Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

Zelle Is Big Banks’ Response to Venmo — Here’s How it Stacks Up

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Venmo, a PayPal-owned social payments platform that caught like wildfire among millennials, and serves as a popular way for people to split the bill. The digital peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service is ubiquitous to the point of being a verb — “Venmo me” — but that’s not stopping the big banks from making a play for the market.

In 2017, the banks responded with Zelle, a P2P transaction platform that can process payments between accounts at different banks within minutes, for free. When using apps like Venmo, PayPal and Square Cash, consumers may have to wait up to two or three days to access deposits in their bank accounts or pay a fee for instant access.

What is Zelle?

Zelle is a peer-to-peer payment service created by Early Warning Services, a company owned by Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Zelle users can send, receive or request money directly to and from friends’ and family members’ bank accounts using only an email address or phone number, even if the other party has an account with a different bank. Zelle claims to process payments between accounts at different banks within minutes, for free.

As of this writing, Zelle partners with more than 65 banks and is accessible to more than 85 million U.S. consumers through its partners’ mobile banking applications. If your bank isn’t partnered with Zelle, you can still create an account using the Zelle app to send, receive and request money much like other P2P payment services.

Zelle, formerly known as ClearXchange, has grown rapidly since it’s rebranding and rollout to banking applications in 2017. It’s now a serious competitor in the P2P space. Early Warning reported the payments company processed $75 billion in payments in 2017. Meanwhile, its main competitor, Venmo, processed more than $40 billion in payments on its free mobile app in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2018. Early Warning said Zelle processed more than $25 billion in the first quarter of 2018, and Venmo processed $12 billion in the same period.

Is Zelle safe to use?

Zelle is advertised as a service for sending money to friends, family and people you know personally. The company does not offer a protection program for purchases or sales made through its platform, and neither do its participating financial institutions.

If you initiate the transfer, you are not covered for fraud by Zelle or your bank. For example, if you send someone money for event tickets using Zelle and it turns out the tickets are fake, there is no recourse against the person via Zelle or your bank, and you will lose your money like this woman did.

However, consumers are not liable for “unauthorized activity,” like if someone else uses Zelle to hack into your bank account. Zelle provides fraud protections as required by the Federal Reserve’s Regulation E.

How to avoid the biggest risks of using Zelle

Know the recipient personally
Sending money on Zelle is akin to handing cash to someone. To avoid losing your money to a fraudster, ensure you are only sending money to people you know and trust.

Confirm the recipient’s information
Zelle transactions cannot be disputed or reversed, so you want to double-check with the recipient that you’re using the correct email address or phone number. If you initiate a transaction to the wrong person, Zelle has no obligation to help you get your money back.

Enroll with only one bank
To avoid delays in sending and receiving funds using Zelle, make sure the email and/or phone number you want to use is only enrolled at one bank or credit union, and that it matches what the bank has on file.

If the same phone number and/or email is registered with your Zelle profile at more than one institution, you may run into issues sending and receiving payments using this service. Money sent to you using the phone number or email address you provide friends and family may be sent to the wrong bank account or to an old Zelle account. The funds may also get held up until you sort out the mix-up.

If you were previously enrolled in ClearXchange or the Zelle app before your bank integrated Zelle into its banking app, you may already have an active Zelle account using your phone number and/or email. If you want to enroll in Zelle with your bank, you’ll first need to contact customer support team and deactivate your old account there.

How does Zelle work?

Zelle plays up its ease of use: Because it’s integrated into mobile banking apps, customers of banks using Zelle can use a single app to schedule bill pay, make deposits and complete fee-free P2P transactions. That means users don’t have to download an extra app to use Zelle on a mobile device, unlike stand-alone apps like Venmo and PayPal. Zelle does, however, have a stand-alone app, if you’d prefer to use that.

Zelle withdraws money directly from the sender’s bank account and deposits it directly into the recipient’s bank account. Users can send, request or receive money using an enrolled email address or mobile phone number.

How to send money with Zelle

On your mobile banking app
Zelle works a little differently on each of its partners’ mobile banking apps, but the main steps to send money are the same.

You’ll first select a recipient from (either from your contacts list or by adding them manually) and whether you’re sending money to them using their phone number or email address. Then, you enter the amount you want to send. At that point, you may have the option to set a sending date and add an optional note. Then, hit send. Your recipient should get a notification and see the funds in their bank account within minutes.

