Free checking account In the past several years have gradually become more rare. Christopher Carrillo, co-founder of payment processing firm Allied Payments, says, “The much higher share of revenue banks saw from consumer and business debit card fees was snatched up after the Dodd-Frank banking act.
In 2009, 76% of banks offered free checks. By 2018, this number has come down to 38%. From monthly maintenance fees to ATM fees to overdraft fees, banks have found plenty of ways to squeeze an extra few dollars from their customers each month.
However, this does not mean that you are stuck with an expensive checking account. You should not have to pay for access to your own money – and you do not have. Especially with the proliferation of online banks, which have lower overhead costs and can pass those savings onto customers, it is possible to find a checking account that charges zero. And best accounts also provide additional benefits, such as competitive interest rates and instruments that make it easier to manage your daily money needs.
How much can accounts cost?
Despite the availability of duty-free checking accounts, there are a lot of offerings on the other side of the spectrum. Considering the regular nature of opening a checking account, you might not have thought about how much a bank account can cost you in the long run.
The truth is that it can cost you dearly. For example, charge maintenance. Many banks charge monthly fees to cover the administrative costs of maintaining your account, says Sarah Blanchfield, a financial practitioner and founder of My Bulletproof Budget. Maintenance fees can be up to $ 15.
Some accounts waive this fee if you maintain a minimum balance or a fixed amount of monthly direct deposit, but these limits can be quite high and are not realistic. For example, the Chase Total Checking account charges a $ 12 monthly fee, as long as the account holders do not electronically deposit at least $ 500 each month or maintain a daily balance of at least $ 1,500. Also, “It should always be about that amount – any dip below and you’ll be charged,” says Blanchfield.
Overdraft fees are another way, which can make you expensive to check accounts. “This is what the bank charges you if you spend more than you have in your account and they give you money to cover it,” says Blancfield. As of, your checking account results in more than a fee of about $ 34 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. However, it is one of the easiest fees to avoid, says Blanchfield. “You have the option to discontinue your overdraft protection.”
Then there are fees for receiving paper statements, ordering checks, using out-of-network ATMs, transacting abroad, and even closing your account, all of which add up. According to the CFPB, on average, account holders check for $ 9.87 in fees per month, or $ 118 annually. For customers opting for certain penalty fees such as overdraft coverage, this amount increases to $ 349 annually.
Best No-Fee Checking Accounts
You know what to look for, but where do you actually find these low-cost check accounts? Among the thousands of financial institutions offering checking accounts, these seven appear as the top no-fee checking options.
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking Account. Although the credit union is located in Chicago, just about anyone can qualify for membership with Alliant Credit Union. Its checking account is one of the best in the market. When you sign up for e-statements and monthly electronic deposits, $ 0 is required to open an account, no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance required and a competitive 0.25% annual yield. . The most unique thing about this checking account is that users receive up to $ 20 in ATM fee reimbursement per month – a savings of up to $ 240 per year in ATM fees. All members have access to over 80,000 networked ATMs across the country.
Associate bank Interest checking account The online checking account offered by the associate bank is another duty-free option. No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance is required, and no minimum deposit is required to open an account. Account holders with less than $ 15,000 earn the least impressive 0.1% APY, but higher balances qualify for 0.25% APY. The associate also pays up to $ 10 in fees per ATM statement.
capital a 360 checking account. Another online option, Capital One’s 360 checking account, does not charge a monthly fee and does not require a minimum opening deposit or monthly balance. Account holders have access to over 40,000 free ATMs and a top rated mobile app.
to follow College checking account. College students between the ages of 17 and 24 have a duty-free check-in facility through Chase. The checking account does not come with a monthly fee for five years while attending college; Nonstudents may qualify for zero fees in other ways. New Chase customers can currently earn $ 100 cash when they open a college checking account with qualifying activities.
It shows Cashback Debit Account. Not only does the checking account from online bank Discover come with a zero monthly maintenance fee, but it provides cash amounts of up to $ 3,000 in debit purchases per month. Discover also does not charge overdraft fees or require a minimum balance.
Schwab Bank Investor High Yield Investor Checking Account. The no-fee checking account available to Schwab brokerage customers is great for frequent ATM users. Although you are not traveling much these days, Schwab offers unlimited ATM discounts for cash withdrawals anywhere abroad (other banks will charge 1% to 3% of the transaction amount). There is also no monthly fee or minimum balance required.
Wealthfront Cash Account. The checking account from Robo-Advisory Wealthfront is actually duty free. There is no charge for maintenance, overdraft, or withholding payments. It requires only $ 1 to open, and no monthly balance is required. Account holders can earn 0.35% APY on their balance. Wealthfront also allows customers to use their paychecks two days in advance and provides a network of over 19,000 duty-free ATMs.