Best Free Business Checking Accounts [It’s 2022! Stop Paying Bank Fees]

Checking should be free. Don’t you agree? I say don’t pay a monthly fee for a checking account unless you absolutely have to.

After all, you’re loaning them your money. All they’re giving you is a debit card, some checks, and a few monthly transactions with a teller.

If you want free checking – even free business checking – with no strings attached, you should begin by looking at the best online checking accounts.

You can likely find free checking at major brick-and-mortar banks as well. You’ll typically have to meet certain requirements related to things like account balance, debit card activity, or direct deposits.

Free Business Checking Accounts

Looking for a free checking account for your small business? Below are several great free business checking account options.

1. Novo

Novo is an online platform for business banking is partnered with Middlesex Federal Savings. They offer free business checking accounts to freelancers, small business owners, and startup founders.

Here are a few of the benefits you’ll get with Novo business checking:

  • No minimum balance
  • No hidden fees
  • No fees on ACH transfers
  • No fees on incoming wires (both domestic and international)
  • No fees to mail paper checks
  • Novo debit card provided, with no fees on ATM usage
  • Unlimited transactions
  • FDIC coverage
  • Integration with multiple other financial platforms

It’s easy to apply in less than 10 minutes, doing everything from your phone or mobile device. You can elect to receive automatic notifications of all transactions with your account. There’s an intuitive app that allows you to do your banking from anywhere, plus get customer support within 60 minutes during business hours.

You can deposit checks easily by snapping a photo. Link your Novo checking account to your other bank accounts for seamless transfers.

If you prefer to avoid plastic, you’re able to use Apple Pay or Google Pay with your account. Novo also can integrate with other platforms like Xero, Zapier, Slack, TransferWise, and Plaid.

Click here to learn more about Novo

Novo | Free Business Banking

Built for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. No hidden fees, no hassle.

We earn a commission if you click this link and open an account at no additional cost to you.

2. nbkc bank Business Checking

Like their personal checking accounts, nbkc bank business checking accounts are incredibly affordable. It only takes $5 to open an account, and after that, you’ll have a $0 minimum account balance.

You won’t pay any monthly service fee with an nbkc bank business checking account and there are no transaction fees either. And if you need to deposit large amounts of checks at a time, you may want to ask about their “Desktop Deposit” feature.

Finally, nbkc bank business checking accounts come with the same free debit card and ATM access that their personal accounts offer.

Click here to get started with nbkc bank.

3. FNBO Small Business Checking

FNBO has two different options for small business checking.

First, they have a completely free business checking account that they playfully refer to as the “un-expense account.” Therefore, these accounts have no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fee. And with these free accounts, you’ll get 150 free transactions per month ($0.25 thereafter).

If you need more monthly transactions, you could open one of their Business 300 Class Checking accounts. These come with a $10 monthly fee. But it’s waived if your checking account balance stays above $5,000 or you have at least $15,000 in all business-related accounts.

Speaking of other business-related accounts, with FNBO Business 300 Class Checking, you’ll also get special rates on savings accounts, CDs, and more.

Click here to get started with FNBO.

4. Lending Club Tailored Checking

Lending Club’s new business banking offering, Tailored Checking (formerly Radius Bank), puts your money to work with high-yield earning. There are no hidden fees with this business checking account and unlimited transactions to keep your business moving.

Tailored Checking has no penalties, no up-charges, no per-transaction fees, and 1% cashback. The only fee you’ll see is a $10 monthly maintenance fee if your account balance is below $5,000.

Opening an account only requires a $100 deposit and there are no minimum monthly balance requirements. Companies can manage their account anytime by downloading the Lending Club mobile app.

Mobile check deposits, electronic statements, and integrated business services make Lending Club Tailored Checking one of the best business checking accounts around.

Click here to get started with Lending Club Tailored Checking.

