Best Free Online Banking | Account Opening, Charges & Details

There are a lot of online banking platforms around, both locally and internationally offering different levels of financial services. Customers have had both good and bad experiences with any of their preferred platforms, but if you would like to have a better experience with the Best Free Online Banking, ensure you read this article carefully to the end.

Online banking is the use of an online platform that enables you to have access to almost all kinds of financial services you can get from physical banks without going to any location.

Through online banking, one can purchase, make money transfers, borrow, shop, and pay bills without visiting any bank branches for account opening.

One major advantage of online bank platforms is that you can meet all your financial needs without withdrawing or carrying cash from one place to another. The only thing you would require is; a mobile phone and/or internet connection.

Some online banking is free, while others are not. In this article, I will be sharing with you general information about Best Free Online Banking. Continue reading for more detailed information.

Best Online Banks for 2023

Financial InstitutionWhy It Makes Our ListSavings APY
Ally BankNo fees, a proven reputation for customer satisfaction, competitive interest rates and features to help you save more4.00%
American ExpressCombines high-interest checking and no fees with debit card rewards for AmEx credit card holders4.00%
Axos BankArray of options includes a fee-free account with unlimited ATM reimbursements0.61% (checking up to 3.30%)
Capital OneThe ultimate jack of all trades, including no fees, competitive interest, free transfers and helpful savings software4.15%
ChimeDeepest pool of features on our list, including early access to direct deposits2.00%
Discover BankThe poster child for “no fees” also offers cash back on purchases and a competitive interest rate4.15%
Fidelity InvestmentsBrokerage account that allows you to bank for free and automatically earns you interest on your uninvested cash2.60%
SchwabBrokerage account that allows you to bank for free and offers unlimited ATM reimbursements worldwide and free foreign transactions0.48%

More Detail on Best Free Online Banking

Consumers Credit Union

APY: Up to 4.00%

Min. deposit to open: $5


ATMs: 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs

Number of locations: 5,000 shared branches

Mobile banking availability: Mobile and online banking services are available

Membership: Membership eligibility is open to anyone.

The Consumers Credit Union Serious Interest Checking account offers early direct deposit, unlimited check writing and a competitive APY.

You can earn up to 4.00% APY on checking account balances of up to $15,000. But to earn the highest APY, you must have at least 12 posted debit card transactions monthly, a $1,000 average daily balance, a $1,000 minimum recurring monthly direct deposit and be enrolled in e-statements.

Lake Michigan Credit Union

APY: 3.00%

Min. deposit to open: $0


ATMs: 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs in the Allpoint network

Number of locations: 68 branches

Mobile banking availability: Mobile and online banking services are available

Membership: Open to anyone who pays the $5 membership fee.
Lake Michigan Credit Union offers a full suite of banking services in-person and virtually. We like that this credit union offers several free checking account options.

The Max Checking account offers a 3.00% APY that’s easy to earn. You’ll just need to receive one qualifying direct deposit, at least 10 debit or credit card transactions, enroll to receive e-statements and login to your bank account at least four times per month.

But if you’re not up for meeting monthly requirements, the Free Checking option comes with free starter checks and other basic features — like mobile banking and a debit card. Neither option requires a minimum balance.

Axos Bank

APY: 3.30%

Min. deposit to open: $50


ATMs: Unlimited surcharge rebates from any domestic ATM

Number of locations: N/A

Mobile banking availability: Only mobile and online banking services are offered

Axos Bank’s Rewards Checking is a completely no-fee checking account that can offer a competitive APY of up to 3.30% if you meet certain requirements.

The account offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements and you can use Axos’ Personal Finance Manager tool via the app to manage all of your accounts in one place. We also like that you won’t be charged overdraft fees with this account.

Keep in mind that Axos is an online bank, so you won’t have access to any physical branches, which can make depositing cash more challenging.

Connexus Credit Union

APY: 1.75%

Min. deposit to open: $5


ATMs: 67,000 surcharge-free ATMs

Number of locations: 5,600 shared branches

Mobile banking availability: Mobile and online banking services are available

Membership: Membership eligibility is open to anyone based on Connexus’ eligibility criteria
Connexus offers three checking account options, but we prefer the extraordinary account.

You’ll get reimbursed up to $25 per statement cycle for ATM surcharges, and free overdraft transfers when you link an account.

