The 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Account name Yield Min

to open

NSF Overdraft protection offered?
The Huntington National Bank
(877) 480-2345
Free Checking None $50 $28 Yes
Houston
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Account name Yield Min

to open

NSF Overdraft protection offered?
Equitable Bank
(301) 949-6500
Free Checking None $1 $29 Yes