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PenFed now offers a free checking account

SouthJamaica
Super Contributor

PenFed now offers a free checking account

Until now, PenFed has been the only credit union I know that doesn't offer a free checking account. The Access America account was the only checking account they offered, and it assessed a stiff $10 penalty for any month in which one did not have either a minimum balance of $500 or direct deposits of $500 ("direct deposits" being loosely defined).

 

Now I see they are offering "free checking". The website says:

 

PENFED FREE CHECKING

You asked, we listened

Managing your money has never been easier

 
  • Zero monthly fees
  • Zero ATM fees

Well I'm glad they finally "listened" Smiley Happy

 

Thanks to @mommydiva for bringing this to my attention.


Total revolving limits 693500 (600500 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 716 TU 729 EX 697

Message 1 of 21
20 REPLIES 20
Royalbacon
Frequent Contributor

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account


@SouthJamaica wrote:

Until now, PenFed has been the only credit union I know that doesn't offer a free checking account. The Access America account was the only checking account they offered, and it assessed a stiff $10 penalty for any month in which one did not have either a minimum balance of $500 or direct deposits of $500 ("direct deposits" being loosely defined).

 

Now I see they are offering "free checking". The website says:

 

PENFED FREE CHECKING

You asked, we listened

Managing your money has never been easier

 
  • Zero monthly fees
  • Zero ATM fees

Well I'm glad they finally "listened" Smiley Happy

 

Thanks to @mommydiva for bringing this to my attention.


They're not the only that didn't offer a free checking. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union doesn't, Elements Financial and GTE Financial all don't offer free checking. Alaska USA also has $50 annual fees on all their cards unless you have a checking account with them Smiley LOL

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Message 2 of 21
mommydiva
Frequent Contributor

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account

Your posts are always informative and helpful,  so thank you @SouthJamaica !!!

 

I don't know if "we" asked, or like you stated if they realized they were the only credit union to not offer a free checking account. 

Message 3 of 21
SouthJamaica
Super Contributor

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account


@Royalbacon wrote:

@SouthJamaica wrote:

Until now, PenFed has been the only credit union I know that doesn't offer a free checking account. The Access America account was the only checking account they offered, and it assessed a stiff $10 penalty for any month in which one did not have either a minimum balance of $500 or direct deposits of $500 ("direct deposits" being loosely defined).

 

Now I see they are offering "free checking". The website says:

 

PENFED FREE CHECKING

You asked, we listened

Managing your money has never been easier

 
  • Zero monthly fees
  • Zero ATM fees

Well I'm glad they finally "listened" Smiley Happy

 

Thanks to @mommydiva for bringing this to my attention.


They're not the only that didn't offer a free checking. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union doesn't, Elements Financial and GTE Financial all don't offer free checking. Alaska USA also has $50 annual fees on all their cards unless you have a checking account with them Smiley LOL


Hard to believe in this day and age that there are credit unions which fail to offer free checking. Well, at least their ranks have been thinned by one.


Total revolving limits 693500 (600500 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 716 TU 729 EX 697

Message 4 of 21
Royalbacon
Frequent Contributor

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account

Theres a credit union in Wisconsin (Summit Credit Union) The checking is free but you pay a $5/year fee for having a debit card... I know $5/year isn't a lot but sheesh, who charges for having a debit card? Imagine the uproar if one of the big, bad "evil" banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America ever decide to implement such a fee...

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filed-September 2020 Discharged-December 2020
Kohl's Credit Card $3000 Limit (Opened October 2016) Survived Bankruptcy for whatever reason
Capital One Venture One $3000 Limit (Opened December 2020)
Capital One Auto Loan (Opened March 2021)
Capital One Cabela's $5000 Limit (Opened December 2021)
America First Credit Union Visa $1000 Limit (Opened December 2021)
Message 5 of 21
EAJuggalo
Established Contributor

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account

It wasn't all that long ago that most banks didn't offer free checking, back when people wrote checks for things.  In 2011 Wells Fargo didn't have a free checking product that was available to everyone.  They charged my wife and I $13/month for the honor of being ripped off by them for a few months before I caught it, it was at that time I took over the finances from my new wife.

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Message 6 of 21
beets18
Valued Member

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account

I wonder if they will allow changing from Access America to the Free Checking, or if one has to open a new account. I'll probably call and find out in a month or so unless anyone else has any DP.


Message 7 of 21
outofcredit
Established Contributor

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account


@beets18 wrote:

I wonder if they will allow changing from Access America to the Free Checking, or if one has to open a new account. I'll probably call and find out in a month or so unless anyone else has any DP.


Just called in to Penfed to see if I could convert my two Access America checking accounts to the free checking account.  They don't allow straight conversions but I was able to close both Access America accounts and open a new free checking account.  Representative did all the closing of accounts and opening of new account while I was on the phone.  He was also able to link my current debit card and existing overdraft lines of credit to the new account.  Logged in after conversation and new account was posted.  That will actually save me $20 a month in maintance fees.  Thanks @SouthJamaica for the heads up!


Instead of waiting for the storm to pass, I've learned to dance in the rain.
Message 8 of 21
beets18
Valued Member

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account

@outofcredit Thanks for the info. Excuse my ignorance on this, but does closing the Access America account affect chexsystems at all? I just opened the Access America let month, and it's in good standing. I ask because I wanted to join Affinity soon, and until now I've really only had one checking/savings opened at a time.


Message 9 of 21
outofcredit
Established Contributor

Re: PenFed now offers a free checking account


@beets18 wrote:

@outofcredit Thanks for the info. Excuse my ignorance on this, but does closing the Access America account affect chexsystems at all? I just opened the Access America let month, and it's in good standing. I ask because I wanted to join Affinity soon, and until now I've really only had one checking/savings opened at a time.


I dont think it will affect your status with chexsystems.  Generally, I have found that chexsystems focuses on negative information related to checking accounts that is reported.  While they do keep a tally of the number of "inquires" for new checking accounts you've had I think most banks check your chexsystem report for the amount of negative banking information you have on file. YMMV, but that has been my experience.  I have over 10 checking accounts opened at most of the major banks and several credit unions.  So far I haven't been denied due to chexsystems.


Instead of waiting for the storm to pass, I've learned to dance in the rain.
Message 10 of 21
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