According to a study by the FDIC, nearly 7.1 million households in the U.S. are “unbanked”, meaning that no one in the household has a checking or savings account. Out of all Alabama households, 7.6% are completely unbanked, accounting for over 140,000 households in the state alone!
If you have a bad history with banking, it can be tough to find a bank or credit union that will give you a second chance. Especially if you’ve been reported to ChexSystems, a consumer reporting agency that is used by most banking institutions to determine if an applicant is a good or bad risk for a new account.
Thankfully, there are plenty of second chance banks in Alabama that do not use ChexSystems and are willing to work with you. Second chance bank accounts are designed to help you get back into banking after a financial mishap. They can also help you rebuild your credit score so that you can qualify for better interest rates in the future.
Our purpose here at CheckingExpert.com is to help you find a bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems and share our knowledge of the banks and credit unions in Alabama that are more likely to approve your application, regardless of your past with ChexSystems. Don’t let a bad banking history hold you back from getting the checking account you deserve!
Second Chance Banking in Alabama for June 2023Open an account today!
Chime® is a fast-growing internet-only financial company and our top choice for a second chance bank account.
And, best of all, Chime accepts almost all customers who apply. Even if you have bad or poor credit or have been blacklisted by ChexSystems or the credit bureaus.
Features include mobile deposits, direct deposit, online bill payment, NO monthly or annual fees, NO overdrafts fees1, NO credit check, and NO CheckSystems. Opening an account is super easy. It takes about 2 minutes and you don’t have to make an initial deposit. Here’s what we like:
No Monthly Fees
For the past couple of years, Chime’s huge growth has come at the expense of the big banks and their outrageous fees. And it’s one of the best features of a Chime account. There are no monthly or annual service charges, no minimum balance requirement, no foreign transaction fees, no fees at over 60,000 ATMs2, and no fees for mobile and online bill pay.
Deposit Cash for FREE at Over 8,500 Walgreens
Having access to a physical location for cash deposits is important to Chime members. And now it’s easy. All you have to do is go into a Walgreens store, hand the cashier the cash you want to deposit along with your Chime card, and the deposit will show up in your account immediately. This offers Chime members more walk-in locations than any other bank in the U.S. With over 78% of the country within 5 miles of a Walgreens, this is a significant benefit for millions.3
Unlike big banks, Chime was created during the smartphone era and, therefore, features an app that is more than just a way for customers to review their bank accounts.
You can transfer funds to friends and family, Chime members or not… and they can claim their money instantly4 without any additional apps. The Chime app also has a series of notifications that you can turn on or turn off so you stay in complete control. Misplaced or lost your card? You can instantaneously turn off your card using the app. No wonder over 300,000 customers have given the app a 5-star review.
Chime was one of the first to offer a “round up” option. If you use your Chime card on a purchase of $10.65, Chime gives you the option of automatically rounding up to $11.00 and putting the remaining $.35 in your free Chime savings account. And that adds up over time! Plus, Chime pays 2.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)5 in interest on that savings account.
If you use direct deposit with your Chime account, you can get your paycheck up to 2 days early6. And Chime is just saying no to big bank NSF charges with a fee-free overdraft program up to $200. We don’t think there is another company innovating for their customers like Chime.Get a Chime Account Today!
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. See additional disclaimers below.
Lili offers a checking account and Visa debit card with no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement, no hidden fees, no credit check, and no ChexSystems. Lili makes getting your account easy! Here’s more of what we like:
- FREE business VISA debit card
- FREE (and very user-friendly) mobile app
- NO minimum balance
- NO NSF charges or fees
- NO credit check or ChexSystems
- Receive direct deposit funds 2 days earlier than many banks
- Mobile check deposit
- Unlimited fee-free transactions
- Takes 3 minutes to apply
The Lili smartphone app gives you access to tools to manage your expenses and taxes. You assign a category for each expense by swiping left for “life” or personal expenses and right for “work” or business. You can also add receipts to transactions, download quarterly and annual expense reports, and track spending in real-time. Lili will automatically assign an expense category based on the merchant, but allows you to edit the category as needed.
Robust for Most
Lili is best for small business owners who want a no-frills, no cost, no minimum balance bank account. You can run all your business and personal expenses through the account and can easily identify and separate them out for accounting and tax purposes. After your account is set up, you can add a business name or DBA name to the account. And you manage everything from the touch of your smartphone.
