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Find Free Checking Accounts

Dec 27, 2007
How much are you paying for your checking account each month? The number of banks that are now offering totally free checking has never been higher. A free checking account is one that does not charge a monthly service fee and does not charge a per item fee for such things as checks. For example, some banks will allow checking account customers to write up to ten checks per month and after that limit is reached they begin to charge a small fee for each additional check.

A totally free checking account allows you to write as many checks as you want each month without incurring fees. It also allows your balance to drop to zero without incurring fees or penalties.

What may surprise many people is that finding a totally free checking account is usually easier if you shop smaller banks or regional banks. Smaller banks are always eager to bring in new customers and one way they can do that is to offer free checking. This does not mean that there are no large banks offering the same, but on average, smaller banks are more inclined to offer free checking than bigger banks.

When you are shopping for free checking make sure you ask about ATM usage charges. Some banks that offer free checking will also allow customers to access ATM's that are located on the premises for free as well. Other banks may levy a small fee for this.

While it is becoming easier to find free checking for simple accounts, the same is not true if you are looking for an interest bearing checking account that is totally free. Most interest bearing checking account do carry some fees to help offset the added administrative costs associated with these types of accounts. There are, however, a few banks that offer free interest bearing checking accounts and most of these are online banks. One study revealed that twenty-eight percent of internet banks offer these accounts while a mere 1.6 percent of interest-bearing accounts at traditional brick and mortar banks could be called free.

When it comes to free checking accounts, consumers should be careful. What one bank considers to be free checking, another bank may not. In fact, some banks will happily say that they offer free checking and turn around and charge a monthly fee for something or another. For this reason, consumers should ask questions and read the bank's policy before signing up.

There are banks that will offer free checking as long as you meet certain requirements. In some cases, this means using direct deposit or owning your own home. It may mean keeping a certain amount of money in the account at all times. In general, it could mean just about anything the bank wants it to mean.

Some banks are offering free checking with packaged deals. For instance, they may offer free checking as long as you take out a CD or some other investment option. Consumers should be careful about entering these deals. The free checking option may sound like a great deal, but the other option may be costly. It is always best to simply find a free checking account that has no strings attached.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Compare Personal Loans and Secured Loans
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