Why pay for a checking account when so many banks and financial companies offer them for free. All of the companies and organizations on this article offer free checking accounts. Some of them ask that your first deposit be a certain size, but none of them charge you to open or maintain the account. Now that the global economic downturn is a thing of the past, only the strong (or subsidized) organizations remain, which means it is a good time to start opening free checking accounts whilst they are still free.

We give you then our picks for the top 10 best free checking accounts available in 2015. For the vast majority of you, one of these accounts is THE account for you if you are looking for a free checking account. We encourage you though to look at all the specific features offered though, decide what the most important checking account features are to you, specifically, then make a decision based on that.

So what should you look for in a good ‘free’ checking account?

Best Free Checking Account Features to Look For

On this article, you will find a series of free checking accounts, but what is it that makes them stand out from the rest? What features does a good checking account have? Before you commit to opening a bank account, you should know the best features to look for. Why? Because some free checking accounts will offer these and some won’t. So with all the choices out there, WHY settle for a free checking account that does not offer as much as the next bank? And besides, some of these features can really save you money at the end of the day, so it’s a very good idea to choose an account that offers them all.

Here are the elements you should be looking for.

 Unique And Original Features

Notice that the checking accounts on this article each have their own unique selling points. Some offer customized mobility, others offer a range of tools, and others offer high interest rates. This is what often separates the account offerings between companies. So look at any unique account features as part of your decision. It could be one account lacks some of the other features but makes up for it with some useful and money saving unique features.

 No monthly charges

They are also known as maintenance charges, and both banks and financial institutions shouldn’t have to charge maintenance fees unless they are in serious financial trouble. Note that while many free checking accounts do offer no monthly charges, they often will list a MINIMUM BALANCE you must maintain to take advantage of this feature. So for example, the bank may require you to keep 500 or 1000 dollars in the account at all times not to be charged this. This is ok if you use this account like a savings account, but you essentially lock that money up and unlike a savings account or other investment account, that money is NOT earning you anything significant back with the paltry interest rates offered by checking accounts. SO, look for free checking accounts that offer either a LOW minimum balance amount for the no monthly charge feature or a NO minimum balance amount. If you look around enough, you can find this.

 No opening fees

Asking that you invest money as an opening deposit is fair because you still keep your money, but actually paying to open a checking account with a non-refundable fee is abhorrent in this day and age.

Online banking

You should be able to check your balance, pay people/companies online, and transfer money online. A modern checking account should have online banking/features, if it doesn’t, then avoid it.

Checking account tools

The best checking accounts have tools to help their users. The tools range from online check deposits, apps, budgeting tools, payment tools, and many more.

Tech savvy accounts

As you will see by the checking accounts listed on this article, there are some companies that seamlessly integrate technology into their accounts, such as with photo-check deposits, balance streaming via apps, and mobile integration.

Paying you interest

A financial company should have to work to get your account, which is why the best checking accounts are both free and will pay you interest on your money. Keep in mind that checking accounts (and usually the free ones), typically won’t pay you that much interest. If you want higher interest rates, you will want to look at either a high interest savings account where you can’t touch your money for a period of time specified or put your money into an investment portfolio for better returns.

Multi-platform integration

The best checking accounts will allow you to do things such as link accounts, allow you to grant permissions to other people, work on different operating systems, and much more.

Ease of access and ease of use

This article doesn’t concentrate very much on how easy the accounts are to access and use, suffice it to say that all the checking accounts listed make accessing your account easy, and all have easy-to-use functions. All good checking accounts will be able to boast similar qualities.

 Security

Another element that is not discussed in depth within this article is security. All ten of the checking accounts listed use state-of-the-art security, and all have been free from public security breaches within the last 3 year. All good checking account companies should have a similar record.

1: Capital One 360 (The Easiest System On The Market)

You can get a free checking account with Capital One 360. They offer a big-bank feel despite the fact they are relatively small compared to most banks. They have a good all-around selection that is ideal for people looking for a good online account, credit account and financial services.

