Second Chance Banking in Arkansas

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Choosing the right bank or credit union is an important decision. In a study by the FDIC, approximately 7.1% of households in Arkansas are “unbanked”, meaning no one in the household has a checking or savings account. When making the decision to open an account, you want to make sure you find a financial institution that meets your needs and offers the best possible terms.

If you have a bad credit score or bad banking history, finding a bank or credit union that offers you a second chance can be even more challenging. Maybe you’re having trouble getting approved for a traditional checking account because of your credit history. Or maybe you’ve been blacklisted by ChexSystems, a consumer reporting agency that’s used during the application process at most banking institutions.

If you’ve experienced several overdraft checks from another financial institution or haven’t been able to pay overdraft fees, ChexSystems will flag that behavior making it next to impossible to find a bank willing to give you an account.

Even if you’ve been reported to ChexSystems, we can help you find a bank or credit union that will work with you. Oftentimes banks offer second chance bank accounts specifically for those with marks on their ChexSystems report. There are also banks out there that don’t use ChexSystems at all!

If you’re ready to start fresh with a second chance bank or credit union, we’re here to help you find the right one. Here’s our list of the best banking institutions in Arkansas that can help you narrow down your options.

Second Chance Banking in Arkansas for July 2024

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Chase Secure Banking | $100 New Account Bonus
Most people know Chase and with over 15,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches across the country, the Chase Secure Banking account might be a good fit for a second chance bank account.

Chase Secure Banking at a Glance

  • NO credit check
  • NO ChexSystems
  • NO minimum deposit to open
  • NO overdraft fees
  • FREE access to over 15,000 Chase ATMs
  • FREE Chase OnlineSM Bill Pay
  • FREE money orders and cashier’s checks
  • Quickly send and receive money with Zelle®
  • Paper checks are not offered with the account

Earning the $100 Bonus

To earn the $100 bonus, you’ll need to complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of account enrollment. Qualifying transactions include debit card purchases, online bill payments, Chase QuickDepositSM, using Zelle®, or receiving ACH credits.

What to Know About the Approval Process

Chase Secure Banking is the only account offered by Chase that doesn’t use ChexSystems but does use Early Warning Services (EWS). Additionally, if you’ve had an account closed by Chase in the past, your application will not be approved. Past account closures can include missteps such as non-payment of fees, excessive overdrafts, or suspected fraud.

Fees

Chase doesn’t offer overdraft services with this account as you can only spend the money you have available. You should also know that using non-Chase ATMs can cost from $3.00 to $5.00 per transaction. Surcharges from the ATM owner/network may apply.

Chase Secure Banking carries a $4.95 monthly service fee, but it can be waived when you have electronic deposits made into the account totaling $250 or more during each monthly statement period.

Other Account Features

Chase Secure Banking offers several other features we like. This includes:

  • Zero Liability Protection. Get reimbursed for unauthorized debit card transactions when reported promptly.
  • Budgeting Tools. Manage your spending and get daily spending insights with Snapshot in the Chase Mobile® app.
  • Credit and Identity Monitoring. Track your credit score, get a personalized action plan provided by Experian™ to help improve your score and receive identity monitoring for free through Chase Credit Journey®.
  • Early Direct Deposit. Get that “just paid” feeling up to two business days sooner with early direct deposit.

If you’ve wanted to bank with Chase and wondered if you’d qualify, we think you’ll be happy with the Chase Secure Banking account.

Get a Chase Account Now!

Chime | Over 7 Million Active Users
Fast-growing Chime® is one of our favorite checking accounts. The account has some amazing features and Chime accepts almost all customers who apply… even if you have bad or poor credit or have been blacklisted by ChexSystems or the credit bureaus.

Chime at a Glance

  • NO credit check or ChexSystems
  • NO initial deposit required
  • NO minimum balance required
  • NO monthly or annual fees
  • NO NSF/overdraft fees1
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • NO fees at over 60,000 ATMs2
  • NO fees for mobile and online bill pay
  • FREE cash deposits at 8,500+ Walgreens3
  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit4
  • 700,000+ 5-star reviews for the Chime smartphone app
  • Instantly transfer funds to friends and family without additional apps5
  • FDIC insured account up to $250,000

Savings Made Easy

Chime was one of the first to offer a “round up” option. If you use your Chime card on a purchase of $10.65, Chime gives you the option of automatically rounding up to $11.00 and putting the remaining $.35 in your free Chime savings account. And that adds up over time! Plus, Chime pays 2.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)6 in interest on that savings account.

We don’t think there is another company innovating for their customers like Chime.

Get a Chime Account Today!

Found Business Banking | Our Favorite Business Account
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and gig workers is finding the right bank account for their growing business.

The Found Business Banking Account solves that problem by simplifying your financial journey. Available only to sole proprietors and single-owner businesses, the sign-up process takes only a few minutes. There’s no credit check or ChexSystems.

Found Business Banking at a Glance

  • No opening deposit required
  • No minimum balance
  • No required monthly fees
  • Free unlimited ACH payments
  • Free unlimited invoicing
  • Free mobile check deposits
  • Free built-in expense management tools
  • Accept bank transfers and card payments
  • Easily connect to Quickbooks, Stripe, Venmo, PayPal, Etsy, etc.
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit1
  • Send money to anyone within the U.S. using their phone number or email address
  • Deposit cash at over 79,000 locations
  • Access your account online or on the free app
  • Found’s core features are free. They also offer a paid product, FoundPlus

Fast Approval Process

Time is money and Found respects both. Apply for your business account online and the streamlined approval process ensures you’re up and running quickly. No lengthy paperwork needed to get swift access to your financial hub.

