By in Money Management, Personal Finance, Saving | 11 comments

Welcome to the, “Quick Personal Finance Tip.” This feature gives you access to quick tips to further your financial goals. Look for these tips periodically. Better yet, pick up my RSS feed or email subscription and follow me on twitter so you get the word immediately.  



Free Banking Still Exists

I’m a huge fan of FREE. It really cuts down your expenses!

I recommend getting free banking a lot. But researching and finding out where these “free” banks are is a lot of work. Here’s a tip sheet to get you started! Leave the work to me, or actually to an article from the April 10, 2011 WSJ Sunday by Rachel Louise Ensign. 🙂


  • State Farm Bank
  • Ally Bank
  • Charles Schwab Bank

They even refund ATM fees!


I didn’t believe this one. Ally Bank’s interest checking account and Charles Schwab bank’s high-yield investor checking accounts can be opened without an initial deposit. How great is that?


Both State Farm and Charles Schwab Banks refund foreign ATM fees as well. Great if you’re heading out of the country.


Schwab and Ally offer interest and State Farm will give you interest if you maintain a $2,500.00 minimum balance.


DEPOSITS! You need to mail in deposits or transfer from another bank. Although, you smart phone and android users can mail in photos of the deposits. Others can scan in their deposits. You decide if the hassle is worth it!

Charles Schwab is looking better and better with investment account minimums of only $100.00 and no minimum deposit checking!

image credit; wave music studio

Where do you bank? Online or bricks and mortar? How have you changed your banking?


  1. Thanks for throwing this out there. I work in a low income area where I would estimate about 20% of employees don’t have a bank account, and instead go to check cashing places to cash their paychecks (and spend about 3% to do so!). I keep telling them there are free banking options, but who knows if they do it!

  2. Hi Robert, I am also quite distressed when I see lower income earners lined up for check cashing at Wal Mart. Thats why I blog about this topic, to get the word out!

    Barb Friedberg

    April 28, 2011

  3. Some banks offer free accounts if you have direct deposit. Fees is a pet peeve of mine, I refuse to incur them.


    April 28, 2011

  4. Nice post. I use brick and mortar and online. I signed up for a Chase checking because they gave a $100 bonus. However, now I need to use their debit card 5 times a month to avoid a service charge. Weighing my options.

    Buck Inspire

    April 28, 2011

  5. Hi Buck, There is always something isn’t there? And then you have to keep track of it all!! Chasing any yield is next to impossible today!


    April 28, 2011

  6. I deplore fees. We use a credit union – fee free of course!


    April 28, 2011

  7. This is a great resource. For those with a military connection, USAA and Navy Federal CU both offer free banking sevices.

    The unbanked phenomenon is shocking. I think many people are afraid that their bank account will be garnished in some way if they keep them in a deposit account.


    April 28, 2011

  8. @Dana, Great tip, thank you.


    April 28, 2011

  9. My credit union is completely fee free. Even my checks are free, except for shipping.

    I use both brick and mortar and online banking. I have been reading about some higher interest checking accounts that are out there so I am thinking of moving some money around. So much of my banking is tied to my credit union that getting rid of that account would be incredibly painful.

    Everyday Tips

    April 29, 2011

  10. @Everyday, I’m having the same thoughts, but with moving and everything else, I’m maxed out on time right now!


    April 29, 2011

  11. This is interesting. I didn’t know there were free banks. Thanks for sharing the info.

    dallas primelending

    November 27, 2011


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