The words free and checking are rarely used in the same sentence by banks anymore. According to Greg Mcbride of bankrate.com accounts still called “free” have dwindled from 76% of all checking in 2009 to about 39%, and will grow scarcer.
Wells Fargo, operator of the U.S.’s largest branch network, has dropped free checking. Instead at many larger banks there is a high minimum balance requirement that must be met to avoid a monthly service charge.
This news may sound discouraging for most, but free checking accounts are still available. Local or Community Banks are a great place to look if lower monthly checking account fees are a priority for you.
By switching to a smaller sized financial institution you may have to sacrifice things like a large ATM network or a cool mobile app, but it can possibly save you significant cash in the long run by paying lower or nothing at all in monthly fees.
“Free checking won’t go away completely, Community banks, credit unions, and online banks will still offer it, so it’s important for consumers to shop around.” -Greg Mcbride of BankRate.
In Chicago local banks which make up 73% of all banks charge an average overdraft fee of $30 compared to national banks which charge an average of $33. It’s always best to compare the banks in your neighborhood before opening a new account. It can help save you time and money in the long run.
Also read How to Cut Bank Fees @ barrons.com