How to Find a Free Checking Account

As the saying goes, “nothing in life is free.” However, it’s still possible to find a checking account that offers you the most value for your money. To find a truly Free Checking Account, you must first look beyond the monthly maintenance fees that most banks and credit unions charge. Look for accounts that don’t charge a variety of other fees, including out-of-network ATM fees, overdraft charges and account inactivity fees.

You can also look for checking accounts that offer more than just free checks and a low monthly maintenance fee, such as cash back on debit card purchases or a competitive APY. These accounts typically have a minimum deposit requirement and might require you to make a certain number of transactions each month to earn the highest APY.

When you’re ready to open a new account, research the terms and conditions of each account to find the one that fits your needs. You can often find information about each account online. Some accounts also have an easy application process. You can usually fill out the application using your computer or mobile device. Once you’ve completed the application, you may need to fund your account through a bank transfer or by depositing cash into an in-person branch.

Before opening any checking account, you should review the fees outlined in your institution’s fee schedule. Financial institutions must clearly state their fees in the checking account agreement, but they can change their fees at any time if they notify you in writing 30 days before doing so.

Another consideration is how well your institution’s online and mobile services work for you. You’ll want to consider how easy it is to pay bills, check balances and track spending from your mobile device or computer. You’ll also want to take a look at how quickly and easily you can reach customer service representatives through phone, live chat or secure messages.

Some of the best free checking accounts come with perks and features that can help you save more, such as a higher APY or cash back on debit card purchases. You can use these extra funds to help you meet your savings goals or put toward expenses.

No matter what your financial situation, you can find a free checking account to suit your needs. By shopping around and avoiding common banking fees, you can save over $87 a year on average compared to what you’d spend with the biggest banks, according to NerdWallet. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and more money in your wallet.