Toledo Talk

Checking acct recommendations?

Long story short, I'm looking to move to a financial institution that offers a no-fee checking account. My current bank is restructuring their account offerings, and none of the new products will work for me. I have a regular direct deposit and a couple of savings accounts, I don't keep a ton of money in any one account or write a lot of checks.

I don't care if it's a bank or credit union, local or chain. If you like where your money is, I'd love to get a recommendation. Thanks!

created by kaj on Feb 01, 2013 at 09:42:49 pm     Home     Comments: 18

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We use Charter One, and fees are quite reasonable.

posted by historymike on Feb 01, 2013 at 10:03:29 pm     #  

A credit union, any credit union, is always the best value for service. Find one that's close and has convenient ATM's. A credit union is non-profit in that all profits are redistributed to the members, ie the account holders. A credit union is member owned.

posted by holland on Feb 01, 2013 at 10:29:01 pm     #   2 people liked this

Been with AP Federal CU for 20 years, 6 car loans, small mortgage, direct deposit everything, bill pay, 2 offices, huge ATM network, NO FEES, except if you have more than 8 transactions at an ATM in 1 month, then it's $1.50 per. I've never had a problem with anything, ever.

posted by nana on Feb 01, 2013 at 10:35:02 pm     #  

I'm with PNC. Like you kaj, I don't keep a bunch of $$ with them but do the majority of my banking with them. Payroll direct deposit, auto ACH transactions for monthly expenses, etc. I also write VERY FEW checks. No fees whatsoever.

posted by Foodie on Feb 01, 2013 at 11:37:14 pm     #  

I use Ally Bank. No minimum to open the account, no monthly maintenance fees, no ATM fees anywhere in the US,.40% interest rate. The only drawback, if it even is a drawback is this is not a brick and mortar bank. Online only. I'm satisfied.

posted by OnePlainPerson on Feb 01, 2013 at 11:57:29 pm     #  

We use Directions credit union. they offer free checking, free checks and no fee atm network.

posted by jhop on Feb 02, 2013 at 12:53:06 am     #  

Glass City Federal Credit Union

Never had a problem with them. I even convinced my girlfriend to switch over from Key Bank to Glass City and she loves it.

posted by justphillips on Feb 02, 2013 at 03:08:53 am     #  

I used to have a lot of credit unions as clients and always thought I'd end up using a credit union for all of the reasons stated above. But... the differences between banks and credit unions have narrowed considerably in the last decade.

When Huntington bought Sky, I thought that I would dislike Huntington, because I felt that Sky had always been a small town, personal bank kind of place. For example, Sky would give me loan proceeds before I would have title in hand on out of state purchases.

I had an account at Key and an account at Huntington, by way of Sky. I slowly moved away from Key and to Huntington because Huntington just kept being the bank that would give me what I needed. Over time, I have done several loans with them, refinanced a mortgage with them, and now everything is at Huntington. The personal attention from the bank manager is amazing. When I sold a vehicle, she even did free notary just as a kindness, and dropped the purchase proceeds into my account. We did the deal at her desk.
When I was buying a boat in Delaware, she waited for my call. After I decided that I was going to buy it, and sent the funds instantly to the seller's bank while I was on the phone with her. When I was buying a truck several hours away, she spoke with the dealer on the phone, who sold me the truck on my deposit alone, on her word that I was a pre-qualified client. Rather than drive several hours back to the dealer a couple days later with a check, I wrote a deposit check, signed a bill of sale, and drove my new truck to see my banker the next day to sign the loan papers. Who does that?
Would your banker vouch for you?

When it was all said and done, everything is at Huntington, I have free everything. Free checking, with free checks. Free internet banking with free bill pay. If I want to pay a payee who is not in their electronic system, they will print a check and mail it (postage included) for free.

I never expected to love a bank, but I do. I know my banker's number by heart, and whenever I need anything, she is there.

One more quick story. I recently wanted to purchase a vehicle that was older than what they will give loans on. (Just an unusually well preserved older car that I stumbled across decided to grab, as have a modest collection of cars.) But I didn't want to tie up cash at that time. My banker, knowing that I have other vehicles that I own free and clear, simply gave me a loan against a newer vehicle that I held the title on at a great rate. The same day, the funds were in my checking account.

I love their online banking and I use it every day. I can do transfers, monitor account balances, track my loans and interest, everything. It's like a financial dashboard.

Free checking, free checks, free online banking, free bill pay, and the best, old fashioned, get to know you service I have seen in many years. I love my bank. I would have never guessed that I could.
Good luck on your search and your decision.

posted by justread on Feb 02, 2013 at 07:41:51 am     #  

Foodie posted at 10:37:14 PM on Feb 01, 2013:

I'm with PNC. Like you kaj, I don't keep a bunch of $$ with them but do the majority of my banking with them. Payroll direct deposit, auto ACH transactions for monthly expenses, etc. I also write VERY FEW checks. No fees whatsoever.

I switched to PNC 2 years ago for one main feature - mobile deposits via my smartphone. I think other banks now have this, but it is SO nice to be able to 'deposit' a check by taking a picture of it and its in your account the next day. My paychecks go direct deposit, most of my bills are on autopay with their online banking, and non-network ATM fees are refunded (up to $8 a month I think).

posted by MsArcher on Feb 02, 2013 at 09:07:55 am     #  

I recommend Glass City Credit Union. We have accounts with different banks (old mortgage & things set up years ago). The banks are always trying to get us to sign up for multiple services. My only complaint about the credit union is that they send a lot of junk mail, usually insurance offers. However, I'm glad they're keeping the US Postal Service alive!

posted by viola on Feb 02, 2013 at 10:13:16 am     #  

I've been with PNC since they were Ohio Citizens, about 37 years. I have never had a complaint or paid a fee. I've had a few issues with credit card number hijacks due to internet shopping and they have always taken care of it right away.

posted by trixanne on Feb 02, 2013 at 10:16:45 am     #  

Sun Federal Credit Union - no fees and free checks.

posted by jackie on Feb 02, 2013 at 02:12:19 pm     #  

Thanks for the recommendations, everyone. I really appreciate it. I have a few ideas to explore from these responses.

posted by kaj on Feb 02, 2013 at 09:25:15 pm     #  

Kaj, I assume you at Fifth Third? I am too and have been looking around for something else. KeyBank also raised their rates. Fees for all kinds of stuff: not enough money, not enough activity, paper statements, they all cost money now.

posted by Ace_Face on Feb 02, 2013 at 09:34:42 pm     #  

justread: IMHO, your banking relationship says as much about you as it does Huntington - likely more.

You've obviously proven yourself to your banker so she's there for you. A great situation to be in - especially with today's financial climate.

posted by Foodie on Feb 04, 2013 at 10:20:02 am     #  

I don't disagree, and appreciate what seems like a kind word, but we actually began our relationship with her trust.
She won me over. I have to give her the credit (no pun intended.) :)

posted by justread on Feb 04, 2013 at 10:30:12 am     #  

I use Directions CU, they have like 4 branches, if I'm not mistaken. The people that work there are super friendly.

posted by tm2 on Feb 04, 2013 at 11:04:22 am     #  

I just opened accounts with PNC and am going to be leaving Fifth Third after 20 years due to the rate hike. I was very impressed with the person an PNC who opened my account.

posted by ToledoDoug on Feb 05, 2013 at 12:56:26 pm     #