For most people, a piggy bank doesn’t serve as an effective substitute for an actual bank beyond childhood. Opening a bank account can be a tough decision. It is made even more challenging by banks such as Wells Fargo strong-arming customers into opening multiple accounts or even opening accounts without the customer’s permission to drive up its already fat profits. When it comes to choosing a bank account, most people try to avoid extra fees at all costs. While some people might struggle to find effective checking accounts without maintenance fees, there are some good choices out there. Options such as Bank5 Connect, Ally Bank, Capital One 360 Checking, Alliant Credit Union, and Connexus Xtraordinary Checking have some fantastic maintenance fee free options.
Top 5 Free Checking Account Options:
- Bank5 Connect
- Ally Bank
- Capital One 360 Checking
- Alliant Credit Union
- Connexus Xtraordinary Checking
Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking
Not only is this checking account free of any exorbitant fees, it also boasts a high-interest rate. While the 0.76% APY isn’t anything to write home about, it’s at least better than the interest rate on most checking accounts. Furthermore, this bank will even reimburse its customers for the fees they pay at other ATMs. Customers will receive a refund of up to $15 per month in ATM fees. While it does require a minimum balance of $100, this isn’t a challenge for most customers. The overdraft fee is lower than most other banks as well, sitting at $15.
- High APY compared to competitors.
- Will reimburse third-party ATM fees up to $15.
- Low overdraft fee of $15.
Ally Bank Interest Checking
Ally Bank also offers a competitive interest rate on its checking account. In addition, this is a widespread bank across the country with over 40,000 free ATMs. This bank’s biggest selling point, however, is its customer service. That have a fantastic call center that is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Furthermore, for people who have trouble with phones, they have an online chat service that is very helpful. It even tells you the estimated wait time. Customers can even reach out on Facebook and Twitter. This bank has such incredible service that is received perfect grades with Pew Charitable Trusts. It was the only bank to do so.
- Widespread ATMs across the country.
- 24/7 call center.
- Online chat is constantly available.
360 Checking with Capital One
In addition to having no maintenance fees, this account has the best overdraft policy imaginable. The overdraft policy charged is dependent on the amount you overdraft by. This is an 11.5% annual percentage. While this number can cause people to be taken aback, remember this is an annual percentage. Most people replenish their accounts immediately upon noticing the overdraft, so therefore, an overdraft by even $100 is only a fee that amounts to pennies if the error is rectified immediately. Furthermore, this bank is part of Allpoint ATMs, meaning customers have free use at tens of thousands of additional ATMs all over the country.
- The most customer-friendly overdraft policy available.
- Widespread free ATMs.
- Friendly customer service.
Alliant Credit Union Checking
Most credit unions only reside in the state that matches their name. Alliant credit union has spread to 5 different states, meaning people have access to them across an entire region. It only requires a $10 donation to become a member. They offer a competitive interest rate to customers who are environmentally friendly and opt to receive electronic statements only. Furthermore, customers should make sure one electronic deposit is made per month. This allows customers to enjoy a 0.65% APY. Furthermore, Alliant has tens of thousands of ATMs that are fee-free across the region.
- Spread to 5 different states.
- Save the environment and enjoy a higher interest rate.
- Many free ATMs.
Connexus Xtraordinary Checking
This fee-free checking account comes with a whopping 1.75% on most checking account balances. This is, by far, the best option available. To qualify, customers should use their debit card 15 times per month, have a direct deposit, receive only electronic statements, and pay bills on time monthly online. Similar to its competitors, it has thousands of free ATMs and requires a $5 donation to join.
- Best interest rate available.
- Has easy to meet qualifying conditions.
- Small donation to join, similar to competitors.
Ultimately, finding a fee-free checking account is as difficult as it used to. In fact, customers can even find the additional perks they would like to enjoy in addition to checking accounts without fees.