My notes as I explore various business and financial topics

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Banks Offering Free Checking (and $100 bonus!)

The demise of free checking has been percolating ever since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July 2010.  Wells Fargo was one of the first banks to announce the end of free checking for new customers.  Chase soon followed suit.  Now, Bank of America has also joined in announcing that it's eliminating it, too.

A handful of banks still offer free checking, though. PNC Bank, which operates 2,500 branches in 15 states and Washington, D.C., will continue offering free checking accounts without requirements such as a minimum balance or direct deposit. Another major bank, Citibank, offers it with easy to meet requirements, such as a minimum of two electronic bill pays a month or five debit transactions.  You also need a minimum opening balance of $1000, but you can withdraw that almost immediately. Most credit unions also offer free checking.

One more bank that I am aware of also offers free checking. I opened an ebank account with Flagstar bank last December to take advantage of their $100 bonus for new accounts.  Flagstar is a mid-west bank, and I live in the West Coast, but, that hasn't been a problem. Funds are deposited by Direct Deposit.  And anytime that I need money, I just make a debit card purchase with cash back at no additional charge.

How about you? Do you know of any banks that still offer free checking?

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Bonus: Chase is offering $100 bonus for new customers with a minimum deposit of $1,000.  You can ask a representative at any local branch, or apply online and use promo code: C2K6

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