Credit unions are far more likely than banks to offer free checking. And when credit unions do charge a monthly maintenance fee, it’s about half of what banks charge, according to CUNA’s 2010-2011 Credit Union Fees Survey Report.
Roughly 80% of credit unions offering checking accounts provide at least one option with no minimum balance requirement and no maintenance or activity fees, compared to only 64% of banks.
Noninterest-bearing accounts are more prevalent than interest-bearing accounts—73% vs. 60%.
The prevalence of interest-bearing checking generally increases with asset size. Eighty-five percent of credit unions with $200 million or more in assets offer interest-bearing accounts.
Half of credit unions offering noninterest-bearing accounts provide them free of charge. Likewise, among those offering interest-bearing accounts, 31% do so at no cost.
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