But there are some limits, too. Lili doesn’t offer checks and you can’t set up your account with an employer identification number. Depositing cash at Green Dot locations can cost up to $4.95 and mobile check deposits are limited to $6,000 per month.
Lili recently announced a new set of features called Lili Pro. The cost is $9 per month and includes a no-fee overdraft up to $200 on debit card purchases and a robust and unlimited invoicing capability built into the smartphone app. On top of that, users receive 2.00% APY on savings account balances and a more robust expense tracking capability. The Pro version also offers cashback when you make purchases at over 14,000 merchants. If you’re not sure you want to sign up for Lili Pro, get Lili Standard (no cost) and you can upgrade later.
You can set up an account online. If you’re a freelancer, you should receive approval and account access almost instantly. All others (Sole Proprietor, Single-Member LLC, Multi-Member LLC, General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, or S Corp) can take a couple of days to get approved. You can fund your account using a mobile check deposit, direct deposit, ACH transfer, or by linking your Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App account.
Lili is open for business. Anyone who is their own boss: a sole proprietor, gigsters (ie. Uber and Lyft drivers), contractors, freelancers, or part-time entrepreneurs – you all qualify! Whether you opt for the fee-free Lili Standard account or the upgraded Lili Pro account, we think you’re going to like the way Lili helps you manage your growing business!Open a Lili account now!
For many people, having access to a local bank branch is paramount when setting up a checking account. With over 16,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches across the country, the Chase Secure Banking account might be the perfect fit.
Here are some of our favorite features with this account:
- NO credit check
- NO ChexSystems
- NO minimum deposit to open
- NO overdraft fees
- FREE access to over 16,000 Chase ATMs
- FREE Chase Online Bill Pay
- FREE money orders and cashier’s checks
What to Know About the Approval Process
Opening the Chase Secure Banking account has some important qualifiers. First, Chase verifies your name, address, and social security through Experian, but doesn’t pull a credit report or credit score. Chase doesn’t use ChexSystems for this account, but the bank does use Early Warning Services (EWS). Additionally, if you’ve had an account closed by Chase in the past, your application will not be approved. Past account closures can include missteps such as non-payment of fees, excessive overdrafts, or suspected fraud.
Finally, Chase gives you the opportunity to open your new account online or by taking a printable coupon to a branch location. We strongly recommend you apply online as branch locations have been known to use ChexSystems during the approval process.
Highly Rated Mobile App
Available for iOS and Android, the Chase Mobile app offers 24/7 access to your account. The app is highly rated, earning 4.8 stars out of 5 on the App Store and 4.4 stars out of 5 on Google Play.
You can transfer funds, deposit checks, send money with Zelle, set up account alerts and notifications, and lock your card if it’s been lost or stolen.
The app also has incredibly helpful budgeting tools, personalized insights, and the ability to check your credit score for free.
Chase doesn’t offer overdraft services with this account as you can only spend the money you have available and the account does not include paper checks. You should also know that using non-Chase ATMs can cost from $3.00 to $5.00 per transaction.
Chase Secure Banking carries a $4.95 monthly service fee that cannot be waived. But combined with all the free services and the $100 cash bonus when you use the card for 10 purchases within 60 days, the monthly fee doesn’t pose a problem for most customers. And, you’ll have peace of mind with Chase’s Zero Liability Protection if you detect and report unauthorized transactions.
Banking With A Leader
Chase claims to be involved with 40% of Americans in some way or another. There can be comfort in size, reach, and stability. Chase has all of that and the assurance they will be there for a long, long time.
If you’ve wanted to bank with Chase and wondered if you’d qualify, we think you’re going to be really happy with the Chase Secure Banking account.Get a Chase Secure Banking account today!
The SoFi Checking & Savings account is offered by SoFi Bank. It’s a checking AND savings account on steroids and we love that. Plus, they don’t use ChexSystems to approve accounts.
You get a debit MasterCard and a very slick smartphone app. You can make deposits, write checks, utilize electronic bill pay, and transfer money. You don’t need to make an opening deposit to get an account and SoFi never charges monthly maintenance fees. You’ll have access to a large and fee-free ATM network along with a generous cashback program.
