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Banks in New Mexico that offer Free Checking Plus Second Chance Accounts

Best Banks in New Mexico that offer monthly free checking plus some that offer second chance checking.
illinois-banks-that-don't-use-chexsystems
illinois-banks-that-don't-use-chexsystems

Finding the best free banks in New Mexico depends on your banking needs. Whether your priority is interest-bearing checking accounts, high-yield savings, a variety of banking products, digital banking or physical branches, there is a bank in New Mexico that can meet your requirements.

However, if you’re unable to open a checking account due to ChexSystems or Early Warning Services (EWS) records, we also compiled a list of second chance banks in New Mexico that offer an opportunity to build a new banking history.

10 Best Free Banks in New Mexico

1. First Citizens Bank

first-citizens-bank-free-checking

First Citizens Bank was originally founded as the Bank of Smithfield in 1898. Headquartered in Raleigh, NC, First Citizens Bank has branches in 21 states. They offer a wide range of financial services to individuals, businesses, and organizations including checking, savings, trust services, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services, insurance, and more. The Free Checking account has many features including the following:

  • $50 Minimum opening deposit
  • Pay your bills from any device, transfer funds to other accounts and send money with Zelle®
  • Manage and monitor your funds with free online banking tools
  • Link your debit card to digital wallets like Apple Pay® and Samsung Pay®
  • Choose the right level of overdraft protection coverage for your account.

APPLY NOW


2. Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus

upgrade-rewards-welcome-bonus

The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus is best for debit card spending. Customers get up to 2% cash back on common everyday expenses for active accounts with a monthly $1,000 direct deposit 1 plus many features including the following:

  • $0 Minimum Opening Deposit.
  • Up to 2% cash back on common everyday expenses for active accounts with monthly $1,000 direct deposit, and up to 1% cash back for other purchases2.
  • Optional savings account that earns 5.07% APY3.
  • Customers with direct deposit can get paid up to two days early4.
  • No monthly fees, no overdraft fees5, and get reimbursed for ATM fees with an active account.
  • FDIC-Insured Up to $250,000.

APPLY NOW

Upgrade is a financial technology company, not a bank. Checking and savings accounts provided by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC.


3. Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union is a credit union based in Illinois with membership open to anyone regardless of where they live or work. Financial products and services include checking, savings, CDs, personal, auto and mortgage loans, small business banking, investments and financial education. The monthly free checking account is called Rewards Checking with the following features:

  • Unlimited reimbursement for any and all ATM fees**
  • Over 30,000 ATMs & over 5,000 shared branches
  • Online & mobile banking plus bill pay
  • Get paid as much as two days early with early direct deposit**
  • No monthly maintenance fees, for anything

APPLY NOW


4. OneUnited Bank

OneUnited Bank’s Online Checking Account is a free checking available to people in ALL STATES. OneUnited Bank is a Black-Owned Bank that offers the Black Wall Street Checking account with no monthly fee. If you’re looking for second chance banking options, OneUnited Bank’s U2 E-Checking Account is available but it has a monthly fee of $12. With OneUnited Bank customers can add cash to the OneUnited Bank Debit Card at over 90,000 locations across the country through a partnership with Green Dot®.

Here are the checking account features:

  • $25 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly fee.
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with early direct deposit.
  • Free Online & Mobile Banking.
  • Obtain Cash, Surcharge Free at Over 35,000 ATMs Nationwide.
  • Deposit checks through the mobile app.
  • Free Bill Pay

APPLY NOW


5. BMO Harris Bank

BMO-Harris-Bank

BMO Harris Bank is a well-established financial institution with over 500 branches across U.S. and access to over 40,000 ATMs. As the 8th largest bank in North America by assets, BMO Harris Bank has $852 billion in total assets. Financial products and services include checking, savings, CDs, personal, auto and mortgage loans, HELOCs, small business banking, investment and retirement accounts. The monthly free checking account is called Smart Advantage Account with the following features:

  • $25 Minimum Opening Deposit
  • Unlimited Transactions at 40,000+ fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • $0 Monthly maintenance fee
  • BMO Digital Banking – pay bills, transfer money and more

6. Bank of Oklahoma

Bank of Oklahoma is a regional bank that was founded in 1910 and is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma with 15 branches in New Mexico. The full-service bank offers a wide range of financial products that include checking, savings, CDs, personal, auto and mortgage loans, HELOCs, wealth management and investment services. The monthly free checking account is called Access Checking with the following features:

  • $50 Minimum Opening Deposit
  • One complimentary overdraft fee refund per calendar year (upon request)
  • $0 Monthly maintenance fee
  • Free Online and Mobile Access with Bill Pay

7. Bank of the Southwest

Bank of the Southwest was founded December 10, 1992, under the name of First Bank of Truth or Consequences. Today, the Bank of the Southwest is a full-service bank offering a wide range of financial products for personal and small business banking. The monthly free checking account is called Southwest Personal Checking with the following features:

  • $25 Minimum Opening Deposit
  • Unlimited check writing
  • $0 Monthly maintenance fee
  • Free Online and Mobile Access with Bill Pay

8. First Financial Credit Union

First Financial Credit Union was established in 1937 by a group of ten individuals who were employees of the telephone company in New Mexico. Since that time, the credit union has grown to serve the employees of over 200 companies. The monthly free checking account is called Kasasa Cash Checking with the following features:

  • Free checking that pays high dividends
  • Refunds on ATM withdrawal fees, nationwide (up to $25 monthly)
  • No minimum balance to earn rewards
  • No monthly maintenance fees

9. Jemez Valley Credit Union

Jemez Valley Credit Union has dedicated itself to delivering exceptional service to its valued members for over five decades. Jemez Valley Credit Union’s primary objective is to provide members with efficient, precise, and top-notch services at affordable rates. The monthly free checking accounts have the following features:


  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Free Online Access
  • Free Online Bill Pay
  • Debit Card with Rewards

Second Chance Banks in New Mexico

SoFi Bank

Top Online-Only Bank
$ 275 Welcome Bonus
  • Get $25 for opening account with a $10 opening deposit
  • Earn an additional bonus up to $250 (direct deposit required)
  • Savings account earns 4.60% APY with any amount of direct deposit
  • Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit
  • No fees for overdrafts or account maintenance
  • More than 55,000+ Free ATMs
  • Cash deposits at 90,000 retail locations nationwide
  • Earn up to 15% cash back on purchases at select local retailers
  • FDIC insured (up to $2M with opt-in to SoFi Insured Deposit Program)

1st Convenience Bank

The eAccount does not require an opening deposit and has a $5 monthly service fee. You’ll have free access to online banking, mobile deposit, bill pay and account alerts.

Lea County State Bank

The LCSB SECOND CHANCE CHECKING requires a $100 opening deposit and has a $5 monthly service fee. You’ll have free access to mobile budgeting apps plus no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees.

New Mexico Bank & Trust

The Check Free Banking Account requires a $25 opening deposit and has a $5 monthly service fee. You’ll have free access to mobile budgeting apps plus no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees.

Sunflower Bank

The Achievement Checking Account requires a $25 opening deposit and has a $5 monthly service fee. You’ll have free access to online banking, mobile deposit, bill pay and account alerts and there’s no minimum balance requirement.

WaFd Bank

The Fresh Start Account requires a $25 opening deposit and has a $4 monthly service fee. You’ll have free access to mobile budgeting apps plus no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees and there’s no minimum balance requirement.

Second Chance Credit Unions in New Mexico

First American Community Credit Union

The Second Chance Checking Account requires a $50 opening deposit and has a $10 monthly service fee. You’ll have free access to mobile budgeting apps plus no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees and there’s no minimum balance requirement.

Nusenda Credit Union

The Visa® debit card requires a $5 opening deposit. There are no hidden fees and you’ll have free access to mobile budgeting apps.

