View Full Version : Best cheap checking account?

10-12-11, 11:05am
Never mind $5/mo. for using a debit card. My bank is going to start charging me $15/mo. if I don't keep a certain balance in my account each month, which I can't do currently. The fee would be partly offset by a rewards plan I participate in, but that's changed also, so I won't get as many points as I used to. Don't think it's worth staying. So, I'm looking for a new checking account.

I looked at Electric Orange from ING, which sounds quite good, plus I have a savings account with them, but I'm nervous about Capital One having bought them out. What else should I be looking at - Consumers Credit Union, Ally Bank, etc.?

10-12-11, 12:39pm
We use a local credit union that has no fees as long as you maintain $5 in a savings account. Since we use direct deposit, we also get an interest-bearing checking account, which pays next to nothing, but it's nicer than being charged $15 per month! The only downside to a credit union as opposed to a national bank is that sometimes you run into ATM fees if you don't use their ATMs. We try to plan ahead and so far it's been fine.

Do you have any local credit unions you could check into? The one we joined had two paths to membership: you either had to be an employee of a certain company or a relative of someone who was. DH's sister worked for that company, so we were able to join.

10-12-11, 2:11pm
If you can finesse direct deposit, Chase will give you free checking.

I use credit cards like debit cards, by paying off the full credit card balance every statement. Thus, I don't use debit cards and I don't pay for them.

dado potato
10-12-11, 4:49pm
Like daisy, I would encourage a search to see if there is a local credit union open to you. Otherwise, with a small contribution it would be possible to join Alliant CU based in Chicagoland. The free ATM network may or may not include machines that would be convenient for you. Their checking account terms are very competitive with banks. I became eligible for membership in Alliant CU with a one-time $10 contribution to "Foster Care to Success".

10-12-11, 9:23pm
Ditto a credit union. AlaskaUSA.

10-12-11, 9:52pm
We have a great account at our local credit union, but there are a few hoops to jump through. We earn a great rate, well, great for right now, anyway, 2.27%. We do have to use our debit card 12 times a month and have at least 1 or 2 direct deposits a month. We are refunded ATM fees. There is no minimum balance. Oh, we also have to receive our statement electronically. To us, it's worth the hoops. In fact, we keep our whole EF in that checking account! Can't do better anywhere else. The reason I tell about this account is because my sister also opened a similar one at a different credit union. So, I wonder if this product is offered at different institutions.

BTW, HUGE credit union advocate here.

10-21-11, 2:24pm
I found a local credit union we can join! We would prefer local over strictly Internet & my aunt was a c.u. president, so I know about the benefits. When I contact them, I will ask about international transfers - maybe I can switch my business account, too, instead of keeping it at HSSB (Horrible Soul-Sucking Bank!)
Thanks, everyone!

10-21-11, 5:55pm
Do you have a local bank? I get free checking, no minimum, no ATM fees within the network. No restrictions, minimum balances or uses. I bitched when they stopped giving me interest on my checking account in addition. :laff:

10-21-11, 6:58pm
Am I remembering correctly that you're in Illinois? See if Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) is operating there, now that the headquarters is in Chicago. They used to be targeted to Boeing employees and their families, but in Washington state they are now open to all state residents. I have been a happy BECU customer since 1987. Their international wire fee is only $15, which I think is pretty low.


10-26-11, 2:49pm
I am seriously thinking about switching to Ally. You get free ATM usage at all ATM's. For check deposits they allow you to scan it and email it to them.

10-31-11, 1:11pm
I'll look at Boeing and BECU, too - thanks! Local bank - hmmm, there was one, but it's Capital One or something now. I thought ING was safe, too, but I guess not.

10-31-11, 2:33pm
I am seriously thinking about switching to Ally. You get free ATM usage at all ATM's. For check deposits they allow you to scan it and email it to them.

Well the DW didn't want change too much so with our Wells Fargo account we just opened a saving account and have $25 transferred each month into the account. Then we can get free checking for her. We can transfer the money back to checking anytime we want to. On my account, I have direct deposit, so it is free.

10-31-11, 4:22pm
we use a credit union and it is AWESOME. we love them.