11 Popular Checking Accounts That Don't Charge Overdraft Fees

BANKING - CHECKING ACCOUNTS
You can avoid costly and unnecessary charges by choosing one of these checking accounts.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Paying bills is hard enough, so the last thing you need is to be hit with an overdraft fee when you’ve spent your last cent.

Many banks and other financial institutions charge an overdraft fee if you make a payment without having enough cash in your account to cover it.

Fortunately, not all financial institutions levy these charges. If you’re looking for a way to keep more cash in your wallet, consider a checking account from one of these 11 companies that eliminate overdraft fees altogether.

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SoFi

monticellllo/Adobe logo of Social Finance, Inc

SoFi is an FDIC-insured online bank and lender that offers high-yield checking and savings accounts. A SoFi checking account helps to boost your bank account by waiving overdraft fees.

A few conditions apply. For instance, overdrafts are only fee-free if you overdraw your account by $50 or less. You also need to directly deposit at least $1,000 a month to qualify for the waived fee.

Chime®

rarrarorro/Adobe hand holding a phone with the Chime app

Chime is a fintech (financial technology) company that offers fee-free online checking accounts.

With Chime’s SpotMe® service, you can overdraw your account by up to $200 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals without penalty as long as you’re signed up for automatic direct deposit.1

You must add at least $200 a month to your Chime® Checking Account to qualify.

Capital One

Sundry Photography/Adobe Capital One corporate headquarters

Capital One sets up several safeguards in its 360 Checking account that keep its customers from dealing with overdrawn accounts and overdraft fees.

For one thing, Capital One typically declines purchases that would overdraw your checking account balance. Capital One also lets you set up an automatic fee-free transfer from a money market or savings account to cover you if you accidentally overdraw your checking account.

Finally, if all other safeguards fail, Capital One still won’t charge you an overdraft fee — period. Customers can also choose their overdraft options, such as declining purchases or setting up automatic transfers.

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Ally

diego/Adobe man using ally financial banking app

Ally is an online FDIC-insured bank. Its high-yield checking and savings accounts ensure you generate interest on your balance. And if your checking account balance accidentally drops below zero, you won’t be penalized.

On top of eliminating overdraft fees a couple of years ago, Ally now gives customers several options for dealing with overdrawn accounts. 

For instance, if you link a money market or savings account to your Ally checking account, Ally will move cash for you automatically — rounded up to the nearest $100 — to cover the transaction.

Chase

JHVEPhoto/Adobe chase bank building in chicago

A Chase Secure checking account comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $4.95, so it isn’t exactly a fee-free financial solution. Still, Chase helps you avoid overdraft fees by declining purchases that exceed your checking account balance.

You can still end up with a negative account balance. For instance, this might happen if tips or service fees push your purchase higher than you intended after you were approved for the original transaction. 

Chase still won’t charge an overdraft fee in such a situation.

Truist One

monticellllo/Adobe Truist logo

Truist One Checking doesn’t charge any overdraft fees, and its $100 Negative Balance Buffer can give your account an extra cushion of up to $100 for unexpected charges.

The Truist One Checking account isn’t fee-free, but there are five ways to waive the $12 monthly maintenance fee.

Discover

Tada Images/Adobe Discover mobile app

Discover’s fee-free online checking account lets you earn up to 1% back on up to $3,000 worth of debit card purchases each month.

Discover does not impose maintenance fees or any charges for insufficient funds. It also offers an overdraft protection service that allows you to link two of your accounts so money is automatically transferred to your checking account to cover the overdrawn amount.

Citi

William/Adobe citigroup inc headquarters building

Citi checking accounts do not have overdraft fees or returned-item fees.

While the basic checking account does have a maintenance fee of $5 a month, you can get it waived by depositing at least $250 a month via automatic direct deposit.

Axos Bank

JHVEPhoto/Adobe axos bank on sunny day in san diego

Axos Bank’s Essential Checking account is a fee-free, basic checking account that does not charge overdraft, insufficient funds, or monthly maintenance fees.

The account doesn’t have a monthly balance requirement either, and Axos doesn’t limit its ATM fee reimbursements for ATMs within the U.S.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!3

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Alliant Credit Union

Rafael Henrique/Adobe alliant credit union logo

Online banks, fintechs, and traditional banks don’t have a monopoly on fee-free checking: Alliant Credit Union also has opted out of charging overdraft fees.

Customers can choose Alliant’s overdraft protection service, which will automatically transfer funds from a linked account to cover negative account balances.

Plus, a Courtesy Pay feature is available to customers that will cover checks, electronic payments and transfers that won’t clear because you don’t have enough funds in your account. 

Betterment

monticello/Adobe betterment on laptop

Betterment is an online financial service that offers an app-based checking account and linked Visa debit card access. The company doesn’t charge a fee for overdrawn accounts, and it will reimburse you for foreign transaction fees and ATM fees as well.

However, it’s worth noting that Betterment doesn’t charge overdraft fees because it doesn’t allow overdrawn purchases to go through. 

While this means you don’t have the same account cushion you can qualify for at other banks, it also means you aren’t at risk of accidentally making a purchase you can’t afford. And that can help you stop wasting money unnecessarily.

Bottom line

Prostock-studio/Adobe indian spouses checking financial documents

Opening a checking account at a financial institution that doesn’t charge overdraft fees helps you to keep as much of your hard-earned cash as possible.

Finding such a checking account is a great way to lower your financial stress and avoid unnecessary damage to your bank account and long-term financial security.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.

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