COVID-19 has changed the way people shop, work, socialize, and make payments. The pandemic may be pushing us closer and closer to a cashless society. While some consumers had already embraced online banking and payment options, others are going digital for the first time. According to one survey, 45% of respondents said the way they conduct banking has changed permanently due to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 public health crisis has introduced more consumers to the benefits of online banking, whether as part of their traditional brick-and-mortar banking relationship or with an online-only bank. Digital and online banking seems to be the new normal.
Today, almost every bank offers online banking options, but did you know that there are banks that operate either solely online or with a very limited branch network? Without the overhead of a large branch operation, they can offer a variety of banking products while passing the savings to their customers, who will enjoy lower fees and added benefits, including protection from bank fraud. Opening a free online checking account could be the solution for you.
The Best Free Online Checking Accounts: Our Selection Process
We reviewed over 1,000 checking accounts found at banks and credit unions across the country and found five that top our list of The Best Free Online Checking Accounts.
We wanted full featured checking accounts with all the bells and whistles and without ANY limitations. Importantly, our finalists all offered checking accounts that are truly free: no hidden fees or monthly charges. Our search included banks that required no account balance minimums and all of them had to have an outstanding customer reputation for their online and mobile apps as well as human customer service availability.
8 Features Your Online Bank Should Include
Your checking account should be safe, simple, and full of the features you need. We found most banks had confusing offers, monthly balance or usage minimums, gimmicks to get you to use your account, and a host of other nonsensical add-ons. Instead we chose institutions that help you keep your finances simple and understandable. Most of all, these banks don’t charge fees or engage in silly promotions. The best free online checking accounts offer:
- Free debit card and unlimited check writing
- No monthly or annual fees
- No account minimums
- Free use of ATMs
- Powerful mobile tools
- Free online banking and bill pay
- Strong customer service
- Low overdraft fees