Looking for a good checking account but don't want to put down a large minimum deposit? Chime and Ally are great for building your savings, FNBO is ideal for those who like to do everything online, and Juno is perfect for the crypto curious.

Even if you’ve never written a check, yes, you still need a checking account.

That’s because checking accounts give you the most flexibility in your banking. They’re generally easier and better for bill paying, ATM withdrawals, debit purchases, and, yes, writing and cashing checks. Unlike a savings account, which is meant for stashing your money and earning interest, checking accounts are for your day-to-day finances.

However, many banks require a substantial minimum deposit to open a checking account. Which means if you’re tight on funds, you’re out of luck.

That said, there are plenty of checking accounts out there that have no minimum deposit requirements (or, at the very least, low minimum requirements). To help you narrow down your search, we’ve rounded up the best checking accounts based on the following criteria:

  • No or low minimum deposit requirements
  • No or low fees
  • Rewards like cash back or the chance to earn bonus interest

Best Checking Accounts with No Minimum Deposits

Chime® Checking Account: Best for Building Savings

  • Best Free Checking Accounts With No (Or Almost No) Minimum Deposit - Chime Spending AccountAPY: None 
  • Minimum deposit requirement: None
  • Minimum balance requirement: None
  • Monthly fee: None2

There’s no minimum deposit required to sign up for the Chime Checking Account, and once you’ve opened your account, you won’t run into any monthly fees or future minimum balance requirements either.

Chime provides an impressive and comprehensive online banking experience.* With their highly rated mobile app, customers can securely transfer funds and set up early direct deposit to receive their paychecks up to two days early.3 Chime also offers fee-free overdraft coverage up to $200 (conditions apply)5, and customers can withdraw cash from Chime’s network of more than 60,000+ ATMs for free as well.6

However, perhaps the greatest features of this account are the automatic savings options. Whenever you use your Chime Visa® Debit Card, Chime will round up your transaction to the nearest dollar amount and transfer the difference into your Chime Savings Account.^ You can also set up an automatic transfer that moves as much as 10% of your paycheck into your savings with every direct deposit of $500 or more.1

Learn more about Chime or read our full review.

* Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bankcorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
^ Round Ups automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the round up from your Chime Checking Account to your savings account.
1 Save When I Get Paid automatically transfers 10% of your direct deposits of $500 or more from your Checking Account into your savings account.
2 There’s no fee for the Chime Savings Account. Cash withdrawal and Third-party fees may apply to Chime Checking Accounts. You must have a Chime Checking Account to open a Chime Savings Account.
3 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
5 Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member's Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime's discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won't cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.
6 Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

Juno: Best for Those Interested in Cryptocurrency

Juno

  • APY: 1.20% bonus rate with Juno Basic; 2.15% bonus rate with Juno Metal
  • Minimum deposit requirement: None
  • Minimum balance requirement: None
  • Monthly fee: None

Juno is an online checking account that lets you get started with no opening deposit or minimum balance requirements.

Your checking is fee-free, which means no monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees, and free ATM access at 80,000+ locations (including Walgreens, CVS, and more).

Juno is also an excellent option for individuals interested in cryptocurrency. With Juno, users can earn, invest, and spend both cash and crypto. Start with a Juno Basic account, and you’ll receive a 1.20% bonus rate on checking account balances up to $5,000, after which it switches to 0.25%. If you ever want to upgrade to Juno Metal, all you need to do is set up a direct deposit of $250 or more. With Juno Metal, your bonus rate will be bumped up to 2.15% on balances up to $100,000. You’ll earn 5% cash back on popular brands like Amazon and Walmart (on up to $500 in purchases each year for Basic, and up to $6,000 in purchases for Metal).

As an added perk, right now Juno is offering a stellar sign-up bonus for their account holders: get $100 following your first direct deposit of $250 or more (conditions apply).

Learn more about Juno or read our full review.

FNBO Direct Checking Account: Best for Online Convenience

  • Best Free Checking Accounts With No (Or Almost No) Minimum Deposit - FNBOAPY: None with the free FNBO Direct Checking Account; potential to earn interest with FNBO Premier Checking Account (varies and not available in some locations)
  • Minimum deposit requirement: None
  • Minimum balance requirement: None
  • Monthly fee: None

FNBO Direct, the online extension of the First National Bank of Omaha, offers a free checking account with no opening deposit required and no minimum balance.

FNBO is one of the more established banks mentioned in this list, with more than 160 years under its belt. This financial institution has worked hard to build a seamless online platform, and it shows. The mobile app and website are easy to navigate, offering a variety of personal, business, commercial, and wealth products.

When it comes to fees, FNBO continues to shine. FNBO waives many of the fees associated with a standard checking account, such as incoming wire transfer fees and monthly maintenance fees. Some FNBO customers can even earn interest through the bank’s Premier Checking Account option (varies and not available in some locations).

Learn more about FNBO or read our full review.

Capital One 360 Checking Account: Best for In-Person Banking

6 Best Online Banks for Checking & Savings - Capital One 360

  • APY: 0.10%
  • Minimum deposit requirement: None
  • Minimum balance requirement: None
  • Monthly fee: None

The Capital One 360 Checking Account is another free checking account with no opening deposit required. However, you will need to make a deposit within 60 days of opening your account to keep it open.

Capital One differs from some competitors in this list for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s one of the few options that provides physical branches for those customers who want to work with a real person. That said, Capital One has also created a seamless digital experience for its customers. As a checking account holder, you can deposit checks, lock/unlock your debit card, and get real-time alerts about your account activity all on your phone. Additionally, the Capital One 360 Checking Account rewards its customers with a 0.10% APY interest rate, which is not offered by many checking accounts.

