Best Online Checking Accounts in 2024

Best Online Checking Accounts in 2024

When you're looking for an online checking account, seek out banks that require no fees, allow easy access to your money, and boast competitive rates.
Written by
Shannon Lee
Financial Analyst

Edited by
Kristin Marino
Managing Editorbluetick

When you're looking for an online checking account, seek out banks that require no fees, allow easy access to your money, and boast competitive rates.

An online checking account can be an excellent way to handle your money, especially if you find a bank that charges no fees.

  • Look for a bank with no fees or one that has easy ways to waive the fees they do have.
  • Then, look at how accessible your money is to you. Does the account offer the ability to write checks, get direct deposit early, or a vast ATM network so you can access your money at any time?
  • Consider the interest rates. Some banks offer competitive interest rates on their checking accounts, while others offer no interest.

Let’s dive into what you need to know to decide if an online checking account is right for you.

Monthly Checking Account Fees at Traditional Big Banks and Online Banks

Many banks are phasing out their monthly service or maintenance fees, but some still try to collect money from customers by charging these fees. Depending on the account, these fees can range from $5 to $35 monthly. These fees are more common with local banks, while online banks tend to have no fees or an easier way to waive them.

Here are some of the ways to waive service fees at the biggest banks.

Easily Compare the Best Checking Accounts Online

Compare rates, fees, accessibility, customer service, and more. Find the best checking account for your needs.

The Best Online Checking Accounts

Some of the best online checking accounts are offered by big names in banking that you might recognize. Here are some of the biggest ones.

SoFi Money

SoFi Money combines savings and checking while offering an industry-leading interest rate with no fees and a bonus for direct deposit. It suits those seeking an alternative to traditional accounts, competitive interest rates, fee minimization, and electronic banking.

Benefits include early paycheck access, a large ATM network, and fee-free overdraft coverage. However, it lacks branch banking, separate savings and checking accounts, and deposit options like CDs. Opening individual or joint accounts is easy, and account management includes depositing funds, setting up savings vaults, bill payments, and earning interest and cash-back rewards.

SoFi doesn’t offer savings or checking separately. Customers who sign up for checking also have a savings account linked to their checking. Also, there are no branches, so all banking with SoFi is done electronically.

SoFi’s account is FDIC-insured, and it provides online and mobile access with no hidden fees. Customers value its convenience and comprehensive services, making it suitable for those seeking a fee-friendly, all-in-one banking solution.

Discover® Cashback Checking

Discover Bank’s Cashback checking includes features like early direct deposit, fee-free ATM access, Zelle for money transfers, and mobile banking.

Discover offers an exceptionally good cash-back debit card, with earnings of 1% for the first $3,000 spent each cycle. However, there are other ways to get even more back, such as up to 15% from local merchants.

Discover banking is online-only, lacking branch access, which may not suit everyone. While it offers competitive cash-back rewards and FDIC insurance, it’s limited in cash deposit options and requires comfort with online banking.

The account has no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance requirements. While it doesn’t pay interest, its fee structure and cash-back rewards make it attractive for those seeking a fee-friendly banking experience with cash-back perks.

Capital One 360

Capital One 360 Checking stands out for its fee-free structure, large ATM network, and cash deposit options at CVS and Walgreens.

The account offers no monthly maintenance or overdraft fees and pays interest on balances. It’s suited for those seeking convenient access to their money and interest-earning capabilities. However, its physical footprint is limited, and while it lacks monthly or overdraft fees, it isn’t entirely fee-free.

Customer support is available via phone, but it lacks live chat. Capital One’s mobile app is highly rated, offering typical features like mobile check deposit and fund transfers.

The account doesn’t require minimum balances or deposits and is FDIC-insured. Overall, it’s a solid choice for those prioritizing fee-free banking with interest-earning potential and multiple money management options.


Chime offers innovative features like early salary access, no overdraft fees up to $100, and a state-of-the-art mobile app. With no hidden fees and a vast ATM network, Chime’s checking and savings accounts cater to tech-savvy users seeking fee-free banking.

Chime’s credit builder card helps build credit, while automatic savings options simplify saving. Chime partners with established banks and boasts an A+ BBB rating, ensuring legitimacy.

Though it lacks branch banking and may not offer the highest interest rates, it’s suitable for those seeking digital banking solutions with built-in financial tools and second-chance banking options.

With no monthly fees and robust features, Chime appeals to individuals seeking a comprehensive and tech-driven banking experience.


Current offers tech-savvy users fee-free online banking with no branch access, backed by FDIC-insured partner bank Choice Financial Group.

With no overdraft fees and an extensive ATM network, it’s suitable for those comfortable with mobile banking. The account has no minimum balance requirements and offers the option to round up purchases for savings. While cash deposits incur a fee, there are no maintenance fees.