Using the SoFi direct deposit option unlocks additional benefits. First, if you overspend a bit, SoFi will cover up to $50 with no overdraft fees. Second, you’ll receive a much higher interest amount of 4.20% APY on savings account balances and 2.50% APY on checking account balances. If you decide not to utilize direct deposit, you’ll receive 1.20% APY.
The $275 bonus comes in two parts. When you deposit at least $10, SoFi will credit your account $25. When you set up direct deposit from an employer, SoFi will credit your account up to $250 (depending on the amount of your direct deposit) and bump the interest rate you earn to 4.20% APY. The bonus and interest rate are some of the highest we’ve seen.
The sign-up process can take less than 60 seconds. With over 4 million members, SoFi is a bank you can count on!
SoFi has been great! The account was easy to open and I got my debit card a few days later. The smartphone app is easy to use and I can check everything from my computer, too. I’ve had some issues with ChexSystems in the past and SoFi seems to be the perfect bank.
Kevin M., SoFi CustomerGet a SoFi account today!
Want to earn cash back on Walmart purchases – up to $75 each year? Then you might love the Walmart MoneyCard. It’s a debit card that has some strong features such as cashback on Walmart purchases, overdraft protection, interest on your savings, and a mobile app that lets you track your purchases and deposit funds into your account.
Our favorite features include:
- Easy approval: no ChexSystems or credit check
- No initial deposit is required and there are no monthly minimums
- Deposit cash for free at any Walmart store and it shows up 10 minutes later
- Deposit checks using the Walmart MoneyCard smartphone app
- Easily request multiple cards for family use1
- Manage your account from your computer or the smartphone app
- 3% cashback on Walmart.com purchases, 2% cashback for Walmart fuel stations, and 1% cash back for use in-store2
- Earn 2.00% APY on money you set aside in a free savings account3
- With qualifying direct deposits4, you can opt-in and enjoy overdraft protection of up to $200 on eligible purchases5
- No monthly fee when you direct deposit $500+ in the previous monthly period. Otherwise, there’s a $5.94 monthly fee.6
The Walmart MoneyCard is available in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.Open an account today!
Few things are guaranteed in life, but the company behind the Zolve Azpire Credit Builder card is changing that. Part checking account and part credit card, the Azpire card helps customers use their account for everyday purchases and the payments are reported monthly to all three credit bureaus. Here’s what the Azpire account offers:
- No-hassle 2-minute application process
- Apply with SSN, ITIN, or Passport number
- No credit check
- No monthly or annual fees
- No minimum balance and no overdraft fees
- No security deposit
- Free withdrawals at over 67,000 partner ATMs
- Free smartphone app where you can manage your account
- Free international money transfers
- Free rewards and cashback program
- FDIC insured account up to $250,000
How Does The Azpire Credit Builder Card Work?
Getting started is easy. You can add money from an existing checking account, PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, or any other account that allows you to transfer money to a bank account. The money you add to your Zolve Account becomes the credit limit on your Azpire card. You then use this for making everyday purchases like any other typical debit card or credit card. You can direct deposit your paycheck or add more money when your account balance gets low.
You’ll never be charged minimum balance or maintenance fees and there are no late fees or interest charges. And, if you use the Azpire card responsibly, you may qualify for a credit card with a limit of up to $5,000 in as little as four months.
The brilliance of the Azpire credit builder card is that it guarantees people will get a credit builder card and an FDIC-insured checking account while also reporting their daily transactions as positive credit-building history to all 3 credit bureaus. No regular checking account can do that. Plus, you get zero liability fraud and theft protection through Mastercard.
Azpire is a great way to give your aspirations a boost!Get an Azpire account in 2 minutes!
Acorns doesn’t use ChexSystems or a credit report to approve accounts and offers some strong benefits.
We love the heavy metal tungsten Visa debit card and the world-class smartphone app that allows you to manage every aspect of your new checking account such as budgeting, spending, and security.
Another nice option is the ability to round up on every purchase and Acorns will take that money and automatically put it in a savings account. This really helps build a nest egg.
It takes about 2-3 minutes to sign up and you get both a checking and savings account. Here’s more:
- FREE Visa® debit card
- FREE bank-to-bank transfers
- FREE physical check sending online or through the mobile app
- FREE mobile check deposits
- FREE or reimbursed ATM withdrawals nationwide
- NO minimum balance or overdraft fees
- NO credit check; ChexSystems OK
- FDIC insured
There is a $3 monthly fee that is easily covered by the ATM fee reimbursement and other goodies included with the account.