5. TIAA Bank Business Checking

With a TIAA Bank Business Checking account, you’ll get 200 free transactions per month and 10 free online bill payments. You need a $1,500 opening deposit. To waive the $14.95 monthly service fee, you’ll need to keep an account balance of at least $5,000.

Also, these accounts support both online check deposits and remote deposit capture (a good option if you write over 50 checks a month). And you can deposit checks from anywhere using their mobile app.

Click here to get started with TIAA.

How to Get the Best Free Business Checking

Remember, there are four different ways to go about getting a free small business checking account:

  1. First, you could go to one of the major U.S. banks. They typically will have a free business checking option as long as certain requirements are met (e.g. direct deposit). With a big bank, you can be assured that branches and ATMs are located in your area.
  2. Then there are the local banks and credit unions. Similar to the major banks, they usually have free checking but are typically limited geographically or by association.
  3. Next, you have the local and regional reward checking accounts. These accounts typically pay a higher interest rate on your balance if you jump through a few hoops each month (e.g. a certain number of transactions).
  4. Finally, you have the option of online-only checking accounts listed above. They offer certain perks and features that the major banks and credit unions can’t compete with.

Free Personal Checking Accounts

While we mostly cater to business owner here, we realize you might want to have a business checking account where you bank personally. Therefore, we’re listing our favorite personal checking accounts, free and almost free, below…

Axos Bank Rewards Checking

Formerly known as Bank of Internet USA, Axos Bank has taken online banking to new levels since 2018. Between their high yield rewards and smart banking technology, Axos is a great option for people interested in online banking. They were named among the Best Online Banks of 2020 by GoBankingRates.

Axos Bank Rewards Checking accounts have a low minimum of $50 to open an account. With no monthly minimum balance to keep, anyone can open an account and start earning rewards. Account-holders can earn rewards by meeting some criteria:

  • Receive monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more
  • Use your Axos Debit Card for at least 10 transactions of $3 or more each per month
  • Use your Axos Debit Card for 5 or more monthly transactions of $3 or more.

Hitting each goal increases the amount of the rewards, up to 1.00% APY.

Axos Bank shines with its digital banking tools. Deposit checks anytime from your computer or mobile device. Axos Bank has a top-notch mobile app, available on iOS and Android. Online bill pay is simple with Axos, with access to all of your bills on one dashboard. Axos Bank Rewards Checking has no maintenance fees, no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees, and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

If you can do without a physical branch, then check out these online checking accounts. Because they’re online-only, they have less overhead. Lower operating costs allow them to offer some of the nicest features and perks, plus they’re free of fees or hoops to jump through.

Unlike the credit unions or local banks, most online banks come with great ATM access programs to keep you in the money. All of these online banks are FDIC Insured and offer top-notch bank security features.

Ally Bank Logo

Ally Checking

One of the best free online checking accounts available today is the Ally Interest Checking account. Learn more here.

It is what it sounds like: a checking account that pays interest on your balance. The rates are currently 0.1% on balances under $15,000 and $0.50% on balances of $15,000 and up per day.

Beyond being an interest-bearing account, it has several features that most consumers enjoy in a checking account: a bill pay feature which is free to use, free debit card, completely free ATM use (they refund up to $10 worth of other bank fees per statement cycle), and free overdraft protection if you have an online savings account or money market with Ally.

There are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees associated with this account. And you can open an account with as little as $1 today. Ally also has eCheck Deposit so you can deposit money remotely at any time.

aspiration bankAspiration Spend & Save Account

Aspiration is an interesting bank. That’s because they aren’t a chartered bank. But they operate like one. Their Spend & Save Account is what they call a cash management account. It’s a hybrid savings and checking account that offers 1.00% APY interest.

With a Spend & Save Account, you don’t pay any ATM, monthly fees or even overdraft fees. Aspiration is an online-only investment firm so they don’t have any local branches. And they also don’t offer CDs. You can open a Spend & Save Account for just $10 and there is no minimum balance requirements.