Easy Bookkeeping and Tax Management Tools

Managing your business finances shouldn’t be a headache. You get intuitive tools such as automated expense tracking, receipt capture, unlimited custom invoices, and the ability to manage 1099 contractor payments. Plus, you get the ability to auto-save for tax payments and automatically generate tax forms.

No Hidden Fees, No Surprises

Say goodbye to unexpected charges. Found.com believes in transparency. They’ve stripped away unnecessary fees, leaving you with a straightforward banking experience. No hidden costs—just clarity and peace of mind.

Found is a financial technology company, not a bank. Business banking services are provided by Piermont Bank, Member FDIC.2

Open a Found account now!

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
Upgrade is a digital banking platform providing a range of financial services, including checking accounts, personal loans, and credit cards without annual fees.

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus at a Glance

  • Up to 2% cash back on purchases
  • NO opening deposit required
  • NO monthly maintenance fees
  • NO minimum balance requirement
  • NO NSF or overdraft fees
  • Fee-free cash withdrawals at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • 10%-20% lower interest rates on loans & credit cards through Upgrade
  • Earn up to 5.21% APY with a free Performance Savings Account
  • FDIC insured account up to $250,000

Earning 2% Cash Back

The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus lets you earn 2% cash back rewards with debit card purchases. Eligible expenses include:

  • Convenience and drug stores
  • Gas stations
  • Monthly subscriptions, including streaming services
  • Restaurants
  • Utilities and cellphone services

All other purchases will earn 1% cash back. To earn the reward your account must be “active”. An active account is one that has a monthly direct deposit of $1,000 or more.

But if you choose not to or cannot meet the monthly direct deposit requirement, the account cashback program is reduced from 2% to 1%. In our view, that’s still a very strong offering with very few fees.

Consumers Love Upgrade

Managing your transactions is effortless, facilitated through either an intuitive online dashboard or the convenient Upgrade mobile app, available for both iOS (4.8 out of 5 rating) and Android (4.7 out of 5 rating) users. You’ll also have free access to your credit score and will be notified of any changes.

Not only is the Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus one of our favorites, but the account also has very high approval rates.

Get an Upgrade Account Now!

Current | Build Credit While You Bank
Current1 offers an innovative account to consumers who want it all without the costs and hassles.

The Current Build account helps you build credit every time you use the card. Sign-up takes about 2 minutes and Current does not check your credit.

Current at a Glance

  • NO opening deposit required
  • NO credit check
  • NO minimum balance
  • NO fees at over 40,000 Allpoint® ATMs in the U.S.
  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with qualifying direct deposit
  • Earn up to a 4.00% bonus on your balance up to $6,000 with direct deposit; earn 0.25% without
  • Earn points for unlimited cashback at participating retailers
  • Send money instantly without any added fees
  • An elegant but simple smartphone app
  • 24/7 member support

Swipe The Card and Build Credit

Using your Current Build account to BUILD your credit is simple. Here’s how it works:

  1. You add money to your account
  2. Swipe your card to make purchases, pay bills, or get money from an ATM machine
  3. The funds in your account pay for these transactions
  4. Current reports your payment to build your credit history

Current Works Hard for You

Current offers a really unique service it calls Gas Hold Removals. What’s a gas hold? Some gas stations may apply a hold from $50 to $100 when you use your card to pump gas. If you only pumped $10 of gas, but the gas station places a $100 hold on your funds, you won’t have access to the $90 difference for up to 3 business days! The Current Build card will immediately remove the hold so you have access to all your funds. We haven’t found that benefit anywhere in the marketplace.

We love the features, we love the smartphone app, and we love Current. That makes us think you’ll love them too.

Get a Current Account Now!

SoFi Checking & Savings | Earn a $325 Welcome Bonus
The SoFi Checking & Savings account is offered by SoFi Bank. It’s a checking AND savings account and we love that. Plus, they don’t use ChexSystems or your credit report to approve accounts.

SoFi Checking & Savings at a Glance

  • FREE SoFi debit MasterCard
  • FREE smartphone app. Manage your account online, too
  • No opening deposit required
  • No monthly minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No fees at 55,000+ ATMs
  • Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit

How to Earn the $325 Bonus

As soon as you get your SoFi Checking & Savings account and deposit $10 or more, you’ll earn $25. When you set up direct deposit from an employer, SoFi will credit your account up to an additional $300 (depending on the amount of your direct deposit).

Using the SoFi direct deposit option unlocks additional benefits, too. First, if you overspend a bit, SoFi will cover up to $50 with no overdraft fees. Second, you’ll receive a much higher interest amount of 4.60% APY on savings account balances and .50% APY on checking account balances. If you decide not to utilize direct deposit, you’ll receive 1.20% APY on savings balances.

The sign-up process can take less than 60 seconds. With over 6 million members, SoFi is a bank you can count on!

SoFi has been great! The account was easy to open and I got my debit card a few days later. The smartphone app is easy to use and I can check everything from my computer, too. SoFi seems to be the perfect bank.
Claire M., SoFi Customer

Get a SoFi Account Now!

U.S. Bank | Earn Up To $450 Cash Bonus
U.S. Bank is the fifth largest bank in the country with the majority of its 2,000+ branches located in 26 states mostly located in the west and midwest.

U.S. Bank does use ChexSystems but is generally more lenient if you haven’t been noted for fraud or owe the bank an outstanding balance.

You can earn up to $450 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities. The offer is subject to certain terms and limitations and is valid through September 26, 2024. Member FDIC. Offer may not be available if you live outside of the U.S. Bank footprint or are not an existing client of U.S. Bank or State Farm.

Applying for an account is easy and takes less than 5 minutes. You’ll need to fund your account by making an opening deposit of $25.