Here are some examples of how this service has been integrated into mobile banking:

Send money on Chase mobile app

Source: JPMorgan Chase

Send money on Bank of America mobile app

Source: Bank of America

Split expenses with Zelle on Bank of America mobile app

Source: Bank of America

Sending money on the Zelle app

To reach customers whose banks aren’t part of the Zelle network, Early Warning partnered with Mastercard and Visa to make a Zelle app that allows transfers to those at nonparticipating banks and just about everyone with a U.S.-based debit card. However, at least one person involved in a Zelle transaction must have access to it through their bank or credit union.

Sending money on the Zelle app is similar to using other P2P apps like Venmo.

  1. Select someone to send money.
  2. Enter the amount of money you want to send and hit “review.”
  3. Confirm the amount you’re sending, and enter an optional message to the recipient.
  4. Hit send. The transaction is recorded and the recipient will get a notification that you’ve sent them money.
Source: iTunes

How to receive money with Zelle

When someone sends you money using Zelle, the funds should show up in your bank account within a few minutes, unless it’s your first time using this service.

If you’re not already enrolled with Zelle, you should get an email or text saying someone sent you money using Zelle. You’ll then need to follow the enrollment instructions to get set up with the service. After you’re enrolled, it may take up to three days to receive the money in the bank account associated with your profile.

How long does it take to send and receive money with Zelle?

Zelle transfers money directly between U.S. bank accounts. Transfers occur typically within minutes, unless the recipient is not already enrolled in Zelle. If the recipient is not yet enrolled, it may take up to three business days for the money to become available in their bank account.

Is there a limit to how much money you can send and receive with Zelle?

There are no limits to the amount of money you can receive, but there may be limits on how much money you can send, depending on your bank and the type of account you’re using. Zelle recommends you contact your bank or credit union to learn about any sending limits.

For example, Chase caps transfers from personal checking accounts at $2,000 per transaction, and customers can send up to $2,000 a day and $16,000 in a calendar month. However, customers sending money from a Chase Private Client or Private Banking client account can send up to $5,000 per day and $40,000 per calendar month.

If your institution doesn’t offer Zelle and you use the Zelle app, Zelle bases your weekly send limit on your track record using the app.

Are there any fees to use Zelle?

There are no fees to use the service. The company recommended you confirm with your bank or credit union that there are no additional fees.

Are there any other limitations to Zelle?

No credit card transactions: You won’t be able to send money using a credit card at all; you can for a 3% fee on Venmo.

No international transfers: As of this writing, Zelle’s system doesn’t support international payments. The service only works with U.S.-based bank accounts, so you won’t be able to send money directly to family abroad. However, if you are traveling and have access to your bank account overseas, you can receive transfers made to your U.S.-based bank account.

Zelle vs. other person-to-person payment systems

By leveraging its network of bank partnerships, Zelle claimed consumers should be able to make transactions between different institutions within minutes. However, if your recipient does not have access to Zelle through their bank or credit union, or their partnered bank does not yet support real-time payments, Zelle loses its advantage. Transactions would then take between one and three days to complete, no better than the likes of PayPal or Venmo.

When you send money to a friend using Venmo, they instantly receive that amount as their Venmo balance, but then need to initiate a bank transfer to access the funds. The same goes for PayPal and Square Cash. With Popmoney, a service that sends money directly between bank accounts, there’s no need to initiate a deposit, but it takes a couple of days for the transactions to clear. With these services, it can take one to three days for a deposit to become available in your bank account.

What you need to know about instant transfers

Though Zelle touts transaction speed as one of its greatest strengths. While the instant transfer feature made the company stand out when it first rolled out in 2017, its competitors weren’t far behind. The Cash App, by Square, Inc. offers instant access to transferred funds for a 1.5% fee of the deposit amount, PayPal and Venmo both offer instant transfers for $0.25 per transfer.

What also made Zelle stand from the crowd was its free instant transfers. But now Google Pay offers that, too. Money sent using a debit card or Google Pay balance is transferred instantly to the person’s debit account — if it’s set as their default payment method — for free.

There are several ways you can can send money to friends, family members or the person you picked up your coffee table from on Craigslist. They range from social media options like Snapcash or Facebook Messenger, to full-fledged mobile and web apps like the PayPal app or Google Wallet.

