Find Free Checking With Benefits

It’s getting more difficult to find free checking. Here are some workarounds.

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Checking accounts that charge no monthly fee are getting harder to come by. In the first half of 2019, the number of credit unions offering free checking accounts fell 59%, and the number of banks with free checking dropped 37%, according to economic-research firm Moebs Services. Now only about 20% of banks and credit unions still offer free checking. The reason for the decline? Free checking usually isn’t profitable for the institutions that offer it, says CEO Mike Moebs.

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.