U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking at a Glance

  • A U.S. Bank Visa debit card
  • Online banking and bill pay
  • Mobile banking and mobile check deposit
  • Send money with Zelle®
  • 24/7 customer support
  • No NSF charges for overdraft balances under $50
  • Access to U.S. Bank Smart Rewards® to reap additional benefits
  • No fees at U.S. Bank ATMs
  • No surcharge fees at 40,000 MoneyPass ATMs

States Where U.S. Bank is Available

If you live in one of the following 26 states where this account is available, you can apply online: AR, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, OH, OR, SD, TN, UT, WA, WI, WY.

Account Details and Costs

To get an account, you’ll need to make an opening deposit of $25. The monthly service fee is $6.95 but can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 or by having a combined monthly direct deposit totaling $1,000. You can also avoid the monthly fee if you are 24 and under, 65 and over, or a member of the military (must self-disclose) or qualify for one of the four Smart Rewards® tiers (Primary, Plus, Premium, or Pinnacle).

Banking Made Easy

The U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account comes with one of the best mobile apps on the market. Over one million customers have given the app an overall rating of five stars. You can manage your entire account from a computer or your smartphone.

Get and Fund a U.S. Bank Account Today!

1st Convenience Bank
Putting customers first since 1901, 1st Convenience Bank offers a flexible eAccount for the consumer on-the-go. This account is designed for those that seek a more digital-friendly account while still maintaining 1st Convenience Bank’s customer service.

By opening an eAccount in person, no minimum deposit is required. Opening purely online requires a simple $20.00 minimum deposit. In addition, 1st Convenience Bank offers a plethora of features to their eAccount owners including:

  • A debit Mastercard for purchases and payments
  • Free Gold Key ATM withdrawals
  • A monthly maintenance fee of only $5.00 with E-statement enrollment
  • Bill pay and money order services

You can find 1st Convenience Bank locations inside Walmart stores in cities including Cabot, Fayetteville, Baseline, Searcy, and several others.

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Acorns
Acorns is making a name as a place to invest money for the long term, but what we really like is that they offer both checking and savings accounts. That makes Acorns another of our favorite bank accounts. As a company built to compete with the largest banks, Acorns offers some extraordinary benefits.

We love the heavy metal tungsten Visa debit card and the world-class smartphone app that allows you to manage every aspect of your new checking account such as budgeting, spending, and security.

Another nice option is the ability to round up on every purchase and Acorns will take that money and automatically put it in a savings account. This really helps build a nest egg.

It takes about 2-3 minutes to sign up and not only do you get a checking and savings account, but you also have access to an investment account once you’re ready to consider that. And, it’s free. Here’s more:

  • FREE Visa® debit card
  • FREE bank-to-bank transfers
  • FREE physical check sending online or through the mobile app
  • FREE mobile check deposits
  • FREE access to 55,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • NO minimum balance or overdraft fees
  • NO credit check
  • $3 monthly fee
  • FDIC insured

Acorns was built to give everyone the tools to manage their finances which makes it one of our top picks.

Get an Acorns Account!

Ally Bank Spending Account
Ally Bank has been one of the most highly rated online banks for the past several years. It’s not because they have the most features, but because they consistently make their customers delighted with the features the bank offers.

For starters, there’s no minimum opening deposit required. Ally doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fee and there is no overdraft fee (more on that below). You’ll have access to 43,000+ ATMs and Ally will reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle if you get charged for using another institution’s machine.

You’ll become eligible for Ally’s overdraft program called CoverDraft 30 days after depositing a total of $100. Ally will activate CoverDraft automatically and send you an email when they do. You can turn CoverDraft off at any time, as long as your account balance isn’t negative. Otherwise, Ally will decline the transaction without payment. In either case, you won’t be charged an overdraft fee.

We like that you can use Zelle to send and receive money, get paid up to 2 days sooner with early direct deposit, and deposit checks remotely with Ally eCheck Deposit. We also like that Ally has high approval rates as long as you don’t have a ChexSystems or EWS fraud alert in your past.

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Arkansas Federal Credit Union
Arkansas Federal Credit Union offers an opportunity for anyone looking to get back in touch with banking. It’s called the Essential Checking account, and it’s meant to serve those who are looking to build up their credibility and have access to a checking account again.

With Essential Checking, you’ll have access to their Early Pay program, meaning that paychecks or government checks that are set up as direct deposits can hit the bank up to two days early! They also have a notable feature called Cents to Savings that rounds up purchases to build up your savings. Essential Checking also grants you access to online and mobile banking, eStatements, and online bill pay.

If you’d like to learn more about the specific requirements to open an Essential Checking account, visit an Arkansas Federal Credit Union location! There are 20 branch locations in the Greater Little Rock area and beyond.

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BancorpSouth
BancorpSouth recently renamed their second chance checking account to Budget Smart Checking. And we like one change in particular: you no longer have to go to a branch to open an account; you can do that online. BancorpSouth does use ChexSystems, but as long as you haven’t been flagged for fraud OR owe any outstanding balance to BancorpSouth, you’re good to go.

The Budget Smart Checking account does have a $5 monthly fee and you’ll need an initial deposit of $25 to open your account. From there, all the usual perks are yours: online bill pay, online banking, and a solid smartphone banking app. The account has a feature called Overdraft Avoidance, which helps you spend only the money available in your account by declining most transactions that exceed that amount.

BancorpSouth has over 30 branches throughout Arkansas, including several in and around Little Rock, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, and Texarkana.

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Bank OZK
If you’ve been turned down by other banks, we recommend the Pathway Checking account from Bank OZK. Many accounts limit your access to features, but this second-chance checking option gives you all the benefits of a traditional checking account.

There is a minimum opening balance of $50 and a $10 monthly service fee. However, there is no minimum balance requirement. Pathway Checking includes:

  • Free debit card
  • Free online and mobile banking
  • Free telephone banking
  • Free online bill pay
  • eStatements
  • Unlimited check writing

Bank OZK is headquartered in Little Rock and has several branches there. You’ll find additional branches in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Harrison, Jonesboro, Clarkesville, Conway, Clinton, and dozens more throughout the state.

