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Essential Checking

Fee-free checking with all the perks.

All your banking essentials – for free. Early direct deposit.* Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. No overdraft, non-sufficient funds, or monthly maintenance fees.

Say goodbye to bank fees for good.

Top 20 Checking Accounts 2023


Among the Best Online Banks 2023

Forbes Advisor

Best for Online Account Options

Business Insider

Essential Checking is anything but basic.

  • Direct Deposit Express
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
  • No overdraft, non-sufficient funds, or monthly maintenance fees
  • Exclusive Visa® offers and perks

Ready to open a no-fee Essential Checking account?

Direct Deposit Express

  • Get paid up to two days early*
  • Simple, fast, and free
  • Included for Essential Checking customers with direct deposit

Helpful Banking Features

Invite Friends

Help a friend bank smarter. When they meet our welcome bonus requirements, we’ll deposit $50 into your account – and theirs!

Peer-to-Peer Payments

Pay your friends directly from your account. All you need is their mobile number or email. It’s fast, easy, and secure.

Account Alerts

Stay up-to-date on your activity. Turn on alerts and get real-time updates on your account activity.

Opening an Account Is as Easy as 1-2-3

  • Step 1: Select Open an Account.
  • Step 2: Have your ID, Social Security number, and address handy.
  • Step 3: Complete your application in less than 15 minutes.

Manage Essential Checking With the Axos App

  • View your transactions and spending history.
  • Get answers 24/7 with Evo, our virtual assistant.
  • Set up auto alerts for any strange activity you don’t recognize.
  • Move money to other accounts or send money to friends.
  • Enable security measures to keep your money safe.

Why bank with Axos?

Low-to-No Fees

When we say free, we mean it. Take your money further with zero monthly fees.

Innovative Tools

We make banking easier with early direct deposit, online wire transfers, biometric identification, and more.

Over 90K ATMs

Enjoy the freedom to withdraw cash from thousands of ATMs across the nation –without worrying about fees.

Security You Can Count On

2-Step Authentication

For identity verification, we ask questions that only you know the answer to or we'll send a security code to your registered device.

Automatic Logout

Inactive sessions are automatically logged out to prevent unauthorized data collection or use of your accounts.

SSL Encryption

Our 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption ensures your data remains private and secure.

Account Monitoring

All accounts are regularly monitored for potential fraud.

Anti-Virus and Malware Protection

We execute regular updates to detect and prevent viruses and malicious software.

Usernames and Passwords

We do not and will not share your usernames or passwords.

Ready to Apply?

Ready to open your free Essential Checking account? All you need is a valid ID, your Social Security number, and 15 minutes.

Essential Checking FAQs