What to Look For in a Free Checking Account

Free Checking Account is a great way to make your money work for you. You can use it to make payments, track spending and find strategies to grow your finances. But not all checking accounts are created equal and if you’re paying fees for your account, it may be time to switch.

The definition of “free checking” varies from bank to bank and financial institution to financial institution, but it generally means that you will not pay any recurring monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirement. Some banks and credit unions may charge a fee for other things, like ATM withdrawals, overdrafts or wire transfers, so it’s important to read the fine print and speak with a representative about their specific fees before signing up for an account.

While free checking accounts are available at most banks, they’re also an option at many credit unions. In fact, 76.5% of credit unions offer a Free Checking Account, according to a 2022 report from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). While many free checking accounts are bare bones and don’t offer as much in terms of features, it’s worth taking a look at your options before closing an existing account or opening a new one.

Regardless of which type of checking account you choose, you’ll want to be sure that your money is safe and secure. A good rule of thumb is to only open an account with a bank or credit union that is FDIC- or NCUA-insured, which protects your funds up to $250,000 per account. Additionally, it’s a good idea to choose an account that offers mobile and online banking options in addition to traditional physical branch locations.

In addition to looking for an account that has no recurring fees, you’ll want to ensure that the account is easy to access and use. A lot of checking accounts come with a debit card that you can use at your local bank branch, but the convenience factor is even greater when you have an account that gives you access to a large network of ATMs around the country.

If you’re looking for an account that has all the right features, consider an all-in-one solution like Citadel. Our free checking account is a full-service account that comes with mobile and online banking, plus additional benefits like cash back on purchases. We’re a top-rated, national bank that provides an online checking account that’s free of charges and limits.

It’s no secret that fees take a bite out of your budget, so finding an account with as few of these costs as possible can help you save. Keep reading to learn more about the best free checking accounts on the market and get started with an account that fits your needs.