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Chart: Free checking accounts in top U.S. markets

Free checking accountsThe 96 accounts that qualified as free in Bankrate.com's Fall 2001 Checking Account Pricing Study met the criteria of having no monthly service charge or per-item fees regardless of balance.

A per-item fee would be, for example, a charge for writing a check. Most institutions that impose such charges usually allow a customer to write, perhaps, 10 checks each month before the fee kicks in.

Click on a city below to find the free checking accounts offered in that market or read the accompanying story before proceeding.

Atlanta | Baltimore | Boston | Charlotte | Chicago | Cincinnati | Cleveland | Columbus | Dallas | Denver | Detroit | Houston | Indianapolis | Kansas City | Los Angeles | Miami | Milwaukee | Minneapolis | Orlando | Philadelphia | Phoenix | Pittsburgh | Portland, Ore. | Sacramento | San Antonio | San Diego | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis | Tampa | Washington, D.C.

Atlanta Account
name
Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft
protection
offered?
Fidelity National Bank
(770) 448-0554
No Fee Checking w/Direct Deposit None $100 $28 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required.
Tucker Fed
(770) 908-6400
Just Free Checking None $100 $28 Yes
Baltimore
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Allfirst Bank
(800) 842-2265
Direct Deposit Checking None $1 $31 Yes
Eastern Savings Bank
(410) 785-
2200
Zero-Balance Checking None $50 $25 Yes
Leeds Federal Savings Bank
(410) 242-1234
Free Checking 2% $50 $20 Yes
Provident Bank of MD
(410) 281-7000
Totally Free Checking None $25 $29 Yes
Boston
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Century Bank
(800) 442-1859
Checking None $1 $25 Yes
Eastern Bank
(800) 892-0673
Free Checking None $10 $23 Yes
Sovereign Bank
(877) SOV-Bank
Free Checking None $10 $25 Yes
Charlotte
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Central Carolina Bank
(704) 347-6089
Self Service Checking None $100 $29 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required. Teller fee: $3.
Gaston Fed Bank
(704) 868-5200
Spirit Checking None $50 $24 Yes
Chicago
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Bank Financial
(708) 460-9220
Totally Free Checking None $100 $25 Yes
Bank One
(888) 963-4000
Renaissance Checking 0.75% $100 $25 Yes
Special Notes Teller fee: 4 free, $1.50 thereafter.
Fifth Third Bank
(800) 972-3030
Totally Free Checking None $50 $29 Yes
Mid America Bank
(630) 420-8400
Totally Free Checking None $50 $25 Yes
Special Notes NSF: $27 if paid.
Mid America Bank
(630) 420-8400
Automatic Interest Checking 1.10% $50 $25 Yes
Special Notes NSF: $27 if paid.
Cincinnati
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Fifth Third Bank, N. Ky.
(859) 283-8500
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping required.
Fifth Third Bank
(800) 972-3030
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping required.
Guardian Savings Bank
(513) 923-4100
No Hassle Checking None $25 $27.50 Yes
PNC Bank
(888) 762-2265
Basic Checking None $100 $30 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping only.
The Huntington National Bank
(800) 480-2265
Free Checking None $50 $28 Yes
The Provident Bank
(800) 335-2220
Direct Access Checking None $50 $27.50 Yes
Union Savings Bank
(513) 247-0300
Free Checking None $100 $27.50 Yes
Cleveland
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Dollar  Bank
(800) 242-2265
No Minimum Checking None $50 $27 No
Fifth Third Bank
(800) 972-3030
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping required.
Ohio Savings Bank
(800) 987-6446
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check imaging only.
The Huntington National Bank
(800) 480-2265
Free Checking None $50 $28 Yes
Columbus
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Ohio Savings Bank
(800) 696-2222
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check imaging only.
The Huntington National Bank
(800) 480-2265
Free Checking None $50 $28 Yes
United Midwest Bank
(614) 538-9400
Regular Basic Checking None $50 $20 No
Fairfield FS&LA
(740) 653-3863
Free Checking None $100 $20 No
Fifth Third Bank
(800) 972-3030
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping required.
Union Savings Bank
(614) 781-8896
Free Checking None $100 $27.50 Yes
Dallas
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Mercantile Bank & Trust, FSB
(972) 386-9958
Free & Easy Checking None $100 $25 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping required.
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 788-7000
Free Checking None $1 $25 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
Denver
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Community First National Bank
(303) 758-7474
Free Checking None $100 $25 No
Guaranty B&TC
(303) 296-9600
Personal Free Checking None $1 $20 Yes
Special Notes Check Imaging free.
Liberty Savings Bank
(303) 355-7200
Free Checking None $100 $26 Yes
Vectra Bank
(800) 232-8948
Free Checking None $100 $20 Yes
Special Notes Monthly service fee waived for the 1st year.
Detroit
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
The Huntington National Bank
(877) 480-2345
Free Checking None $50 $28 Yes
Houston
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Southwest Bank
of Texas