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BOK Financial
Opportunity Banking through BOK Financial is a checkless account giving you instant access to your money. Designed to offer you a second chance at checking, Opportunity Banking can be linked to a savings account to take advantage of the QuickSave program. Your savings grow without you knowing it when purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar with the difference automatically deposited into your savings.

Although you don’t have access to checks, Opportunity Banking provides easy access to your money through a free Visa debit card. You can keep track of your account online and through a convenient mobile app. BOK Opportunity Banking features:

  • Free direct deposit
  • Free mobile deposit
  • Free online statements
  • Access to more than 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs
  • Overdraft protection when linked to a money market, savings or personal line of credit
  • 24-hour telephone automated account information

BOK Financial has two branches in Arkansas; one is located in Fayetteville and the other is in Bentonville.

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Cadence Bank
Rather than using ChexSystems, Cadence Bank will look at your credit report to determine if you’re eligible for a checking account. It’s important to note that they require a credit score of at least 675 at the time of account opening.

My Way Checking is their most basic account that comes with a bunch of additional services for a low cost. There is a $50 minimum opening deposit as well as a low $8 monthly service fee that can be waived if you keep an average balance of $250 or more. We like this account because it comes with unique benefits like cell phone protection, buyer protection, and ID theft aid.

Cadence Bank has over 20 branches located in Alabama. You can find them in locations including Albertville, Childersburg, Birmingham, Huntsville, and many others.

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Centennial Bank
Centennial Bank has a great option for those with past blemishes called the Opportunity 100 Checking account. Centennial Bank does check for past history using ChexSystems for their regular accounts, but has established the Opportunity 100 account as an option for those unable to get a standard checking account.

Though the Opportunity 100 account is designed for this purpose, it doesn’t mean it has any less functionality than many standard checking accounts. It comes with the ability to pay bills online, have access to a debit card, and enjoy the benefits of online banking.

All that is required is a $100 opening deposit and the monthly service charge of $12.95 can be reduced to $9.95 if you’re enrolled in direct deposit. After 12 months of good standing, this account is eligible to be upgraded to a standard checking account.

It’s important to note that this account must be opened in person at a branch. Centennial Bank has 7 locations in Arkansas located in Searcy (3), Beebe (3), and Ward.

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Chambers Bank
Chambers Bank offers a second chance to those with a less severe ChexSystems record. If you have only one account reported to ChexSystems and owe less than $400, you qualify for their New Opportunity Checking account.

We like this account because it comes with most of the features you’d find in a traditional checking account. For a $10 monthly service charge, you get unlimited check writing, a free debit card, and access to online banking with bill pay. It’s important to note that there is a $100 required opening deposit.

After 12 months of good standing, Chambers Bank offers you an opportunity to upgrade to one of their regular checking accounts! They have branches spread across the entire state in cities including Atkins, Danville, Fayetteville, Mansfield, and many others.

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Diamond Bank
Diamond Bank offers a chance to restore your standing in the banking system with their Encore Checking account. This account is specific to those who’ve had past mistakes with banking and are working to repair their checking history.

While this account requires an opening deposit of at least $100, the monthly service fee can be reduced to $8 if you enroll in direct deposit.

Your account comes with free eStatements, unlimited bill pay, unlimited check writing, and a free debit MasterCard. After 12 months of good standing, you qualify to upgrade to another account at Diamond Bank.

Branch locations include Glenwood, Mount Ida, Murfreesboro, Hot Springs, Dierks, Nashville, Mineral Springs, Mena, Hope DeQueen, Ashdown, Texarkana, Russellville, and Hector.

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Discover Bank® Cashback Debit Checking Account
No. Fees. Period. That’s how Discover Bank promotes its Cashback Debit Checking Account. And, after conducting our research, we can say that’s mostly true. In fact, the only fees you’ll ever incur are for outgoing wire transfers and service charge fees if you use a non-Discover ATM if it is not part of the 60,000+ ATMs in their no-fee network.

As long as there are no past incidences of fraud on your ChexSystems report, Discover might be a great account for you.

Discover Bank® Cashback Debit Checking Account at a Glance

  • 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month
  • Access to 60,000+ fee-free ATMs; $510 cash withdrawal limit per day
  • Fee-free opt-in overdraft protection transfer service
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®
  • No monthly fee (no balance or activity requirements)
  • No fee for insufficient funds
  • Deposit cash at any Walmart — with no fees
  • Mobile check deposits
  • No deposit to open

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First Community Bank
Fresh Start Checking with First Community Bank is a great option for those looking to get back on track and re-establish a positive checking relationship. If you have a negative history with ChexSystems or any other consumer reporting agency, this may be the account for you.

All you’ll need is a $50 opening deposit to get started. Each month, there is a service fee of $11.50 that can be reduced to $8.50 if you enroll in direct deposit. After 12 months of good standing, the account will be converted to their Regular Checking account. This account includes features such as:

  • Unlimited check writing
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Free debit MasterCard, subject to approval

First Community Bank branches can be found in Bald Knob, Batesville, Bay, Cabot, Cave City, Cherokee Village, Conway, Harrison, Jonesboro, Lepanto, Little Rock, Mountain Home, Newport, and Searcy.

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First Service Bank
First Service Bank does not use ChexSystems or check your credit and may be a strong option when considering a new bank. We recommend their General Checking account because it has a low monthly maintenance fee of $5.95, which will be waived when you opt for eStatements instead of paper statements. There is a $100 minimum deposit to set up this account.

