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Different banks have different requirements, but, as a rule, you don't have to pay any fee to open a checking account. The only payment that may be is that you will be required to pay a minimum opening deposit. This initial deposit is needed to open you an account and it can be somewhere between $25-$100 on average (depends on the bank). However, some banks do not require any initial deposit. So, if you are not ready to make a deposit right away, look for checking accounts with $0 initial deposit.