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Are you looking for a free checking account with no monthly fees? How about a checking account that you can open with little or no deposit today?
According to a 2020 MoneyRates.com survey, monthly checking account fees now average $14.13, the highest level in the seven-year history of doing the survey. This means the average fee would cost you a total of $169.56 over the course of a year.
Considering that is the average, there are people paying a whole lot more especially when you take into consideration ATM and overdraft fees.
This is why many people are switching to online banks. Not only are they super easy to open but some of them offer no monthly maintenance fees, no ATM fees, and so much more.
Below I’m sharing with you two great free checking account options that both offer no monthly maintenance fees, free ATMs, and many more benefits.
Let’s take a look at them both and see which one may work for you.
What I love about this first option is that not only is it a free checking account with no monthly fees, and free ATMs but you can also get rewards with it.
Let’s go over some of the most common questions people have when opening up an online Radius Checking Account and then we’ll go into some pros and cons.
Is Radius Safe?
Radius is a digital bank meaning there is no physical bank you can walk into. However, just like a regular brick and mortar bank, your deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000 and you can do many of the same transactions you would with a traditional bank.
Not sure if a bank is FDIC insured? Use FDIC.GOV’s bank find tool here.
How to Apply For a Free Radius Checking Account
Opening your account for the first time can be done right online on your phone or computer in a matter of minutes! Radius eliminates the paperwork and signatures traditional banks make you fill out and combines it all into a three-minute online application.
Besides a no-fee checking account, Radius also offers a personal savings account, small business checking account, CD account, credit card, student loan, and much more if you’re looking for these other types of accounts.
Online & Mobile Banking with Radius
Radius Bank makes it easy to access all your banking information no matter where you are. You can sign in to your account from your computer or from your phone using their mobile app.
Some actions you can take via the app or online include:
- Depositing checks
- Paying friends or businesses
- Turning your debit card on or off
- Applying spending caps
- Creating and managing a budget
- Chatting with support
As you can see, they are pretty much like your traditional bank so what’s the difference?
How is Radius Bank Different from a Traditional Bank?
The main difference with a digital bank like Radius is mainly that they don’t have a physical location that you can visit (like I mentioned above).
How Do You Withdraw and Deposit Cash into a Radius Bank Account?
Depositing cash is one of the main differentiators between a digital bank and a traditional one. Because Radius doesn’t have a physical location you cannot go there and make cash deposits (if you think about it when was the last time you stepped into an actual bank?).
To make a cash deposit or withdrawal you will need to visit one of the thousands of deposit-taking NYCE and MoneyPass ATMs across the US. According to Radius, depositing cash will be a no-fee transaction, so you won’t have to worry about being charged.
To deposits checks, you would just use the Radius Mobile app.
Also, if you happen to use an out of network ATM Radius Bank will refund you your ATM fees at the end of the month.
You can visit the Radius website for more information but I’ll also give you a quick list of pros and cons that I see.
Radius Free Checking Account Pros
- Unlimited Cashback: Receive 1.00% cash back on online and signature-based “credit” transactions made with a Radius Bank debit card.
- Free ATM’s Worldwide: Radius won’t charge a fee, and they rebate ATM fees charged by other banks, worldwide.
- Early Direct Deposit: Set up direct deposit into your Radius account and you’re eligible to receive your money up to two days early.
- No monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance required after the first $100.00 to open.
Radius Free Checking Account Cons
I wouldn’t exactly call these deal breakers but if I had to pick some they would be:
- There is a $100 minimum to open the account (no minimum after that). This may be a deal-breaker if you have no money now but need an account for future funds. You would have to come up with $100.
- To qualify for the 1% cashback you will need to receive $2,500 worth of direct deposits into your Rewards Checking account from an employer or another source of income, or keep an average balance of $2,500 or more in your Rewards Checking account.
- No physical location. Obviously like all digital banks, Radius does not have a physical location to go to if you have any issues or need to make a deposit or withdrawal and didn’t have your debit card. You would have to call them, chat them online, or email them with any issues or concerns.
Chime is the one mobile banking option out of this list that I’ve personally used. I was amazed at just how easy and fast it was to open an account.
How is Chime Different from a Traditional Bank?
Just like Radius, Chime is an online bank with no physical locations.
Chime also doesn’t have the fee schedule of a traditional bank. Plus, there is no credit check and no fees. You can get Chime, even with bad credit or dings on your ChexSystem account. This is a plus for many.
Also, another great way they are different from your traditional bank is that you can open an account in minutes right on your phone and you don’t even have to make a deposit!
Yup, you can open a Chime account with $0.
Is Chime Safe?
Chime deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000, just as if you used a traditional bank. Their banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
Online & Mobile Banking with Chime
Your Visa debit card can be used anywhere and you can manage your money and do your banking right from their mobile app.
Chime’s mobile app lets you manage your money via your smartphone. Within the app, you can deposit paper checks with the snap of a photo, get daily balance notifications, and send money to friends.
You also get transaction alerts when you use your Chime Visa® Debit Card. I was immediately notified once I made a withdrawal at an ATM.
How Do You Withdraw and Deposit Cash into a Chime Bank Account?
To withdraw or deposit cash you can use one of their over 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.
More Chime features:
- Save money automatically. If you open up a Chime High Yield Savings Account, you can activate the Round-Up feature and Chime will round up your transactions to the nearest dollar and deposit the rounded-up amount into your savings. You can also have Chime automatically transfer 10% of each deposit into your savings.
- Direct deposits. Get your direct deposit up to two days early.
- Transparency with fees.
- Daily balance notifications. Get notifications when you make a transaction.
Chime Bank Checking Account Pros
- No Deposit Required. You can open an account with no money.
- Fee-free overdraft up to $100 for eligible members (see site for more info).
- Early Direct Deposit: Set up direct deposit into your Chime account and you may be eligible to receive your money up to two days early.
- No Credit Check. According to their website, there is no credit check to open an account.
Chime Bank Checking Account Cons
- No Physical Location. Again, like all digital online banks, Chime does not have a physical location to go to if you have any issues or need to make a deposit or withdrawal and you didn’t have or lost your debit card. You would have to call them, chat them online, or email them.
- No Rewards. This free checking account does not offer rewards from what I can see.
Radius Versus Chime
The main differences between Chime Bank and Radius Bank are:
- Chime does not offer rewards and Radius does as long as you meet the requirements.
- Radius requires a $100 deposit to open an account and Chime requires nothing to open one.
- Radius does a soft inquiry on your credit where Chime says they do not do a credit check.
I hope this helps you decide on a free online checking account and saves you money on those bank fees! As with anything else, this information is just meant to inform you and you should always do your own research.
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