Free Senior checking can be a
wonderful thing. You will probably pay for your checks
(although they can be bought through private sources much cheaper than
through the bank). But when you sign up for free checking,
read the fine print. What are the penalties for overdrafts, or
even overdraft protection? What about if you drop below a minimum
balance? Ask them the
question, "What could
possibly generate an additional fee in my "free" account?" Look
at your current checking account and see if you are being charged for
anything. Then compare it to what is available at other neighborhood
banks. Know thyself!!!
Which account will cost you less? Will you overdraw and
generate large fees? Or can you discipline yourself to save money with
a free account? Will they charge for online bill-paying? (If you can
do this you will save postage with every bill you pay.) I was having
an automatic monthly payment made by my bank to AOL for my online
account. When I reviewed my bank statement I was horrified to realize
that they charged me $15 extra every month to send $10 to AOL!!
Needless to say, I am no longer with that bank.
I signed up for a free 50+ checking account at First National Bank of
Pennsylvania, and there is no charge for this, in fact no charge for
paying any bills online. I only pay for checks with this
account, and next time I order I will find a cheaper source for those.
Before you shop for a free
account, click on this article from the