The account has a solid APY, but requires a minimum of 15 debit card transactions or a net spending total of $400 per month on your debit card for a 1.75% APY on balances up to $25,000. Any portion above $25,000 will earn a 0.25% APY.


APY: 1.50%

Min. deposit to open: $0


ATMs: 37,000 ATMs

Number of locations: Four

Mobile banking availability: Mobile banking app available

The NBKC Everything account is a free checking account that comes with savings features. You can track your savings goals and accounts from the app.

Other standard features include automatic bill payments and mobile banking. Customers can also withdraw money at more than 37,000 ATMs and qualify for $12 in ATM fee reimbursements per month. 

NBKC has four branches located in Kansas and Missouri, but mobile and online banking services make its free checking Everything Account accessible nationwide.

SoFi Bank

APY: 1.20%

Min. deposit to open: $0


ATMs: 55,000 Allpoint ATMs

Number of locations: N/A

Mobile banking availability: Mobile and online banking services are available

SoFi is best known for its role in the student loan landscape but now offers deposit accounts. SoFi’s checking account comes with a savings account and a few perks including early direct deposit, overdraft coverage and cash back with select retailers — all with minimal fees.

However, many of these features require direct deposit. The bank’s checking account pays 1.20% APY on all checking account balances and 4.00% on savings accounts. Lastly, your account is insured up to $2 million with the SoFi FDIC Insurance Network

Alliant Credit Union

APY: 0.25%

Min. deposit to open: $25


ATMs: 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs 

Number of locations: N/A

Mobile banking availability: Mobile banking app is available 

Membership: Open to current or former employees of Alliant’s US partner businesses. 

While Alliant’s 0.25% checking account APY is less impressive than some of the other banks at the top of this list, it’s also much easier to actually earn.

To qualify you need to sign up for e-statements and receive at least one direct deposit each month. The account comes with free overdraft protection, but you’ll need an Alliant savings account to do so.

Alliant also offers Courtesy Pay with this account — which covers checks, electronic payments and transfers beyond your overdraft protection – and rebates up to $20 per month in ATM fees charged by non-network vendors.

Ally Bank

APY: 0.25%

Min. deposit to open: $0


ATMs: 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs 

Number of locations: N/A

Mobile banking availability: Mobile and online banking services are available

Ally’s Interest Checking account has a few perks, including early direct deposit and overdraft protection services. We also like that this account comes with spending buckets to set aside money for financial goals.  

Ally offers a robust suite of digital services without charging any fees for minimum balances, overdrafts or official checks. You’ll also enjoy the $10 per month in ATM fee reimbursements available.

FNBO Direct

APY: 0.15%

Min. deposit to open: $1


ATMs: Worldwide access to more than 2 million ATMs, third-party fees may apply

Number of locations: N/A

Mobile banking availability: Mobile and online banking services are available FNBO Direct’s Online Checking is a no-fee account with a few basic features.

You’ll get automatic bill pay, free incoming wire transfers and mobile banking. And any balances over 1 cent are eligible to earn the 0.15% APY.

However, if you use printed checks often, this may not be the best fit, since FNBO Direct no longer offers paper checks.

Capital One Bank

APY: 0.10%

Min. deposit to open: $0


ATMs: 70,000 fee-free ATMs

Number of locations: 292 locations including nearly 30 Capital One Cafes

Mobile banking availability: Mobile and online banking services are available
Capital One may be best known for its credit cards, but the massive bank also offers a range of banking products.

Its 360 Checking Account offers a 0.10% APY, and the bank recently did away with overdraft fees. Capital One’s checking account offers early direct deposit, a few options for overdraft protection and mobile banking with instant alerts. We like that you can also deposit cash to your account at any CVS location.

Benefits of Online Banks

Online banking offers a host of benefits that can make managing your financial life much easier. If you’re interested in finding the best online bank—but you’re on the fence about whether online banking is right for you—here are some of the most significant advantages to consider.


One of the chief benefits of online banking is the ability to access your accounts from practically anywhere.

As long as you’re able to log in to online banking or mobile banking, you can check your balances, pay bills or transfer money between accounts.

You can also deposit checks remotely and set up notifications or alerts, all without visiting a branch. If your debit card is lost or stolen, you may be able to log in to your mobile app to deactivate the card so no new purchases can be made. These are tasks you can do with the tap of just a few buttons.