(713) 235-8800
Totally FREE Checking None $50 $25 Yes
Special Notes Check imaging only.
Southwest Bank of Texas
(713) 235-8800
VIP Free Int. Checking 0.50% $50 $25 Yes
Special Notes Check imaging only. Must have direct deposit with this account.
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 788-7000
Free Checking None $1 $25 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
Indianapolis
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Fifth Third Bank
(800) 972-3030
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping available.
First Indiana Bank
(800) 890-9999
Free Checking None $25 $26 Yes
Harrington Bank
(317) 845-9619
Harrington Free Checking None $100 $30 No
Union Planters Bank
(317) 221-6000
UP Really Free Checking None $100 $29 Yes
Kansas City
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Capitol Fed Savings
(800) 222-7312
Freedom Blue None $100 $20 Yes
Capitol Fed Savings
(800) 222-7312
Free Checking None $100 $20 Yes
Commerce Bank
(800) 453-2265
Connections Checking None $100 $15 No
Special Notes Must apply for a Visa credit card, no obligation to keep card. Check safekeeping required. NSF: $20 if paid.
First Federal Bank
(816) 245-4300
Totally Free Checking None $10 $15 Yes
First Federal Bank
(816) 245-4300
First Interest VIP Checking 1.26% $50 $15 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required.
First National Bank of Kansas
(913) 338-9000
Absolutely Free Checking 1.25% $1,000 $20 Yes
Special Notes $100 to open. $1,000 to earn interest.
North American SB
(816) 765-2200
Free Checking None $50 $15 Yes
Special Notes ATM account. Check safekeeping required.
Los Angeles
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
First Federal Bank
of California

