Finding Online Checking Accounts Without Hidden Fees

In these trying economic times, everyone could use a financial break. Finding online checking accounts without hidden fees is a way to make sure the money goes in the consumer’s pocket and not the bank’s.

The first step in finding online checking accounts is to evaluate individual banking needs. For example, if the customer needs to write several paper checks per month then it is important to find an account that will not charge fees for check writing. Another hidden fee that can occur is a charge for paper statements. Certain consumers may be used to reviewing their paper statements. However, online banks could charge a fee for this service so it’s best to view them online. If the online bank is not a national branch, then it is also critical to look out for ATM fees. Many banks will charge these fees for using other bank’s ATM’s. With all of the new technology associated with online accounts such as email alerts and online bank transfers, understanding if any of these options have a cost associated with them will save money. If the customer were with a cell phone in hand, making sure there are no mobile alert fees would be beneficial.

Another step in the process of avoiding the online bank’s hidden fees is to research the various options without being sucked into promotional deals. In order to get the consumer’s business, online banks will offer start up deals that may expire after a certain amount of time. It is in the customer’s best interest to ensure that the free online bill pay or no monthly maintenance fees are throughout the life of the account. As in any situation, read the fine print.

There are also several websites that will rate checking accounts and include user reviews. They will compare the different banks and include any charges or fees associated with the online accounts. They will also point out the different features such as mobile banking, email alerts and cheaper ATM fees. It is essential that the website not be sponsored by any certain bank, as the information would be slanted. Potential online banking customers can also speak to friends or colleagues to see which online banks are recommended. Moreover, while it is an online account, a customer service representative can be available to answer any potential questions.

At the end of the day, patrons of online banks need to ensure they are getting the best deal possible. By evaluating needs, doing the research and not being bowled over by promotions, the customer can be confident that there are no hidden fees associated with their new online checking account.

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