If you’ve struggled with poor credit or ChexSystems, Acorns might be the perfect account.Learn More
Their cheapest account is Free Checking, which doesn’t charge a monthly fee nor have a minimum account balance. It offers free online, mobile, and text banking, as well as free bill pay. A deposit of $100 is required to open an account.
Ameris Bank’s Alabama branches are located in Eufaula, Abbeville, and Dothan.
We like their Access Checking account because it provides all of the banking necessities while remaining affordable. The account comes with digital banking access, free eStatements, a free Visa debit card, and overdraft protection services. To waive the moderate $10 monthly service charge, you just need to enroll in direct deposit.
To get started, all you will need is $25 for an initial deposit. As their name may suggest, Armed Forces Bank offers accounts to anyone who is actively enrolled or retired from the U.S. Army. You can find one branch conveniently located in Alabama in Fort Rucker.
In addition, e-Checking through Avadian Credit Union gives you access to Centsible Savings. Your purchase amounts are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the extra amount is automatically transferred into your Centsible Savings account. This makes building a savings account simple. Other features of e-Checking include:
- No minimum balance requirements
- Account access through online banking, a mobile banking app, or by phone
- The Avadian Identity Theft Protection Plan
- No withdrawal fees from network ATMs
Avadian is an Alabama-based credit union and has branch locations in Chelsea, Birmingham, Helena, Hoover, Trussville, Dothan, and several other cities across the state.
A free ATM/Debit card and unlimited check writing gives you easy access to your money. There is a $5 new account fee and a minimum opening deposit of $25. If you have an account balance of less than $25, you will pay an additional $5 fee per month. The Opportunity Draft checking account also offers:
- Free online account access
- Free e-statements
- Easy-to-use mobile app and e-alerts
- Free online account access, e-statements, and e-alerts
Visit one of their branches in Mobile or Calvert to get started!
The Budget Smart Checking account has a $5 monthly fee and you’ll need an initial deposit of $25 to open your account. From there, all the usual perks are yours: online bill pay, online banking, and a solid smartphone banking app. The account has a feature called Overdraft Avoidance, which helps you spend only the money available in your account by declining most transactions that exceed that amount.
BancorpSouth has over 30 branches throughout Alabama, including several in and around Greenville, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Hoover, Birmingham, and Jackson.
In addition to a CreditPlus Checking account, you can use the product to help you get out of a Payday Lending cycle. They offer small, low-interest loans that are provided as an alternative to expensive Payday Lenders and Check Cashing services. To get started with any part of this program, you will need to complete a financial literacy course.
To open a CreditPlus Checking account, you will need $100 as an opening deposit. With several locations in Alabama, it is definitely worth looking into if you’re looking for a helping hand with your finances. Their locations include Dothan, Enterprise, Geneva, and Mobile.
My Way Checking is their most basic account that comes with a bunch of additional services for a low cost. There is a $50 minimum opening deposit as well as a low $8 monthly service fee that can be waived if you keep an average balance of $250 or more. We like this account because it comes with unique benefits like cell phone protection, buyer protection, and ID theft aid.
Cadence Bank has over 20 branches located in Alabama. You can find them in locations including Albertville, Childersburg, Birmingham, Huntsville, and many others.
Although there is a $100 minimum deposit to open the account, Centennial Bank does not require a minimum daily balance. If you sign up for direct deposit, your monthly service charge is reduced from $12.95 to $9.95. With Opportunity 100 Checking, you receive:
- Surcharge-Free ATM access
- Online banking, mobile app, and text options
- Internet bill pay and mobile payment options
- Coin machine transactions
It’s important to note that you must open an account in person. Centennial Bank has several branch locations in southern Alabama. You will find them in Fairhope, Gulf Shores, Elberta, Orange Beach, and Foley.
Central Checking includes a free ATM/Debit card, a smartphone mobile banking app, and even foreign ATM reimbursements! While the opening deposit is a steep $100, you won’t have to worry about any monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.
Central State Bank is exclusive to Alabama and has several branches in Calera, Pelham, and Alabaster.
The Fresh Start Checking account comes with an ATM card, which can be used without a surcharge at the two CommonWealth branches, Publix stores, and all PNC branches. This ATM card is eligible for an upgrade to a traditional debit card after 90 days, pending an evaluation.
