A checking account can help consumers start the journey to their financial goals. With the right checking account at your back, you can work towards your financial goals with fewer roadblocks standing in your way.
Opening a checking account can be the first step towards a bright financial future. But you might not have a stockpile of cash on hand to fund a major minimum deposit. Although many banks require a substantial minimum deposit to open a checking account, I’ve sought out the checking accounts that you can open with few to no minimum deposit requirements.
Overview of the best checking accounts with no minimum deposit
Checking account Best for
Discover Cashback Debit Cashback rewards
Chime Spending Account Building savings
FNBO Direct Checking Account Online convenience
HSBC Premier Checking Sign up bonus
Wealthfront Cash Account Investor
Radius Bank Rewards Checking Unlimited rewards
USAA Classic Checking Military members
Checking accounts with no minimum deposit
Discover Cashback Debit
You won’t need any minimum deposit to open the Discover Cashback Debit account. Beyond that, you won’t need to worry about a monthly fee, either.
Although the fact that the Discover Cashback Debit is a no fee account is exciting, it isn’t even the best feature of this account. In addition to a free experience, you’ll enjoy cashback rewards on your spending out of this account.
You can earn up to 1% cashback on any purchase that you make with your debit card. The cashback cap is $3,000 in spending per month, but that is still a nice bonus with up to $360 on cashback available each year. That’s enough to give any budget a boost!
Chime Spending Account
You can sign up for the Chime Spending Account with no minimum deposit required. Once you’ve signed up, you won’t run into any monthly fees or future minimum balances to be aware of.
Working with Chime will be a completely online experience. My favorite features of this account are the automatic savings options designed to make saving more money painless. Whenever you use your debit card, Chime will round up your transaction to the nearest dollar amount and transfer the difference into your savings account.
You can also choose to set up an automatic transfer that moves up to 10% of your paycheck into your savings with every direct deposit. With no fees and many savings features, Chime offers a great account.
Checking accounts with very low minimum deposits
FNBO Direct offers a checking account with a minimum opening deposit of just $1. The small deposit requirement is worth it for the standout features of this online bank.
Banking with FNBO is a pleasant experience because they’ve worked hard to build a seamless online platform. Not only that, but the bank also waives many of the fees that come standard with a checking account. For example, you won’t have to pay for incoming wires or stopping a payment. And of course, you won’t have any monthly fees to contend with.
Beyond the lack of fees, FNBO offers an attractive APY for customers with balances over $15,000. Although you might not reach this goal balance right away, the promise of a relatively high APY on this checking account in the future is enticing. This can provide a nice boost to your account as you take advantage of the fee-free environment.
HSBC Premier Checking Account
- Minimum balance: $0.
- Sign up bonus: $450.
- Monthly fee: $50 – but there are ways to waive this fee.
You can open the HSBC Premier Checking Account without any minimum deposit. However, you’ll be met with a monthly fee of $50 if you cannot meet one of three requirements:
- Maintain a minimum balance of $75,000.
- Have recurring direct deposits totaling $5,000 each month.
- Have an HSBC residential mortgage loan with an original loan amount of at least $500,000.
If you are able to meet one of the requirements, this account can be a worthwhile opportunity. When you sign up, you can earn a $450 sign up bonus if you have $5,000 worth of direct deposits for three months in a row.
Wealthfront Cash Account
Wealthfront’s Cash Account provides a fee-free checking option with high-interest rewards. The account offers a relatively high APY of 0.10%, which can help you build your funds over time. Although you will need $1 to open the Cash Account, the minimal opening balance requirement shouldn’t stand in your way.
When you work with this account, you will have access to many helpful features to pay your bills without a hassle. You’ll have unlimited free transfers, access to 19,000 ATMs, and ways to pay your friends through Cash App or PayPal.
In addition to a helpful checking account, Wealthfront provides an opportunity to start your investment journey. With everything in one place, you’ll be able to move forward with your investing goals easily.
Radius Bank Rewards Checking
The Rewards Checking account offered by Radius Bank does require a minimum deposit of $100. But I felt that it needed to be included on this list based on its low fee structure and available rewards.
With Rewards Checking, you can earn up to 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no spending caps. Instead, you can enjoy cash back for all of your spending each month. In addition to the cash back rewards, the account offers a reasonable APY to help you grow your balance.
Radius Bank promises a fast sign up process of just three minutes and an online platform to manage your funds with ease. After you open the account with $100, you won’t need to maintain a minimum balance to enjoy the cash back reward feature.