Why We Recommend It

Lots of ATMs and plenty of coverage

They have more than 40,000 no-fee ATMs and a very good mobile platform means your money won’t miss a beat. You get reasonably good value for money with their accounts and their services are recognized by a great number of banks, financial institutions and businesses, which means your checks will be honored both in your own country and in most developed countries too.

Avoid hidden fees

There are no hidden minimums and you can earn interest in your everyday money. There are plenty find out ATMs, along with their 40,000 no-fee ATMs, and mobile check deposits come with CheckMateSM and one checkbook for free. There is no occasion where a company/organization offering checking accounts should have to hide fees because the way they work. Either you rarely use the account, and they charge you a fee, or you pass enough money through their accounts to enable them to earn interest themselves. Hiding fees serves no long-term purpose.

Our Review

This is really a top checking account that you can open and maintain for free. They have really gone all out to provide the best possible service, and they do it without feeling the need to charge a premium with their fees, and without charging opening or maintenance fees. What is more impressive is that they will consider more people than all the other checking account companies listed on this article. Even if you have a terrible credit rating, they will still give you a chance in most circumstances.

How to Open a Capital One 360 Account

They do have a phone line, but it is difficult to get through and the customer support is often overworked. Signing up online is the easiest, and the verification process is mostly done online with their systems checking your credit rating automatically with soft searches, though you will need to authorize a full check. You may have to sign a document they post out to you and post it back to them, but otherwise the process is very simple and straight forwards.

2: Everbank Yield Pledge Checking Account (Earn Money With Your Checking Account

If you are looking for a high-interest checking accounts where you can earn money from your account, then this is the place to go. Your checking account is free, and you earn extra interest on your money if you keep a certain amount in your account for both short and longer periods.

Why We Recommend It

A massive first year bonus

With this checking account you get a first-year bonus of 1.10%, which is applied to all of your balances, which is actually is 15 times more than the national average. You are able to use your checking account like a savings account where you can set up partial direct deposits and you can set up transfers.

The mobile app that keeps you up to date

They also have a mobile app that goes along with this free checking account, where you can see your balance, pay your bills, and deposit your checks, and all from your mobile device. If you keep around $5,000 in your account, then every single ATM fee you incur will be reimbursed.

Large cash amounts are welcome

The checking account is free, but you will need $1,500 as a minimum opening balance, but there is no minimum balance to earn interest. There are also no debit-card fees and No EverBank ATM fees if you have more than $5000 in your account. They have free online and mobile banking, and you can make free deposits too.

Our Review

Large cash amounts are welcome. The checking account is free, but you will need $1,500 as a minimum opening balance, but there is no minimum balance to earn interest. There are also no debit-card fees and No EverBank ATM fees if you have more than $5000 in your account. They have free online and mobile banking, and you can make free deposits too.

How to Open and Everbank Yield Pledge Checking Account

You have to have them send you an email from their website. You go through the signup procedure via the website, and they send you an email with all the instructions you will need to create your new checking account. You can upload your first deposit via a transfer from an external company or bank, or by taking a photo of a check that you wish to deposit.

3: Ally Interest Checking (Your Flexible Saving Option)

Link your Ally interest checking account to your Ally savings account, and you have a potent mix of accounts that can help you save your money. Keep your money in one or the other and move your money around as you need it. Instantly move money from your savings account to your checking account

Why We Recommend It

Features for sending money

Using a features called Popmoney®, you are also able to move money from your Ally accounts to other accounts, which means you can set up your two Ally accounts to serve as micro-payment solutions for whatever you choose. You have complete control over the movement of your money, whilst safe in the knowledge that your money is instantly accessible and that whilst it is waiting/saving to be paid to other people it is still earning interest.

Use modern payment techniques

You can pay people via text or email if you have set the account up in advance, and there are no minimum balances to open your account. There are no monthly fees, and they have a 24/7 live customer support line that is manned by real people. Their ATMs are littered around the country and do not have fees, you can deposit checks remotely with Ally eCheck Deposit and send money to other accounts with Popmoney®.