Aspiration is unique in that they have a focus on social responsibility. You earn 0.5% cashback with debit card purchases, but you can earn 1% cashback for purchases with higher “social impact scores.”

Not only that, they donate 10% of their earnings to charities. Aspiration makes a promise that they will never use your funds to invest in fossil fuel exploration or production. If you want a bank that cares about more than just your money, Aspiration is a solid choice.

Click here to get started with Aspiration.

Bluebird by American ExpressBluebird Logo

Bluebird is a bank alternative and a joint effort from American Express and Walmart. The account is free to use and mostly fee-free if you play by their simple rules: adding money to your Bluebird account from another debit card will incur a small fee, as will using an out of network ATM. But other than that, this is a great account since they have digital check deposit and you can add funds to your Bluebird account with cash or debit for free at virtually any Walmart checkout register.

You can get started with Bluebird online, by downloading their mobile app on the iTunes store or on Google Play, or by purchasing a $5 Bluebird kit at your local Walmart.

Check out our full review of Bluebird by American Express here.

Click here to get started with Bluebird.

Charles Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account

Charles Schwab may be known for investments, but this bank and brokerage firm offers an excellent free online checking account as well. To qualify, you simply have to link your High Yield Investor Checking Account to a Schwab One Brokerage account–but neither your checking account nor your brokerage account has any kind of minimum balance requirement.

In addition, this account offers a 0.03% APY on your account balance and zero fees. There is no service fee for your checking account, no matter what your account balance is, and you are allowed unlimited ATM fee rebates at any ATM worldwide. You can also pay your bills for free with Schwab Bank Bill Pay, and receive standard checks for free.

Click here to get started with Charles Schwab.

FNBO Free Checking BillPay AccountFNBO Direct Online BillPay Account

I’ve had some experience using FNBO Direct in the past and have enjoyed their service. If you want the best online checking interest rate for a low balance, then you should be using this account from FNBO Direct. They have a great web interface, bill pay feature, and free debit card. Free ATM use is limited.

FNBO Direct is a product of the largest privately-owned banking company in the United States, First National Bank of Omaha. In addition to checking, FNBO Direct offers an excellent savings account, reward credit card, and CDs which you can tap into as a BillPay member. The account has no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.

Click here to get started with FNBO.

GoBank LogoGoBank

This mobile-centric bank charges an $8.95 monthly fee, but this fee is waived if you sign up for Direct Deposit and have a monthly payroll or monthly government benefits deposit of at least $500. The service comes with no minimum balance requirement, no overdraft fees, no ATM fees if you’re within their large network.

Like many other online checking accounts, this bank has no physical branches. While you can order paper checks, they are somewhat expensive: $4.95 for a pack of 12. Instead, you are encouraged to use their online check writing program, and the bank will send out a paper check in about five business days. Your debit card and mobile deposit round out your banking needs. GoBank doesn’t allow joint accounts yet. So if you’re young, mobile, and single, check out GoBank.

Check out our full review of GoBank here.

Nationwide Direct Checking and Interest CheckingNationwide Checking Logo

Nationwide has partnered with AXOS bank to offer checking accounts. They actually have four different options now: First Checking, My Checking, Direct Checking, Interest Checking. All except the Direct Checking accounts charge no monthly maintenance fees.

First Checking is for kids aged 13-17 and can help them start managing their money with a parent or trusted adult on the account with them. It takes a $50 minimum deposit to open an account.

My Checking will cost you a $100 initial deposit to set up your account.

A Direct Checking account has no minimum initial deposit amount. It comes with a $5/month maintenance fee, which is waived if you sign up for direct deposit. Interest Checking has no monthly maintenance fees and you can earn up to 0.4% APY, depending on your balance.

Direct Checking and Interest Checking accounts will reimburse up to $30 in ATM fees per month. The Interest Checking account offers you a free starter kit of checks and a variable interest rate.

Another nice feature with My Checking, Direct Checking, and Interest Checking: they offer you the chance to receive your paycheck up to two days in advance.