(310) 319-6000
Simply Free Checking None $100 $18 Yes
Union Bank
(800) 796-5656
Direct Banking None $100 $15 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required.
Check-return fee: $2.
Teller fee: $1.50.
CSR fee: $1.50.
Touch Tone Fee: 3 free, $1.50 thereafter.
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 788-7000
Free Checking None $1 $20 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
Miami
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
AmTrust Bank
(888) 268-7878
Totally Free Checking None $50 $30 Yes
Special Notes Check imaging required.
BankUnited
(305) 569-2000
Free Checking None $100 $29 Yes
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 788-7000
Free Checking None $1 $29 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
Milwaukee
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Guaranty Bank
(414) 362-4000
VIP Checking w/ Interest 0.75% $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required.
Guaranty Bank
(414) 362-4000
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
North Shore Bank
262-785-1600
Free Checking None $100 $26 No
St. Francis Bank
(414) 744-8600
Totally Free Checking None $25 $27 Yes
Minneapolis
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
TCF Bank
(800) 328-0728
VIP Checking 0.40% $100 $28 Yes
Special Notes Account conversion: Requires $15,000 in total deposits with bank or converts to Checking w/Interest.
Checks returned free upon request.
TCF Bank
(800) 328-0728
Totally Free Checking None $100 $28 Yes
Special Notes Checks returned free upon request.
Orlando
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Federal Trust Bank
407-645-1201
Advantage Checking None $100 $25 Yes
The Huntington National Bank
407-629-1888
Huntington Free Checking None $50 $28 Yes
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 782-8875
Free Checking None $1 $29 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
Philadelphia
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Commonwealth Bank
(800) 327-9885
Bank
less Checking
None $50 $30 Yes
Special Notes Teller fee: $2.
Commonwealth Bank
(800) 327-9885
Free Checking None $50 $30 Yes
Farmers & Mechanics
(609) 387-1150
Free Checking None $25 $22 Yes
Sovereign Bank
(877) SOV-Bank
Free Checking None $10 $30 No
Phoenix
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Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Fifth Third Bank
(800) 972-3030
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping required.
Fifth Third Bank
(800) 972-3030
Totally Free Checking None $50 $27 Yes
Special Notes Check safekeeping required.
Pittsburgh
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Dollar  Bank
(800) 242-2265
No Minimum Checking None $50 $25 No
Parkvale Savings Bank
(412) 373-7200
Free Checking None $50 $32 Yes
Portland, Ore.
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 756-8000
Free Checking None $1 $22 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
Sacramento
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Union Bank
(800) 796-5656
Direct Banking None $100 $15 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required.
Check-return fee: $2
Teller fee: $1.50.
CSR fee: $1.50.
Touch Tone Fee: 3 free, $1.50 thereafter.
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 788-7000
Free Checking None $1 $20 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
San Antonio
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 788-7000
Free Checking None $1 $25 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
USAA FSB
(210) 456-8000
Four Star Checking 1% $1,000 $25 Yes
Special Notes Check-return fee: $2. $50 to open, $1,000 to earn interest.
San Diego
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Union Bank
(800) 796-5656
Direct Banking None $100 $15 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required
Check-return fee: $2
Teller fee: $1.50
CSR fee: $1.50
Touch Tone Fee: 3 free, $1.50 thereafter.
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 788-7000
Free Checking None $1 $20 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
Western Financial Bank
(619) 225-1011
Free Checking None $100 $20 Yes
Special Notes Check-return fee: $5.
San Francisco
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Union Bank
(800) 796-5656
Direct Banking None $100 $15 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required
Check-return fee: $2
Teller fee: $1.50
CSR fee: $1.50
Touch Tone Fee: 3 free, $1.50 thereafter.
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 788-7000
Free Checking None $1 $20 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
Seattle
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Washington Mutual Bank
(800) 756-8000
Free Checking None $1 $22 Yes
Special Notes Must request check return when account is opened.
St. Louis
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Commerce Bank
(800) 292-1601
Connections Checking None $100 $15 No
Special Notes Must apply for Visa credit card, no obligation to keep card.
Check safekeeping required.
NSF: $20 if paid.
First Bank
618-632-3664
Free Checking None $100 $20 No
First National Bank of St. Louis
(314) 835-3700
Free Checking None $100 $20 Yes
Special Notes Check imaging only.
Heartland  Bank
(800) 489-2660
Free Checking None $25 $20 Yes
Pulaski Bank
(314) 878-2210
Totally Free Checking None $50 $15 Yes
Special Notes NSF: $20 if paid.
Union Planters Bank
(800) 333-1346
UP Really Free Checking None $100 $29 Yes
Special Notes Check imaging only.
Check-return fee: $3.
Tampa
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
AmSouth Bank
(800) 267-6884
Absolutely Free Checking None $50 $29 Yes
Special Notes Direct deposit required.
Washington, D.C.
top of page
Account name Yield Min
to open
NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Equitable Bank
(301) 949-6500
Free Checking None $1 $29 Yes
-- Posted: Oct. 15, 2001
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