If you have a checking account wherein you can write as many checks per month as you like, there are no fees associated with writing the checks, you receive interest, and there is no minimum required to open an account – this is the best free checking account you can have, right?
The only downside to a free checking account is that if a check bounces, you have to pay the fee. You may be able to avail yourself of such an account at your local Savings and Loan or at a commercial bank.
These days, most commercial banks offer incentives to attract you as a customer. The only problem is that the bells and whistles cease after a short period of time. For some commercial banks, a checking account requires a minimum balance and limits the number of checks you can write each month.
In addition, if you are seeking a higher interest paid on the money in your account, it may require a larger opening balance. Moreover, the fees incurred may range from $10.00 or higher if you fall below the required balance.
If you bank online, you may enjoy further savings on your checking account fees. Conversely, for seniors there are checking account deals that offer free checks as well as lower interest rate credit cards.
There is another type of checking account for low-income individuals that offers a maximum of $6.00 in monthly fees and may not require a minimum balance. It does, however, limit the amount of checks that can be written each month.
Finding free checking account services is easy, as long as the requirements meet your needs. Does the bank have hours conducive to your schedule? Does it offer free monthly statements mailed to your home? Can you access your account online? Are there any hidden fees associated with the account? Can you order new checks directly through the bank?
When choosing a checking account, you may have to compromise before deciding if it’s right for you. For example, you can have a checking account at a local Savings and Loan. While you m...
You’ve probably seen TV commercials from banks that offer “100% Free” checking accounts. Perhaps you’ve even received a free checking account application or brochure in the mail from a large national bank, or saw an online banner ad.
The offers might not have struck you as odd, but when you think about it you might start to wonder – how do these free checking offers work? How can the bank afford to give away free checking services when it costs them time and money to maintain those accounts?
The truth is that banks are often willing to offer free checking accounts so that you will become a new customer and hopefully take advantage of some of their other services. In addition, depending on how you use the free checking account, there are several types of fees (some might consider these to be “hidden” fees”) that could make the account no longer free.Banks Want Customers. Some free checking offers truly are totally free. The goal of the bank is to win your long-term business. They know that a certain percentage of their free checking customers are going to need credit cards, home loans, car loans and other financial products, and the bank wants to have a relationship in place with those individuals in order to have a chance to win that future business. But some banks will also apply fees to certain types of account behaviors. The Minimum Balance Fee. The most common “hidden” fee is the minimum balance fee – if you don’t keep your account above the minimum balance, then you’ll be charged a fee each month. The minimum balance required to avoid this type of fee is generally between $500 to $3,000. Pay attention to whether your bank determines your account balance based on your average balance over the course of the month, or whether the balance falls below the minimum amount at least one day during the month. The Inactivity Fee. Another common monthly fee is where the bank charges your account if you fail to meet a certain level of account activity. For example, some bank accounts require you to use your debit card at least five times a month or else you’ll incur a fee for that month. Miscellaneous Fees. In addition, some banks apply a higher overdraft fee structure to their free checking accounts, or have a different ATM usage fees. Furthermore, the bank always has other ways to earn fees from all checking accounts (even free ones) such as selling blank check refills for more than you’d pay to buy directly from a check-printing company. The Direct D...
Everyone wants to get something for free. The banking industry seems to be making it even harder to get free checking these days. The federal government has imposed stronger regulations. The response has been to pass the costs on to the loyal customers.
The banking industry has also been hit with higher fees by the federal government and they passed those expenses on to the customers. Getting free checking may require adjusting accounts, changing banks, or simply just asking the right person.
It may be harder to find them, but free checking accounts are still available. The wide range of benefits may not exist, but at least you will not get stuck paying a bank fee every month. Here is some advice on how to get free checking.Consider moving to a bank that is fully online. The convenience of a physical location for a bank may not be that important, and banks without that overhead can often offer better rates or benefits than more traditional businesses. Review online banking options to see if you can find one that fits your needs. The internet has opened up a much larger banking base than existed in years past. Also many online only banks also offer free ATM usage and ATM surcharge rebates. Go paperless. Banks are looking for ways to cut their expenses. Choosing to get statements online will help them make this happen. As an incentive to make the move, some banks will waive the account fees making a checking account with paperless statements a free checking account. Build up your balance. Many banks are moving to minimum balance accounts for free. By putting money into one of these types of accounts (instead of a traditional savings account) you may end up saving more than you would have gotten in interest. Review all the different account options. Most banks offer a wide range of checking and savings products. Each one will come with different benefits that could end up costing more than they are worth. Know exactly what you need and use with you current a...