In the midst of the financial crisis gripping markets in the Autumn of 2008, picking the right banking services for your money has become of utmost importance. Despite WaMu’s own financial troubles, they remain not only viable, but offer some of the more competitive products on the market.
WaMu offers two different types of checking account, and each offers its own variety of benefits. WaMu customers have the option of opening either a WaMu Free Checking account, or a WaMu Interest Checking account. The benefits of both are outlined in full on WaMu’s website, which you can access by clicking here. The benefits of both are summarized below.
WaMu Free Checking Account
With a WaMu Free Checking account, you have access to a number of refreshing perks. Your ATM withdrawals around the country, and indeed the world, will be fee free (though international withdrawals will be subject to foreign exchange rate fees). You will also receive free checks for life, which is worthy of consideration if you pay a majority of your outgoings by check each month. Your checking account will come with a WaMu Gold Master Card Debit Card. This trifecta of free ATM withdrawals, free checks, and a free debit card makes accessing your money in a WaMu Free Checking account a snap.
Beyond these basics, a WaMu Free Checking account also comes with a once yearly option of overdraft fee forgiveness, fee-free outgoing wire transfers both to banks withing the United States and to banks abroad (though you will still be liable for fees if you are receiving a wire transfer), and free identity theft protection. You will also have access to WaMu’s straight-forward on-line banking facilities, so you can monitor your account remotely and pay bills on-line.
To open a WaMu Free Checking account, you need to deposit $1 initially, and there is no monthly charge for having the account.
WaMu Interest Checking Account
For those with higher incomes or heavy checking account usage, it may be worth considering the additional perks offered by a WaMu Interest Checking account. You will still benefit from free ATM withdrawals, free checks for life, a WaMu Platinum Master Card Debit card, and free identity theft protection.
Beyond that, the WaMu Interest Checking account offers many more additional benefits. As opposed to the once-yearly overdraft fee forgiveness, you will have the once-monthly option of fee-free overdraft transfers. Your outgoing and incoming wire transfers will be fee free. You can also enable transfers to take place to select savings accounts when your checking account balance reaches a set level. Most importantly, however, is the fact that this checking account EARNS INTEREST! The rate is variable, so check with your local branch to get the most up-to-date interest figures.
As with the WaMu Free Checking account, you only need $1 to open the initial account. However, if you do not maintain a balance of $5,000 in the account each month, then you will be subject to a monthly fee of $10, which could easily eat up any interest earned. As such, think carefully about this type of account before opening one.
If you are interested in opening a WaMu Free or Interest Checking account, go to your local branch and have a discussion with one of WaMu’s associates. You can find your local branch by clicking here.