While online banks may lack branches, many of them offer ATM access if you need to withdraw cash. In short, online banking keeps you in touch with your money whether you’re at home, out to dinner or taking an extended trip.

Added Features

Online banking and mobile banking allow you to perform a wide range of functions. But you may get more than simple account management. Some of the best online bank accounts include features such as:

  • Goal trackers
  • Automated savings
  • Financial calculators
  • Budgeting tools
  • Person-to-person payments
  • Integration with mobile wallet apps

All those features can help you feel more in control of where your money is going. Having built-in trackers or automated savings can also help you get into a regular savings habit if that’s something you’ve been struggling with.


Online-only banks don’t have the same overhead costs that traditional banks do. That can be a huge benefit if you’re tired of paying high fees.

Many of the best banks online charge no:

  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • Minimum balance fees
  • Person-to-person transfer fees
  • Incoming wire transfer fees
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Overdraft fees
  • ATM fees

Some of the best online banks even refund your foreign and domestic ATM surcharges up to a certain amount each billing cycle. The less you pay in fees, the more of your hard-earned money you get to keep.

Other Benefits of Online Banking

Online banking offers many advantages. Here’s a quick look at some of the pluses of banking online:

  • It’s easy to open accounts without going to a branch.
  • Automatic bill payments save you time and postage.
  • There’s no need to wait in line for a teller.
  • You can pay bills with no fees.
  • Automatic savings deposits can grow your money faster.
  • Online banking can integrate with budgeting apps.
  • You can monitor your account for fraud from anywhere.

Online banking can take some of the hassle and frustration out of keeping up with your accounts. And it’s a secure way to manage your money.

Online banks may use the same level of encryption as other commercial banks and they can offer enhanced security features, such as multi-factor authentication.

Those measures, along with taking basic steps to protect your online banking security, can keep your account information safe and out of the hands of hackers.

How to Choose an Online Bank

Here are some other things to consider when choosing an online bank:

Fees: incessant fees can quickly eat into your overall bank balance. Look for an online bank that keeps fees of all types to a minimum. That includes monthly fees, overdraft fees and ATM fees.

It’s even better if the bank reimburses for third-party ATM charges. Analyze your banking behavior to figure out which fees you need to worry about most. You can often avoid fees with the right bank.

APYs: If you’re looking to get the most for your money, find a bank that pays a competitive APY on its financial products. Online banks tend to pay higher rates, so do some comparison shopping to get the best rates you can.

Minimums: Lower minimum deposit and balance requirements generally make it easier to maintain an account. Find an online bank with minimum requirements that meet your financial comfort level.

Products: The online bank you choose depends heavily on the products you need. Some online banks are full-service financial institutions, offering checking, savings, money market accounts, CDs and other products. Others limit their offerings.

ATM network: If having access to cash is important, look for an online bank that offers an extensive surcharge-free ATM network.

Check the bank’s site to make sure there are ATMs close to your location or in the areas where you travel most.

Customer experience: Online banks typically don’t offer branch access, and if they do, it’s often limited. That’s why it’s essential to keep customer support in mind when shopping for an online bank.

Look for a bank that offers easily accessible customer service representatives or online chat alternatives.

Digital banking experience: Convenience is crucial in the world of digital banking. With an online bank, your primary interactions occur via the bank’s website and mobile app.

The best online banks provide a simple online interface and highly rated mobile apps for banking on the go. Check out reviews of the mobile app on the App Store and Google Play.

Safety: Look for a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which provides up to $250,000 in insurance per depositor, per bank, for each account ownership category, in the event of a bank failure.

At credit unions, make sure the account is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

How To Open an Online Bank Account

You can open a bank account online via your chosen bank or credit union’s website or mobile app. From there, you’ll generally follow the same steps that you would to open a bank account at a branch.

Here’s a typical step-by-step process for opening a bank account online:

1. Visit the bank or credit union’s website, or launch its mobile app.
2. Find the type of bank account you want to open, and fill out an application for a new account.
3. Verify your identity and provide other required information, which may include your address, phone number and email.
4. Make a minimum deposit, if required.
5. Wait for your deposit to clear, which may take a few days. Then, start using your new account.

I hope that this article has helped you. if you have any other questions about Best Free Online Banking, kindly make use of the comment section below.

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