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Should I Open A Free Checking Account?

Many banks offer “free” checking accounts. Saving money on monthly maintenance fees is a good thing, but signing up for these accounts usually comes with some conditions. Some of the requirements you  may need to meet to qualify for “free checking” include:

  • Minimum balance requirements must be met to avoid monthly charges
  • Making too many withdrawals and transfers during a statement cycle could result in fees or maintenance charges
  • You may be required to set up regular direct deposits for fees to be waived
  • Most free checking accounts do not earn interest
  • If the account earns interest, rates may drop if you don’t meet the requirements for free checking
  • Some banks may require you to link a free checking account to one of their savings accounts

Shop around to compare free checking accounts from several banks. In addition to low or no minimum deposit requirements, banks will oftentimes offer a cash bonus for opening a free checking account. Some banks also offer merchandise such as cameras or gift cards for opening an account. Other incentives to open a free checking account include free checks and debit cards.

Make sure you take the time to read through all the terms for opening a new checking account to understand all the fees and rules.

Free checking isn’t always free – make sure you understand all the requirements before you open a free checking account.

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