Our Review

You can pay people via text or email if you have set the account up in advance, and there are no minimum balances to open your account. There are no monthly fees, and they have a 24/7 live customer support line that is manned by real people. Their ATMs are littered around the country and do not have fees, you can deposit checks remotely with Ally eCheck Deposit and send money to other accounts with Popmoney®.

How to Open and Ally Interest Checking Account

Their website makes it very simple. They give you the signup questions in a series or easy-to-handle chunks. You complete one section and move on to the next. If you provide all of the information needed, such as your address, social security number, etc, then they take you through the process and create your account for you.

4: USAA (Giving Military Personnel The Tools To Tailor Your Accounts)

The great thing about a free checking account from USAA is that they have a wide variety of tools you can choose from. Many checking accounts will offer certain packages online and it is your choice to choose what you want. With USAA they say, “Here are the tools, use the account how you wish.”

Why We Recommend It

Convenient and easy-to-use

All of this means that you can use it as a convenience tool for making deposits, or you can use it to create and monitor your budget. You can use it to pay household bills, or use it to give your kids or grandkids their allowance. So, why is it that you do not have a free checking account with this organization?

For people in the military

The reason is because USAA accounts and associated products are only available to active duty military personnel, to veterans, to associated families, and to other military affiliates. If you fall within one of these categories, then you will enjoy no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees. They have free direct deposits and toll-free ATMs posted around the USA. They also offer free bill payments and transfers.

Our Review

The reason is that USAA accounts and associated products are only available to active duty military personnel, to veterans, to associated families, and to other military affiliates. If you fall within one of these categories, then you will enjoy no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees. They have free direct deposits and toll-free ATMs posted around the USA. They also offer free bill payments and transfers.

How to Open a USAA Account

You have to visit the website and signup through there. The authentication process is a little longer than most checking accounts because they have to find out if you are eligible. They do so by first asking you the relevant questions, and then by checking and verifying your details after you have signed up.

5: Chase Total Checking (Rewards For Opening Your Account)

Looking for a free checking account is fair enough, but what about one that actually pays you? Chase Total Checking® are frequently running promotions where they give away money to people that open accounts. The only problem is that there is usually some sort of catch, such as how you have to put a certain amount of money into your account as your first deposit, and you have to keep it in there for a certain amount of time.

Why We Recommend It

Frequent promotions if you want them

Even despite their catch-filled promotions, they do not charge you for creating or maintaining your checking account. They are also in the habit of giving out rewards for you opening accounts and setting up direct debts into your account.

Chase Total Checking have perks such as their Chase QuickDepositSM feature, which allows you to deposit checks by taking a picture of them. Or, there is the Chase QuickPaySM feature where you are able to send money virtually, meaning you do not have to use checks or cash.

Get your checking account for free

You can have your checking account for free if you have at least $500 in direct deposits per month, which is not difficult for most working people. Or, if you have a daily minimum balance $1,500 or more. They have over 15,500 ATMs along with 5,400 branches, and they have 24/7 live customer support.

Online services and features

They charge nothing for a debit card, and you gain access to their online services, their free Chase Debit card with chip technology, online mobile banking, bill paying facilities, and free account alerts via text message.

Our Review

They charge nothing for a debit card, and you gain access to their online services, their free Chase Debit card with chip technology, online mobile banking, bill paying facilities, and free account alerts via text message. This is really an account for people that are employed full or part time because it means you can have direct deposits of over $500 without having to think about it.

How to Open a Chase Total Checking Account

Go online, find an established branch in your area, or do it over the phone. You will need the usual details to help them confirm your identity and check your credit rating. They are going to charge you in the region of $12 per month if you do not make enough deposits and/or the minimum balance, so it is a good idea to start off your account with a $500+ direct deposit, or a minimum balance of $1500, and that way your account will be free from the very start.

