The big banks have been making headlines lately for increasing fees on their basic checking accounts. Bank of America first announced a $5 fee for using debit cards, then, days later, Citibank announced it was also raising fees. Folks, you don’t need to put up with this BS. Protest these changes with your wallet and move your money to a bank or credit union that values you as a customer. This is not only a frugal way to save money, but it sends a message to these companies that consumers won’t stand for the new ridiculous fees.
How to Find a Credit Union
You can use the National Credit Union Administration’s Find a Credit Union Tool to locate a credit union near you. Don’t be intimidated by the long form; just choosing a state and clicking “Find” will bring up a list of all of the credit unions in your state. Start narrowing down the list from there.
How to Find a Bank
The best way to find a local bank without the fees is to use Bankrate.com’s Find a Checking Account Tool. Simply type in your zip code, and they will give you a list of banks in the area along with their minimum balance rates and fee schedules. This makes it extremely easy to compare local banks and find one without outrageous fees.
ING Direct: No Minimum Balances. No Fees. No BS.
I strongly recommend opening an account with ING Direct. I’ve had an account with them for years without a problem, and I haven’t been charged a single fee in that time. Additionally, they pay great interest on checking accounts. That”s right—they pay you to handle your money! Among other ING Direct perks:
- No minimum balances. You do not need to maintain a minimum balance in your checking or savings accounts in order to earn interest or avoid fees.
- No debit card fees.
- Generous interest rates on savings accounts and checking.
- Free use at over 35,000 Allpoint ATM locations.
The reason why ING Direct is able to keep its costs low is because it’s an online bank. The way ING Direct works is that you are required to have a “feeder” checking account at another bank, which you then use to transfer money to your ING Direct account. You can access your money from ING Direct by either transferring between the accounts or using your ING debit card to get cashback at stores or ATMs.