Customer service is primarily online, with 24/7 chat support and live assistance during weekdays. Savings pods offer competitive rates, and there’s a teen account option.

Although lacking physical checks, Current provides bill payment via ACH or debit card. FDIC insurance protects deposits, but cryptocurrency investments are not covered. There’s no minimum deposit to open, and Overdrive offers overdraft protection for accounts with at least $500 in monthly direct deposits.

Current helps you improve your credit over time simply by using the debit card for everyday purchases. There are no monthly fees and an opportunity to link your checking to your savings to earn interest.

Pros and Cons of Online Checking

Making an informed decision about your financial life means having all the information you need. This can also mean comparing the pros and cons of each bank to find the one that’s right for you. Here’s what to expect from online checking.


  • It can be very easy to open an account; with many banks, it takes less than five minutes.
  • Online checking tends to be powered by a robust mobile app or website presence, which can come in very handy for those who like the freedom to move their money around anytime they please.
  • Many online banks offer higher interest rates than local banks. Part of the reason is the overhead – most online banks have lower fees and costs, so they can pass that savings on to you in the form of interest rates.
  • Online banks tend to have fewer fees than local banks.


  • Some online banks have no branches at all, which makes it impossible to bank in person. But for someone who has no problem keeping their financial life entirely digital, this could be the ideal scenario.
  • It might be tough to get in touch with a customer service representative. However, you might have more options, such as 24/7 automated systems, chat, and email.

Perks, Rewards, and Offers at Big Banks and Online Banks

Many banks offer good incentives to stay with an account, including rewards for banking with them over time.

Keep in mind that many banks will offer a cash bonus to those who open a checking account and maintain it for a set period, such as three months or a year. Look for these promotional opportunities throughout the year.

Here are some of the perks you get with the best checking accounts.

Other Fees for Big Bank and Online Checking

There are many fees beyond the monthly fee. As more banks move to a no-fee model, the fees that you do have tend to be very specific, such as a fee for paper statements or the cost of sending a wire transfer.

Online and Big Banks Checking Account Balance Requirements

Some banks require you to have a minimum amount of money in your account at all times. For some banks, that might be a token amount, such as $25. For others, especially those that offer interest on checking accounts, it might be in the hundreds of dollars.

Online vs. Big Bank Checking: What’s the Difference?

The basics of a checking account are usually the same when it comes to big bank checking or an account through an online bank. But beyond those basics, there can be some big departures between the two.

Who Is an Online Account Good For?

Online accounts are great for those who:

  • Want to open an account quickly with no hassle
  • Have an easy way to waive the fees, such as a direct deposit going into the account every month
  • Those who are comfortable with handling their financial life online
  • Account holders who are okay with only ATMs to access their money (many don’t offer check writing options)
  • Someone who needs no fees and no minimum balance requirements

How to Choose an Online Checking Account

There are certain things you want to find in the right checking account. These can include low or no fees, easy access to your money at all times, and interest rates that suit your financial goals (if you are choosing an interest-bearing account).

It’s also important to pay attention to any monthly fees or maintenance fees, as well as those that might sneak up on you, such as a fee for dropping below a minimum balance.

Watch for Fees

Some fees will be rare and only charged for necessities, such as stopping payment or ordering a cashier’s check. But these fees are usually stated right up front, and since most people use these services rarely, these fees shouldn’t be considered a problem.

However, if your banking habits include something that brings a fee, such as being paid via wire transfer each month, then you might want to look for a bank with no fees at all.

Pay Attention to Withdrawal Availability

Pay attention to the different ways you can obtain your money.

An online checking account will likely offer ATM access. Some might offer the ability to write checks and to transfer money easily from one account to another, even between rival banks.

Occasionally, a bank with a strong online presence will have branches in larger cities, such as Capital One. But keep in mind that when banking online, you will likely not have the advantage of a branch to bank with. If that’s a problem for you, consider local banks instead.


We reviewed more than 50 checking accounts from top traditional banks, credit unions, and neobanks.

We chose the best online checking accounts based on low fees, no fees for certain transactions, the ability to waive fees, accessibility (including ATMs), minimum opening deposit requirements, perks and rewards, app and online features and ease of use, and customer service availability.

This rigorous approach ensures that our recommendations are founded on a detailed and holistic analysis, identifying the best-suited checking accounts for our audience. 

Visit our Deposit Product Ratings Methodology page for an in-depth look at how we choose the products we feature on our pages.

Shannon Lee, a versatile contributor to MoneyRates, is a freelance writer with a passion that spans over two decades. Her extensive writing portfolio encompasses a myriad of topics, ranging from personal finance and home improvement to education, relationships, and medical and health subjects. In addition to her prolific freelance career, Shannon is also a novelist. Shannon’s dedication to providing insightful and informative content makes her a valued voice in the world of personal finance.
Financial Analyst