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Best Digital Banks That Offer Free Checking Accounts

Check out our list of digital banks with free checking, free ATMs, high-interest checking, savings, and CD accounts.
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 FDIC insured up to $250,000 through Cross River Bank
Financial Products Checking, Savings, Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Car Refinance
Fees No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, No ATM fees
ATM Network No ATM fees, no account fees, no transfer fees
Minimum initial deposit: $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.

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. Rewards Checking services provided by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC. Upgrade VISA® Debit Cards issued by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

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Axos Bank Rewards Checking

axos-digital-bank

  • Best for high-interest checking
  • Based in San Diego, CA
Annual Percentage Yield Checking: up to 1.25% APY
Financial Products Checking, Savings, Credit Cards, Loans, Investing
Fees No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, No ATM fees
ATM Network Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
Minimum initial deposit: $50 minimum opening deposit

Why We Like It

Interest-Bearing Checking Account. The Rewards Checking Account earns up to 1.25% APY.

High-Interest Savings Account. The Axos High Yield Savings Account earns 0.61% APY. Compare that to the national savings rate of 0.07% APY. There are no minimum balance requirements to earn 0.61% APY.

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

Free ATMs. Get unlimited reimbursements from any domestic ATM.

In addition to its high-interest checking and savings accounts, Axos Bank offers a full range of financial products. Axos digital banking gives online customers access to credit cards, personal loans, investing for beginners, business products as well as mortgage loans.

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Quontic Bank

  • Best for High-Interest Certificate of Deposits and Checking Accounts
  • Based in Manhattan, New York
Annual Percentage Yield CDs up to 2.86% APY and Checking Accounts up to 1.10% APY
Products CDs, Checking, Savings, Loans
Fees No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, No ATM fees
ATM Network Get unlimited ATM fee rebates
Certificate of Deposits 2.86% APY on 5-Year Term CD
Minimum deposit: $500 minimum opening deposit

Why We Like It

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.

Best Certificate of Deposit Rates. Earn high interest on Quontic Bank's Certificate of Deposit Accounts. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly.

  • 6 MONTHS CD – Earn 1.26% APY
  • 1 YEAR CD – Earn 2.01% APY
  • 2 YEARS CD – Earn 2.51% APY
  • 3 YEARS CD – Earn 2.81% APY
  • 5 YEARS CD – Earn 2.86% APY

CD accounts are not as liquid as a high-interest checking account. There may be penalties for withdrawing money early.

Quontic Bank High-Interest Checking. Earn up to 1.10% APY on balances up to and including $150,000 with Quontic Checking when you make at least 10 qualifying debit card point of sale transactions of $10 or more per statement cycle.

Checking account minimum opening deposit: $100.

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™.

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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CIT Bank

digital-bank

  • Best for Combined Checking and Savings
  • Based in Raleigh, NC

CIT is a division of First Citizens Bank, the largest family-controlled bank in the United States with more than $100 billion in assets. With CIT Bank customers enjoy the convenience of digital banking no matter their location.

Annual Percentage Yield Checking/Savings Account: Earn 1.35% APY
Products Savings, Checking, MMA, CDs
Fees No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, No ATM fees
ATM Network Get up to $30 in other U.S. bank’s ATM fees reimbursed per month
Minimum deposit Required $100 minimum opening deposit

Why We Like It

High-Yield Savings. The CIT Savings Connect & eChecking is an interest-bearing checking/savings combo that allows customers to earn 1.35% APY.

The eChecking account is required when opening the CIT Savings Connect account. The combo checking/savings account makes it simple to access your money with the linked checking account.

No Monthly Fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, 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.

CIT Bank is a top 20 U.S. bank with over 100 years of experience. All savings, checking, money market, and CD accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

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Chime

  • Best for Automated Saving and Building Credit
  • Based in San Francisco, CA

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

Annual Percentage Yield Checking/Savings Account: 0.50%
Products Checking, Savings, Credit Builder Visa Card
Fees No monthly fees, No overdraft fees, Some ATM fees
ATM Network 60,000+ ATMs nationwide
Cashback rewards None
Minimum initial deposit: $0 minimum opening deposit

Why We Like It

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 Spending account must be opened in order to open the Chime Savings account.

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 tet 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.

Free ATMs. Access cash at 60,000+ fee-free ATMs.

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

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

In addition to its competitive rates on savings, limited fees, and no minimum requirements.

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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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