Updated: Jun 20, 2024

U.S. Bank Safe Debit Account 2024 Review

Our review of the U.S. Bank Safe Debit Account looks at this checking-account alternative based on its fees and features.
Editor's Rating
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U.S. Bank offers a checkless checking account to help you manage your money wisely, with no overdraft fees. The Safe Debit Account lets you spend or withdraw cash using your debit card, with a low $25 minimum opening deposit requirement.  

Our Verdict

U.S. Bank Safe Debit is a digital checking account that's designed for people who want to avoid overdraft fees. Transactions that would put you into overdraft are declined, so you can never spend more money than what you have available. 

You might be interested in a Safe Debit account if you:

  • Are new to banking and only need a starter checking account
  • Don't write paper checks
  • Would like to avoid overdraft fees
  • Prefer traditional banks to online banks

A Safe Debit account could be suitable for young adults and students who are learning how to manage money. This account may also appeal to people who have been denied a bank account in the past and want to start fresh.

U.S. Bank Safe Debit Account Pros & Cons

  • No overdraft fees
  • Low opening deposit requirement of $25
  • Access to a major national bank branch network
  • Monthly fee applies, which cannot be waived
  • No check-writing capability
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Compared to Other Checking Accounts

Chase Total Checking

Chase Total Checking is a basic checking account option for people who want a simple way to pay bills and track expenses. The Chase Overdraft Assist feature is designed to help you avoid overdraft fees. This account charges a monthly maintenance fee but you have several options for waiving it. 

Read our full editorial review of Chase Total Checking

SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi Checking and Savings is an interest-bearing account that allows you to pay bills, spend, and save all in one place. You can earn a competitive APY on savings balances while getting rewarded with cash back on eligible purchases. There's no monthly fee for this account and your deposits are FDIC-insured. 

Read our full editorial review of SoFi Checking and Savings

Ally Interest Checking

Ally offers an interest-bearing spending account with no monthly fees and no overdraft fees. The APY is less than what you could get with a high-yield savings account, but earning interest on checking account balances is a nice perk. You can access your money at more than 43,000 Allpoint ATMs and Ally refunds up to $10 in foreign ATM surcharges per statement cycle. 

Read our full editorial review of Ally Interest Checking

Chime Spending Account

The Chime Spending Account is an online bank account with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. You can use the Spot Me feature to avoid overdraft fees and get paid up to two days early with direct deposit. Chime offers a unique benefit that other online banks don't, since you can deposit cash at Walgreens and Duane Reade locations. 

Read our full editorial review of the Chime Spending Account

Interest Rates

Some banks pay interest on checking account balances. That allows you to grow your money until you need to spend it. 

The rates are typically less than what you'd get with a high-yield savings account. But you might appreciate having that as an added benefit. 

U.S. Bank Safe Debit does not earn interest. Again, that's because this account is designed to be a starter checking account for people who are primarily concerned with avoiding overdraft fees. 

Online banks can offer some of the best rates for interest checking accounts if you're interested in opening one. 


Banks can pay rewards on debit card purchases. For example, you might earn 1% cash back when you use your card to pay for things online or in stores.  

U.S. Bank doesn't offer rewards with the Safe Debit account. 

If you want to open a checking account that offers rewards, you'll need to do your research. Specifically, look at how the rewards program works and what fees you might pay for the account. 

It might not make sense to get a rewards checking account if the cash back you earn is getting eaten up by fees. 


U.S. Bank doesn't charge overdraft fees for Safe Debit accounts, but there are other fees to know. Here's a rundown of what you'll pay for this account.

Other Service Fees - U.S. Bank Safe Debit Account

Type Fee
Monthly Maintenance Fee $5
Overdraft Fee $0
Non-U.S. Bank ATM Fee $3
Cashier's Checks $10
Money Orders $5
Wire Transfers $15 to $50
Dormant Account $5
Counter Checks $2
Foreign Transaction Fee 3%

Some banks allow you to waive monthly maintenance fees. You might be able to do that by setting up direct deposits or maintaining a minimum balance. 

U.S. Bank Safe Debit doesn't let you waive the fee. So you'll have to decide if it's worth paying $4.95 monthly for a checkless checking account.

Branch and ATM Access

U.S. Bank operates over 2,000 branches across 25 states and has nearly 5,000 ATM locations. 

That's convenient if you need to withdraw cash or pop into a branch to make a deposit. Note that if you use another bank's ATM to make a withdrawal, U.S. Bank charges a fee. The ATM's owner may also charge you a fee. 

There are no ATM fee reimbursements offered with the Safe Debit account. Some banks, meanwhile, reimburse some or all of the foreign ATM fees you pay each month. 

That's an advantage if your bank has a smaller ATM network or you're traveling away from home. If you routinely withdraw cash, you might want to look for a bank that pays ATM surcharges back to you. 

Account Access

U.S. Bank offers both online and mobile banking access, which you can use to:

  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Deposit checks (mobile check deposit)
  • Send money to friends and family via Zelle
  • Pay bills
  • Review statements
  • Set up alerts and notifications
  • Update your personal information

There are transaction limits on how much you can withdraw and spend. U.S. Bank sets these limits per account. 

You can find your account withdrawal and deposit limits by logging in to online and mobile banking. If you need a higher limit, you can request an increase from U.S. Bank. 

There are no limits for sending or receiving payments with Zelle through the U.S. Bank mobile app. However, you should be aware that anyone you send money to or receive money from might be subject to Zelle limits imposed by their bank. 

FDIC Insurance

FDIC insurance is a benefit offered at numerous banks, including U.S. Bank. 

The FDIC insures deposits at member banks so that if a bank fails, its customers don't lose all their money. The FDIC insures checking accounts, savings accounts, and other types of deposit accounts. 

Your coverage limit is $250,000 per bank. But the chances of ever needing to use it are low, as bank failures don't happen that often.

What You Need to Open

You can open a Safe Debit account online or at a U.S. Bank Branch. To open an account online, you'll need to provide your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number and email address
  • Physical address
  • Government-issued ID

You'll also need to share your citizenship status and country of permanent residence. U.S. Bank asks for details about your employment and income, as well as what you plan to use the Safe Debit account for. 

Once you've filled out the application you'll need to link a bank account to make your first deposit. You'll need your bank account number and routing number to do that. The minimum deposit requirement to open a Safe Debit account is $25. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a checkless checking account?

A checkless checking account is a bank account that lets you spend and withdraw cash using a debit card but doesn't offer paper checks. Checkless checking accounts may charge no overdraft fees and block transactions that would put your account balance in the negative. You can find these accounts offered at both online and traditional banks. 

How to avoid overdraft fees?

The best way to avoid overdraft fees is to keep track of your purchases, withdrawals, and other transactions. You could also overdraft fees by looking for a checking account that doesn't charge them. These accounts usually don't offer paper checks but they don't allow you to spend more money than you have either.  

Is U.S. Bank a good bank? 

U.S. Bank is an established banking brand with branches and ATMs located across multiple states. The bank offers numerous checking and savings account options to meet different needs. It could be a good fit for people who are looking for a traditional bank versus an online bank.