Free checking accounts are a great way to cut fees that take a bite out of your monthly budget. With a free account, you can avoid monthly maintenance fees and enjoy perks like free ATM access, no minimum balance requirements or a higher APY.
The average bank charges $10-12 in monthly maintenance fees on a checking account. That doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up over a decade!
Rather than paying these fees, use that money to pay bills or build up an emergency fund.
Credit unions are often the best place to find a free checking account. These non-profit institutions have far fewer expenses than for-profit banks, which means they’re more likely to offer free accounts.
They also typically offer a variety of accounts, including savings and loans. Having a wide variety of accounts makes it easier to manage your finances and track your spending.
Many banks and credit unions also offer free online banking. Some also offer free mobile apps and mobile check deposit services.
Some of these banks may even have online free credit union checking accounts tools and resources to help you save money.
These tools can include a budgeting calculator and a budgeting app that will help you keep track of your spending.
Using these tools can help you create a personalized spending plan and make budgeting easier.
A free checking account can also help you set up automatic direct deposits so you can receive your paycheck or other payments a day early.
This service is available to members with a PenFed deposit account who are employed and have set up automatic payroll or Social Security withdrawals. Your direct deposit will be credited to your account up to two business days early* depending on the pay period and timing of payors funding.
You can also use a free checking account to take advantage of shared transfer overdraft protection**. This service will cover overdrafts caused by a check or electronic funds transfer, when your account falls below a certain threshold, up to $100. You can also get a discount on your loan rate when you make payments electronically and have your direct deposit set up.
Some free credit unions also offer a cash back option on debit card purchases. These are similar to cash back credit cards, but you earn a fixed percentage of the total amount you spend.
The key is to look for a credit union that offers a variety of accounts and has good customer service.
Besides offering free checking, credit unions can also offer low interest rates on savings accounts. This can help you save and grow your wealth.
They also offer a variety of credit options, including home mortgages and personal loans.
If you’re not sure which credit union is right for you, you can use a comparison tool to compare the fees and interest rates of different financial institutions. This will give you a clear picture of what to expect and which one is the best fit for you.