What You Need to Know About a Free Checking Account

A Free Checking Account is an easy way to manage your money without paying a monthly fee. These accounts typically offer a number of perks, like mobile apps and debit cards, access to fee-free ATMs, and some even earn interest on your balance.

What are the most common features of a free checking account?

The best free checking accounts offer a lot of benefits, including a free debit card, direct deposit, and access to online and mobile banking. In addition to these basic features, many also offer a high APY and other perks, such as rewards and cash back.

Where can I open a free checking account?

Most banks and credit unions allow you to open a Free Checking Account online or at one of their branches. If you have a bank account at another institution, most of them can transfer funds from that account to your new free checking account. If you’re looking for a physical branch, some of the most well-known online banks have branches across the country, while traditional financial institutions are still widely available.

How can I avoid fees on a free checking account?

In the past, many banks pushed customers to sign up for free checking accounts with the promise of no fees. While this is a great way to save money, it’s important to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions of your free checking account before opening one.

Do you have to make a certain amount of deposits each month?

While a free checking account generally doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement, some banks and credit unions may require you to make a certain amount of deposits each monthly period. This is to ensure that you’re able to maintain a balance in your account, or else you could end up charged a monthly maintenance fee.

Overdrafts are one of the most common problems with free checking accounts. In fact, 54% of Americans overdraft their accounts 2-5 times each year.

These overdraft fees can add up quickly, averaging $35 each. It’s important to find a bank that offers overdraft protection, so you can prevent this costly and stressful situation from happening.

Do they have a robust ATM network?

If you’re a frequent withdrawaler, you’ll want to make sure that the bank, credit union or financial institution offering your free checking account has a wide enough ATM network to accommodate your needs. This can be a major convenience, especially if you’re travelling or out of the area for a while.

Are they FDIC insured?

When choosing a bank, credit union or financial institution, make sure that it is FDIC insured, which means that up to $250,000 of your account funds are protected from the government. This is important, as it can help you recover lost funds should the bank or credit union fail.

Does the bank have a free checking account for military personnel?

If you are a member of the military or an employee of the DOD, then you might be eligible for a free checking account at USAA. However, this requires you to qualify for membership, which can be difficult for some people.