Bankrate.com's latest survey of large banks shows that ATM fees continue to rise while interest checking accounts are still a bad deal. To avoid fees, Bankrate recommended noninterest checking accounts that have no minimum balance requirements. As for ATMs, look for banks or credit unions that belong to surcharge-free ATM alliances that provide free access to ATMs nationwide. Also, look for banks that reimburse you for fees charged for using other banks' ATMs.
I'll continue to be on the look out for free checking account deals. Signup bonuses are often only for interest checking accounts. But as the Bankrate.com survey shows, the bonus will likely not make up for fees if you're not careful. Some of the recent free checking account deals that I found were at an Indiana bank, a Missouri bank and an Ohio bank.
Two online banks that have free checking accounts include EverBank's FreeNet Checking and ebank's eFree Checking. Refer to this previous post for more information on these.
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