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How to find free checking after BofA adds new fee

Posted: 6:24 PM, Jan 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-25 04:27:24Z

Bank of America is taking heat after phasing out the last of its maintenance fee free checking accounts.

But money expert Nick Clements with magnifymoney.com says the move was inevitable.

"Bank of America actually eliminated this account years ago," he explained. "The big news this week is that people who had been grandfathered into the product will now be force migrated into the standard basic checking account."

That means at $12 monthly fee if you don't maintain a daily balance of at least $1500 or have a monthly direct deposit of at least $250.

Clements says the fees are similar to other brick and mortar big banks.  

But for those who are paid by cash, paper check or even driver for Lyft or Uber, it may be tough to meet those requirements.

Clements says there could be ways around it.

"B of A offers a product where you only have to pay $4.95 per month, but you just give up the ability to write paper checks," he says.

BBVA Compass Bank still offers free checking accounts and so do many credit unions.

But if you really want to get rid of fees, Clements says you're going to have to go online.

"Most internet only banks offer truly free checking," he says.

Many even pay interest on your deposits like Aspiration. The company partners with Radius Bank to free checking accounts with a $10 opening deposit. They also reimburse ATM fees.

Ally is another big internet bank with no monthly maintenance fee and Clements says, "no minimum deposit or minimum balance and they've been doing that for years."

Free checking is still available, you just have to know where to look.

Magnifymoney.com has it's list of top internet banks for 2018 here.

Check to see if an internet bank you are interested in is FDIC insured here.