With all the news about new debit card fees and the uproar this has caused for banking customers, I recently tackled the topic of getting free checking. In that story I outlined where you can go to find free checking nationwide, and now I’ve filtered down that information for the Philadelphia audience. That is, I’ve uncovered a handful of places in the Philadelphia are where you can still get free checking.
Note: None of these banks is paying me to recommend them here, and all of my research was done in an unscientific, yet Google-heavy method.
The Philadelphia are is home to plenty of local banks with names that reflect their local nature–First Federal of Bucks County, First National Bank & Trust of Newtown, Bank of Princeton, to name a few–and if you look closely, many of them still offer free checking. Some of the ones I found with free checking include:
- Bryn Mawr Trust (with locations along and near to the Main Line) offers a free checking account for those over 50
- First National Bank & Trust of Newtown (with 12 branches in Bucks County), which gives you free premium checking when you keep a minimum of $400 in your account
- Susquehanna Bank (with locations in Southeastern Pennsylvania as far west as Harrisburg and beyond, and Southern New Jersey) offers free checking with an account that you only need $25 to open
- Univest (with locations in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Lehigh counties in Pennsylvania)
All of the following regional banks continue to offer free checking:
Many people are giving up traditional banks all together and going with online banks–that is, banks that don’t have a physical presence like traditional banks do. Most have free checking and often will reimburse you for any ATM charges you incur when using another bank’s ATM–simply because they do not have ATMs to offer their customers and offer this “payback” as a benefit of banking with them. Some of the virtual banks offering free checking are:
- Ally Bank
- ING Direct (ING Direct has one of its orange cafes in Center City, where you can do on site banking and enjoy a free coffee)
- Perk Street Financial
Credit unions offer a great banking option if you’re looking for free checking and other free services that a big bank might not offer you, such as free coin counting when you’ve been collecting change. There are a ton of credit unions in the Philadelphia area, and you can use this credit union search tool to locate one nearby.
If you’re in the market for a new bank, I hope you’ll find this information helpful. And if you discover additional ways to get free checking on the cheap, post a comment to let us know.