Here’s how some of the big players in the P2P payments space to compare with Zelle:

FeatureZelleVenmoPayPalSquare CashPopmoneyGoogle Pay SendFacebook Messenger
Who you can send money toAnyone whose bank offers Zelle (85 million consumers) or anyone who is set up with the Zelle appAnyone with a Venmo accountAnyone with a PayPal account (237 million customer accounts)Anyone with a Square accountAnyone at any of nearly 2,500 financial institutionsAnyone; no need to have a Google account or the Google Pay Send appAnyone with a Facebook account who is 18+ years old
Time it takes deposit to become available in recipient’s bank accountMinutes, unless the recipient’s bank doesn’t support instant transfers or isn’t a partnered institution1 to 3 business days after transferring from Venmo account to bank.

Instant transfers for a fee of $0.25 per transaction.

Transfers made before 7 p.m. EST typically arrive the following business day. Transfers made after 7 p.m. EST or on weekends or holidays will typically arrive on the second business day.

Instant transfers are available for a fee of $0.25 per transaction.

Up to 3 business days.

Instant deposits are available for a fee of 1.5% of the deposit amount.

Up to 3 business daysMoney received transfers automatically to your default payment method

Funds are available typically within minutes if a debit card is set as your default payment method

Transfers to a bank account may take up to three business days

Up to 5 business days
Has a stand-alone appYes. In addition, this service is integrated directly into existing bank mobile apps.YesYesYesNo. PopMoney is integrated into existing mobile banking appsYesYes
Has a web versionYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
FeesNoneFree to send money from a bank account or debit card

3% fee to send money from a credit card

$0.25 to make an instant transfer

Free when you send funds via a bank account

2.9% plus 30 cents (U.S.) of the amount you send using a debit or credit card

$0.25 to make an instant transfer

Free to send money from a bank account or debit card.

3% fee to send money from a credit card

Free to receive money or pay a request
$0.95 to send or request funds
NoneNone
Accepts credit card transactionsNoYesYesYesNoNoNo
Transaction limitsNone, but your bank may impose transfer limitsSend up to $2,999.99 per 7 days after identity verification; no receiving limit.

Cash out up to up to $19,999.99 per week after identity verification.

Send and receive up to $10,000 per transactionSend up to $2,500 a week after identity verification; receive more than $1,000 per 30 days after identity verificationDaily transaction limit for a debit card: $500

Daily transaction limit for a bank account: $2,000

30-day transaction limit for a debit card: $1,000

30-day transaction limit for a bank account: $5,000

Send up to $9,999 per transaction or up to $50,000 in 5 days

If you live in Florida, you can send up to $3,000 every 24 hours

Unclear. The terms and FAQs say nothing about limits, and Facebook did not respond to our request for information. A community forum post from 2016 says you can send up to $9,999 within 30 days
Supports international transfersNoNoYes – Fees for sending in other currencies varyNoNoNoNo
Lets you store funds on an in-app accountNoYesYesYesNoYesNo
Fraud protectionNone if you, the consumer, initiated the transfer.

You are covered if someone makes an unauthorized transaction on your Zelle account if reported within 4 days after learning of the unauthorized transaction.

Venmo does not offer buyer or seller protection.

You are covered if someone uses your Venmo account to make an unauthorized transactions if reported within 60 days.

Yes: Paypal offers purchase protection to buyers and sellers of goods and services for claims reported within 180 days

Paypal covers unauthorized transactions if reported within 60 days

Paypal does not provide protections for personal transactions sending money to “friends and family.”

Sellers protection only

Square is not responsible for any unauthorized access or use of the services on your square account

Varies by stateNo protection for authorized transactions.

Google Pay offers fraud protection for all verified unauthorized transactions if reported within 120 days of the transaction date

Facebook is not liable for payments you send via Messenger

Facebook provides protection for unauthorized transactions on your account if you submit a claim within 30 days

What banks use Zelle?

Zelle partners with the following banks and credit unions, as of this writing:

  • Ally
  • America First Credit Union
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of Central Florida
  • Bank of Hawaii
  • Bank of the West
  • Bank of York
  • Bank7
  • BB&T
  • BBVA Compass
  • BECU
  • BNY Mellon
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Citizens Bank
  • City National Bank
  • Collins State Bank
  • Comerica Bank
  • ConnectOne Bank
  • Dollar Bank
  • FCB Bank
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • First National Bank
  • First National Bank in Creston
  • First National Bank of Central Texas
  • First Tech
  • First Tennessee Bank
  • FirstBank
  • Franklin Synergy Bank
  • Frost Bank
  • Guadalupe National Bank
  • Homestreet Bank
  • Huntington Bank
  • KeyBank
  • M&T Bank
  • MB Financial
  • MidwestOne Bank
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Northwest Bank
  • PNC
  • Provident Bank
  • Quontic Bank
  • Regions Bank
  • Renasant
  • SchoolsFirst FCU
  • Seacoast National Bank
  • Star One Credit Union
  • Stockman Bank of Montana
  • SunTrust
  • Surrey Bank & Trust
  • TBK Bank, SSB
  • TD Bank
  • The First Citizens National Bank of Upper Sandusky
  • U.S. Bank
  • United Bank
  • United Community Bank
  • USAA
  • Wells Fargo

