Free Checking Accounts at Banks

United States
July 24, 2008 11:40am CST
I am not sure about other parts of the country, but in the USA, years ago many banks were competing for customers, and they still are. They tried to find ways to pull in customers to opens accounts. A few banks started totally free checking accounts years back, and it caught on. Now, whichever bank you go to seems to offer it (as long as you don't owe another bank or have serious debt issues for the most part)... The technicalities of the offer might be a little different from place to place, but the point remains that almost every bank in the USA offers free checking accounts. (By free checking accounts I mean you can have an account there each month, usually with no minimum balance as long as it isn't negative, and not be charged any "maintenance" fees.) My question is this: With many banks in financial state of crisis right now and the economy in the US continually failing, do you think banks and other institutions are going to stop offering free services such as free checking? If a few stop offering the free services, many more might follow suit and do the same. Banks make money primarily by fees assessed to customers who overdraw their account and get loans through the bank. (There are other ways as well of course but those contribute to much of the bank's income.) What are some of the things you think might change? If they continue to offer free checking, banks might raise their fee costs. Right now most banks charge $34 or so for overdrawing your account, returned checks, etc. Most banks also charge a negative account fee of a few dollars a day if your account is in the negative for more than a few days. Do you think these fees may be raised with the financial crisis we're facing in the USA?
2 people like this
4 responses
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
24 Jul 08
My bank offers free checking, but you have to purchase the checkbooks and they cost quite a bit. Some of the fees have gone up especially the one that is for not sufficient funds, monthly charges, etc. I have two checking accounts and one of them I do not buy any checks and withdraw cash and transfer money to my high interest savings online account. However I do believe that the fees will go up and they are already doing here in Canada. I am a senior and I was checking another bank, and that had fees that would make my discounts almost ineffective. Soon you would be better off putting your money in a mattress.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 08
Yes, I think it's scary to see what might happen next!
• United States
25 Jul 08
ugh i hope not i love USbank and their free everything!!
1 person likes this
@luvstochat (6914)
• United States
24 Jul 08
My bank has a free checking account as long as you have your paychecks direct depost. Banks make their money off of interest on loans so I dont think they will charge for all checking accounts.
1 person likes this
• Kottayam, India
24 Jul 08
Now in India the third generation banks are charging exobitant charges for taking cash out of the Bank. This Bank name is ICICI (poor Bank)
1 person likes this