First Merchants First Direct Checking

An account with premium benefits exclusively for employees for participating businesses or first responders and members of the military.

First Direct features:

  • Earns interest starting at $2,500¹
  • CD interest rate bonus of 0.05% APY
  • No annual fee on new Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)²
  • Free first order of Specialty Checks
  • Two NSF/OD fee items waived per rolling 12-month calendar³
  • No minimum balance requirement and no opening deposit with direct deposit sign-up
  • Complimentary retirement consultation
  • Discount on residential first mortgage closing costs
  • 25% discount on Safe Deposit Box rental where available
  • Free  eStatements
  • Free Official Checks and Money Orders
  • Free ATMs nationwide with MoneyPass
  • Free Overdraft Protection Transfers from any linked account
  • Free Mobile and Text Banking
  • Free Online Banking including Bill Pay and People Pay  (must be 18 years of age for Bill Pay)
  • Free Enhanced MasterCard Debit Card with ID Theft Protection
  • Samsung Pay and Apple Pay

Who's eligible:

  • Employees of companies that participate in the First Direct Program
  • All first responders and members of the military5
Picture of businessman working at computer

How to keep it free:

Make one direct deposit of at least $200 monthly.4 Otherwise, $10 monthly maintenance fee.

Other service fees may apply. Please see our Banking Fees.



In Interest tiers starting at $2,500. Interest is accrued daily and credited monthly.
Subject to credit approval.
An NSF/OD item is defined as 1 or more items presented to an account with non-sufficient funds on a business day.
Multiple deposits of less than $200 will not qualify. First direct deposit must be received within 30 days of account opening.
First responders include police, firefighters and paramedics. Military includes active members and veterans of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard. Note: Annual Percentage Yield is abbreviated by APY.