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brittney Laryea
Brittney Laryea |

Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at [email protected]

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

Apple Card Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

The information related to Apple Card and Uber Visa Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Apple aims to redefine credit card usage with the launch of the Apple Card, which debuted in March 2019. In addition to providing a simplified application process and not charging any fees, the Apple Card encourages members to pay less interest and provides special privacy and security features. Customers also receive a percentage of every Apple Card purchase amount in the form of Daily Cash.

Cardholders earn 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

Daily Cash, which is automatically added to your Apple Cash card in the Wallet app on your iPhone, can be used like cash to make purchases, send money to your bank account, pay down your Apple Card balance and more.

If you have an iPhone 6 or later, you may be eligible for the Apple Card. To apply, simply update your iPhone to iOS 12.4, open the Wallet app and tap the plus (+) sign. Once approved, you can begin using your Apple Card instantly via Apple Pay.

You will also be issued a physical, titanium card to use at locations where Apple Pay is not yet accepted. Purchases made using the titanium Apple Card will earn 1% Daily Cash.

In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of the Apple Card as well as show how it compares to the Uber Visa Card.

Where the Apple Card stands out

Rewards rate. The Apple Card offers 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

No fees. You will not be charged additional fees to use the Apple Card. In addition to a $0 annual fee, the Apple Card comes with a $0 returned payment fee, a $0 late penalty fee (although you will incur interest charges) and no foreign transaction fees.

Smart payment suggestions. To help you make informed decisions when paying your card bill, the Apple Card will estimate the interest charges you will incur (in real time), based on the amount you decide to pay.

Also, the Apple Card offers smart payment suggestions to encourage you to pay down your balance more quickly.

Privacy and security. A unique card number is created on your iPhone for your Apple Card. This means that each purchase made using your iPhone is protected by Face ID or Touch ID authorization, as well as a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Additionally, the issuer of the Apple Card, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, does not share or sell your data to third parties for marketing and advertising purposes.

Additional Apple Card benefits

  • Titanium card for places that don’t accept Apple Pay
  • Ability to contact Apple Card support 24/7 by sending a text from Messages
  • Real-time views of your latest transactions and balance via the Wallet app
  • Weekly and monthly spending summaries

Where the Apple Card falls short

No sign-up bonus. The Apple Card does not come with a sign-up bonus.

Application restrictions. If you’re an Android cellphone user, you’re out of luck. The Apple Card is only available if you have an iPhone 6 or later that runs the latest version of iOS.

How it compares with the Uber Visa Card

If you want to earn bonus cash back in popular spend categories without paying an annual fee, there are other credit cards to consider. The Uber Visa Card, for example, offers 4% back on dining, including UberEats, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, Uber and music streaming services, and 1% on everything else.
Additionally, the card also comes with a $0 annual fee and doesn’t require an iPhone to apply.

See how the Uber Visa Card compares to the Apple Card in the table below.

 Apple CardUber Visa Card
Annual fee$0$0
Sign-up bonusN/AEarn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Rewards
  • 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

  • 4% back on dining, including UberEats, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, Uber and music streaming services, and 1% on everything else.

Intro APR on purchasesN/AN/A
Regular purchase APR12.99%-23.99% Variable17.74% - 28.49% Variable
Foreign transaction feesNone0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Unlike the Apple Card, the Uber Visa Card allows you to earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. Additionally, the Uber Visa Card offers a higher cashback rate on dining, hotels and airfare.

That said, the Uber Visa Card offers a slightly lower cashback rate on Uber purchases than the Apple Card: The Uber Visa Card offers 2% back on Uber purchases, compared with 3% with the Apple Card. The caveat is you must pay for your Uber purchases via Apple Pay to earn the 3% rate with the Apple Card.

The bottom line

If you’re an iPhone user who wants to earn cash back on every purchase and take advantage of tools that encourage responsible card usage, the Apple Card is a solid option. However, if prefer a card that comes with a sign-up bonus and a higher rewards rate on dining and travel purchases, the Uber Visa Card is the better choice.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Tracy Brackman
Tracy Brackman |

Tracy Brackman is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Tracy here

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Best of, Reviews

The Top 7 Second Chance Bank Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Some banks don’t like giving second chances to customers who have less-than-stellar financial histories, especially since it could expose them to expensive risks. A record of bounced checks or debit card overdrafts could easily lock you out of the conveniences of modern banking.

