What happened to my free checking?

Lost your free checking?
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Lost your free checking?

The number of financial institutions offering free checking accounts is 11 percent lower than a year ago, according to a survey released in August by Moebs $ervices, the economic research firm in Lake Bluff, Ill. While consumers have come to expect free checking, the continued economic downturn and new federal regulations governing banks have caused many banks to pull the plug on free checking to boost revenue.

"Some depositories have stopped offering free checking as a way to reduce costs in light of overdraft and financial regulatory reforms," Moebs CEO Mike Moebs said in a news release. "Others face low earnings and a shortage of capital, so lower expense and higher revenue are needed to rebuild their capital position."

If your bank has started adding monthly fees to maintain your checking account, you have other options. Here are five ways to obtain free checking.




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