Hefty bank fees, withdrawal limits, and monthly service charges are just a few of the reasons that many people are seeking out the opportunity to embrace a free checking account. After all, why not embrace the opportunity to make paying bills easier and get your paychecks deposited directly without having to pay an arm and a leg for the opportunity?
How do free checking accounts work?
The best way to understand this is that banks usually charge a monthly fee on top of other charges if you fail to meet certain conditions. A free checking account eliminates the monthly fees and usually doesn’t come with additional charges as long as you maintain the minimum balance requirement.
The functionality is the same as it is with traditional checking accounts. Usually, monthly service charges range anywhere from $5-10 per month depending on the financial institution that you do business with which means going the free checking route could produce a savings of $60-$120 per year!
Is a free checking account worth signing up for?
While it isn’t uncommon for banks to offer unique benefits to the customers who give them their loyalty, there are some common benefits of free checking accounts that tend to remain the same across all banks. This includes, but is not limited to:
· Free withdrawals are usually available at bank-owned ATMs.
As long as the ATM is considered to be in your bank’s network, withdrawals are usually free which makes it easy to get your cash on the go or outside of normal banking hours. However, if the ATM used is out of their network, you might be subject to a fee.
· Online banking is still available just like it is with traditional checking.
E-checks and other online banking features are also available with free checking accounts for your convenience. You don’t have to go without the opportunity to embrace the power of modernized banking if you decide to go with the free route.
· You don’t have to give up checks or debit cards in exchange for free checking.
As it was mentioned earlier, free checking usually operates the same way that it does with checking accounts that you have to pay for. You can still get a debit card as well as write checks on the account.
Keep in mind that an overdraft on your free checking account will still incur an extra fee. Just make sure that you stay on top of your transactions if you want to ensure it will remain free now as well as in the future. Just because they say it’s free doesn’t mean they’ll let you get away with doing things for free that they normally charge their account holders for. It just means you won’t have a monthly service charge, simple as that.