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Branch App review

This free checking account features early direct deposits and free instant paycheck advances.

finder.com’s rating: 3.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

Branch is a free checking account offering unusual perks like free instant paycheck advances and early direct deposits. But the account is currently waitlisted and it’s only targeted to hourly employees.

$0 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APYN/A
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$0
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Overdraft fee$0
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Review by


Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and kids’ debit cards. She’s been featured on Legal Zoom, MSN, and Consolidated Credit and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. When not writing, you can find her exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.

Expert review

Branch is ideal for hourly employees looking for a checking account with unique features like early direct deposits and instant cash advances. The account is completely free and there are no minimum balance requirements.

But you must manage your account through the mobile app and you can only reach customer service through the contact form on its website. You can’t call or chat them if you have questions.

How do I open a Branch account?

Open a Branch account and add yourself to the debit card waitlist in five steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the Branch website, download the official Branch mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, launch the app and click Sign Up.
  3. Enter your employer’s name and location and click Find My Workplace.
  4. Select your employer from the list and click Continue.
  5. Enter your name, email address and phone number and click Verify.
  6. Connect a bank account and add yourself to the waitlist for the Branch card.

Eligibility

You’ll need to meet the following requirements to open a Branch account:

  • Minimum 18 years old
  • An existing checking account to link to Branch
  • Social Security number

Required information

Have the following information on hand when you open an account:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Employer’s name and address
  • Residential address
  • Social Security number

What are the benefits of a checking account with Branch?

When you open a Branch account, you’ll enjoy features like:

  • No monthly fees. Branch never charges monthly, overdraft, ATM or membership fees.
  • No minimum balance requirements. Account holders don’t have to worry about keeping a certain dollar amount in their account every month.
  • Paycheck advances. Get a free instant advance on your paycheck with the Branch debit card.
  • Early direct deposit. Receive your paycheck two days earlier when you have direct deposits going into this checking account.

What should I look out for?

Potential drawbacks of Branch include:

  • Waitlisted debit card. You’ll need to open a Branch account and hop on the waitlist to save your spot in line.
  • Employers required. Branch recommends users to sign up only if their employers are registered as there are features that are unavailable to individuals.
  • Limited support. There are no physical locations to bank — you can only chat with customer support through the contact request form on its website.
  • Mobile app only. Branch doesn’t have a web-based version of its service, so you’ll have to manage your account entirely from your phone.

If you think a standard checking account with a high APY is what you’re after, shop around for other options.

Branch’s ATM network and fees

Branch doesn’t have an ATM network, so you’re free to use any ATM worldwide. The company doesn’t charge any ATM fees, but you’re still subject to operator fees.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
5.00% on balances of $0 to $10,000
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Chase Secure Banking℠
Chase Secure Banking℠
N/A
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide
$2.50
Chase Secure Banking offers no overdraft services
Douugh
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Douugh
N/A
$0
more than 38,000 ATMs in the MoneyPass ATM network
The Douugh app is an AI assistant focused on your finances.
OnJuno
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
OnJuno
1.20% on balances of $0 to $50,000
0.25% on balances of $50,000.01+
$0
more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide
$0
OnJuno embraces an open banking system for everyone, regardless of their age, location, or income.
Lili
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Lili
1.00%
$0
32,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Freelancers get paid up to two days early and can automatically set aside money for taxes with the Lili digital bank account. Get up to 10 referral rewards, or $1000.
Chime Spending account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Spending account
N/A
$0
60,000+ fee-free ATMs
$2.50
Get rid of fees with this financial app offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

There are a few ways to deposit and withdraw money through Branch:

Deposits

  • Direct deposit from an employer
  • External transfer from another bank
  • ATM that accepts cash deposits

Withdrawals

  • ATM using your debit card
  • Cashback at a retailer
  • External transfer to another bank

What other checking options does Branch offer?

Branch doesn’t offer any other checking accounts.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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