Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of switching from fee based checking accounts to banks that offer accounts with no monthly maintenance fees. With the ease of online accounts it pays to comparison shop between banks to search out the best deal. Whilst the People’s United Bank has a range of checking accounts on offer its website lacks the clarity that many rival banks provide, making it difficult to make an immediate assessment.
One of the key benefits which often comes alongside fee free banking is reimbursement of non-affiliated ATM use. People’s United Bank Interest Plus Checking account, which is the basic account, fails to offer this service. What it does offer is no monthly maintenance fees provided an average daily balance of $1,000 is held. Where it falls down is lack of clarity in outlining the monthly fee that will be levied if the balance drops beneath that figure.
However the plus point of the account is that it offers free telephone banking in addition to free online banking and bill pay. Whilst the account offers interest the rates are not disclosed, as rates and fees vary dependent on zip code, rather than the simplicity of banks such as the Incredible Bank which offer clear features for all customers.
To actually qualify for reimbursement of all domestic and international ATM surcharges, customers need to turn to the Premier Advantage checking account. This requires a combined average daily balance of $75,000 across checking and savings accounts. The benefits of the Premier Advantage account include free checking, free U.S. dollar wire transfers, and discounted online trading. There is no advantage at all to gaining the free safe deposit box with the bank as its contents will not be protected by FDIC insurance.
The Advantage Checking Account offers fee free checking if an average combined daily balance of $5,000 is maintained across several accounts. The primary advantage of the account over the interest checking account is that all out of state ATM surcharges will be reimbursed. For in state non affiliated ATM use the People’s Bank will not levy a charge but customers will still be liable for the surcharge imposed by the rival bank. Free checks are also provided, in addition to free telephone banking and free online banking and bill pay.
The People’s United Bank does not offer the best deals available, but the distinct advantage it does have is free telephone banking. Not everyone is confident about the security of conducting their banking online and the ease of free telephone banking may well appeal, particularly to some of the older generation who are likely to be more uncomfortable with online banking.