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Best Free Checking Accounts With No Minimum Balance  

3 min read

best free checking accounts

Written By

Brandi Marcene

When you use a bank account, you want an accounting system that does not take a bite out of your pocket. This means that in this case, where you are not fully using the services yet, you are being charged for the fully used service type of cost. This is done by many banks, who charge monthly fees for bank account features like savings accounts, checking accounts, ATM fees, and much more. Manybanks charge monthly fees and other service fees even if you are not using the services as well, just keeping your money and not doing transactions at all.

Types Of Fee

There are many types of fees for using a bank, from checking accounts to transaction fees to online bank services for account fees paid, to transfer money, to direct deposit, and so on. This fee requires at least a minimum balance for monthly maintenance fees.

Fee Chequing Accounts

Not only that, but interest rates also exist. Due to this, the monthly charge fees are on the chequing balance. A chequing account is a simple account for everyday transactions. It is commonly used for buying gas, groceries, and paying bills. If you usually keep a large balance in your account, aninterest rate on a chequing account is a good choice. However, most fee-checking accounts do not offer rewards for high balances. Usually, you won't have to pay a monthly fee, but you won't earn any interest rate on your funds either.

There are different types of interest rates, such as the difference betweenTFSA and high-interest savings accounts. The difference is that if you're looking to grow your money tax-free and have medium- to long-term goals, then the TFSA is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want higher interest rates and the ability to access your money immediately, then the HISA is the better choice.

Monthly Maintenance Fee

The fees also include monthly maintenance fees. Also known as a maintenance fee, the bank may impose a monthly charge solely for maintaining the account. Also, a fee may be applied if your balance falls below the minimum requirement. Even in a savings account, the bank charges fees.

The ATM Fees

As a common thing, atm fees are charges for their use of services. Avoid extra charges by using ATMs within your bank's network. Brick-and-mortar banks typically charge around $2.50 for using an out-of-network ATM. The atm fees are charged because your bank will make you pay a fee for using another bank's ATM to withdraw money. This fee usually ranges from $1.50 to $2.50 for each transaction. Additionally, the ATM owner will charge non-customers a convenience fee, which is typically between $1 and $4, for allowing them to use their machine. These also include the charges for atm access and atm withdrawals.

Overdraft Fee

The government has rules in place for accounts that are not being used or have been inactive for a while. If an account has been inactive for a specific period, the state decides what the bank can do with the money, and the bank cannot charge fees from that account anymore. These inactive accounts not only create problems for banks in terms of administration, but they can also be expensive for them. Banks charge fees on accounts that have become dormant to encourage account holders to start using their accounts again and avoid dealing with the regulations that apply to inactive accounts.

Savings Account Fees

A Savings Account is a special type of bank account that allows you to earn interest on the money you deposit. Although the interest rates for this account are not very high, it does offer you the flexibility to withdraw your money whenever you need it.

Another benefit of having a Savings Account is that if you have it at the same bank where you have your checking account, you can connect the two accounts. This means that you can use your debit card to make payments or take out cash directly from your savings account. Almost all banks offer Savings Accounts with different interest rates. Some banks may also require you to maintain a minimum balance to avoid account fees or to earn the highest interest rate available for the account. With ahigh-interest savings account, you can earn and keep your amount safe.

You might be asking Ifchecking and savings accounts are insured. This is a complex question that depends on many factors which determine their insurance. Including their fees charges much more.

Foreign Sending And Receiving fees

Your credit card company may charge you foreign transaction fees, which are usually a percentage of the amount you spend, typically around 3%. Although 3% may not appear significant, these fees can accumulate over time.

Foreign ATM fees

When you go out of the country for travel for many reasons, if you don't take the countries where you were going cash at hand, that means you might use your debit card or credit card. This means you will make a foreign transaction through an atm. Even in your own country, you might have often given atm fees when you utilize them. The same case often applies to you when you travel to a foreign country and use their atm to do withdrawals or any other features. Your bank may charge you foreign transaction fees when you convert currency. If your bank charges these fees, which is quite common, you will have to pay a percentage of the total amount you withdraw, typically ranging from 1% to 3%. This applies when you use your card at a foreign ATM or make purchases abroad.

Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Fee

When someone doesn't have enough money in their checking account to cover checks, ATM withdrawals, transfers, and similar transactions, it is referred to as an overdraft. In such cases, financial institutions often impose a fee called a returned item or NSF fee. These fees are quite common and serve as a means for banks to generate revenue. The reason behind these charges is that the bank needs to put in extra effort to handle such situations.

But there are ways to avoid these monthly fees that negatively affect your bank account. Some fees include the like. You need to have a minimum amount in your bank account as well. This means a free bank account with no fee checking account, no overdraft fees, and so on. But you might be wondering what a No-Fee Chequing Account is in Canada.

