- No matter what, keep thinking "free." Kasasa says that, contrary to conventional wisdom, free checking accounts "do exist." To find one, think small, specifically community banks and credit unions.
- Look for refunds on ATM transactions. The prefect checking account also includes refundable ATM transactions. It's not not always easy to find, but some banks offer it. Make sure to ask the bank you're considering if they'll give you money back on ATM transactions, which now average $2.50.
- Avoid minimum balances. Banks are increasingly looking to charge for minimum balances on checking accounts -- but you don't have to pay them. The perfect checking account, according to Kasasa, is one with no minimum balances.
- "Cash back" is king. Some banks will give you cash back for using their debit cards or for keeping their deposit accounts open, even if there's not a lot of cash stashed away in them. Again, small, local banks and credit unions are more likely to offer cash back. Make sure to ask before you sign on with any new bank.
- Think small for great service. According to Kasasa, 92% like the service they get at credit unions and local and regional banks, compared with 69% of consumers who are happy with the service at "megabanks."
How to Find the Perfect Checking Account: Think Small
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