As extra icing on the cake, Capital One’s no minimum deposit checking account has surprisingly low fees for a traditional bank, including no monthly fees, no foreign transaction fees, no incoming wire transfer fees, and more. Not to mention, if you overdraw your account, Capital One provides three fee-free overdraft options to help you out.

Learn more about the Capital One 360 Checking Account.

Axos Essential Checking Account: Best for Multiple Accounts

Best Joint Bank Accounts For Couples - Axos Bank

  • APY: None (although you can earn interest with an alternative Axos checking account)
  • Minimum deposit requirement: None
  • Minimum balance requirement: None
  • Monthly fee: None

Axos is an online-only bank with multiple financial products available, including CDs, loans, and investment accounts. Among these options is the free Axos Essential Checking Account, which has no monthly service fee and no minimum deposit requirement. And, after you’ve opened the account, you won’t need to maintain any minimum balance either.

Since Axos operates entirely online, they offer a number of convenient features for their customers, such as automatic bill pay, early direct deposit, and even the ability to pay friends and family directly from your account. You won’t find any overdraft or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees with this account, and you’ll also receive unlimited reimbursements on domestic ATM fees.

While you can’t earn interest or rewards with the Axos Essential Checking Account, the opportunity is available with some alternative Axos checking accounts, such as the Rewards Checking Account or their CashBack Checking Account.

Learn more about the Axos Essential Checking Account or read our full review.

Ally Interest Checking Account: Best for Earning Interest

Ally Bank's logo

  • APY: Up to 0.25%
  • Minimum deposit requirement: None
  • Minimum balance requirement: None
  • Monthly fee: None

With the Ally Interest Checking Account, you won’t pay a monthly service fee or deal with pesky minimum deposit and minimum balance requirements.

One of the many benefits of Ally’s free checking account is that this option makes it easy to save money. Thanks to convenient offerings like overdraft coverage and reimbursements for out-of network ATMs up to $10 per statement cycle, you won’t lose money through excessive fees. Not to mention, Ally — like Chime — has a round-up feature to help you save money without lifting a finger.

As another online-only banking solution, Ally excels in the web and mobile world, making it easy to complete a number of tasks, such as transferring funds, paying bills, and depositing checks. Unfortunately, this also means they can’t help if you want to deposit cash or visit a physical branch.

With all this said, the Ally Interest Checking Account option stands out among competitors for one reason in particular. Hint: it’s in the name. Ally offers a rare opportunity for checking account holders to earn an impressive rate of 0.25% APR. That means you’ll not only save money with no fees and automatic savings, you’ll also earn money along the way!

Learn more about the Ally Interest Checking Account or read our full review.

What Is a Checking Account with “No Opening Deposit”?

Accounts with “no opening deposit” mean exactly what they sound like: you don’t have to put down a single dollar to open the account.

Unfortunately, sometimes such accounts also come with hefty monthly fees, to make up for the $0 minimum deposit. That’s why we’ve picked the ones above — they’re all fee-free or have very low and reasonable fees.

Before you open any checking account, make sure to read the terms, so you know what fees you’ll be responsible for.

Pros & Cons of Checking Accounts with No Opening Deposit

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

Is a Checking Account with No Opening Deposit Right for Me?

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 who 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.

Read more: Best High-Yield Checking Accounts

How to Choose a Checking Account with No Minimum Deposit

Here are some tips to consider when shopping around for a checking account with no minimum deposit.

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.

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.

Read more: Does Your Debit Card Have a Daily Spending Limit?

Ensure 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.

Read more: How to Choose an Online Bank: 7 Features to Look For

How to Open a Checking Account with No Minimum Deposit

Opening a checking account with no minimum deposit required is easy. Depending on your bank or credit union, you can do it online, over the phone, or in person. The process is similar to opening a regular checking account, but you may need to provide additional information to open an account with no minimum deposit.

You’ll likely need to provide the bank with the following information:

  • Current address (and possibly your previous address(es) if you’ve moved recently)
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • A piece of government-issued ID, like a driver’s license, passport, or military ID
  • Contact information, including phone number and/or email address

You may also need to provide information about your employment, income, and assets. The bank will use this information to determine if you’re eligible for an account with no minimum deposit. Be sure to check if there are any fees associated with the account, such as monthly service charges, annual fees, or minimum balance requirements.

Even though no minimum deposit is required, you will need to deposit money into the account at some point. (After all, that’s the whole point of having a bank account!) The timing and amount varies with each bank, but within 30 days is a good rule of thumb.

You can do this a few different ways:

  • Deposit a check or cash. You can do this in-person at the bank, or at an ATM.
  • Set up direct deposit with your employer. Fill out your company’s paperwork to get the money moving.
  • Transfer money from another account. This could be your own account (if you have another one) or from a family member’s or friend’s account.

Once you’ve deposited money into your account, you can start using it just like any other checking account. This includes writing checks, using a debit card, and making online and mobile payments. Be sure to keep track of your account balance so you don’t overdraw and incur any penalties!

Summary

A checking account with no minimum deposit is a great option if you’re short on funds right now, but want to set up an account for your day-to-day spending.

Before you commit to one, do your research and compare your options. Check for hidden fees or limits, and don’t forget to add money into it as soon as you can!

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About the author

Photo of MoneyUnder30 writer Kate Van Pelt
Total Articles: 51
Kate Van Pelt is a writer and editor based in the Pacific Northwest. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management and English and has established her professional career in marketing and research writing. Since 2015, Kate has created educational materials covering a variety of financial topics, from home loans and credit cards to retirement accounts and estate planning. She spends her free time thrift shopping, making cocktails, and enjoying the outdoors with her dogs, Vira and Elmer.