You’ll get your free debit card in a matter of days after signing up and have access to online banking as well as their smartphone mobile app. The bank belongs to the MoneyPass ATM network, so you can easily access over 32,000 ATMs nationwide surcharge-free.

First Service Bank is homegrown in Arkansas and has 11 branches, including 2 in Conway, and one each in Clinton, Dermott, Flippin, Greenbrier, Little Rock, Marshall, Mountain View, Shirley, and Yellville.

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FNBC Community Bankers
FNBC Bank does use ChexSystems, but will open an account if you don’t have any outstanding or unpaid issues. You’ll have access to all their accounts, but we recommend going with the Slate Checking account.

There is an opening deposit of $100 required, but they have all the perks most people need. This includes no minimum balance, free eStatements, online banking, mobile smartphone app, mobile deposit, and bill pay. You can reach their customer service via text messages, too.

FNBC has locations in Ash Flat, Batesville, Cherokee Village, Hardy, Highland, Horseshoe Bend, Jonesboro, Mammoth Spring, Melbourne, Mountain Home, and Salem.

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FSNB (Fort Sill National Bank)
Fort Sill National Bank is an excellent choice for those looking for second-chance checking. Their Basic Checking account does not require a credit check, use ChexSystems, or Telecheck to open new accounts. We like that you aren’t required to direct deposit and you won’t pay high fees. If your account balance is over $75, your monthly service fee of $6 is waived. If your account balance is over $500, you begin to earn interest.

All you need is $5 to open an account at one of 5 Arkansas branch locations. The Basic Checking Account comes with:

  • A free Visa CheckCard
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Surcharge-free ATM withdrawals at FSNB locations
  • Access to the Savings Round-Up program
  • Online, mobile, and text checking options

FSNB locations include two in Conway, as well as one each in Pine Bluff, Russellville, and West Memphis.

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GO2bank
GO2bank is an offering of pre-paid card giant GoBank and we think it’s a step in the right direction. Like some of the newer “challenger banks” GO2bank will deposit your direct deposit check up to 2 days early and has cashback rewards on several categories of purchases. This account also makes you eligible for the GO2bank credit card, which has no annual fee or required credit check.

One significant drawback to many online-only bank accounts is that they have no way to accept cash deposits. But GO2bank accepts cash deposits at over 90,000 Green Dot locations nationwide. However, participating retailers may charge you a fee.

If you direct deposit over $500, your monthly maintenance fee of $5.00 is waived. And, they offer a pretty sweet overdraft protection program, but it has a gotcha charge of $15 if you don’t replace the funds within 24 hours.

Account-holders will appreciate the ability to budget their money with the help of a mobile app, budgeting tools, and a savings vault. In fact, they pay 1% on all money in the saving vault up to $5,000.

Get a GO2bank account

Great Southern Bank
Great Southern Bank logoIf you’re like thousands of other Americans and have a rocky history with banking institutions, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. With Great Southern Bank’s Second Chance Checking account, you can rebuild credibility while enjoying a lot of the perks that come with a traditional checking account.

You can open a Second Chance Checking account by depositing $25 and paying the $10 monthly service fee. This checking account doesn’t require any minimum balance to be maintained, and there are no extra fees charged for not meeting it. You’ll receive a free debit card and have access to mobile banking, although the Bill Pay option is not included for Second Chance accounts.

After 60 days of maintaining a positive balance and meeting a few requirements, like taking a series of online financial classes, you can discuss changing your account type with Great Southern Bank. For more information or to sign up for a Second Chance Checking account, visit Great Southern Bank in Rogers, Arkansas.

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GTE Financial
Go Further from GTE Financial helps put you on the path to a better checking account. If you don’t qualify for a traditional account, the Go Further account will help you get there in as little as 12 months. We consider this a low-cost second chance checking. As long as you make a total deposit of $500 for the month, opt to receive eStatements and make 15 monthly transactions, the $9.95 maintenance fee is waived.

GTE Financial is one of the largest credit unions in the US. Membership is open to anyone through easy requirements and an online application process. The Go Further account includes:

  • Free EMV-equipped debit card with built-in rewards
  • Online and mobile banking tools
  • Free bill pay service
  • Easy money transfers through the Popmoney service

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Hope Credit Union
Hope Credit Union is looking out for those who need a second chance. If your credit is low or you’ve had issues with ChexSystems in the past, their Easy Checking may be a great option for you.

You’ll need to keep a $25 minimum balance, but the $9.95 monthly fee can be waived with a $200 minimum balance. Plus, there is an opening deposit of $25 that will be required. On the upside, you’ll get a free debit card and free eStatements along with online banking, bill pay, mobile/smartphone app, free telephone customer service, and free direct deposit.

Hope Credit Union has 3 locations in Arkansas, including College Station, Little Rock, and West Memphis.

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Lili | Quick Approval Small Business Banking
Lili was custom made for freelancers and independent contractors who are operating as sole proprietors and single member LLCs and we really like their offering. Lili aims to approve most accounts within 2-3 days, but some accounts are approved in 2-3 hours.

Lili offers a checking account and Visa debit card with no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement, no hidden fees, no credit check, and no ChexSystems. Lili makes getting your account easy!

Lili at a Glance

  • FREE business VISA debit card
  • FREE (and very user-friendly) mobile app
  • NO minimum balance
  • NO NSF charges or fees
  • NO credit check or ChexSystems
  • NO fees for incoming wire transfers
  • Receive direct deposit funds 2 days earlier than many banks
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Unlimited fee-free transactions
  • Takes 3 minutes to apply

Application Process

You can set up an account online. If you’re a freelancer, you should receive approval and account access almost instantly. All others (Sole Proprietor, Single-Member LLC, Multi-Member LLC, General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, or S Corp) can take a couple of days to get approved. You can fund your account using a mobile check deposit, direct deposit, ACH transfer, or by linking your Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App account.

Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC.

Open a Lili account now!

mph.bank Fresh Account
It’s a tall order to “Make People Happy” when it comes to banking, but that’s the stated mission behind mph.bank.

Powered by Liberty Savings Bank (established in 1889!), the mph.bank Fresh account does use ChexSystems, but as long as you don’t have more than 3 charge-offs totaling $1,000 or reports of fraud approval rates are very high. Fees for the account include a $9 monthly service fee and a $10 overdraft fee.

mph.bank Fresh Account at a Glance

  • $0 initial deposit to open account
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®
  • Access your account with your phone or computer
  • When coupled with a free savings account, earn up to 5.00% APY
  • Optional ability to round up charges and stash the cash into savings
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
  • Access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs

Apply for a Fresh Account Today!

Navy Federal Credit Union
No matter your banking past, Navy Federal Credit Union offers traditional checking for all members in Alabama and across the US. With no review requirements of your banking history, NFCU is an excellent choice for active duty or retired US military, family members and government contractors. There are two banking choices to choose from: Active Duty Checking and Free eChecking.

Both account options come with a free NFCU debit card. There is no monthly service fee with direct deposit. Your account is protected from overdrafts with free savings transfers, a checking line of credit or an optional overdraft protection service. You also receive:

  • Free mobile deposits
  • Free bill pay
  • Free traditional name-only checks
  • Dividends credited monthly

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NorthOne | No Credit Check Business Account
NorthOne is a digital bank built specifically for businesses with 1-10 employees. In addition to dramatically streamlining the application process, NorthOne offers a business checking account with no credit check.

NorthOne Business Banking at a Glance

  • NO minimum monthly balance requirement
  • NO monthly fees
  • NO NSF fees
  • NO ACH transfer fees. Highest ACH limits of any digital bank
  • NO credit check or ChexSystems
  • FREE access to over 40,000 ATMs nationwide for cash deposits and withdrawals
  • FREE integrations with over 100+ popular tools
  • FREE perks and discounts on SMB software – over $5,000 in value
  • FREE bill payment software (replaces bill.com)
  • FREE sales and revenue analytics software

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Banking Services

NorthOne doesn’t have any recurring fees or require a minimum account balance. The account includes all business basics: ACH payments, wire transfers, bill pay, debit card usage, mobile check deposits, and transfers. The only fee is $15 for wire transfers. You can even send a physical check straight from your phone for just $1, and NorthOne will print and mail it for you.

NorthOne also has access to faster money movement through connecting to the Same Day ACH and Real-Time Payments network, the latter allows deposits from popular payment processors (Amazon, Paypal) to clear immediately.

Financial Automation

Layered on top of the bank account, NorthOne offers 3 powerful financial automation products. First, they offer a full invoice and bill payment automation, where you send your bills and invoices directly to NorthOne, NorthOne uses AI to extract everything you need to pay and to whom and sets up the payment for one-tap approval.

Second, they offer revenue and sales analytics, where you can connect to the e-commerce or POS tools you use and see your gross revenue, transaction volume, and cost of returns in every one of your accounts, in real-time.

Third, they offer integrations with hundreds of third-party apps including Paypal, Stripe, Square, Etsy, Shopify, Airbnb, Amazon, Venmo, Toast, Uber, Lyft, Quickbooks, FreshBooks, Wave, Expensify, and many more. You can sync transaction details, collect payments, see and pay invoices, send payroll, pay contractors, and more through these integrations.

Application Process

NorthOne approves accounts within one to two business days. Information required to open an account includes name, address, and social security number or tax identification number. If applicable, NorthOne may ask for a copy of your business license and business formation documents. After you’re approved, you’ll need to make a $50 minimum opening deposit.

In our opinion, the NorthOne no credit check business bank account is one of the most competitive business bank accounts for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Open a NorthOne account today!

Novo | No Hassles Small Business Banking
Novo understands small business owners and makes it easy to open and manage an account. As an online-only bank, you’ll find Novo strikes the right balance between technology, human touch, and real-world benefits. Here are some of our favorite features for Novo Business Checking:

  • NO monthly fees
  • NO minimum balance requirement
  • NO NSF fees
  • ATM fee reimbursement up to $7/month
  • NO credit check or ChexSystems
  • FREE Mastercard debit card
  • FREE mobile app
  • FREE transfers, mailed checks, and incoming wires
  • FREE invoicing to create, send, and track invoices
  • FREE mobile check deposit

Application Process

It takes about 10 minutes to sign up for a Novo account. You’ll need personal and business information, which may include a social security number, business tax ID, and business formation documents. They do not check your credit or use ChexSystems.

Novo is growing quickly. Their offering is popular with small business owners. The account approval process is currently taking 1-2 business days and once you’re approved, you can get full access to your account with a simple $50 deposit.

Open an account today!

Patterson Credit Union
Not qualifying for a traditional checking account can make your life a little more difficult than it needs to be. Luckily, Patterson Credit Union has a solution. Their Second Chance Checking is the perfect opportunity to secure your financial future and form a solid foundation with banking again.

Second Chance Checking account holders will enjoy numerous different features after opening their account. You’ll be able to make purchases with your Mastercard Debit Card and take advantage of free direct deposit services. You’ll also have access to online banking, bill pay, and eStatements, as well as overdraft protection.

The account does come with certain restrictions, and the specifics will need to be discussed in person at Patterson Credit Union’s location. If you’re interested in more information or to see if you’re eligible to open a Second Chance Checking account, you can visit their branch in Arkadelphia, Arkansas!

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Peoples Bank
Peoples Bank is a local Arkansas financial institution with branches in Magnolia (2) and Waldo. And if you’re looking for a bank that will open an account for virtually anyone, this is the bank for you. They don’t use ChexSystems, Telecheck, or EWS. The bank doesn’t pull your credit history either.

