Besides being home to the sunniest days in the U.S., Florida is home to many financial institutions proactive in assisting customers with growing wealth.
The best banks in Florida offer free checking along with full-service banking products. Online banking is all the rage but there remains value in banking at traditional banks with branch locations. Local banks can provide instant cash deposits, cashier’s checks, notary services, same-day wire transfers, in-person financial advice, and more.
Sometimes the best banks are the smaller banks in Florida that offer free checking. With the many banks in Florida, it can be difficult to choose the best option. That's why we've pinpointed the top banks in Florida and picked out options that benefit customers.
Summary of our picks of Florida's best banks and credit unions
5 Best Banks in Florida That Offer Free Checking
1. GTE Financial Credit Union – 200 Welcome Bonus
Go Further Checking is designed to offer a hassle-free checking account with easy access to your money! Waive the $4.95 monthly fee by enrolling in eStatements AND making $500 in aggregate deposits per month OR making a combination of 15 monthly debit and/or credit card transactions.*
Full Access Checking Account Features
- Access to 30,000 free ATMs.
- 24/7 Virtual Banking (Online, Mobile or Telephone).
- Get paid up to 2 days early with early direct deposit for a $3 fee.
- Bill Pay, Zelle®, and Friends & Family Transfers.
- Unlimited check writing.
- Account Balance Alerts.
- Free Bill Pay
- Remote Deposit – with the GTE Mobile App and Deposit2Go.
- Note: To get the $200 Bonus you must use referral code E599076ICB during the application process and bonus code JOIN200. You'll get an opportunity to insert the referral code during the application process once you get to “Lastly, here's an awesome member benefit.”
2. SoFi Bank – Up to $325 Bank Bonus
SoFi Bank offers a high-yield combination checking and savings account that earns up to 1.80% APY and a welcome bonus up to $325. The SoFi Checking and Savings doesn't charge monthly service fees, overdraft fees, or out-of-network ATM fees. Free digital and mobile banking keep you connected to your account at all times.
SoFi Checking and Savings Features
- Fees – There’s no monthly service.
- Early paycheck – Get your paycheck up to 2 days early when you set up direct deposit.
- Opening deposit – Minimum deposit needed to open account $10.
- Savings account – SoFi Checking comes with a Savings Account that earns up to 1.80% APY if you set-up a qualifying direct deposit or 1.00% APY without direct deposit.
- Savings account – Get up to 15% cash back at local establishments when you pay with your SoFi debit card.
- ATM Network – SoFi Bank partners with Allpoint to provide you with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. You will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third-party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement.
- FDIC-Insured –Up to $250,000 per depositor.
3. First Citizens Bank
First First Citizens Bank offers a Free Checking Account with no monthly service charge when you enroll in paperless statements. Free digital and mobile banking keep you connected to your account at all times.
Free Checking Features
- Fees – There’s no monthly service when you enroll in paperless statements.
- No Minimum Balance – Never worry about maintaining a balance.
- Opening deposit – Minimum opening deposit of $50.
- 24/7 Banking – Enjoy free Digital Banking bill pay and 24/7 mobile deposits.
- Branches – 26 branches in Florida.
4. Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank offers a free checking account called Momentum® Checking. Customers get all the benefits of a checking account with no monthly service charge. Plus, get additional time to make a deposit and avoid overdraft fees.
Fifth Third Free Checking Features
- Minimum balance – No minimum balance is required.
- Opening deposit – No minimum deposit to open your account.
- Get paid early – Early direct deposit lets you get paid up to 2 days early.
- Overdraft protection – Fifth Third Extra Time® gives you more time to make a deposit and avoid overdraft fees (anytime before midnight ET the next business day).
- Check writing – Unlimited check writing.
- Savings rate – Relationship Interest Rate on Relationship Savings.
- Fees – No Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee.
- Branches – 166 branches in Florida.
5. Bank OZK
Bank OZK was named “Best Bank in the South” by MONEY®. The bank was graded on competitive checking and savings account options and ATM fees, and above-average customer service according to a J.D. Power’s 2019 Customer Satisfaction study.
Bank OZK Free Checking Features
- Opening deposit – $100 opening deposit.
- Monthly fees – No Monthly Service Fee.
- Free online banking – Online banking, online bill pay and mobile banking.
- Custom debit card – Design your custom debit card.
- Customer service – Toll-free Telephone banking.
- Mobile wallets – Pay with your Bank OZK Visa debit card at participating merchants in-store and in-app directly from your smartphone.
- Branches – 43 branches in Florida.
How did we choose the best banks in Florida?
We looked at the banks and credit unions with free checking as the top benefit that can save bank customers up to $144 per year. Another benefit we reviewed is cash-back rewards where money is deposited directly into customer accounts for using their debit cards.
None of the biggest banks in Florida paid high rates on savings accounts, so we chose an online bank, SoFi Bank, as our top choice for a checking/savings combo account.
For the best credit union, we chose one that offers a welcome bonus and is easy for Florida residents to join.
Final thoughts on banks in Florida
There are many banks in Florida offering free checking but, many have conditions like a direct deposit or a minimum balance rquirement. We looked for banks that offered totally free checking and narrowed it down to these five banks in Florida.