To open a Fresh Start Checking account, you’ll need to deposit at least $100 when you open the account and set up direct deposit. There is a standard $8.95 monthly fee and an additional $2.50 fee for monthly paper statements. The $2.50 fee can be waived if you enroll in eStatements. If you’re interested in more information or want to open a Fresh Start Checking account, visit either of CommonWealth Bank’s two locations in Mobile to get started.
Current is another web-only national bank that has some really great features… and has become one of the fastest-growing checking accounts for consumers who want it all without all the costs and hassles.
Why are we featuring Current on our website? It’s simple: they don’t use ChexSystems or your credit report to open a new account. Sign-up takes about 2 minutes and Current has extremely high acceptance rates. But what’s really cool are the incredible features offered with this account:
- NO minimum balance
- NO deposit required to open an account
- NO overdraft fees when you overdraw by up to $100 with Overdrive™
- NO fees at over 40,000 ATMs in the U.S.
- Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit
- Earn 4.0% APY on your balance up to $6,000 with direct deposit; earn 0.25% APY without
- Earn points for unlimited cashback at participating retailers
- Send money instantly for free
- An elegant but simple smartphone app
- 24/7 member support
Current offers a really unique service it calls Gas Hold Removals. What’s a gas hold? Some gas stations may apply a hold from $50 to $100 when you use a debit card to pump gas. If you only pumped $10 of gas, but the gas station places a $100 hold on your funds, you won’t have access to the $90 difference for up to 3 business days! The Current debit card will immediately refund the hold so you have access to all your funds. We haven’t found that benefit anywhere in the marketplace.
Here’s what’s really important, though. Deposits are FDIC-insured up to the highest possible amount allowed: $250,000. We love the features, we love the smartphone app, and we love Current. That makes us think you’ll love them too.Learn More
Members in good standing for 12 months can move up to a regular checking account. Although there is no minimum balance required, there is a monthly checking account fee of $10. Government and employer payroll checks are automatically deposited into your account. FSCU also offers:
- Visa debit card with ATM access
- Online banking through FSCU@HOME
- Online imaging of cleared checks
- Online bill pay
FSCU extends membership to over 10 counties and a list of eligible business employees as well. With over a dozen branch locations, you’ll find them in and around Albertville, Gardendale, Jackson, Muscle Shoals, and several other cities across Alabama.
This account does not require a minimum opening deposit and includes a free debit card and online banking capabilities. They also require semi-annual credit counseling that can help you stay on track with your credit score and overall financial wellness.
There are three First National Bank locations in Alabama; two of them in Athens and one in Huntsville.
This simple account has a low monthly fee of $8 and comes with a free Visa debit card. If you keep your account in good standing for 12 consecutive months, you can request to be upgraded to one of their fee-free checking accounts.
To get started with an account, you can visit their website to apply for membership online. All you’ll need is $5 to deposit into a savings account and you’re on your way to re-establishing yourself with New Leaf Checking!
One significant drawback to many online-only bank accounts is that they have no way to accept cash deposits. But GO2bank accepts cash deposits at over 90,000 Green Dot locations nationwide. However, participating retailers may charge you a fee.
If you direct deposit over $500, your monthly maintenance fee of $5.00 is waived. And, they offer a pretty sweet overdraft protection program, but it has a gotcha charge of $15 if you don’t replace the funds within 24 hours.
Account-holders will appreciate the ability to budget their money with the help of a mobile app, budgeting tools, and a savings vault. In fact, they pay 4.50% on all money in the savings vault up to $5,000.
GTE Financial is one of the largest credit unions in the US. Membership is open to anyone through easy requirements and an online application process. The Go Further account includes:
- Free EMV-equipped debit card with built-in rewards
- Online and mobile banking tools
- Free bill pay service
- Easy money transfers through the Popmoney service
For only a $25 minimum deposit, you’ll receive a Visa debit card, access to online banking, free all-hours phone banking, and free overdraft protection. The overdraft protection at Gulf Winds CU can save you from stalled purchases and overdraft fees by moving funds from another source into your checking account. There is no transfer fee or charge to use the service and it can keep you on track to maintain a healthy checking account!
Along with the opening deposit, there is a moderate monthly fee of $10.95 for the MyOpportunity Checking. In return, you’ll have access to over 85,000 fee-free ATMs, eStatements, and general account perks like bill pay and alerts! Visit any of the three Alabama Gulf Winds CU locations in Monroeville, Atmore, or Brewton for more information.