No-Fee Chequing Accounts In Canada

The Canadian Federal Government defines a no-fee chequing account as a type of chequing account that offers all the necessary services of a low-fee chequing account but without any monthly maintenance fees. To qualify as a low-fee chequing account, the financial institution must provide the following services, if available, to their retail banking customers for a maximum fee of $4 per month:

  1. A minimum of 12 debit transactions per month, including at least two in-branch transactions (if available).

  2. The ability to write cheques.

  3. A debit card for unlimited debit purchases or credit unions

  4. Unlimited deposits.

  5. Monthly printed statements.

  6. The option to set up pre-authorized payments.

  7. The ability to view cheque images online or receive cheque image returns.

  8. free checking accounts

Best Free Checking Account With Other Benefits

Just like everything else, when you change service from one place to another, you discover different types of benefits with the change of services. These changes can bring no fees for savings accounts, monthly fees, free checking accounts, and free bank accounts, and might even give free and unlimited transactions or ano-fee bank account. Plus, get things like avirtual credit card or a free credit score.

The banks that provide these services are as follows.

Axos Bank Essential Checking

The Axos Essential Checking account is designed to help consumers avoid unnecessary fees. With this account, you won't have to worry about monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, or non-sufficient fund fees. Additionally, there is no fee to obtain or replace a debit card. If you happen to use a domestic ATM and are charged a fee, don't worry because Axos will reimburse you. They have a network of 91,000 fee-free ATMs available for your convenience.

Axos also offers two other checking accounts with minimal fees: Axos Bank Cashback Checking and Axos Bank Rewards Checking. Each of these accounts has a unique feature. Essential Checking provides the benefit of early direct deposit, allowing you to receive your expected earnings two days in advance. Axos Cashback Checking offers up to 1% cash back on debit card purchases, while Axos Reward Checking yields up to 3.30% APY total (excluding balances above $50,000) if you meet certain requirements. If your main concern is avoiding fees, Essential Checking is the best option for you.

EQ Bank Personal Account

In this Bank service, get ready to earn some serious interest with an EQ Bank Personal Account! You can get an interest rate of 2.50% - 4.00% on your hard-earned money. The best part about this? Say bye to those everyday banking fees and enjoy free transactions. No need to stress about maintaining a minimum balance either.

Pros EQ Bank

  • No account fee.

  • No transaction fee.

  • No Interac e-Transfers fee.

  • Earn interest on your balance, ranging from 2.50% to 4.00%.

Drawbacks EQ Bank

  • They do not have any physical branch or location. They operate virtual and online banking services.

  • Certain banking features are not provided. This includes overdraft protection, ATM usage, cheques, and the choice to receive paper statements.

Joined EQ Bank Account

This version of the EQ Bank Personal Account is a joint account that offers no fees and all the same features as the top-rated individual account. It includes free ATM withdrawals, 4% interest on deposits, and cash-back rewards on spending. This chequing account provides every advantage you could want, but it's available for up to three people.

Pros Joined EQ Bank Account

  • You can share the account with up to three people

  • Get a high deposit interest rate of 4%, calculated every day.

  • Withdraw money for free at any ATM in Canada.

  • Earn cash back on every purchase you make with your card.

Drawbacks Joined EQ Bank Account

  • EQ Bank Card cannot be shared by joint account holders.

  • No paper cheques or bank drafts are accepted.

  • Overdraft protection is not offered.

Capital One

Capital One 360 is a convenient checking account that provides all the necessary features without any unnecessary extras. You can easily pay your bills, withdraw cash, make deposits, and transfer money, all without having to pay monthly fees or make extra trips to the bank. The Capital One 360 Checking account also offers integration with Zelle for seamless peer-to-peer payments, along with other helpful features to simplify your banking experience.

Pros Of Captial One 360

  • There are more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs

  • No charges for using out-of-network ATMs

  • Can Recieve Paycheck

  • Capital One has branches unlike other bankings

  • No-Fee Overdraft: No fees are charged on approved transactions that put your account balance below $0.

Drawbacks Of Captial One 360

  • The cost of a cashier's check from the Capital One location is $10, while expedited delivery is priced at $20.

  • The cost for outgoing domestic wire transfers, the fee is $30.

Experian

If you're looking for a checking account with financial features, the Experian Smart Money Account is a great choice. It is seamlessly connected to Experian Boost, a tool that enables you to establish credit by making timely payments for phone bills, utility bills, rent payments, and more. Additionally, this account provides the convenience of early direct deposits and a $50 bonus when you arrange for direct deposit. It allows you to open an account with no minimum deposit, and there are no monthly service or overdraft fees.

Pros Of Experian

  • Establish credit with a checking account

  • No initial deposit required

  • No monthly charges

  • No penalties for overdrafts

  • Receive direct deposit ahead of time

  • Convenient online bill payment and money transfers

  • Access to a wide network of free ATMs

  • Benefit from complimentary financial resources.