6: GoBank (The Best Mobile Banking Solution On The Market)

With a GoBank™ checking account, you get access to their highly stylized and customized online-mobile banking platforms. With their account you will not get interest, but you will gain access to their online and mobile services for free. It has mobile functions that customized and designed specifically for use on mobile devices. They have put a lot of time, effort and research into making their platform as mobile-friendly as possible.

Why We Recommend It

If you direct deposit at least $500 per month, then there are no fees for your account. For a working person it shouldn’t be difficult to have more than $500 direct deposited into their account. They have mobile check deposits and online bill paying functions. They also have a very large and free ATM network.

No overdraft charges

One of the best things about their service is that they do not have NSF charges or overdraft fees. They will charge a foreign transaction, but that sort of thing will not affect most users. If you are looking to do a lot of traveling abroad, then this may not be the checking account for you.

A live and secure stream to your balance

Check your balance with your phone without having to log into your app. Set up an auto-authorization function that will stream the balance of your account, but will not grant access to any other features of your bank or money fund. As a result, you can see your bank balance at any time without worrying about losing your phone or hackers getting onto your mobile operating system.

Set and manage your budget on your phone

It has a feature called Fortune Teller, and with it you are able to set a budget and have it issue reminders for due dates. You may also check your budget and control your spending by adding in what you will spend in the near future. You can also enter the cost of items you wish to buy, and your mobile app will tell you if you can afford them.

There are no monthly fees, and the mobile app is fantastic. The innovative budgeting tools also help to make this the most mobile-friendly checking account available at the moment.

Our Review

Their online services are good; their mobile services are above and beyond the call of duty. If you are looking for an account that you wish to manage from a mobile device, then you need to give this company a lot of serious consideration. The fact they also have no overdraft charges is something that very few other companies offer, and the only reason this company didn’t rank higher up the list is because they make up for the lack of overdraft fees with slightly higher fees in other areas.

How to Open GoBank Account

Ideally, you should use your mobile device because it has the most seamless signup method, but the company gives you numerous signup options. You can call them and open an account via their customer service department, or you can do it on the Internet. You can even order the paperwork at home and open your account via the mail.

7: Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking  (More Money To Add To Your Money)

The most attractive thing about Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking accounts is the fact that they have very high rates of interest for people that leave their money in there. They reimburse third-party ATM fees without you having to keep a certain amount of money in your account at all times.

Why We Recommend It

Use your mobile phone to manage your account

They have dedicated mobile apps for you to use with your checking account, which also comes with online bill paying facilities, for which you do not have to pay an extra fee. There are no maintenance fees, and all their mobile banking functions are free too. They offer free online banking eStatements and they have a UChoose Debit Rewards program.

Interest paid into your account

To encourage you to use your checking account for your everyday transactions, the Bank5 Connect’s High-Interest Checking account will pay you interest. They do not have a minimum that you have to have in your account. Even small amounts placed in your account will have interest paid on top of them.

Our Review

The fact they pay interest is good, and the fact they pay it on small sums of money is excellent. Their service is brilliant and their online GUI is easy-to-use and fairly simple. The only reason it didn’t rank higher up the list is because the others offer services and functions that this one doesn’t. This checking account is good, and the ones that ranked higher are only marginally better.

How to Open a Bank5 Account

Setting up your account over the phone is actually a little quicker if you do not count the time you have to take on hold. That is because a few of the verification processes are handled instantly and you do not have to wait. Otherwise, you can sign up online and have to transfer an initial $10 (not a fee) from another online account to start your account.

8: TIAA Direct Interest Checking

TIAA have a very good checking account that doesn’t cost you a penny to set up, and that has no maintain ace fees. You need to place an opening deposit of $25, but that is just a starter amount and not a fee. Their NSF fee is currently $35, and they also offer a small amount of interest on your balance. You can deposit checks on your mobile device and set up alerts for things such as when you overdraw by accident. Plus, they have an overdraft protection scheme, and the company has over 23,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.

