Today we’re checking out the best free checking accounts for San Diego residents!Depending on where you bank, what you do, or what you’re comfortable with, there is likely a free checking account that will work for you. Too many people fall for the myth that banking is expensive and that the only options for a checking account involve fees, or maintaining outrageously high balances to keep the fees waived.But today, we’re fighting this myth.We’re going to show you our favorite options depending on your situation, as well as a full round-up of free checking account options that might work for you.Note: Most of these banks require a credit score of 600 or higher to open a free checking account online. If you don’t have a great score, or don’t have a solid banking history, check out this list of second-chance checking accounts.Promo: Check out Axos Essential Checking. With innovative tools and smart financial features designed to eliminate fees and maximize convenience, you’ll get the modern banking experience you deserve. Reward yourself and upgrade to better checking today. Plus, you can get a $50 welcome bonus when you complete qualifying activities!
Axos Bank calls themselves America’s most experienced digital bank. And their Essential Checking account hits every feature you’d expect from a top notch online bank.Essential Checking has no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, and no overdraft or insufficient fund fees. Plus, they offer unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements! Right now, San Diego residents get a $50 welcome bonus! Simply open an Essential Checking account by June 30 2020, and we’ll add $50 to your account. Just use promo code SDLOCAL on your application. Application must be submitted before 11:59pm on 06/30/2020 to qualify. Direct deposit of at least $1,000 within 30 days of account opening and continuing for 2 consecutive months required in order to qualify for the $50 bonus.Axos Bank does require that you have good banking history to get approved.Read our full Axos Bank review here. Why I Like It: A great free checking account with a huge digital footprint. Learn more about Axos Essential Checking here.
Nationwide has recently launched a suite of banking products, including My Savings and now My Checking. has no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, and allows you to get your paycheck deposited 2 days early!Nationwide My Checking does require that you have good banking history to get approved.Read our full Nationwide Bank review here. Why I Like It: A free checking account that can be combined with a great high yield savings account.Learn more about Nationwide My Checking.
Radius Bank offers the Rewards Checking Account. This is one of the few checking accounts that earns a solid interest rate on your money in the account.It currently pays 0.10% APY on balances between $2,500 and $99,999, and 0.15% APY on balances over $100,000. You must maintain a $2,500 minimum average balance in the account OR $2,500 in direct deposits per month to earn interest.They also offer 1% back on debit card purchases, which is similar to other top accounts on this page!They are very mobile friendly, with unlimited ATM reimbursements, and mobile check deposits. Read our full Radius Bank review here.Why I Like It: Interest-bearing checking with cash back debit.Open a Radius Bank Rewards Checking account here.
Theisn’t truly free unless you meet the minimum monthly requirements to make it so, but we list it as our favorite checking account because it’s available nationwide online, has branches nearly everywhere, and is one of the most robust banking products out there currently. Plus, the minimum requirements are super easy to meet – check it out.And right now, you can get up to a $200 bonus when you open an account and setup direct deposit! That’s awesome! has a $12 per month fee that’s easily waived if you simply do ONE of the following:Read our full Chase Bank review here.Why I Like It: A great account opening bonus, with one of the largest, most well known banks in the United States.Learn more about
is a lesser known bank nationwide, but they do offer nationwide free checking! However, where BBVA really shines is in it’s access to ATMs. Furthermore, there is no real requirements to maintain free checking at BBVA. They do charge for paper statements (and it’s opt-out), but once you opt-out, you don’t have to worry about making enough direct deposits or having a minimum balance. Why I Like It: Easy online banking without worrying about minimums.Learn more about .
was one of the original free mobile banking apps that revolutionized mobile banking. They started with a mobile-first mindset, and also wanted to keep fees as low as possible.As such, they have a top notching free checking account if you’re okay with a mobile only platform. Chime has no physical locations, and all of their banking is done online – in the app. Why I Like It: Free mobile banking.Learn more about . Check out our Chime Bank Review here.
Ally Bank is one of the most well-known internet only banks around, and they have a great free checking account that matches their brand. They are known for solid customer service and great banking products. They have no monthly fee free checking, and a great mobile app that allows mobile check deposit.Read out full Ally Bank review here.Why I Like It: Well known free checking brand.Learn more about .
Capital One 360 Checking is another online banking giant that has been around for a long time. This is another long time free checking account that has a lot of popularity.Capital One 360 Checking has several innovative features that you don’t see at other banks. First, they have no foreign transaction fees if you use your ATM card overseas. Second, they have an overdraft option where you can basically opt for a personal loan instead. Read our full Capital One 360 bank review here.Why I Like It: Solid online bank with innovative features.Learn more about .
is a great choice for free checking if you qualify to have a USAA Account. USAA limits membership to servicemembers and DOD employees and their families, so that could be a bar to entry for some.If you do qualify for USAA, then their USAA Classic Checking is a great product, with no fee checking, free checks, online BillPay, and ATM free reimbursements.Read our full USAA Bank review here.Why I Like It: Free checking, free checks, great mobile app for those that qualify for USAA.Learn more about .
Discover offers the Cashback Debit Checking Account. This checking account allows you to earn up to 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases every month. Plus, this account has no fees or minimum balance requirements!They are very mobile friendly, have access to over 60,000 free ATMs, and even have no-fee check ordering. Read our full Discover bank review here.Why I Like It: Cashback debit on a free checking account.
We talked about it slightly above, but there is a long standing myth in America that checking accounts are expensive. As a result, too many people go without this tool, and end up using expensive tools like check cashing, money orders, and more.According to a NerdWallet study, the average checking account charge $10-12 in monthly maintenance fees. That’s crazy! There is no reason than anyone should pay these fees when opening a checking account.Furthermore, to waive these fees, many “big banks” require you to open other products with them (such as a savings account), or maintain a monthly minimum (say $5,000 at all times, or pay the fee), or they require you to have direct deposit setup.Some banks even have a transaction requirement to waive the fee – for example, you must have 25 debit cards transactions per month, or you get charged a fee. All of these fees and requirements are wrong.Students (and other people) typically maintain lower balances than older Americans. They also might not have a job yet (for direct deposit), or have other accounts at the bank.As such, they have unique requirements that we wanted to share, so that you can see how we based our criteria for the best free checking account options.In order to be one of the best free checking accounts, we put the following criteria in place:
Still on the fence about what type of checking account to open? We break down the most common checking account questions below:
Hopefully you can see that there are good options for free checking. You don’t have to pay fees to have a checking account – you just need to open your account at a good bank.