Best Free Checking Accounts in Texas in 2024

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. And these are for Texans, specifically.

I live in Texas and so I track the best free checking accounts in Texas.

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.

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