Click here to get started with Nationwide.

nbkc bank Personal Checking

What makes nbkc bank Personal Checking accounts so unique is that they come with a .75% APY. Yes, that’s right, nbkc gives a .75% return on their checking accounts.

If you’d like to earn even more, you can also set up a personal money market savings account with nbkc that has a 1.1% APR. And you can move money back and forth between accounts for free.

nbkc personal checking accounts are crazy cheap. Check out all the zeros in the bulleted list below:

  • Minimum balance: $0
  • NBKC Debit MasterCard: $0
  • Box of checks: $0
  • Overdrafts or NSFs: $0
  • Online Banking with Bill Pay: $0
  • Deposit checks: $0
  • Cashier’s Checks: $0

That’s pretty amazing. And you can open an account with as little as $5. Finally, if you need to withdraw cash from an ATM, you can do that for free at any of the over 32,000 ATMs in the MoneyPass network.

You shouldn’t ever need to pay an ATM fee. But if you do, nbkc will refund up to $12 of fees per month.

Click here to get started with nbkc bank.

TIAA Bank Yield Pledge Checking

If you are a rate chaser and have a lot of cash to put into your checking account, TIAA Bank will reward you with consistently one of the best online checking account interest rates. Their introductory rate is an astounding 1.01%, which you can enjoy for a full year.

After that point, TIAA Bank promises that your rate will always be in the top 5% of leading banks, although you must maintain a minimum account balance of $100,000 to get their top rate after the introductory period ends. There are no ATM fees, and if you maintain a balance of $5,000, TIAA Bank will reimburse you for all ATM fees charged by other banks.

Note: If you keep less than $5,000 in your account, TIAA Bank will reimburse you for up to $15 per month worth of ATM fees from other banks.

Signing on also gets you a debit card with extended warranty, price, and return protection. Since they take on only a limited set of customers, they strive to treat them like kings. They have award-winning online banking, live customer service 24/7, unlimited check writing, and mobile check deposit.

Click here to get started with TIAA.

USAA Bank Free Checking

A newcomer to our list, USAA Bank has been a consumer favorite for as long as I can remember. And while other banks offer base checking for free, USAA offers their full lot of services free of charge.

Those services include (and are not limited to) use of ATM’s, online bill pay, online and mobile banking, ability to send and receive money securely with Zelle, Apple, Google, or Samsung Pay on your mobile phone, mobile deposits from your phone, and free checks. For anyone thinking that this bank is restricted to just members of the military, think again. We have a full article on who can and cannot join USAA, so check it out of you have any questions.

Click here to get started with USAA.

Best Almost Free Personal Checking Accounts (Major Banks)

While I would love to list out all of the small, regional banks and credit unions (many of which have free checking), it’s just not something I’m able to provide.

To my knowledge, there are no traditional, big bank checking accounts with truly free service. PNC Bank used to be the only one. But they’ve retired their free checking.

As you’ll see below, however, by jumping through a few hoops, you can avoid fees at big, traditional banks. You’ll need to either maintain a certain balance in the account, set up a direct deposit, or meet some other requirement.

For some people, this isn’t a hassle. Keep in mind, though, with the new banking overdraft protection laws, many of these major banks are adding various monthly fees and/or ratcheting up the requirements.

Bank of America Advantage Plus Checking

There is a $12 monthly fee unless one of the following requirements are met:

  • have at least one monthly qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more
  • maintain an average daily balance of $1,500 or more
  • be a student under the age of 24

The excellent mobile app allows you to use your debit card, a digital wallet, or pay friends securely with Zelle. In addition, the bank will not authorize ATM withdrawals or debit card purchases that will overdraw your account.

On a positive note, the account doesn’t have any early closure fees. If you use an ATM outside of the Bank of America network of ATMs, you’ll be charged a $2.50 fee over and above the other bank’s ATM fees. And the overdraft fee is $35.

Click here to get started with Bank of America.

