U.S. Bank vs. Chase: Free Checking Account Offers

Sign at Chase Manhattan Plaza.
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It can be difficult to find a bank that offers reasonable rates on their "free" checking accounts — but there are still a few banks out there that offer actual free checking accounts, along with many other bonus services. 

U.S. Bank Vs. Chase Free Checking Accounts

Two of the largest banks that offer free checking accounts are Chase Bank and the U.S. Bank. However, be aware that "free" accounts usually just exclude maintenance fees.

Other fees can apply as well, so it's a good idea to check the fine print carefully. Let's look at some of the features of the checking accounts offered by the two banks:

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank offers a free checking account with a fairly low minimum opening deposit. There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements on this type of free checking account. All ATM transactions made through U.S. Bank ATM's are also free of charge.

U.S. Bank also offers a debit card and rewards system with their free checking accounts and free internet banking with bill pay. Additionally, this bank employs a mobile banking system that is compatible with many web-based mobile devices so that you can check your account on the go, with all the standard features. U.S. Bank archives all checks electronically and will return canceled checks free of charge. The free checking accounts do not accrue interest on any money deposited.

Chase Bank

When it comes to free checking accounts, Chase Bank has a few different options that you can choose from. Depending on the amount of the opening deposit you choose to make into your account and the minimum daily balance you hold in your account, the checking account you choose may be free and not require a monthly service fee.

Pretty much all Chase checking accounts require a small minimum opening deposit in order to open a free checking account. There are usually no monthly maintenance fees if you make a series of ATM card transactions into the account--check directly with Chase for exact fees--in a certain time period or if you use their direct deposit services on a monthly basis. 

Chase also offers free ATM transactions at Chase Bank ATM locations, but there is a very small fee charged for using ATMs belonging to other banks. You should also expect zero liability protection on their ATM/Debit cards in addition to the standard protection offered by VISA check cards. If your card is used in an unauthorized manner, Chase Bank will refund your money to your account. 

Chase Bank also offers free online bill payment, as well as a mobile banking service for your cell phone or other mobile devices. In addition, you are able to view canceled checks on your online statements. It is important to note that Chase Bank free checking accounts do not accrue interest on money within your account.

Comparing Offerings by Banks

Not only is it wise to compare banks to one another, it is also important that you compare different checking account options offered within the same banking system.

Most banks now offer comparison tools and charts on their websites in order to help you choose the right account and monthly plan for you. Read the fine print, compare accounts and choose depending on your actual banking needs.