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs and as much as $20 monthly in ATM payment reimbursements.


  • APY: 0.25%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $0
  • Variety of areas: N/A
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular and on-line banking companies can be found

Ally’s Curiosity Checking is on the market nationwide. It provides a sturdy suite of digital companies with out charging any charges for minimal balances, overdrafts or official checks. Account holders can be happy with the surcharge-fee community of greater than 43,000 ATMs and the $10 monthly in ATM payment reimbursement accessible.

  • APY: 0.15%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $1
  • Variety of areas: 109
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular and on-line banking companies can be found

FNBO Direct is the digital arm of First Nationwide Financial institution of Nebraska. On-line checking is a no-fee checking account that gives entry to greater than 2 million ATMs. The $1 preliminary deposit required to open an account is affordable. Any balances over 1 cent are eligible to earn the APY. The account additionally comes with free fraud monitoring and would not cost for cease funds. FNBO Direct is a green-friendly firm that has eradicated paper checks.

Capital One

  • APY: 0.10%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $0
  • Variety of areas: 755
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular and on-line banking companies can be found

Capital One, the tenth largest financial institution within the US, is a web based financial institution with bodily areas which you could go to in 9 states throughout the japanese and southern US. It has additionally expanded the financial institution department idea right into a espresso store styled Capital One Café. The Capital One 360 prices nothing to arrange. Balances beneath $50,000 earn a 0.10% APY.


  • APY: 0%
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $0
  • Variety of areas: 755
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular and on-line banking companies can be found

Uncover Financial institution is a web based monetary companies firm that provides merchandise comparable to deposit accounts, bank cards, private loans and scholar loans. It eradicated charges on deposit accounts in June 2019. The Uncover Cashback Debit is a totally free checking account that pays 1% money again on debit card purchases as much as $3,000 monthly. The ATM community of greater than 60,000 surcharge-free ATMs gives extra entry to money nationwide.

  • APY: 3.00% on balanced as much as $15,000
  • Minimal preliminary deposit: $0
  • Variety of areas: Almost 50 branches
  • Cellular banking availability: Cellular and on-line banking companies can be found

Membership eligibility is open to anybody. Lake Michigan Credit score Union has quite a few branches all through Michigan and greater than 10 throughout Florida. It provides a full suite of sturdy banking companies in-person and just about. Members may also entry monetary wellness companies. The credit score union is part of the Allpoint community with 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

What components do you have to contemplate when opening a checking account?

By regulation, banks and credit score unions can’t cost month-to-month charges, transaction charges, switch charges or minimal stability charges on accounts marketed as free checking. Further costs based mostly on companies supplied, comparable to assertion copies or overdraft protection, could exist for some banks. Assessment the account’s phrases and circumstances totally to make sure you perceive any relevant charges.

Professionals and cons of a free checking account


  • Free checking accounts don’t cost month-to-month charges, transaction charges or cost a payment in case your stability drops beneath a minimal threshold.
  • Free checking accounts are supplied by conventional brick-and-mortar banks or credit score unions, online-only monetary establishments, or hybrid corporations.
  • Some free checking accounts pay aggressive APYs and supply rewards or different bonuses.
  • Many free checking accounts haven’t any or low preliminary deposit necessities to open an account.


  • Free checking accounts could require a number of further duties to earn the best APY.
  • Aggressive APYs are sometimes capped at a most stability quantity.

How are you going to earn a aggressive yield?

Typically, aggressive APYs supplied by free checking accounts are linked to certified actions. For instance, Axos Financial institution provides as much as 1.25% APY if the purchasers set up direct deposits of $1,500 or extra monthly, add a mortgage cost and keep minimal balances in funding accounts. Axos Financial institution clients already doing enterprise with the financial institution ought to benefit from the aggressive charges.


What do it’s good to open a checking account?

To open a checking account with a US-based financial institution, you want:

1. A Social Safety quantity.

2. Authorities-issued proof of id and authorized residency or citizenship comparable to a driver’s license, passport or state ID.

3. The place relevant, a minimal preliminary deposit.

What are the minimal deposit and stability necessities?

Free checking accounts range within the minimal preliminary deposit required. In our listing above, that ranges from $0 to $50. Every financial institution’s necessities can range based mostly on its enterprise mannequin and advertising efforts. A checking account that requires a minimal stability to keep away from service charges just isn’t a free checking account.

Are there choices for overdraft safety?

Overdraft safety is a service supplied by banks to cowl the price of transactions that exceed an account’s accessible stability. Banks can cost a month-to-month or per transaction payment for this service. Some banks that supply no-fee checking accounts will embrace overdraft safety at no further value. Others waive the one overdraft payment per 12 months as an overdraft forgiveness service. 

An overdraft safety service may be worthwhile as the common overdraft payment of $30 per transaction can add up rapidly.

How are you going to keep away from hidden charges?

When opening any account, assessment the account disclosures fully to grasp the phrases and circumstances related to the brand new account. Sticking with accounts marketed as free checking accounts will enable you keep away from taking up unknown charges. 

Free checking accounts could cost charges for companies comparable to official test writing. This may all be listed within the account disclosures. Should you’re doubtful, schedule a name together with your customer support consultant or private banker to assessment all potential charges clients could incur.


CNET reviewed checking accounts based mostly on the most recent APY info, charges charged and companies supplied from issuer web sites. We evaluated checking accounts from amongst greater than 50 banks, credit score unions and monetary corporations. We chosen the accounts that had been no-fee checking with the best APY and had been insured as much as $250,000 from among the many organizations we surveyed.

Banks surveyed embrace: Alliant Credit score Union, Ally Financial institution, America First Credit score Union, American Categorical Nationwide Financial institution, Axos Financial institution, Financial institution of America, Financial institution of the West, Bank5 Join, Barclays, BMO Harris, Bread Financial savings, BrioDirect, Capital One, CFG Neighborhood Financial institution, Residents Entry, Colorado Federal Financial savings Financial institution, Connexus Credit score Union, Customers Credit score Union, Credit score One Financial institution, Uncover Financial institution, First Web Financial institution of Indiana, First Tech Federal Credit score Union, FNBO Direct, GO2bank, Golden 1 Credit score Union, HSBC Financial institution, Huntington Financial institution, Lake Michigan Credit score Union, LendingClub Financial institution, Reside Oak Financial institution, M&T Financial institution, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Merrick Financial institution, Nationwide (by Axos), Navy Federal Credit score Union, NBKC, OneUnited Financial institution, Pentagon Federal Credit score Union, PNC, Common Direct, PurePoint Monetary, Quontic Financial institution, Rising Financial institution, Salem 5 Direct, Sallie Mae Financial institution, Santander Financial institution, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit score Union, Synchrony Financial institution, TAB Financial institution, TD Financial institution, TIAA Financial institution, Truist Financial institution, U.S. Financial institution, UFB Direct, Union Financial institution, USAA Financial institution, Vio Financial institution and Wells Fargo.

The editorial content material on this web page is predicated solely on goal, impartial assessments by our writers and isn’t influenced by promoting or partnerships. It has not been supplied or commissioned by any third get together. Nonetheless, we could obtain compensation while you click on on hyperlinks to services or products supplied by our companions.

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