Clark Howard

T-Mobile launches free checking account: 5 things to know

T-Mobile, one of the nation’s largest mobile carriers, has announced its entry into the banking industry. The product is called T-Mobile Money.

T-Mobile Money bills itself as “a no-fee, interest-earning, mobile-first checking account.” The venture is a partnership between T-Mobile and BankMobile, a part of Customers Bank.

So while T-Mobile isn’t necessarily opening a bank, this product may well get a big response from other mobile carriers.

What is T-Mobile Money?

CEO John Legere is keen to calling his company the “Uncarrier” because of the way it operates.

T-Mobile Money is a legitimate FDIC-insured checking account that is compatible with all the major digital wallets, including Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

T-Mobile is bent on becoming the carrier most preferred by millennials. The move comes months after T-Mobile launched a cheaper unlimited plan for price-sensitive customers.

T-Mobile Money 5 things to know about the new service

1. T-Mobile Money has been around for a while in some places

T-Mobile Money launched as a pilot program in select markets in November. Now it is being rolled out nationwide.

2. It has an attractive APY

Eligible T-Mobile customers can earn an “industry-leading” 4.00% annual percentage yield (APY). The fine print on this is that you have to have a balance of up to $3,000 and deposit at least $200 monthly. You get 1.00% APY on every dollar over that $3,000 amount.

3. No bank fees

T-Mobile Money is promising no bank fees. That means you won’t be nickeled and dimed by various transactions. We like it!

4. No overdraft fees

OK, this is a big one. With Americans being hit with more than $34 million in overdraft fees a year, this could be a game-changer as a banking option that lets you keep your money in your pocket.

5. Overdraft protection

T-Mobile if offering a product called “Got Your Back overdraft protection,” which will cover you up to $50 in the red. You’ll have 30 days to pay the money back.

T-Mobile Money, which is available in the App Store and Google Play, also comes with a Mastercard debit card.

If you're more of a brick and mortar type of person when it comes to banking, check out these other free checking accounts.

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