Looking to avoid those annoying—and expensive—monthly fees on your checking account? You might want to take your funds to a credit union.
A survey released Thursday by Bankrate.com found that 72% of America's largest credit unions still offer standalone free checking accounts. And another 26% waive fees if customers meet certain requirements, like accepting e-statements or opting for direct deposit.
Credit unions look ever more attractive compared to the nations biggest retail banks—only 38% of which now offer free checking, down from 65% five years ago.
Even when credit unions do levy checking fees, those charges are typically between $2 and $3, about half of what traditional banks will deduct.
Prone to overdrawing your checking account? You'd do better at a credit union on that count, too. The average overdraft fee at unions is $26.78; the average for banks: $32.74.
In spite of the potential savings, however, a credit union isn't right for everyone. Find out if you could benefit from becoming a member by checking our guide. And find a credit union that offers free checking with this list compiled by Bankrate.com.
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