Easy Checking accounts enjoy many of the same perks as Hope Credit Union’s other checking accounts. You’ll have access to unlimited paperless transactions, electronic transactions, free online banking and bill payment, free mobile banking, and free eStatements. There are also options to include overdraft protection on the account.
To open an Easy Checking account, you’ll need to make a $25 minimum deposit and maintain a minimum balance of $25 at all times. There is a monthly service fee charge of $9.95, but that charge can be waived if the account balance is kept at $200 or more. If you’re interested in opening an Easy Checking account or would like more information, Hope Credit Union has two different locations in Montgomery.
Second Chance Checking comes with a free Visa debit card and requires that you receive eStatements instead of paper statements each month. If you enroll in direct deposit, the monthly service fee of $11.95 will be reduced to $9.95. You can also access your balance any time of day via online banking.
Jefferson Financial FCU extends membership to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in one of six eligible counties in Alabama. You can also join if you have a relative who is already a member or if you are an employee of one of their select employee groups. You can find their Alabama branch located in Selma.
Opportunity Checking grants many of the usual perks of traditional checking accounts. You can qualify for either an ATM card or a debit rewards card. If you choose the debit rewards card, Liberty Federal Credit Union also has a ScoreCard program that will allow you to earn rewards for purchases.
Opportunity Checking allows ten ATM withdrawals per month for free, free online banking and bill paying, and overdraft protection services. Additionally, if your Opportunity Checking account remains in good standing for 12 consecutive months, you’ll have the chance to upgrade to the Debit Rewards Checking account instead.
There is no minimum balance required in the Opportunity Checking account, but there is a $7.50 fee charged monthly. For more information, visit Liberty Federal Credit Union’s Birmingham location.
Once approved, there’s no minimum balance or per check charges and the required opening deposit is only $50. With no monthly service fee and up to five waived ATM fees per month, this account is a truly free option. You can find several MAX locations in the greater Montgomery area.
This account includes free online and telephone banking services, a free Visa debit card, and of course free eStatements. However, they require a $100 opening deposit in addition to a steep monthly service fee of $16.95. With Second Chance Checking, you’re also able to set up direct deposit, payroll deduction, and automatic loan payments.
Mutual Savings CU services the central Alabama area, and extends membership to those who live, work, worship, or attend school within one of their 13 eligible counties. Their branches can be found in Alexander City, Brookwood, Calera, Clanton, Pelham, Riverchase, Selma, and Winewood.
Both account options come with a free NFCU debit card. There is no monthly service fee with direct deposit. Your account is protected from overdrafts with free savings transfers, a checking line of credit or an optional overdraft protection service. You also receive:
- Free mobile deposits
- Free bill pay
- Free traditional name-only checks
- Dividends credited monthly
NorthOne is a fast-growing company built specifically around business banking solutions for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. In addition to streamlining the application process, NorthOne doesn’t check your credit and doesn’t use ChexSystems. Here’s a recap:
- FREE business Mastercard debit card
- FREE access at over 40,000 ATMs nationwide
- FREE online and mobile app
- FREE live chat (not a chatbot), telephone, or email support
- FREE in-app invoice creator
- NO minimum monthly balance requirement
- NO NSF fees
- NO ACH transfer fees
- NO credit check or ChexSystems
NorthOne doesn’t require a minimum account balance and charges a $10 monthly fee that includes unlimited transactions in your account. These include ACH payments, bill pay, debit card usage, mobile deposits, and transfers. The only other fee is $15 for wire transfers.
You can also grant read-only access to employees or your accountant or bookkeeper. This keeps your account safe while also giving access to those who need it.
NorthOne targets account approvals within one to two business days. Information required to open an account includes name, address, and social security number or tax identification number. If applicable, NorthOne may ask for a copy of your business license and business formation documents. After you’re approved, you’ll need to make a $50 minimum opening deposit.Learn More
One of the most important steps to taking your business to the next level is the need to set up a business bank account. And if you get the right business account, it can give your growing business all the tools much larger businesses enjoy… without all the big business costs.