USAA Classic Checking
The USAA Classic Checking account is worth mentioning even though there is a minimum opening deposit of $25. After you’ve opened the account, you won’t need to maintain any minimum balance. Plus, you may be able to have the initial deposit requirement waived if you are a new recruit.
In order to work with USAA, you’ll need to be in the military or the family of someone in service. Since the entire platform is designed to cater to military families, you’ll find a flexible experience and easy access to your funds.
You won’t find any monthly maintenance fees, and you’ll get access to 60,000 ATMs around the world for free.
Summary of the best checking accounts with no minimum deposit
Checking account APY Monthly fees Minimum opening deposit
Discover Cashback Debit 0% $0 $0
Chime Spending Account 0.50% $0 $0
FNBO Direct Checking Account 0.65% $0 $1
HSBC Premier Checking 0.01% $50 - with opportunities to waive the fee $0
Wealthfront Cash Account 0.10% $0 $1
Radius Bank Rewards Checking 0.15% $0 $100
USAA Classic Checking 0.01% $0 $25
How I came up with this list
As you pursue the options above, you may want to learn more about my reasons for choosing these accounts. Here’s how I decided what made it on the list:
No-or low-minimum deposit requirements
I looked for checking accounts that did not have any opening balance requirements or had very low deposit requirements. Although most on the list have no minimum deposits, a few have very reasonable requirements.
No one likes having hidden fees embedded in their checking account. With that, I chose accounts that minimized the fees involved in the experience.
I wanted to include checking accounts that offered the best rewards to our readers. If you can take advantage of a great deal, why not?
What is meant by a checking account with “no opening deposit” and is there a catch?
When you look for accounts with ‘no opening deposit’ that means that you won’t have to put up a single dollar to open the account. Many are wary that the catch is a fee laden account waiting to leech away their funds. In many cases, however, there is no catch.
Of course, some accounts will require hefty monthly fees for the opportunity to open a checking account without a deposit. The only way to safeguard against this is to read the terms of the checking account before moving forward. Make sure that you are comfortable with any fees that you’ll be responsible for.
Why you need a free checking account with no minimum deposit
When you use a checking account, you often allow your funds to flow in and out of this single account. For example, you might have your paychecks deposited here and pay bills out of this account.
With that, it is important to look for free checking accounts. You don’t want to add another expense to your budget unless you have to. So why open a checking account that isn’t free?
If you are tight on funds and want to switch to a fee-free experience, the no minimum deposit requirement can be a big blessing.
Who should and who shouldn’t get a checking account with no opening deposit?
A checking account with no opening deposit might be right for you if you are just starting out. You might not have the extra funds on hand to set up an account with a high opening deposit requirement. Plus, many of these accounts offer useful features for anyone that needs a checking account.
You might want to look at other options if you have ample funds to open a checking account elsewhere. With more funding available, you might be able to qualify for a high yield checking account that will provide more long term rewards.
Pros & cons of checking accounts with a small or no opening deposit
Here are the top pros and cons to consider about checking accounts with no opening deposit requirements.
- Low start-up costs – You won’t need to have too much cash on hand to get started.
- Often low fees – Most accounts with minimal opening deposit requirements have low fees.
- A safe place to store accessible cash – A checking account can help to keep your finances organized.
- Missing out on higher APYs – There are checking accounts with higher APYs available with higher minimum deposit requirements.
- May not be able to work with brick and mortar banks – Many of these checking accounts are offered by online banks.
- Missing out on potential rewards – Other checking accounts with higher balance requirements might have better rewards.
As you start to look for a free checking account with no minimum deposit, here are some tips to consider.
Keep an eye on fees
Checking accounts may often try to bury their hidden fees deep into the terms. Before you move forward with an account, make sure you aren’t taking on any fees that don’t work for you.
You should look past the monthly fee and consider other fees such as ATM fees or wire fees that could cut into your bottom line.
Beware of transaction limits
Transaction limits on a checking account can cramp your spending style throughout the month. Don’t open an account that restricts your transactions too much.
Ensure that the checking account suits your lifestyle
There are checking accounts available at a variety of financial institutions. Consider whether you want an online experience or an in-person service. As you make your selection, find the account that suits your preferences.
Make sure the bank is FDIC insured
You don’t want to work with a financial institution that is not insured by the FDIC. Otherwise, you could lose your savings if something went horribly wrong for the bank.
Research the security features available
If you are working with an online checking account, it is important to make sure that the security features are top-notch. Without great security, the bank could be leaving your funds at risk.
A checking account is often the focal point of a solid personal finance system. With the right checking account in place, you can build the financial future of your dreams. Get started today with the right checking account for your situation.