There is a dramatic shift occurring in the banking world: more and more consumers are getting comfortable with banking almost exclusively online.
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people shop, work, socialize, and make payments and it is pushing us closer to a cashless society. This has encouraged millions of consumers to open bank accounts where the vast majority of transactions occur without ever having to visit a bank or credit union branch.
The second factor in this rush to online banking has been the advance of online tools and apps that give consumers much more confidence and security to conduct their finances online. This is true of upstart banks and some of the largest banks with thousands of branches throughout the country.
Digital and online banking seems to be the new normal. Millions have come to know they can enjoy a great online banking experience, with no hidden charges, no opening deposit, superior smartphone technology, and all the FDIC insurance protection they deserve.
The Best Online Bank Accounts – No Deposit Required
Our Selection Process: 10 Features of the Best Online Checking Accounts
We reviewed over 1,000 checking accounts found at banks and credit unions across the country to compile our list of The Best Online Checking Accounts.
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. The best online checking accounts offer:
- Free debit card
- No NSF/overdraft fees
- No or low monthly or annual fees
- No account balance minimums
- Free use of ATMs
- Powerful mobile tools
- Free online banking and bill pay
- Strong customer service
- Very high acceptance rates, no matter your financial history
- Available in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
Banks offering the most features and lowest fees rose to the top of the list, as did those with a low or no minimum deposit, low or no balance requirement, and a broad ATM network. Banks with high customer satisfaction and an intuitive digital banking experience also earned higher scores.
What Are the Benefits of Online Bank Accounts With No Opening Deposit?
Managing your financial life can be made much easier with online banking, which offers several benefits. If you’re uncertain about whether online banking is right for you, consider some of the following advantages.
Convenience is one of the primary benefits of online banking, as you can access your accounts from virtually anywhere. With online banking or mobile banking, you can easily check your balances, pay bills, transfer money between accounts, deposit checks remotely, and set up notifications or alerts.
Even if your debit card is lost or stolen, you can deactivate it through your mobile app. Although online banks may not have branches, many offer ATM access, making it easy to withdraw cash.
In addition to account management, online banking and mobile banking also come with added features. These include:
- Goal trackers
- Automated savings
- Financial calculators
- Budgeting tools
- Person-to-person payments
These features can help you take control of your finances and establish regular savings habits.
Another benefits of online banking is its cost-effectiveness. Since online-only banks do not have the same overhead costs as traditional banks, you can avoid paying some of these high fees:
- Monthly maintenance fees
- Person-to-person transfer fees
- Wire transfer fees
- Minimum balance fees
- Foreign transaction fees
- Overdraft fees
- ATM usage fees
Moreover, some online banks even refund your ATM surcharges up to a certain amount each billing cycle. The money you save on fees can be deposited into a high-yield savings account, which can earn more competitive rates than brick-and-mortar banks.
Online banking offers other advantages, including the following:
- Ability to open an account without visiting a branch
- Automatic bill payments
- Fee-free bill payments
- Automatic savings deposits
- Solid integration with budgeting apps
- Fraud and identity theft monitoring
Online banking is a secure way to manage your money, as online banks often use the same level of encryption as brick-and-mortar banks and offer enhanced security features like multi-factor authentication. By taking basic steps to protect your online banking security, you can keep your account information safe and out of the hands of hackers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Online Bank Accounts With No Deposit Required
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions you may ask yourself when you open a bank account with no deposit required.
Is online banking safe?
Online banks are generally considered safe, especially if they are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which provides the same level of protection as banks with physical branches.
In fact, online banking can be even safer than traditional banking due to the prevalence of digital transactions and online statements, which reduce the risk of fraud that is associated with paper checks and statements. By opting for digital banking, you can eliminate an opportunity for theft that many fraudsters exploit.
How do you deposit cash into an online bank?
If your online bank has an ATM network that accepts cash deposits, you can deposit cash at one of their in-network ATMs in the same way that you would at a physical bank.
However, certain online banks without their own ATM networks may offer cash deposit services at select retailers, although this may come with a fee of up to $5 or more. Additionally, some online banks may not support cash deposits at all, but they may offer a mobile check deposit feature instead.
Are online banks FDIC-insured?
There are several ways in which online banks can be insured, such as through the FDIC or by being affiliated with a brick-and-mortar bank that has FDIC insurance. Some online banks also provide additional insurance coverage through organizations like the Massachusetts Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF).
FDIC-insured accounts can be covered up to $250,000 per depositor, for each ownership category, in case of a bank failure. Before opening an account with any financial institution, it’s important to verify whether they are FDIC-insured. Similarly, for nationally chartered and many state-chartered credit unions, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) provides insurance coverage for similar amounts.
Do online banks have ATMs?
Online banks typically do not have their own branded ATMs, but they often provide free access to ATMs through partner banks. The size of the ATM network may vary based on the bank you choose, and some of the top online banks provide access to over 37,000 ATMs across the country. If you frequently withdraw cash, it’s important to check if your account includes ATM fee reimbursements, as fees for using out-of-network ATMs can quickly accumulate.
For those considering transitioning from traditional banking, online banks can provide a highly convenient and feature-rich alternative. Seek out online banks that provide competitive rates, minimal fees, secure digital banking, and accounts that align with your financial goals. If you’re unsure where to begin your search, our list of the top online banks with no opening deposits offer these attributes and then some.