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World Savings New Free Checking Account


World Savings quietly began a new free checking account in February. It's not listed at the website. According to the service rep, it is available at all of World's branches. If you open the account before March, they'll give you a free book of 120 checks. The minimum opening deposit is $100, but after the opening deposit, there are no minimum balance requirements. Also, there are no direct deposit requirements and no monthly fees. Below if the full list of features:
  • $100 minimum to open
  • no minimum balance requirement
  • no direct deposit requirement
  • no monthly service charges
  • no transaction fees at non-World ATM's
  • ATM surcharges rebated up to $6
  • free World check card
  • free online banking
  • unlimited deposits and withdrawals
  • unlimited check writing
  • unlimited automatic transfers
  • monthly statements of account activity
  • No hard credit check (only use Telecheck)

The main reason of highlighting this new free checking account is for those with World Savings CDs. A free checking account can be handy when you close a World Savings CD. You can just have it deposited into the checking account. Then you can either pull the money from your online bank using an ACH transfer or you can write a check. You could do this previously, but you had to maintain a combined balance of $25K to avoid monthly fees on the checking account. Note, if you already have a World Savings checking account and want to convert it over, you'll have to have at least $100 balance in the existing checking account.

The question now is will World Savings come out with new CD deals. They do have a nice 5.45% 10-month internet special (see post). But it has been awhile since they've offered the very-high-yield branch CD specials.

World Savings and its parent, Golden West Financial, are undergoing a merger with Wachovia. Currently, World Savings is FDIC insured. Bankrate.com gives the bank 3 out of 5 stars (performing).

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this new account in the finding deals post.

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ProfessorB (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #1
The bank doesn't have these online. ...or do they?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Washington Mutual Bank (www.wamu.com) actually has a MUCH better checking account with more features. They have an online savings of 5.00% APY on their frontpage. it doesn't show up all the time, but take advantage if u do!
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #3
If you already have an account with World, you may be able to open this new checking account by phone without going to a branch. I don't think it can be opened online. Once it's opened, you can access it online.

Yes, the WAMU, HSBC and Citibank checking accounts are all better options. This new Worlds Savings free checking account would really only be useful if you have their CDs. I have more info on WAMU checking account here and info on their 5% savings account here.
Sree (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #4
Banking guy, I am atchiving the same day funds into my WaMu account from WorldSavings on the day of any CD merturity at WorldSavings. All I do is going to branch on the day of CD merturity, get the cashiers check in hand, go to WaMu, deposit it immediately. When I request the "funds" to be available immediately, my WaMu banker typically does this each time(I know WaMu gives us a cashiers check which can be deposited immediately by any banker, but my WaMu banker will does this for any check, even personal checks also, since I was established as a very well known customer.) So, typically, I didnt see any spice in the WorldSavings checking account compared to my WaMu counterpart.

BTW, WorldSavings is going to come up with many new products like ohter customer products like new savings accounts and a possible online savings account etc.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
It looks like Wachovia is going to take World's place as the bank that offers high-rate CDs, with Wachovia's new 5.75% APY 8-month CD (available only if you also have their checking account). That makes it less important to have a World checking account. On the Wachovia side, it is nto clear if you can get the $50 bonus for opening the free checking account and use that account to get the 5.75% 8-month CD.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #6
Sree, thanks for the info on closing World CDs. The checking account can still come in handy if you want to avoid a branch visit. I was able to close a previous World CD by phone and requesting that the money be transfered into the checking account. But if World is not going to offer any more high yield CDs, the checking account may not be much use. Hopefully, their new products will have some competitive yields.

Anonymous, thanks for the info on Wachovia's new 5.75% CD. I posted on it here. According to the CSR, the free checking does qualify. So you should be able to open this first and then qualify for the CD. Existing checking accounts qualify. Unfortunately, this 5.75% CD is only for those in CA.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
The branch that I use in California does not allow me to close CD accounts with a phone call-- I have to go there in person in order to close accounts.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
When I converted to the new checking account at my branch yesterday, they ordered 150 free checks for me. The flyer at the branch says free checks if you open the account by March 31st rather than before March.