Banking fees certainly have been climbing over the years. Today it is common to hear about banks charging $35 for one returned check, $20 for a money transfer, $125 for a consumer loan application, and $12 per month for checking. Fortunately, some financial institutions are wising and realizing that customers do not want to over run with fees. While many of the charges I mentioned won’t go away, checking account fees can if you follow a few simple rules.
Minimum Balances – Most banks that charge for checking accounts do allow you to avoid fees if balances stay above a certain amount such as $1000. While you essentially forfeit $50 per year by not investing the thousand dollars in a CD, you could save yourself $100 or more in banking fees by maintaining the required minimum amount in your account.
Plus Accounts – Offered under a variety of names, plus or “package" accounts allow you to avoid checking account fees if you bundle several accounts together. This means in addition to a checking account, a line of credit, a credit card, or some other consumer account would cancel out the fee. Typically this type of account involves your opening up a credit card with a credit line of $1000 or more.
Free Checking, No Strings Attached – Yes, some banks still offer these types of accounts and they are not temporary bargains either. Open an account with $100 in it and maintain a balance of at least $1 and your account is free. Credit unions and some internet banks are offering free checking and certain larger banks are now doing the same in hopes that they will attract your business. Look for the bank that will give to you your first checks for free and offers free online banking with their plan.
Free Checking, With Strings – Some financial institutions will give to you free checking as long as you have some other account with them. This works somewhat like the bank’s plus account, but without account minimum balances, however.
No, free checking hasn’t disappeared completely and some financial institutions are now joining in to combat the strength and competition of internet banks, powerful credit unions, and other progressive consumer friendly financial institutions who are trying to win over your business. Truly, free checking accounts are the right way for you to bank. Have you opened your account yet?
Jeff is the owner of Loan Guide one of the UK’s leading secured loan quote providers. If you are searching for that low rate on a secured loan then visit our site today for a free no obligation quote.