Novo understands small business owners and makes it easy to open and manage an account. As an online-only bank, you’ll find Novo strikes the right balance between technology, human touch, and real-world benefits. Here are some of our favorite features for Novo Business Checking:
- NO monthly fees
- NO minimum balance requirement
- NO ATM fees
- NO credit check or ChexSystems
- FREE Mastercard debit card
- FREE mobile app
- FREE transfers, mailed checks, and incoming wires
- FREE invoicing to create, send, and track invoices
- FREE mobile check deposit
It takes about 10 minutes to sign up for a Novo account. You’ll need personal and business information, which may include a social security number, business tax ID, and business formation documents. They do not check your credit or use ChexSystems.
Novo is growing quickly. Their offering is popular with small business owners. The account approval process is currently taking 1-2 business days and once you’re approved, you can get full access to your account with a simple $50 deposit.
We like Novo. We think you’ll like it, too.Learn More
One of the convenient features of Renasant Checking is the ability to use Renasant’s Mobile Wallet with Zelle, Apple Pay, and Google Pay options. If you opt to receive eStatements instead of traditional paper statements, your monthly fee of $10 is waived. Renasant Bank checking accounts come with:
- Online banking with online bill pay
- Mobile banking app access
- Renasant Debit Mastercard
- Unlimited check writing
Renasant Bank branch locations can be found throughout the state of Alabama in cities like Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and many others.
With Direct Checking, you’ll be able to use a debit card, enjoy online banking and bill pay, mobile banking and mobile deposits, and debit card fraud monitoring. There are also no fees for using an ATM if it is at a SouthState location.
For this simple plan, there is a $5 monthly charge and free eStatements. You’ll need to make a $25 minimum deposit when opening the account. However, SouthState Bank allows this checking account to be opened online with no minimum deposit at all! If you’re interested in learning more or opening an account at a physical branch, you can find SouthState Bank in Birmingham.
WIth Synovus, you receive full access to your accounts through newly designed online experiences and an easy-to-use mobile app. All Synovus personal checking accounts come with:
- Free unlimited ATM transactions at Synovus and Publix Presto! ATMs
- Free Visa debit card with no annual fee
- Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay compatibility
- Overdraft protection options
Synovus Bank has locations across Alabama near most major cities including Birmingham, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, and Dothan.
All UNIFY checking accounts offer:
- Free online eBanking
- Free Visa debit card
- Free UNIFY ATM access
- Free online eStatements
- No check fees
UNIFY FCU has one Alabama branch located in Huntsville. They are also in-network with several co-op shared branches where you’re able to make payments, transfers, check deposits, etc. These branches can be found in Selma, Prattville, Millbrook, Montgomery, Maplesville, Clanton, and Greenville.
We recommend UnionState’s Freedom Checking. With no minimum balance or service charge, your only cost is the minimum opening deposit of $50. This account comes with:
- Unlimited check writing
- Free online banking and bill pay
- Free eStatements
- Unlimited Free ATM transactions at UnionState ATMs
- Three Free ATM transactions per month at any ATM
UnionState has branch locations in Ashville, Cedar Bluff, Centre, Cropwell, Birmingham, Pelham, Pell City, Pleasant Grove, and Trussville. Visit UnionState today to open an account!
The First Step Checking account offers free online banking, eStatements, and a debit or ATM card. There’s only a $15 deposit required to open the account and no minimum balance to keep up with. A low fee of only $3 is required every statement cycle. Also, if the account remains in good standing for 6 consecutive months, checking account holders can request a review and may be eligible to upgrade to a different type of checking account.
The other feature of the First Step program is called the First Step Loan. This is a loan of between $500 to $1500 offered to the First Step Checking account holders who meet certain conditions, including financial counseling, a minimum credit score of 550, and a debt-to-income ratio of <45%. Apply for the First Aid program at any of The First Bank’s many Alabama locations.
United Bank’s Gateway Checking does not offer a debit card or overdraft protection. There are a variety of check options available. Online bill pay can also be purchased for $4.95 per month. Gateway checking has a $10 monthly maintenance fee and offers:
- Itemized statement and e-Statement options
- Smartphone app with mobile check deposit
- 24/7 BankLine Service and Account Alerts
You can find United Bank branches in over a dozen cities in Alabama including Atmore, Bay Minette, Flomaton, Frisco City, and Magnolia Springs.
Opening an account is easy and Varo doesn’t check your credit or use ChexSystems. Varo doesn’t even require an initial deposit to open an account, either. There are never any monthly maintenance fees, account balance minimums, overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees, transfer fees, or debit card replacement fees.
