Are you throwing money down the drain?

If you have a checking account through a bank rather than your credit union, you likely are paying too much.

Only 37% of banks today offer free checking with no strings attached, according to BankRate’s most recent survey of 10 banks and thrifts in each of 25 large U.S. markets. This represents the lowest percentage in the 12 years that Bankrate has been studying check fees.

A truly free checking account does not charge a monthly fee, regardless of your balance or whether you have direct deposit established.

Arsenal Credit Union has been offering totally free checking since 1994! By contrast, most banks require a minimum balance to be met (typically $500-$1,000) or regular direct deposits to be made in order for account holders to avoid paying a monthly service fee ($12 is most common) on noninterest-bearing accounts.

On top of saving you $144 in monthly service charges annually, your credit union can also save you money on ATM charges and overdraft fees.

You can use an Arsenal-issued Visa debit card or ATM card at nearly 30,000 ATMs throughout the country at no charge; if you end up using an ATM not in the CO-OP Network, we charge just $1 for each such transaction compared to an average of $1.64 that banks charge their customers for using an out-of-network ATM. (Speaking of debit cards, we continue to offer rewards for usage, while many banks dropped their programs a few years ago.)

The most common overdraft fee at banks is $35 and climbing, compared to $28 at your credit union.

You will find that Arsenal’s two interest-bearing checking accounts – Value, and Advantage Plus – are also a real bargain compared to what the big banks offer. Simply compare the minimum balance and other requirements, the monthly service charges and the interest rate you receive. To give you an idea on interest rate (annual percentage yield) differences alone:

  • Arsenal CU: 0.10% APY on Value Checking and 0.20% APY on Advantage Plus on all balance amounts. That’s 10x-20x more than what the big banks are – and have been – paying.
  • Bank of America: 0.01% APY on balances up to $50,000; 0.02% APY on balances greater than $50,000.
  • U.S. Bank: 0.01% APY on balances up to $9,999; 0.02% APY on balances of $10,000 or more.
  • PNC Bank: 0.01% APY on all balances.
  • Regions Bank: 0.01% APY on all balances.


Why not switch to an Arsenal Credit Union checking account today? Use our online Switch Kit, which includes a Direct Deposit Switch Form, an Automated Withdrawal Payment Switch Form, and a Checking Account Closing Form.