According to a new report by Bankrate.com, almost three-quarters of the nation’s largest credit unions still offer free checking account options for members, compared to 39 percent of regular financial institutions, or less than half of banks.
The survey took into account the 50 largest credit unions based on total deposits between January 15 to 28. Of the 50, 36 offered completely free checking, half had no initial minimum deposit requirement and none had a minimum deposit requirement of more than $100.
Free checking is what credit unions are known for. Although the availability of free checking in credit unions has declined by the slightest degree since 2010, the number of banks offering this service has plunged. Senior financial analyst from Bankrate.com Greg McBride regards free checking as a rule rather than an exception for credit unions.
The average ATM surcharge credit unions impose on members rose from $2.09 last year to $2.29 this year. The bank average for ATM surcharges is $2.50. All banks and credit unions have fees like surcharges and typically charge between $2 and $3 for credit unions, and $3 for banks. For out-of-network surcharges, fees run between $1 and $1.50 for credit unions, and $2 at banks. Overdraft charges at credit unions are usually about $27 and $31 at banks. From free checking to less fees, the report showed that credit unions offer some more convenient financial services for their members when compared to banks.
If you would like more information about how credit unions work and how they can benefit you, please contact our Valley Federal Credit Union main branch at 956.456.3108. If you would like to become a member, visit any of our locations, and we can get you started on a brighter financial future.