Varo’s recent bank charter has them innovating more than ever. They have a very strong cashback program, a payroll advance option, and have started to offer their customers a secured credit card called Varo Believe.
Finally, if Varo receives a payroll notification before your payday, it can deposit your money more quickly than many banks.
There is a $5 monthly fee, but that is be waived for account holders 24 years old and younger. This account is available to residents in all 50 states.
- The largest number of branches in the U.S.
- Minimum deposit of $25 to open an account
- Online bill pay and smartphone app
- Mobile check deposit
- Includes a Visa debit card
- Send and receive money through Zelle
- Additional features include account alerts, 24/7 fraud monitoring, and zero liability protection for your debit card
To open a Fresh Start Checking account, you’ll need to make an initial minimum deposit of $100 and pay a monthly service charge of $10. The checking account grants access to mobile banking, which can be used to check balances, pay bills online, transfer funds, and locate branches or ATMs, as well as Internet banking. eStatements are sent each cycle, too.
If you’re ready to learn more about Fresh Start Checking, or if you’re interested in opening an account for yourself, West Alabama Bank has staff ready to help! You can visit them at any of their 15 locations across Alabama.
You can lower your Second Chance monthly maintenance fee from $11.95 to $9.95 by setting up monthly direct deposit. There are Woodforest National Bank branches located in Walmart stores throughout Alabama for your convenience. Woodforest also offers:
- Online banking
- A mobile banking app
- Woodforest Debit Card
- Overdraft solutions
- Additional financial services to meet your needs
Did we leave your financial institution off this list of The Best Second Chance Banking in Alabama? Has there been a change in any of the listings? Please let us know.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.
1Eligibility requirements apply. Overdraft only applies to debit card purchases and cash withdrawals. Limits start at $20 and may be increased up to $200 by Chime. See chime.com/spotme.
2Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. Cash deposit or other third-party fees may apply.
3Customers are limited to three $1,000 cash deposits at Walgreens each day and $10,000 each month.
4Sometimes instant transfers can be delayed. The recipient must use a valid debit card to claim funds. Once you are approved for a Chime Checking Account, see your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Pay Anyone Transfers details. Please see the back of your Chime debit card for your issuing bank. See Terms and Conditions.
5The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of May 22, 2023. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
6Early 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.
1Family Accounts: Activated, personalized card required. Other fees apply to the additional account. Family members age 13 years and over are eligible. Limit 4 cards per account. See Deposit Account Agreement for details.
2Cash back, up to $75 per year, is credited to card balance at end of reward year and is subject to successful activation and other eligibility requirements. Redeem rewards using our website or app. You will earn cash back of three percent (3%) on qualifying purchases made at Walmart.com and in the Walmart app using your card or your card number, two percent (2%) at Walmart fuel stations, and one percent (1%) on qualifying purchases at Walmart stores in the United States (less returns and credits) posted to your Card during each reward year. Grocery delivery and pickup purchases made on Walmart.com or the Walmart app earn 1%. For the purposes of cash back rewards, a “reward year” is twelve (12) monthly periods in which you have paid your monthly fee or had it waived. See account agreement for details.
3Interest is paid annually on each enrollment anniversary based on the average daily balance of the prior 365 days, up to a maximum average daily balance of $1,000, if the account is in good standing and has a positive balance. 2.00% Annual Percentage Yield may change at any time before or after account is opened. Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of 3/1/2022.
4Direct Deposit: Early availability of direct deposit depends on timing of payroll’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period. Make sure the name and social security number on file with your employer or benefits provider matches what’s on your Walmart MoneyCard account exactly. We will not be able to deposit your payment if we are unable to match recipients.
5Opt-in required. $15 fee may apply to each eligible purchase transaction that brings your account negative. Balance must be brought to at least $0 within 24 hours of authorization of the first transaction that overdraws your account to avoid the fee. We require immediate payment of each overdraft and overdraft fee. Overdrafts paid at our discretion, and we do not guarantee that we will authorize and pay any transaction. Learn more about overdraft protection.
6No monthly fee with qualifying direct deposit, otherwise $5.94 a month. Waived when $500+ is loaded in the previous monthly period. First monthly fee occurs upon first use, the day after card activation or 90 days after card purchase, whichever is earlier.