Want to Avoid New Bank Fees? Try One of These 3 Free Checking Accounts
Bank customers are not happy. With more big banks imposing new banking fees without improving their services, consumers are becoming more vocal than ever. But how many of those customers will be walking away from their banks? Will you?
If you’re considering switching, but don’t know where to turn, Credit Karma has done some research for you into some of the best free checking accounts. Check out these three suggestions and decide whether or not you should make the switch.
- Bank of Internet USA. The name may be a bit dull, but this online bank offers some great customer perks. You can open a free checking account with a $100 minimum deposit and start earning interest after you complete several financial actions each month. These include making direct deposits and utilizing the free online bill pay. One of the best things about having a checking account with Bank of Internet USA is that you’ll never have to worry about ATM fees; they’ll reimburse you for every one.
Caution: Since there are no physical banking branches, you’ll have to deposit your checks remotely by scanning them or by mailing them using the postage-paid envelopes provided by the bank.
- Alliant Credit Union. As an Alliant member, you’ll have access to a network of more than 80,000 ATMs to use fee-free. When you open a checking account, you can begin accruing interest at 1.10% APY if you opt out of paper statements and make one online deposit per month. This is great news because 1.10% APY is a higher rate than most savings accounts will get you. Plus, Alliant’s free checking account has no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement.
Caution: Not just anyone can join Alliant Credit Union. You have to either work for one of the more than 175 qualifying companies or organizations or make a one-time $10 donation to the charity, Foster Care to Success.
- USAA. USAA was originally founded by army officers in San Antonio, Texas, and remains a bank that serves active members of the military, their families and veterans. One of the best things about opening a checking account with USAA is that there’s no minimum initial deposit required. If you’re checking balance remains above $1,000, you can earn interest.
Caution: Like a credit union, USAA has membership restrictions. Before applying to open an account, check to see if you qualify.
Switching Banks: A Checklist
Whenever you decide to switch financial accounts, make sure to keep in mind the following:
- If your paycheck is directly deposited into your bank account, make sure to follow up with your employer to fill out a new direct deposit form.
- Make a list of the automatic bill payments you have set up from your bank account. If most of your bills go through at the beginning of the month, consider switching right after they’ve been paid. That way, you’ll have some time to make the necessary changes before another bill is due.
- Make a list of websites attached to your bank account. For instance, if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, make sure to remove the account you’re leaving from your “one-click payment.”
Credit Karma™ is a completely free credit management service that provides free credit scores, personalized savings recommendations, and financial education. We believe free access to one's credit score is a fundamental consumer right. Credit Karma helps more than 3 million consumers realize the everyday cost savings of having a good credit score. Visit us at www.creditkarma.com.