Free Checking Options Are Dying

I was listening to NPR yesterday and hear a report about how banks are charging higher fees for basic checking accounts. Free checking is becoming extinct as the big banks need more revenue streams.

Thank goodness you can still find free checking. I myself use ING Direct and Ally, but there are more options if you should check out My Bank Tracker.
MyBankTracker provides a free, easy-to-use website that lets consumers find the best banks, interest rates, peer reviews,  The site fills an industry void by providing a transparent, accurate and consistent source of online banking information.>has added “Bank Deals” to its web portal. Banks can sign up for Bank Deals to have their promotions searchable on the site. Bank Deals gives consumers the additional ability to search for deals based on the most popular and latest promotional offerings.

BankSimple: NYC-Based Online Bank

I heard about Bank Simple last fall.  The website is a simple, stripped-down site that lets you bank.

From NYConvergence:

This fall, BankSimple plans to serve an initial 10,000 customers, giving members a single card that functions like a debit card, while being linked to a small credit line. Customers can get cash from 50,000 ATMs in small banks, stores, etc. throughout the U.S. Through this is an Internet-only bank with no branches, its goal is for customers to be able to set financial goals and to establish another means to have a bank, without being in its traditional form.

TD Bank Flipping

TD Bank Flip Event

Last week I went to the Trapeze School on way west 30th Street for the TD Bank Flip Campaign Event. TD Bank is running a promotion to entice new customers and/or new checking accounts whereas they will give Flip video cameras while supplies last. From now until June 5th, you will be eligible to get a Flip Camera. Once you open your checking account, you must use your Debit Card for eight purchases and make two payments with Online Bill Pay within 45 days of account opening, to receive a brand new Flip.

I have a fear of heights, unsteady heights in particular so I knew this would be a challenge for me to fly into the air.  I looked at the height of the ladder and the netting and realized that I didn’t feel like having a panic attack so I didn’t do trapeze. I jumped on trampoline a little, but even that was a little uneasy for me. Nevertheless, I had a great time hanging with other bloggers.

This promotion is a great idea to kick off summer, because you can get Flip to capture all the fun of summer. In fact, if you already have a main checking account, you can use this new account as the “summer fun” account which will enable you to keep track of all the money you spend on things like travel, beachwear or ice cream.  This is easy way to  budget fun.  You can follow TD Bank on Twitter at Ask_TDBank.

Take Five: Nickelwise News April 30

Now is the time to track deductions for next year. Jenn Escalona tells you how.

Lighten your wallet and save money. Use Cardstar app (iPhone, Blackberry) to enter all your loyalty and reward cards.

If you are buying a car soon, then check out True Car which is a new car pricing research site.

Let Ally be one of your allies in the fight to save money.  I just set up a savings account today, and it took only five minutes.

Student loan payment may not be so much of a struggle if you check out the new federal program, IBR (Income-Based Repayment.)

How To Choose The Right Bank For Your Small Business

 clipped from www.inc.com

Before you start shopping around for a financial institution, consider why you need one in the first place. Are you looking for specialized services, such as investment help or a small business loan? You can search online for local banks that specialize in equipment loans or small business working capital

Consider also how much cash flow will be moving in and out of your business account. Is your “business” even a business yet? You will be required to have a business name and usually be registered with the state upon opening up a business banking account. San Francisco-based financial advisor Kathryn Amenta suggests using this rule of thumb: “Once someone is spending 20 hours a week on a project and counting on the revenue to make up as much as 50 percent of their personal income, it’s definitely a business for financial and tax purposes,” she says.

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