A lot of credit unions offer free checking. The 2018 edition of Credit Union Checking Survey by Bankrate discovered that about 82 percent of the United States' biggest credit unions provide free checking. It means there are no minimum balance requirements for this service. No monthly service fees are also applicable. In comparison, only about 38 percent of the banks in 2017 provided free checking.
Cause for credit unions
Even though a majority of credit unions and banks provide multiple methods to avoid fees, free checking makes an excellent option for the consumers surviving from one paycheck to another. These also work for people having uneven income or for individuals who would not like to worry about keeping particular balances every month or else a fee will be imposed on such accounts. In case you fall into these categories, do consider credit unions. There are good justifications for these. According to Greg McBride, the Chief Financial Analyst of Bankrate, credit unions enjoy much more free checking and considerably lower fees. A consumer also has lower thresholds to avoid fees. Credit unions are a must for any price sensitive consumer.
When accounts which can be free after a number of steps are added, about 98 percent of all the credit unions provide free checking. This can be compared with the 99 percent of banks which makes possible the free checking. The advantage of credit unions is that monthly service fees imposed on such accounts are much lower. It was discovered by Credit Union Checking Survey that about 18 percent of the checking accounts of credit union involved a fee. The fee within that group ranged anywhere from a single dollar to $10. Most charged five dollars. Among the bank checking accounts in 2017, the most common fee as per Checking Account Survey came to $12. It is to be noted that only eight percent of a total of 50 credit unions, coming to four of them, had minimum balance requirements for consumers to avoid fees.
Another common fee imposed for the checking account of customers is linked to utilizing the ATMs existing outside the network. The survey discovered that 36 percent of surveyed credit unions did not charge any fees for using ATMs outside the network. Some offered a minimum of one time free out network withdrawal every week. When fees are charged, it is mostly $1.50, a dollar less than what the banks impose on customers.