Fortunately, banks also like making money, and some offer special “second chance” accounts that minimize their risk while allowing consumers to stay in the banking system. A second chance bank account gives customers with troubled records a fresh opportunity to demonstrate they can bank responsibly.

When it comes to a second chance account, fees are an unfortunate reality. But some accounts offer customers a better deal than others, and we’ve researched our database to find the second chance accounts with the most reasonable fee structures, while also factoring in whether they provide online and mobile banking, and how accessible accounts are throughout the country.

Account Name

Monthly Fee

Minimum to open

Availability

Chime$0$0Nationwide
Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking$4.95 $30Nationwide
Radius Essential Checking$0$10Nationwide
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts$10, can be waived if you meet requirements$25All 39 states (plus Washington D.C.) that has a Wells Fargo location.
BBVA Easy Checking$13.95$25Nationwide, with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii
Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking$9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit; $11.95 without a direct deposit$25Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia
First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking $9.95; $7.95 with direct deposit$25Select areas of Wisconsin and Illinois

Second chance account basics

With a second chance bank account, customers shut out of traditional bank accounts get the opportunity to win their way back into a bank’s good graces. Similar to credit bureaus, financial services company ChexSystems maintains records of consumers’ banking histories. Bounced checks, overdrawn accounts or instances of fraud can all end up on your ChexSystems record; if you accumulate enough black marks on ChexSystems, banks could deny your application to open a new account.

Because second chance accounts are meant for customers who have demonstrated bad banking behavior, some lack features of traditional accounts, such as overdraft protection. In the eyes of the bank, you represent too much of a risk for them to extend you such courtesies.

Nobody likes paying fees, and we generally advise consumers to avoid needless banking fees due to the many fee-free banking options available. But fees are the price you pay for access to banking when you have a poor record. Plus, the second chance accounts listed below give you access to online and mobile banking, which is always a plus.

The 7 best second chance bank accounts

1. Chime

Chime

Fintech app developer Chime is not a bank, however their online checking account product is open to everybody no matter how bad your record is with ChexSystems. Chime does not check on applicants with ChexSystems, plus they offer lots of non-traditional features to help you get your financial life back on track. Best of all is the fact that they charge no fees at all, and require neither a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance.

Chime account features:

  • No opening balance or minimum balance requirements.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paycheck, and the funds from each pay period will be deposited as soon as the transaction is initiated, giving you access to your pay up to two days earlier than conventional checking accounts.
  • Automatic savings features to help you save in your connected Chime Savings account.
  • The app sends you daily bank account balance notifications, and sends transaction alerts every time you use your debit card.
  • You can disable the debit card from the app.
  • Send 15 fee-free “friend transfers” P2P payments each month.
  • Nominal 0.01% APY on all deposits.

Fees to watch out for:

  • Chime’s service is almost entirely fee-free: No monthly charges, no ACH transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM fees if you withdraw funds from MoneyPass or Visa Plus Alliance network ATMs.
  • If you make an ATM withdrawal outside of these networks, there is a $2.50 fee.
  • Overdrafts are not permitted, so there is never an overdraft fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Chime’s secure website

Member FDIC

2. Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

Peoples Bank Cash Solutions

This Texas-based bank offers a second chance bank account that is available nationwide, and so long as you don’t have a record of bank or checking fraud on your record, you should be approved for this account. You’ll need to deposit at least $30 before the bank activates your account and provides you with checks and a debit card.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee
  • $27.50 overdraft fee
  • $27.50 nonsufficient funds fee
  • $3.95 printed statement fee (which can be avoided with electronic statements)
  • $2.00 ATM withdrawal fee at machines not owned by Peoples Bank
  • $25 stop payment fee
  • $20 account closure fee (if within 90 days of opening account)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Peoples Bank Cash Solutions’s secure website

Member FDIC

3. Radius Essential Checking

Radius Bank

Products from online bank Radius are available to customers nationwide, and accessibility is a strong point in its favor. This second chance bank account only requires customers to deposit $10 to open an Essential Checking account, which is lower than some other accounts on this list.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Access to Radius’s budgeting and personal finance tracking apps
  • Eligibility to upgrade to Radius’s Reward Checking account after 12 months of positive banking history

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9 monthly maintenance fee
  • $25 per item non-sufficient funds fee (waived on all overdraft items $5 or less)
  • $5 daily overdraft fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on Radius Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts are tailor-made for folks with a lackluster credit or banking history. With a $25 opening deposit, you’ll get access to a second chance bank account that offers most of the bells and whistles of a traditional bank account. The account does come with a monthly fee, although it’s possible to waive it if you meet a few requirements (see below).

