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Best Digital Banks That Offer Free Checking Accounts

List of digital banks with no fees and innovative services like Ring Pay.
digital-banks

Digital banks that offer free checking give you the most freedom to bank whenever and where ever you like.

Digital banking is not a temporary phenomenon caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a steady increase in the number of new digital banks over the last decade. By 2026 the global digital banking market is expected to reach $30.1 Billion.

An increasing number of consumers and businesses are conducting daily banking transactions without ever visiting a branch location.

Banking with little-to-no fees is an important feature for most consumers.

We have researched several digital banks to compile a list of the best digital banks with free checking features.

Best Digital Banks with Free Checking Accounts

Digital banking should be simple, allowing customers to achieve financial goals with easy-to-use banking apps, budgeting tools and offer a breadth of digital products and services.

Upgrade Rewards Checking

  • Best Cash-Back Checking
  • Headquarters in San Francisco, CA
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000 through Cross River Bank
  • No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, No ATM fees
  • $0 minimum opening deposit

Why We Like It

Totally Free Checking Account. The Upgrade Rewards Checking Account is a no-fee checking account with 2% cash back on common everyday expenses.

  • 2% cash back on common everyday expenses at convenience stores, drugstores, restaurants and bars – including deliveries – and gas stations, as well as recurring payments on utilities and monthly subscriptions including phone, cable, TV and other streaming services.
  • 1% cash back on all other debit card charges.

High-Yield Savings. The Upgrade Premier Savings Account earns customers 3.50% APY. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account every month.

Financial Products. Checking, Savings, Credit Cards, Personal Loans, and Car Refinance.

Lower loan rates. The rate on your next loan or card through Upgrade will be up to 20% lower if you maintain an active Rewards Checking account.

No Monthly Fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, or foreign transaction fees.

Free ATMs. No ATM fees, no account fees, no transfer fees.

Upgrade is a financial technology company, not a bank. Checking and savings accounts provided by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC.

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CIT Bank

digital-bank

  • Best for Combined Checking and Savings
  • Based in Raleigh, NC
  • Savings Connect Account Earns 3.60% APY
  • No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, No ATM fees
  • Get up to $30 in other U.S. bank’s ATM fees reimbursed per month
  • Requires $100 minimum opening deposit for checking or savings accounts

Why We Like It

CIT Bank customers enjoy the convenience of digital banking no matter their location.

High-Yield Savings. The CIT Savings Connect Account earns 3.60% APY. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account every month.

Top 20 U.S. financial institution. CIT Bank is a division of First Citizens Bank, the largest family-controlled bank in the United States with more than $100 billion in assets.

Financial Products. Checking, Savings, Money Market, Certificate of Deposit, and Mortgage Loans.

No overdraft fees. CIT Bank's eChecking account offers no overdraft fees.

No Monthly Account Fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees, no fees for online transfers, no minimum balance fees, or foreign transaction fees. Incoming domestic wire transfers are free as well.

Free ATMs. Get up to $30 in other bank's ATM fees reimbursed per month.

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Chime

  • Best for Automated Saving and Building Credit
  • Based in San Francisco, CA
  • No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, Some ATM fees
  • Larger fee-free network than the top 3 national banks combined
  • Cashback rewards
  • $0 minimum opening deposit

Why We Like It

Chime is the biggest digital banking platform in the U.S., with over 13.1 million digital banking users and close to 9,000 locations where customers can make cash deposits.

Automatic Savings. The Chime makes it easy to save automatically every time you make a purchase or pay a bill with your Chime Visa® Debit Card. Transactions are rounded up to the nearest dollar and then automatically transferred to your savings account. The Chime Checking account must be opened in order to open the Chime Savings account that earns 2.00% APY.

Financial Products. Checking, Savings, and the Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card.

No Monthly Fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, or foreign transaction fees.

Budgeting Tools. Chime has a highly rated attractive mobile app where customers can get daily balance notifications. Round-up your savings to the next dollar when you spend money or automatically save a percentage of your income when you get paid.