We like their local roots and we really like their Totally Free Checking account. It takes $.01 to open an account, there’s no minimum balance, no monthly service charge, and no per check charge. You get a free debit card, free online banking and bill pay, free smartphone app, free eStatements, free monthly statements. Plus, they’ll buy back your unused checks and debit cards from another financial institution.

Total Free Checking. Now, there’s truth in advertising!

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Red River Credit Union
Opening a Fresh Start Checking account with Red River Credit Union can be a great step towards better financial wellness; even if you have a ChexSystems record. This account has most of the benefits of a standard checking account and also comes with money management education tools.

Benefits include a free Visa debit card, access to online banking, and a reasonable maintenance fee of $10 a month.

To become a member of RRCU, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in one of over ten eligible counties in Arkansas. You can also be eligible for membership if a relative is already a member.

To learn more, visit their website or one of their branches in Ashdown, Hope, Nashville, Texarkana, or De Queen.

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River Valley Community Federal Credit Union
River Valley Community Federal Credit Union offers a Fresh Start Checking account to those with a ChexSystem record less than 5 years old. They require that the record must be less than $300 and you must not owe this credit union any money.

To open an account, you’ll need to deposit $100 that will be placed on hold during the first 30 days. This account comes with a debit card, a low $5 monthly service fee, and offers members an upgrade to a Traditional Share Draft account after 12 months of good standing.

To become a member, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in Dallas, Union, Colombia, Calhoun, or Ouachita counties. They have two branch locations in Arkansas; one in Camden and the other in El Dorado.

Learn More

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Southern Bancorp
Southern Bancorp offers a smart way to manage your money with their Opportunity Card checking option. This bank doesn’t use ChexSystems, so even if you have a record there’s still a good chance you’ll be able to get an account.

The Opportunity Card requires no minimum opening deposit and has a low monthly service fee of $5. We like this account because it doesn’t charge any NSF (non-sufficient funds) or Overdraft fees. They also offer a few simple features like bill pay, check cashing, and online banking.

Southern Bancorp has branch locations spread across Arkansas in cities such as El Dorado, Arkadelphia, Bismarck, Barton, and many others.

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UNIFY Financial Credit Union
Right Start Checking, provided by UNIFY Financial Credit Union, is a go-to option for people who have been denied membership of a traditional account due to a negative history with ChexSystems. Opening a Right Start Checking account, with an initial deposit of $25, will allow you to write as many checks as you need and overdraft protection up to $250.

This account has no monthly fees associated and allows for eBanking from any device, meaning you’ll have access to your funds anywhere in the world that you have service. Building a positive checking history has never been easier with this second chance bank account.

UNIFY FCU has several branches in Arkansas in cities including Fayetteville, Springdale, Lowell, and several other cities in the area. They are also in-network with dozens of co-op shared branches where you’re able to make payments, transfers, check deposits, etc. These branches can be found throughout the entire state.

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Varo Bank
Varo Bank is another internet-only bank with services based on their mobile apps for Apple and Android devices. Varo doesn’t charge fees at 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs and offers strong budgeting tools and automatic savings programs.

Opening an account is easy and Varo doesn’t check your credit or use ChexSystems. Varo doesn’t even require an initial deposit to open an account, either. There are never any monthly maintenance fees, account balance minimums, overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees, transfer fees, or debit card replacement fees.

Varo’s recent bank charter has them innovating more than ever. They have a very strong cashback program, a payroll advance option, and have started to offer their customers a secured credit card called Varo Believe.

Finally, if Varo receives a payroll notification before your payday, it can deposit your money more quickly than many banks.

Learn More

Walmart MoneyCard
Want to earn cash back on Walmart purchases – up to $75 each year? Then you might love the Walmart MoneyCard.

It’s a debit card that has some strong features such as cashback on Walmart purchases, overdraft protection, interest on your savings, and a mobile app that lets you track your purchases and deposit funds into your account.

Walmart MoneyCard at a Glance

  • Easy approval: no ChexSystems or credit check
  • No initial deposit is required and there are no monthly minimums
  • Deposit cash for free at any Walmart store and it shows up 10 minutes later
  • Deposit checks using the Walmart MoneyCard smartphone app
  • Easily request multiple cards for family use1
  • Manage your account from your computer or the smartphone app
  • 3% cashback on Walmart.com purchases, 2% cashback for Walmart fuel stations, and 1% cash back for use in-store2
  • Earn 2.00% APY on money you set aside in a free savings account3
  • With qualifying direct deposits4, you can opt-in and enjoy overdraft protection of up to $200 on eligible purchases5
  • No monthly fee when you direct deposit $500+ in the previous monthly period. Otherwise, there’s a $5.94 monthly fee.6

The Walmart MoneyCard is available in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Open an account today!

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo changed the Opportunity Checking account to Clear Access Banking. And we like one change, in particular. Wells Fargo has done away with overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees. Clear Access Banking is a debit card-only account (no paper checks available) and if you attempt to purchase something without sufficient funds, the transaction will be denied. That’s a lot better than having the transaction approved and then discovering you’ve been hit with a $35 overdraft fee.

There is a $5 monthly fee, but that is be waived for account holders 24 years old and younger. This account is available to residents in all 50 states.

  • The largest number of branches in the U.S.
  • Minimum deposit of $25 to open an account
  • Online bill pay and smartphone app
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Includes a Visa debit card
  • Send and receive money through Zelle
  • Additional features include account alerts, 24/7 fraud monitoring, and zero liability protection for your debit card

Learn More

Citibank Access Checking
The Citi® Access Checking account is a solid option if you’ve been blacklisted by ChexSystems or Early Warning Systems. As long as you haven’t been flagged for fraudulent behavior and don’t owe Citibank an outstanding amount, approval rates for this account are good.