Why We Recommend It

Free perks to enjoy

The rate of interest they give you on your balance is not very big, but this is offset somewhat by the free perks they give you. They include things such as their eBills online bill-paying service, free transfers and things of that nature. If you are used to paying fees for various online and offline features, then this company will offer you a refreshing change.

Our Review

There are many people that have been TIAA customers for years and have never complained. The only downside is that a few of their online services are a little ugly looking, which makes the user experience a little less than optimal. Otherwise, the checking account they offer is very good; ergo the TIAA direct interest checking account deserves its place on this top ten list.

How to Open a TIAA Direct Interest Checking Account

You have to be a US citizen, be a permanent resident and you must be 18yrs old. You will have to show your US passport or ID, and you will need your social security number. You will also need the routing numbers of whichever external U.S. bank you wish to use to fill up (fund) your checking account. Setting up your account is not as difficult as it sounds.

9: FNBO Direct

Earn interest on the money you put in your account, including interest rates that are better than what you are offered with traditional banks via their checking accounts. Sign up for an “Interest Checking Account,” and you earn interest no matter how much money you have in your account, plus you get an ATM card too.

Why We Recommend It

You can only hold as much as $1 million in your account

You will need to put a $1 deposit into your account to open it, after which there are no minimum balance requirements. There are no monthly maintenance fees, and the maximum you can have in your account is one million dollars. You can use their free BillPay system to make payments between of amounts between $5 and $10,000.

Our Review

The only genuine down side is that they do not reimburse ATM fees, but that is not really a hardship. The BillPay system removes the need for paper checks, which is convenient since paper checks are becoming a thing of the past. The fact they pay a reasonable amount of interest on any balance you have in your account is reason enough to use them.

How to Open a FNBO Direct Account

Go through the website and it will take around twenty minutes. You will need to put in at least $1, which you will have to transfer from another account. You will need your Tax ID number and your social security number. You will need some sort of ID card or driver’s license that you will have to scan or photograph for them to see. They will also need your employment information amongst the usual slew of information they ask for.

10: iGObanking.com

You do not have to enter a minimum deposit of any more than $1 in order to open your account, there are no up-front fees, and you do not have to maintain a minimum balance. They of an APY of 0.25%, and offer a very consistent service. The only reason they have had a rough time online is because their administration is a little lacking, which means it is almost impossible to close your account when it is opened. If it were not for this small flaw, they would have ranked a lot higher on this list. They offer high-yielding savings, checking money market savings, and they offer CD products that you can open online and via mail. With iGObanking® you may make automated withdraws and deposits too.

Our Review

The funds transfer function is very good, but you have to be very careful around how you manage your account because if you get it wrong, then the customer support will help, but the administrators are bad. Free withdrawals from ATMs are good, but the NSF fees are ea little steep. The checking account is far better than most on the market, but pales in comparison to the other checking accounts on this list.

How to Open an iGOBanking.com Account

You can set up an account through the mail by calling them and ordering the paperwork. They send it back, you fill out the forms, send them off, and they send you all the details through the post. Otherwise, you can sign up online within around ten minutes. Your account is opened online, but there are verifications hoops you need to jump through via your phone and the mail.

Conclusion

Which one to choose?

Well tje real answer here is ‘There Is No Wrong Answer!’

All the checking accounts listed on this article are attractive and popular. They each have their own charms that will attract different people. There are high-interest accounts for people that wish to move larger amounts of money, and there are mobile-friendly accounts for people that wish to manage their money on the move. There are accounts that are loaded with tools and features, and others that allow for free ATM use.

Every Checking Account Listed Is Suitable

All of the checking accounts listed may be created and used for free. Some of them have conditions, but there is a free option you can choose. With checking accounts as attractive as these, there is really no reason to pay for your next checking account. The companies that operate these checking accounts are large financial organizations and institutions, so it is a little easier to trust them with your money. The choice is yours, suffice it to say that there is really no wrong answer if you pick one of the checking accounts listed on this article.