Early direct deposit. Chime lets you get your paycheck up to two days early¹ with direct deposit.

Free ATMs. Access access to 60,000+ fee-free ATMs including ATMs at stores like Walgreens®, 7-Eleven®, CVS Pharmacy®, Circle K & more.

Overdraft Protection. Chime's SpotMe feature lets you overdraft up to $200 with your debit card with no fee. You can also use the SpotMe feature at ATMs to withdraw cash up to $200. Eligibility requirements and limits apply.

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card. If you need to build credit Chime offers a way to increase your credit score by an average of 30 points. There is no credit check to apply, no annual fee or interest, and no minimum security deposit required³.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank N.A.; Members FDIC.

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Quontic Bank

  • Best for High-Interest Certificate of Deposits and Checking Accounts
  • Based in Manhattan, New York
  • CD Rates up to 4.45% APY
  • No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, No ATM fees
  • Get unlimited ATM fee rebates

Why We Like It

Quontic Bank offers some of the best CD Rates with terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years. The minimum deposit of $500 is relatively low compared to other online banks. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly.

  • 6 MONTHS CD – Earn 3.25% APY
  • 1 YEAR CD – Earn 4.00% APY
  • 2 YEARS CD – Earn 4.15% APY
  • 3 YEARS CD – Earn 4.30% APY
  • 5 YEARS CD – Earn 4.45% APY

Designated Community Development Financial Institution. As a CDFI Quontic enables customers to improve their financial decisions. Quontic Bank uses its customer deposits to bring the dream of homeownership to low-income families, immigrants, people of color, small business owners, and others who are unable to obtain home mortgage financing through traditional mortgage channels.

Quontic Bank High-Interest Checking. Earn 1.10% APY on all high-yield checking account balance tiers when you make at least 10 qualifying debit card point of sale transactions of $10 or more per statement cycle.

Financial Products. Checking, Savings, CDs and Mortgage Loans including special loans for self-employed borrowers.

No Monthly Checking Fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, or foreign transaction fees.

90,000 ATMs across the nation. Surcharge-free at any participating AllPoint® Network ATMs, MoneyPass® Network ATMs, SUM® program ATMs, or Citibank® ATMs located in Target®, Speedway®, Walgreens℠, CVS®, Kroger®, Safeway®, Winn Dixie®, and Circle K™.

Ring Pay. With the Quontic Pay Ring, you'll always have access to your money with wearable payment. The Quontic Pay Ring is exclusively for Quontic Checking Account customers.

Fully Mobile & Online Banking. Quontic digital banking features like remote check deposit, bill pay, account transfers, and receipt tracking make managing your finances easy.

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Features digital banks should have

Besides free checking, there are a few more features customers should look for in digital banks.

Online customer service. because you do not have the advantage of walking inside and talking to a human being. How often are you able to get them? What are their hours?”

Higher interest rates. Digital-only banks should have higher interest rates for savings products because they don't have the overhead of the brick-and-mortar. You want to make sure you're getting access to high-interest savings, checking accounts, money market accounts, and CDs that are well above the national average.

Easy transfer process. Can the digital bank easily manage transactions like transfer, pay, and purchase via mobile with Zelle®, Bill Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and, Apple Pay.

Security. Digital banks, at the bare minimum, should have two-factor identification.  Cybersecurity threats are on the rise. Digital banks that encourage their customers to use multi-factor authentication add an extra layer of security. If a threat occurs, the attacker cannot gain access to the account with only a password.

Can you trust a digital bank?

Yes. Opening a new digital banking relationship has never been faster or easier. Digital banks are reaching consumers who aren’t being served well by traditional banks by offering specialized products and services.

A study from Cornerstone Advisors found that the percentage of Americans whose primary checking account is with a digital bank has skyrocketed since 2020 with more than a quarter of consumers aged 21 to 26 (Gen Z) and nearly a third of Millennials (age 27 to 41) use a digital bank for their primary checking account.

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