Free Interest Checking

Earn interest and enjoy no monthly fee and no minimums.
Open an Account

Benefits of Bowater Credit Union Free Checking

We’re the only place where our basic checking account is free and still lets you earn interest.

No Monthly Service Fee

We don’t charge fees no matter if your balance is high or low.

No Minimum to Open

Open your account and enjoy our services with any opening deposit.

No Minimum Balance

You won’t get charged a fee if your balance falls below a certain amount.

Competitive Interest Rates

Start earning dividends and APY* on any balance and keep growing.

Everything to Know About Our Free Checking Account

A free checking account is here to make your life easy and simple. Here are the top features of our Free Interest Checking:

  • Earns Interest. See rates
  • No minimum deposit to open
  • No minimum account balances
  • No minimum to earn interest
  • No service fees
  • No limits on the number of checks you can write
  • No per check fees
  • Free CheckCard with access to over 65,000 surcharge-free ATMs
  • Free overdraft protection from your savings account and Bowater Credit Union Line of Credit (if applicable)
  • $500 Courtesy Pay protection (some restrictions apply)
  • Free myBranch access & Free telephone access 24/7
  • Free Online Bill Pay
  • Free E-Statements
A man uses his phone to check his free checking account balance.

How to Apply for a Free Checking Account


Become a Member

Check you meet our membership criteria and open a Share Savings Account with just $5.

Select Free Checking Use our secure online portal to provide your details and open your account.
Use Services! Get your debit card, set up direct deposits, automatic payments, transfers, and much more.


“I am a fairly new member of Bowater Credit Union and I absolutely LOVE it so far! I always feel at home when I walk into the Athens branch. Everyone is so kind and welcoming. It is super easy to sign up for a checking and savings account and they have the best people to work with.”

– Alyssa G., Calhoun, TN

FAQ About Credit Union Free Checking

Q: How do I know if a Bowater Credit Union free checking account is right for me?

A: Our Free Interest Checking is a streamlined option with no monthly fees charged, no minimum daily balance, and no limits on your regular transactions or debit card purchases. Plus, you can earn interest on your balance. 

You may want to consider Premium Interest Checking if you plan to keep a higher balance and want more protection, or you may like the benefits of our Gold Interest Checking if you’re over 50.

Regardless of what checking account you choose, you’ll get a free debit card and a free checkbook each year with no check-writing limits. Plus, you can enjoy a wide range of Online and Mobile Banking services.

Q: What Online and Mobile Banking services do you offer?

A: Bowater Credit Union offers a full suite of digital services whether you prefer to use Online Banking or our Mobile App. Through these platforms, you can access and use:

Q: What credit score do I need to open a free checking account?

A: You need a credit score of at least 550 to open our Free Interest Checking account. However, if your score is below 550 you may open a Fresh Start checking account and use this service until you get your finances back on track.

Q: What protections do your checking accounts offer?

A: To reduce the risk of fraud, our VISA debit cards (and credit cards) come with the option to enroll in Visa Purchase Alerts. This free service can notify you when your card is used to make a purchase. 

You can also customize the notifications. For example, you could request to be notified for any purchases over $500 or you may get a notification for all purchases.

  • If you made the purchase, you don’t need to do anything when you receive an alert. 
  • If you didn’t make the purchase, you can take instant steps to cancel your card, and alert your card issuer and the authorities. 

In addition, all our accounts offer free Overdraft Protection from your linked savings account so you can avoid overdraft fees. You can also enjoy Courtesy Pay Protection – up to $500 for our Free Interest Checking account.

Q: Do I need to pay a monthly service fee?

A: The great news is that there’s no monthly fee on our Free Checking account and you don’t need to maintain any minimum monthly balance.

Other Quality Checking Options

Premium Checking

Earn higher rates and enjoy greater Courtesy Pay protection with no monthly fee when you maintain a balance over $500.

Gold Checking

If you’re over 50, you can enjoy all the perks of our Free Checking plus go in the draw to win $500 each year.

DBA Checking Account

Business owners can benefit from this custom checking account with a fee of just $12.