Chase Total Checking (Up to $225 Bonus)

*Chase charges $12 a month for this account unless you meet one of these requirements.

  • direct deposits totaling $500 or more
  • $1,500 minimum daily balance
  • average daily balance of $5,000 in linked deposits/investments

The minimum deposit required to open the account is $25. If you close the account within 90 days you’ll face a $25 fee. Finally, to use an ATM outside of the Chase network, you’ll need to pay $2.50 (In US), $5 (outside US), in addition to the ATM’s fees. The overdraft fee is $34.

Click here to get started with Chase.

Citi Basic Checking

Citi has one of the few accounts with no opening deposit minimum requirement. You can open the account without depositing anything. The monthly fee on this account is $12 unless you meet certain requirements. These are one of the following:

  • One direct deposit and one bill payment per statement cycle
  • $1,500 in combined average monthly balances in checking or with linked day-to-day savings
  • Or account holder is over 62 years of age

If you close the account in the first 90 days you’ll have to pay a $25 closure fee. And you’ll need to pay a $2.50 fee each time you use another bank’s ATM. The overdraft fee is $34.

Click here to get started with Citi.

PNC Virtual Wallet Checking

The account has a $7 monthly fee unless you meet any one of the following:

  • $500 or more qualifying monthly direct deposits
  • $500 or more average monthly balance
  • account holders over age 62

To open an account you’ll need to get started with at least $25, unless you open the account online. There is no minimum balance for accounts opened online. But if you close the account within 180 days, you’ll face an early closure fee of $25. Out of network ATM fees are $3.00. The overdraft fee is $36 per item for any overdrafts larger than $5.

Click here to get started with PNC.

U.S. Bank Easy Checking

The monthly fee on the account is $6.95 unless you meet one of these requirements

  • have combined monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000
  • maintain an average account balance of $1,500
  • or the account holder is over 65 years of age

To open this account, you’ll need $25 to get started. But they’re looking for long-term customers–close the account in the first 180 days and you’ll pay $25. Out of network ATM fee is $2.50. U.S. Bank charges no monthly debit card fee for this account. The overdraft fee is $36 for overdrafts of $5.01 or more, and $0 for overdrafts of $5 or less.

Click here to get started with U.S. Bank.

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking

Wells Fargo Everyday Checking costs $10 a month unless one of the following requirements are met.

  • qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more each statement cycle
  • $1,500 minimum daily balance
  • you have 10 or more posted debit card transactions from this account each month
  • you are under the age of 25

Like many others on this list, you can open this account with a $25 minimum deposit. The out of network ATM fee is $2.50. With this account, there is no early closure fee. The overdraft fee is $35, but they do offer a service that may waive any overdraft fees if you make a deposit by 9 a.m. the next day.

Click here to get started with Wells Fargo.

The Bottom Line

There is no reason to be paying monthly fees on your checking account these days. I’m sure one of these options will be a good fit for you.

Do you have experience with one of these banks or know of one we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Avatar About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Hmm, no love for Schwab, eh?  🙂  I’ve been using Schwab’s Investor Checking for many years and LOVE it. Everything is free — checks, ATM usage (any fees are reimbursed), bill-pay, deposit slips, envelopes, etc.  They have a great mobile app that supports check deposits. Not to mention everything else Schwab offers.  Everything you need under one roof.

  2. Great post! very useful info on all sort of checking accounts Philip! Love this great post. Thanks

  3. Avatar Momat3isplenty says

    I’ve used PNC for almost 15 years, and I’ve never paid them a fee.  We have their performance select checking (highest level of service available), and still pay no fees – in fact, they pay *us* back for any ATM fees from other banks.  We just have to have either a $5000 balance or $5000 direct deposited every month.  Their Performance checking has lower requirements at $2500/mth.  I don’t think there’s any reason to pay bank fees – you just have to know/find out what the “rules” are, and follow them – just put part of your emergency fund in there as the “base” to meet the monthly minimum