There are no monthly service fees for the first 3 months after opening the account. The $5 monthly service fee can easily be waived after that time by depositing at least $250 per month.

We also like that there are no overdraft or returned item fees because if you don’t have enough money in your account, the item will be returned.

Citibank Access Checking at a Glance

  • 65,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • Send money to almost anyone with a U.S.-based bank account through Zelle®
  • No overdraft or NSF fees
  • $5 monthly fee can be waived with $250 in qualified direct deposits
  • $0 liability for unauthorized charges
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington DC
  • No minimum opening deposit

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Capital One 360 Checking
The Capital One 360 Checking Account uses a proprietary approval process that does not include ChexSystems and might be a solid option for those who have had past financial challenges.

Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Capital One acts more like an online bank than one with over 400 branches in a few states. Its highly-rated smartphone app gives customers full control of their account and you can access everything from a computer, too.

Capital One 360 Checking at a Glance

  • No opening deposit is required
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • No minimum balance and no overdraft fees
  • Add cash to your account at CVS® locations.
  • No-fee access to over 70,000 ATMs nationwide
  • No foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad
  • Deposit checks and pay bills with the smartphone app
  • Send and receive money with Zelle®
  • Early direct deposit feature
  • Monitor your credit score with Capital One’s CreditWise feature
  • FDIC insured account up to $250,000

How The Overdraft Feature Works

The account offers two overdraft services. The first is a free savings transfer where you link your checking account to a savings account. If you overdraw from your checking account, Capital One will cover the charge by making a transfer from your savings account.

The second option is a no-fee overdraft where the bank approves recurring debit payments, check payments, or bill pay payments even if it results in a negative balance for your account. To qualify, you’ll need to receive at least $250 in direct deposits during two of the three previous months.

Customer Service

In the era of chatbots and customer service-by-email, Capital One stands out for its personalized customer service. Once you set up an online account, you can chat 24/7 with a live customer service representative. If you want to speak with a representative on the phone, you can call between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

The website is laid out well and easy to understand. The smartphone app is also easy to navigate and has received 4.9 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.6 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Learn More

Did we leave your financial institution off this list of The Best No ChexSystems and Second Chance Banks and Credit Unions? Has there been a change in any of the listings? Please let us know.

Best Second Chance Banks by State

To find more information and additional options available in your area, select your state from the list below and explore your options.


Additional Chime Disclaimers:  Back to Chime Review Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.

1Eligibility requirements apply. Overdraft only applies to debit card purchases and cash withdrawals. Limits start at $20 and may be increased up to $200 by Chime. See chime.com/spotme.

2Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. Cash deposit or other third-party fees may apply.

3Customers are limited to three $1,000 cash deposits at Walgreens each day and $10,000 each month.

4Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

5Sometimes instant transfers can be delayed. The recipient must use a valid debit card to claim funds. Once you are approved for a Chime Checking Account, see your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Pay Anyone Transfers details. Please see the back of your Chime debit card for your issuing bank. See Terms and Conditions.

6The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of September 20, 2023. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

Additional Found Disclaimers:  Back to Found Review

1Direct deposit funds may be available for use for up to two days before the scheduled payment date. Early availability is not guaranteed.

2Found is a financial technology company, not a bank. Business banking services are provided by Piermont Bank, Member FDIC. The funds in your account are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor for each account ownership category. The Found Mastercard Business debit card is issued by Piermont Bank pursuant to a license from Mastercard Inc. and may be used everywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted.

Additional Current Disclaimers:  Back to Current Review

1Current is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group, Member FDIC and Cross River Bank, Member FDIC. Deposits held at Cross River Bank, Member FDIC, insured up to $250,000. Additional product disclosures can be found here.

Additional Walmart MoneyCard Disclaimers:  Back to Walmart Review

1Family Accounts: Activated, personalized card required. Other fees apply to the additional account. Family members age 13 years and over are eligible. Limit 4 cards per account. See Deposit Account Agreement for details.

2Cash back, up to $75 per year, is credited to card balance at end of reward year and is subject to successful activation and other eligibility requirements. Redeem rewards using our website or app. You will earn cash back of three percent (3%) on qualifying purchases made at Walmart.com and in the Walmart app using your card or your card number, two percent (2%) at Walmart fuel stations, and one percent (1%) on qualifying purchases at Walmart stores in the United States (less returns and credits) posted to your Card during each reward year. Grocery delivery and pickup purchases made on Walmart.com or the Walmart app earn 1%. For the purposes of cash back rewards, a “reward year” is twelve (12) monthly periods in which you have paid your monthly fee or had it waived. See account agreement for details.​

3Interest is paid annually on each enrollment anniversary based on the average daily balance of the prior 365 days, up to a maximum average daily balance of $1,000, if the account is in good standing and has a positive balance. 2.00% Annual Percentage Yield may change at any time before or after account is opened. Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of 5/15/23.

4Direct Deposit: Early availability of direct deposit depends on timing of payroll’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period. Make sure the name and social security number on file with your employer or benefits provider matches what’s on your Walmart MoneyCard account exactly. We will not be able to deposit your payment if we are unable to match recipients.

5Opt-in required. $15 fee may apply to each eligible purchase transaction that brings your account negative. Balance must be brought to at least $0 within 24 hours of authorization of the first transaction that overdraws your account to avoid the fee. We require immediate payment of each overdraft and overdraft fee. Overdrafts paid at our discretion, and we do not guarantee that we will authorize and pay any transaction. Learn more about overdraft protection.

6No monthly fee with qualifying direct deposit, otherwise $5.94 a month. Waived when $500+ is loaded in the previous monthly period. First monthly fee occurs upon first use, the day after card activation or 90 days after card purchase, whichever is earlier.

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