Account features:

  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free transfers are available between Opportunity Checking and Savings accounts
  • You can choose to opt into overdraft protection
  • Free access to bill pay
  • “My Spending Report with Budget Watch” is available if you want to pay extra attention to where your money is going
  • Free debit card with access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs throughout the country

Fees to watch out for:

  • $10 monthly service fee, waived if any of the following are true:
    • You make 10 posted debit card purchases or payments
    • You keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in the account
    • You receive $500 total in direct deposits each statement cycle
  • $35 overdraft and returned item fee
  • $12.50 overdraft protection transfer fee
  • $15 fee for excess activity (exceeding withdrawals from your savings account)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee with your debit card
  • $5 for money orders
  • $31 for stop payments

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

5. BBVA Easy Checking

BBVA
BBVA’s Easy Checking product is available as a second chance account to customers in the Lower 48 (sorry, residents of Alaska and Hawaii, you’ll have to look elsewhere). Note that you must open the account at one of the bank’s branch locations, or by phone outside of the branch network footprint; you cannot open this account via their website. There is a $13.95 monthly service charge to maintain the account. You can request that BBVA upgrade your account one of their regular checking products after 12 months — and ditch that high monthly fee — so long as the Easy Checking account remains active and has a positive balance.

BBVA Easy Checking features::

  • Online and mobile banking, customized alerts, and a free debit card (with option to personalize)
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free BBVA ATM withdrawals

Fees to watch out for:

  • $3 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • $38 insufficient funds fee ($32 in California)
  • $15 deposit item returned fee
  • $32 stop payment fee made over the phone or in person ($30 in California); $25 if made online
  • No fee for closing your account within 180 days of opening

LEARN MORE Secured

on BBVA’s secure website

Member FDIC

6. Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking

Woodforest National Bank

This regional bank has a checking account aptly named Second Chance Checking, to help people rejected by other banks access — provided they live in one of the 17 states where a physical branch exists and can meet the $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Those states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit (or $11.95 without a direct deposit), $3.00 monthly paper statement fee (which can be avoided if you sign up for electronic statements)
  • $9 one-time account set-up fee
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee when used at a non-Woodforest network ATM
  • $15 debit card set-up fee
  • $29 overdraft fee (for each charge)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking

First National Bank and Trust Company (WI)

First National Bank and Trust Company’s second chance bank account offering is called Renew Checking. You’re eligible for a new account if you live near the bank’s Beloit, Wisc. headquarters, in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Account Features:

  • No monthly minimum balance
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free online and mobile banking, bill pay, and e-statements
  • Access to 70,000 no-fee ATMs worldwide through Allpoint and MoneyPass
  • Eligible to upgrade account after twelve months in good standing

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly service fee, or $7.95 with direct deposit
  • $30 early account closure fee (if closed within 90 days of opening)
  • $34.50 overdraft fee
  • $34.50 insufficient funds fee
  • $34.50 stop payment fee

The fee schedule for personal accounts at First National Bank and Trust Company is here.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank And Trust Company (WI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Alternatives to a second chance bank account

Get a prepaid debit card

Tired of the traditional banking experience? You could opt for a prepaid debit card instead. With a prepaid card, you can load money onto it and spend at merchants that accept major credit and debit cards. But if you try and spend more money than what’s on the card, the transaction is declined — although this prevents you from accruing any overdraft or insufficient funds fees. This is useful if you feel you may still have trouble managing your spending and need an extra layer of security to prevent you from getting into trouble.

Some prepaid cards offer extra perks like advance direct deposit and free ATMs so long as you stay in their network.

Open a secured credit card

You may also have better luck applying for a secured credit card if your credit score is in good enough shape. Usually, this requires depositing cash with the lender, who then gives you the credit card for the same amount. Each month that you make on-time payments, the bank will report that good behavior to the credit bureaus, helping you boost your credit score. At the end of the payment period (generally 12 months, though it varies by banks), you’ll get the full deposit back.

Secured cards can come with high interest rates and many don’t feature the enticing rewards other high-end cards do, but they get the basic job done for consumers who don’t need a card with a high credit limit.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here