While it may be harder to find these types of checking accounts, free checking isn’t dead. Banks continue to offer free checking accounts to drum up business—particularly at smaller banks, credit unions, or online banks.3
Free accounts generally offer features similar to basic checking accounts but without a monthly maintenance fee. However, they may impose other checking account fees—for using the ATMs of other banks or receiving paper statements, for example.2
Free checking accounts may make up for a lack of maintenance fees with other fees, so don’t assume that a free account is entirely fee-free.4
In addition, you generally get what you pay for (or rather, don’t pay for) with these accounts. They may lack certain features of basic checking accounts: Some don’t come with checks, for example) and generally don’t pay interest on deposits.5 Still, if you just need an account for depositing paychecks and paying bills, a free checking account is a good option.