No Minimum Deposit and Free Checking Account wrapped into a perfect start for opening your new online checking account.
With recent federal regulations in place, many banks are planning on charging more fees to replenish the profits they are losing due to the new regulations. However, a few banks are choosing to not do this. One of these banks is Huntington Bank.
Most banks are giving up free checking accounts, requiring people to pay a specific monthly fee each month that their balance falls under a certain threshold. Huntington Bank, after surveying its customers, decided against this, instead upholding its free checking account where no minimum balance is required.
This free checking account, known as “Asterisk Free Checking,” has all of the following benefits for customers:
- Free to open
- No monthly maintenance fee
- No minimum balance
- No check or debit card usage requirements
In addition, Huntington Bank’s “Asterisk Free Checking” includes a debit card with no annual fee. In regards to online banking, many of Huntington’s “Asterisk Free Checking” account provides free benefits. All of the following items are included free with your checking account:
- Online banking
- Online bill pay
- Mobile and text banking
- Activity download
- Email alerts
- Automated phone banking
You also gain some other nice benefits with Huntington Bank’s “Asterisk Free Checking.” One benefit is unlimited check writing, which is becoming more rare, as some other banks will charge you after writing more than a specified number of checks each month.
You also get monthly paper statements at no additional charge, something that is also extremely rare nowadays, as more and more banks are charging you a fee to send the statements to your house in an effort to get you to accept online statements only. While you still receive monthly paper statements, Huntington Bank also provides free online statements and free online check images with “Asterisk Free Checking” so that you can still see the updated balance and transactions of your account online.
As with virtually any checking account, there are a few drawbacks. One drawback is that you are charged $2.00 each time you use it when you use it at a non-affiliated ATM or at an international ATM. This is not out-of-line with other checking accounts, however, as many checking accounts do this. Additionally, you’ll be charged for check images appearing on your statements, but again, this is not much different from other checking accounts, as virtually all other checking accounts do this now too.
As you would also expect, the Huntington “Asterisk Free Checking” charges a fee if you incur a negative balance. In addition, if a check bounces, you’ll be charged a fee; with this account, $37.50/item, which is a bit high compared to some other checking accounts. Huntington also provide overdraft protection for an additional fee.
A few drawbacks that are more specific to “Asterisk Free Checking” are not receiving free or discounted checks; you have to pay full price for each batch, a necessary trade-off for receiving free checking with no minimum balance required.
Perhaps the most unique drawbacks of this checking account are that, if you want a savings or money market account attached to this checking account, you need to pay a monthly fee for those ($4/month for savings and $20/month for money market, respectively). Conversely, however, most free checking accounts don’t provide this option, and the fact that Huntington is giving you this optional “upgrade” is probably more of a benefit than a disadvantage.
As you can see, you do have a choice for a truly free checking account with Huntington Bank’s “Asterisk Free Checking” account. This is truly a rarity in today’s world, as most banks charge you a monthly maintenance fee if your balance falls under an established amount. With “Asterisk Free Checking,” that is not the case. Huntington kept this type of checking account when other banks in the industry were imposing monthly maintenance fees and minimum balance requirements because their customers requested such an option.
As a result, Huntington Bank has increased its number of checking households by 10% in 2011 as compared to an average rate increase of 1% across other banks. Many people are very fond of this type of checking account due to the struggling economy, instability of employment, and the difficulty in making ends meet.
If you are struggling to make ends meet or just are looking for another type of checking account that has a very limited number of fees as compared to most other checking accounts, including no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements, you should definitely check out Huntington Bank’s “Asterisk Free Checking.”