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Are Free Checking Accounts Really Free? Surprising Truths You Didn’t Know Before

Checking Accounts reality
It has become quite tough to survive without a checking account nowadays. This is what encourages so many banks to launch such accounts with the best of terms and conditions. What’s better than getting something for free and that brings us to free checking accounts and how they work.

Although it is not easy to score a fee-free checking account, the good piece of news is that these are still available and you can try your luck!

Where Should You Start?

The key to opening a free checking account is finding out which financial institutions are offering them. There are many online banks, small banks, or even credit unions that allow customers to open a checking account free of cost. Most of these helpful banks work to improve the bad credit situation of their clients.

Regardless of which option you decide to go with, there are a number of features that you have to keep in mind. These pointers will help you determine whether you are choosing the right checking account or now.

  • It should not come with low balance fees as that can become a burden when you are already facing a poor credit score.
  • Most free checking accounts give you access to free ATM cards so do not choose the one that does not.
  • The goal of such an account is to support direct deposits and these should be done without additional charges
  • You should have free online access to your account. This is quite helpful in cash management and money transfers.
  • There should not be a restriction on check writing amount.
Free checking accounts really do carry some bonus benefits that prove that they are genuinely FREE. For example, you can avail free online bill payment and make use of overdraft protection. Some of them also support free transactions at ATM outside their own ATM network.

What’s The Other Side of The Story?

It is also important to discuss how free checking accounts may not be entirely free. In other words, you have to be aware of things that you won’t be getting in case you opt for a free checking account.

The first thing to be concerned about is that free checking does not get you interest in the money that you have deposited in the account. This feature does not hold an exception. However, customers have worked their way around it by linking their checking account to interest-yielding internet bank account to earn more cash. Smart!

Checking Accounts reality Some checking accounts are meant for those with struggling credit. On the other hand, there are reward accounts that generously offer interest on savings although they are harder to qualify for and you might be required to jump through a number of hoops before getting the approval.

Then we come down to the issue with check reviews. Yes, checking accounts do not allow you to review your checks after they have been paid. This means that you will not be able to obtain a copy of the actual check with the payee’s signature after they have been cleared. Although this may not seem like an issue to many, it can still be troublesome when you are someone who frequently relies on check payments.

Lastly, free checking accounts cannot offer Stop Payments and Cancelled Check Returns. Both of these features are missing in most of the leading checking accounts in the US. Customers who rarely use these services are not much bothered but then again, not everyone uses their bank account in a similar manner and therefore some people might find this flaw harder to deal with.

Wrap Up

So these are the two of the picture if you are thinking of opening a free checking account soon. There is no doubt that these work better for people with a small balance in their account. They offer all premium services and incur fewer charges as compared to a savings account. With all favorable features, banks are using free checking accounts to attract more and more customers every day. If you visit a new bank for this purpose, don’t forget to gather all the details possible before finalizing any decision. Also, don’t forget the golden rule: It is always better to work with reputable companies when you are opening a new free checking account!

Copyrights © 2021 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine


Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 18th May 2021.

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