First Person: My Checking Account Is Working for Me

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Before I opened my checking account, I shopped around for one that will fit my exact needs. For one thing I expected to pay no fees for bank services. But, in addition, I wanted to enjoy a few perks for my banking business.

Waiving My Monthly Fee

My bank offered me several ways to waive my monthly fee. I could set up a direct deposit of my paycheck or keep a minimum balance of $500. I opted to use the online checking and ATM services only, instead of using a live teller. I have no-hassle access to my account 24/7, and it doesn’t cost me anything.

Paying Me to Keep a Balance

I deposited $20 to open my account and wasn’t required to set up regular deposits or maintain a minimum balance. In fact, rather than penalize me for not depositing enough money, my bank encourages me to keep a high balance by paying me interest on the money.

Paying Me to Open the Account

I opened my checking account because I received an irresistible promotion in the mail. Just for opening the account I got $100 deposited into my account. All I had to do was keep the account open for three months, at which time the bonus appeared in my checking account.

Rounding Up My Purchases

Every time I use my debit card my bank rounds up my purchase to the next dollar — and gives me the change. When I spend $0.25 my bank deposits $0.75 into my account. It’s that simple. Other checking accounts may offer discounts or low APR loans, but I shopped around for a checking account that works for one that will fit my special needs.

Offering Me a Free Debit Card and Credit Card

When I opened my checking account I received a complimentary book of personal checks, as well as a free debit card with a personalized pin. In addition, I was able to apply for a credit card and get approved on the spot. My initial credit line was small but it was tripled in two months.

Providing Lots of ATM Locations

I opted for a checking account with a major, nationwide bank. In this way I avoid paying the customary $2 ATM service charge applied to non-bank customers. In fact, when I used to bank with a credit union, I rarely found an ATM I could use for free, and I would end up paying over $10 in fees a week.

Protecting Me in Case of Fraud

When my water bill check was stolen in the mail, it was forged and $600 were withdrawn from my bank account. As soon as I realized what happened, I called my bank. Not only was I fully reimbursed, but I received all the guidance I needed to protect myself from further identity theft.

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