Rio Grande Credit Union

The Fresh Start Checking Account requires a $25 opening deposit and has a $0 monthly service fee. You’ll have free access to mobile budgeting apps plus no overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees and there’s no minimum balance requirement.

US Eagle Federal Credit Union

The FlexChecking Account requires a $5 opening deposit and has a $5 monthly service fee. You’ll have free access to online banking, mobile deposit, bill pay and account alerts and there’s no minimum balance requirement.

New Mexico Unbanked Numbers

According a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) 2021 Survey, 7% of New Mexico’s residents were unbanked. It’s estimated that unbanked people pay up to 10% of their salary for check cashing services. New Mexico one of the highest percentage of unbanked or underbanked households in America. Without access to traditional banks that offer free checking or second chance banks with low monthly service fees, too much money is being paid to conduct basic financial transactions.

ChexSystems Resources

  • Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems – Take a look at our list of banks that do not use ChexSystems for a new checking account.
  • EWS (Early Warning Services) – EWS is similar to ChexSystems and can prevent you from opening a checking account.
  • Check your ChexSystems Report – Unsure what information exists in your ChexSystems report? Learn how to find out.
  • ChexSystems Scores – Did you know that you have a ChexSystems score similar to a credit score? Find out how to get yours.
  • Account Abuse – Find out why ChexSystems often reports customers for account abuse with no real explanation of what that notation means.

Upgrade Disclaimers

1 Active Accounts with a monthly direct deposit of $1000 are eligible for additional benefits on Rewards Checking Plus such as additional cash back rewards, ATM fee reimbursement, and more. See the Active Account page for more information.

2 Rewards Checking Plus customers who set-up monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more earn 2% cash back on common everyday expenses at convenience stores, drugstores, restaurants and bars – including deliveries – and gas stations, as well as recurring payments on utilities and monthly subscriptions including phone, cable, TV and other streaming services, and 1% cash back on all other debit card purchases. 2% cash back is limited to $500 in rewards per calendar year; after $500, customers earn 1% cash back on all eligible debit card purchases for the remainder of the year. Rewards Checking Plus accounts with less than $1,000 in monthly direct deposits 60 days after account opening will earn 1% cash back on common everyday expenses and 0.50% cash back on all other eligible debit card purchases. Some limitations apply. Please refer to the applicable Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information.

3 The 1.5% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) for the Performance Savings account is effective as of June 1, 2023. The APY for the Performance Savings account is variable and may change at any time. Active Accounts qualify for 5.07% APY with monthly $1000 direct deposit. The APY for Active Accounts is effective as of September 1, 2023, is variable, and may change at any time. Please refer to the applicable Cross River Bank Performance Savings Deposit Account Agreement and Truth in Savings Disclosure. To earn APY, you must open and fund a Performance Savings account. Rewards Checking Plus accounts do not earn APY.

4 Early direct deposit requires set up of recurring electronic direct deposit from your employer, payroll, or benefits provider and is limited to direct deposits under $5000. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing in which we receive notice of impending direct deposit, which is generally up to two days before the scheduled deposit date.

5 There are no overdraft fees or annual fees associated with Rewards Checking Plus accounts. Rewards Checking Plus charges no ATM fees, but third-party institutions may charge you a fee if you use their ATM/network or if you use your Upgrade VISA® Debit Card internationally. For Active Accounts, Upgrade will rebate ATM fees charged by another institution for debit card withdrawals in the United States, up to five times per calendar month. To be eligible to receive third-party ATM fee rebates in any calendar month for eligible ATM withdrawals made during that month on a Rewards Checking Plus account, the account must be an Active Account in the prior calendar month. See the Active Account page for more information. As a courtesy to new customers, Upgrade will provide third-party ATM fee rebates for 60 days after account opening regardless of account user status. Some limitations apply. Please refer to the applicable Cross River Bank Checking Deposit Account Agreement and Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information.

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Disclaimer: A OneUnited Checking Account is required to apply.

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