Drawbacks Of Experian

  • There are no physical branches available.

  • You will be charged a $3 fee for using an ATM outside of the network.

  • If a transaction would cause your account to be overdrawn, it will be declined.

  • This service is only compatible with Experian credit reports.

Simplii No Fee Chequing Account

The Simplii No-Fee Chequing Account is our top choice for no-fee chequing accounts. It has a $0 monthly fee, free transactions, free e-transfers, and no minimum deposit. You can also earn interest on your balance ranging from 0.01% to 0.1%. Additionally, you can make purchases using a Debit Mastercard. If you need overdraft protection, you will only be charged $4.97 per month (plus interest) when you use it.

Pros Of Simplii

  • The Simplii No-Fee Chequing Account is our top choice for no-fee chequing accounts.

  • It has a $0 monthly fee, free transactions, free e-transfers, and no minimum deposit.

  • You can also earn interest on your balance ranging from 0.01% to 0.1%.

  • Additionally, you can make purchases using a Debit Mastercard.

  • If you need overdraft protection, you will only be charged $4.97 per month (plus interest) when you use it.

Drawback Of Simplii

  • An overdraft fee would be charged for overdraft protection

  • Online services are only available for Simplii. There are no physical branches of Simplii in Canada

  • Welcome bonuses earning are only available for people who are new to Simplii

Coast Capital

Coast Capital provides a free checking account for its customers. Their account is free of monthly charges, and the Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account provide services for free transactions. They make sure that everyday banking is simple and that the person using them should not feel lost or have their amount deducted for the services they are using daily. Last year, till February 29, 2023, let you earn 20% cashback (up to $450) on household bills when you become a member and open a Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More in the account service.

Pros Of Coast Captial

  • No monthly fees are charged for their users. This can be proven to have a lot of benefits and might give relief to the users as well.

  • You can do an unlimited number of transactions without paying a fee to the bank.

  • There is no need for a minimum balance of its customers.

  • You can deposit a cheque while being at home or anywhere else without going to the physical location of the bank. This is done by using their application to scan the documents and so on.

  • You can withdraw money from any 4000 atm in Canada and not pay a dime for using these ATMs as it is free of charge.

Drawbacks Of Coast Capital

  • The electronic transfer costs around $1.50. This means whenever you make an online transaction, around 1.50$ would be cut off from the online transactions each time.

  • There are no cheques from the Coast Captial. This is important when the internet is not working properly or if the online application is causing issues.

Motus Bank

Motus Bank's No-Fee Chequing Account provides no charges or fees that require minimum balance requirements. Their services also include unlimited Interac e-transfers, which means that you can do transactions without worrying about being charged a fee. Plus, a service of 0.15% interest on all of your deposits in your chequing accounts of Motus Banks.

Pros Of Motus Bank

  • No amount is charged each month, and there are no fees for the transactions you carry out. This gives the user the relief they need when they want to send an

  • You can do unlimited Interac e-transfers with no fees at all.

  • You can use any ATM and have free access to the exchange ATMs as well.

Drawback Of Motus Bank

  • There are mobile phone applications, meaning you can only access their services through the website. Making it difficult for people who need help quickly. Leading to a bad user service experience.

  • There are no Motus Bank branches physically, which means that there are no physical branches or mobile phone applications, leading to the only way of communication being through an online website, which does not build a lot of trust towards the people.

  • The interest rate on the money you have deposited would be low. This means you will receive a low return on the savings deposit.

The PC Money Account

The PC Money Account offered by President's Choice Financial is more than just a free chequing account. It also comes with a rewards program. By using your PC Money Account card for purchases, you can earn PC Optimum points that can be used for future purchases. President's Choice Financial, which is a part of Loblaw Companies Limited, has millions of account holders in Canada who benefit from saving on bank fees and earning rewards through the PC Optimum points system.

Pros of PC Money Account

  • No monthly charges.

  • No need for a minimum balance.

  • Unlimited free online and in-store transactions, including electronic fund transfers, withdrawals at PC Financial ATMs, self-serve bill payments, and purchases in Canadian currency.

  • Free Interac e-Transfer services

Drawback Of Pc Money Account

  • They don't provide a checkbook, which is important when you want to do transactions when their server might be down. It could become really handy.

  • There are no credit union scores even if you do the way you want to. As for prepaid cards, it is important to build a credit score, but unfortunately, there aren't any services for this.

Conclusion

Having a bank account is good for many reasons, but the issues come when there are fees to deal with the services, even if you are not fully using them. These fees commonly include monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, savings account fees, checking account interest rates, and much more. But there are free transactions through using free checking accounts that don't even require a minimum balance. These checking accounts vary for different types and provide different types of free services. Each one of them has their pros and cons.

Note: KOHO product information and/or features may have been updated since this blog post was published. Please refer to our KOHO Plans page for our most up to date account information!
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