Credit Unions and Banks

Banks were great in their day as institutions to save your money, but now the tide has changed as increasing fees dominating the banking community are on the rise, more and more people are turning to credit unions or online banking for an alternative to conventional banks.

Many banks today advertise that they are free without any hidden fees, but that is not always the case, and where your money is concerned, it’s better to shop around and keep up to date on your bank’s notifications of changes made to your bank account and additional fees and/or cost applied to your checking or savings account that could cost you a lot of money in the long run. Here is an assessment of some of the banks that are offering free checking.

Chase Checking has no monthly service fee with direct deposit or 5+ debit card purchase within a statement period, otherwise $6. Bank of America My Access Checking has no monthly maintenance fee if opened online and no minimum balance. HSBC Choice Checking has free checking with direct deposit; otherwise you must maintain $1,500 in deposit balances of $5,000 in combined balances in HSBC accounts or pay an $8/month fee. Capital One Rewards Checking has no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirements, unlimited check writing, and reward miles for banking transactions.

SunTrust Free Checking has no minimum balance requirements nor any monthly maintenance fee, and free checks (first-order only). Most banks offer direct deposits or high monthly averages in your checking account before they offer you any kind of free checking. Citibank EZ Checking, for instance, has no monthly fee and unlimited check writing when you maintain a combined average balance of $1,500 across link city Bank accounts. The rates have just changed and you must either have direct deposit or maintain a monthly balance of almost $2000, otherwise you’ll be paying a $20 monthly fee starting in November 2010. It is very advantageous to be aware of banks when they start raising their fees constantly, and if you calculate a $20 monthly fee for any reason, and 10 months later you’re losing $200 out of your account nearly every year. 

PNC Bank Free Checking has no monthly service charge or minimum balance; non-PNC ATM fees are reimbursed if you have a $2,000 average monthly balance. US Bank Silver Package Checking has no monthly maintenance fee. Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking has free checking, no ATM fees, free checks, any ATM fees are refunded worldwide, free online bill pay and a Visa Platinum Check Card.

BB & T Free Checking is an online banking system that has no minimum balance requirements or a monthly maintenance fee. ING Electric Orange has free checking, no minimum checking account balance required. As of November 2010 ING Direct Electric Orange checking account is offering a $50 bonus when you open a new account, use your electric Orange debit card to make three signature (non-PIN) purchases within the first 45 days and your $50 bonus will be automatically be deposited into your account on day 50.

The bottom line is, if you’re sick and tired of increasing bank fees, outrageous interest rates, and hidden penalties that cost you a bundle. Then I recommend researching and familiarizing yourself with online banking and the benefit of credit unions as an alternative to banks. Credit unions are nonprofit organizations that have little or no fees. Credit unions are members owned and better interest rates and reduced fees. The benefits of credit unions is that they offer Free Checking, Free Checks, Unlimited Check Writing, Free Online Access to your account, Free ATM, and/or Debit Card, Free E-Statements, No Low Balance Fee, and they can offer great rates on car loans.

As banks increase their rates and fees yearly, credit unions are fast becoming a great alternative, and most people that have made the switched from banks to credit unions are quite happy that they have done so, and abandoned their old bank. When it comes to your hard earned money and savings you’ve spent a lifetime making, shouldn’t you keep it the best place without being over run by hidden penalties or fees? Credit unions are a safe and stable alternative to banks that many people are discovering every day.