Online bank accounts for free can be a good fit for people that prefer digital banking and who don’t need to visit a physical bank branch.
Digital banking offers customer-friendly access to finance and money management tools and is probably why 82 percent of Millennials, ages 18 to 24, use mobile only banking according to a PWC Survey.
People tend to like online bank accounts for free not only for no-fee checking accounts but also higher savings rates than traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
The money saved by not having to operate branch locations is passed onto the customer which means banks can offer online free checking and savings accounts.
Our 5 Favorite Online Bank Accounts For Free
1. Axos Bank – Essential Checking
Essential Checking available online in ALL states. This account is designed for customers that enjoy no monthly maintenance fees and free online banking tools with simple account management from all of your electronic devices. Plus, you can open an Axos free checking account without an opening deposit. You must however, make a deposit within 30 days of opening your new account.
Essential Checking Features
- Apply with zero opening deposit.
- No monthly maintenance fees.
- Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements. Plus, with your Axos Bank debit card, you can deposit cash at any location, nationwide.
- No minimum monthly balance requirements.
- Mobile check deposits.
- Online bill pay – manage all of your bills within one dashboard.
- Axos Bank, Member FDIC.
2. BBVA – Online Checking
Online Checking available online in ALL states except Alaska and Hawaii. This account is designed for customers on the go. Manage your account, make transfers, pay bills and deposit checks, view balances, and more — all directly from your smartphone, computer or tablet. Plus, as a perk, you have access to a team of remote bankers you can contact via text, email, or phone. Customers get FREE access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs nationwide where cash and checks can be deposited.
Online Checking Features
- Apply with only $25 opening deposit.
- No Monthly Service Fee.
- Complimentary Online Banking and Mobile Banking, Bill Pay and Online Statements.
- Mobile check deposits.
- Unlimited check writing.
- Send, request and receive money using email or mobile number with Popmoney.
- No ATM Fees at any BBVA or 55,000 Allpoint® ATMs nationwide.
- Use your Visa debit card for everyday purchases to earn cash back.
- BBVA USA, Member FDIC.
3. CIT Bank – Savings Builder Account
The CIT Savings Builder is one of the best online savings accounts out there. If you commit to saving at least $100 per month, you could earn 2.20% interest on your deposits; or, an account balance of $25,000 will also earn you 2.20% interest. There is no fee to open the account or keep it open. As with all banks, Federal Regulation D requires that after 6 outgoing transfers you incur a fee. CIT Bank pays one of the best rates on the market with no monthly fees.
Savings Builder Features
- Earn one of the nation’s top rates — More than 25x the national average.
- Earn up to 2.20% APY by:
- Maintaining a balance of $25,000 or more
- Making at least one monthly deposit of $100 or more.
- No account opening or maintenance fees.
- Daily compounding interest to maximize your earning potential.
- Deposit checks remotely and make transfers with the CIT Bank mobile app.
4. Chime – Spending Account
The Chime Spending Account offers a simple checking and savings account for free. They are Chime mobile-only bank backed by Bancorp Bank. But it still has FDIC insurance, so it’s a safe place to keep your checking and savings accounts. The good thing about Chime is that there are no monthly fees or overdraft fees.
Chime Spending Account Features
- No monthly fees. No deposit required.
- No minimum balance requirements.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- 38,000+ fee-free MoneyPass® & Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs.
- Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit.
5. Discover Bank – Checking Account
The Discover Bank Checking Account offers a free online checking account. Customers have access to more than 60,000 free ATMs nationwide. There’s also a first-fee forgiveness policy in place that allows the first eligible fee charged to each checking account to be automatically waived. The only drawbacks you may encounter with this account is that: (1) the debit card is Discover branded and is not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard and (2) The inability to deposit cash or checks at ATMs.
Discover Cashback Debit Features
- Earn one percent cash back when you use your debit card (maximum $300 per month in rewards).
- Pay no monthly fees.
- Withdraw cash from over 60,000 fee-free ATMs in the Allpoint and MoneyPass ATM networks.
- Deposit checks with your mobile device.
- Get free checks when you open your account, and order more checks at no charge.
- Pay one-time and recurring bills for free with online bill payment.
Using online bank accounts for free is a way to take your savings plan to the next level. According to a recent MyBankTracker study, the average checking account fee at top U.S. banks is $9.60. You can see over the years that monthly banking fees add up. That’s money that could be going into a high-yield savings account.