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Best Free Online Checking Account: No Opening Deposit Required

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You can definitely open a free online checking account – no opening deposit but be prepared to make a deposit within 30 days or the account may be closed.

It’s fairly simple to open a checking account online nowadays. Not having the initial deposit does not have to prevent you from opening a checking account.

While most banks require a minimum opening deposit that can range up to $100, we have found an online-only bank that does not require an opening deposit.

But first, to open a free online checking account with no deposit you'll need a few things:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship status
  • Social security number
  • Phone number
  • Email address

You should also set aside 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time because most bank sites will automatically log you off after a few minutes of inactivity.

Chime Offers Free Online Checking Accounts – No Opening Deposit

As one of the fastest growing neobank companies, Chime has over 8 million account holders, offering a variety of products from free checking to savings accounts with high-interest rates, plus a secured credit card.

Chime was founded in 2013 with headquarters in San Francisco, CA, as a challenger bank for individuals.

Customers who don’t mind online-only banking should take advantage of Chime’s mobile app that provides banking services virtually without a physical location or any bank fees, such as overdrafts or monthly maintenance costs.

About the Chime Spending Account

Chime offers a checking account called the “Chime Spending Account” that includes online bill pay, mobile check deposit, and early direct deposit.²

The Chime Spending account is a free online checking account with no opening deposit that has no overdraft fees and offers fee-free ATMs when using an in-network ATM. Chime’s ATM Finder helps customers find nearby fee-free ATMs at 38,000+ locations across the U.S.

Spending Account customers will not earn any interest unless a savings account is opened. It's worth opening a savings account with Chime because it will earn 0.50% APY compared to the national savings rate of 0.05% APY.

Spending Account Features:

  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • No hidden fees¹.
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit.²
  • Automated savings tools to help improve your habits.
  • No foreign transaction fee for debit card purchases.
  • Send money instantly to friends using Pay Friends on our mobile banking app.
  • Write checks to pay bills via Chime’s Checkbook feature.
  • All Chime accounts are FDIC insured up to the standard maximum $250,000 per depositor

Learn More

Chime SpotMe Overdraft Feature

Chime offers an overdraft feature that allows you to overdraft your account from $20 to $100 without paying an overdraft fee. Chime will use your next deposit to cover the negative balance. Customers must qualify in order to enroll in SpotMe.

A total monthly direct deposit of $500 or more qualifies you for enrollment in SpotMe along with the following:

  • Account history
  • Direct deposits
  • Spending pattern
  • “Other risk-based factors”2

About the Chime Savings Account

Because Chime operates primarily online, they can pass the savings onto customers in the form of free checking and a higher than national average savings rate.

The Chime savings account is a top contender in the industry with a 0.50% APY. Interest on the account compounds daily and is credited monthly.

Two optional features help to grow your savings automatically:

  • Use your debit card to save small amounts when you make purchases. Chime will round the transaction up to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference to your savings account.
  • Automatically divert 10% of direct deposits of $500 or more into your savings account.

The fee-free savings account requires no minimum opening deposit or minimum ongoing balance.

Chime Secured Credit Card

Chime has a secured credit card with no credit check or fees for customers that need to build or rebuild credit.

Increase your credit score by an average of 30 points² with the Chime Secured Credit Card.

 No annual fee or interest

 No credit check to apply

 No minimum security deposit required³

Chime will help you maintain on-time payments. Customers can simply turn on the Safer Credit Building feature and your balance will be automatically paid on time, every month. Chime reports to the 3 major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Transunion.

How to qualify for the Chime Secured Credit Card. You must have a Chime Spending Account with an eligible direct deposit of $200 or more within the past 365 days to be considered for the Chime Secured Credit Card.

Chime Secured Credit Card Limit. The money you move into Credit Builder’s secured account is the amount you can spend on the card. Since Credit Builder doesn’t have a pre-set limit, spending up to the amount you added won’t contribute to a high-utilization record on your credit history.

Pros of Chime

In exchange for not having nationwide branch locations, customers can look forward to earning higher interest rates on the Chime high-yield savings accounts. The Chime Savings Account's 0.50% APY is among the highest in the industry.

Chime's automatic savings feature can get you building your emergency funds right away. Plus, with no fees or balance requirements, every penny saved goes directly to you.

Cons of Chime

Chime requires you to open a Spending Account in order to open the Chime Savings Account. For people just looking to open the high-interest savings account, that requirement might be a deterrent.

Final thoughts

Chime customers will enjoy digital banking products along with the convenience of online banking. Chime is focused on having up to date technology and has over 135,000+ five-star reviews in app stores.

Chime's app is available for iPhone® and Android devices and has been featured as one of the top-rated Money Management apps in the App Store.

The Chime mobile app is intuitive and handles everything from tracking your spending and savings to paying friends. Chime’s mobile app was designed for banking from a smartphone. It allows you to:

  • Check your account
  • Pay bills
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Freeze your account after losing your card
  • Receive transaction notifications
  • Send money to friends and family who also have Chime accounts

In 2021, Chime customers can look forward to accessing their cash surcharge-free when using their Chime debit card at Allpoint ATMs at select retail locations nationwide.

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