Using Banks and Bank Accounts/Compete
Would you say in general that banks are highly competative? I had one bank before and I really liked them, but then they had troubles and had to give their customer accounts to other banks locally and I ended up with a different bank. This new bank has done nothing but charge me fees. Fees for having a balance that is too low (in an account that isn't interest baring) as well an inactivity fee that my previous bank never charged me. I have been doing nothing over the last few months but complaining and having charges reversed. It really does almost seem like it might be easier to keep my money under the mattress at this point. Would you say most commercial banks are the same, or do some really stand out?
Pretty much nowadays its very tough to find a commercial bank that will offer you a free checking account with no minimums or direct deposit. The revenue banks make on overdraft fees have gone down significantly due to constant regulations from the government, so they need to charge fees or guarantee themselves activity and balances.
The good news is there are online banks you can open an account with that do not charge fees and have no minimum balances, like ING, ALLY and AMEX. They don't have overhead of a physical branch, so they can afford to do that. The only issue you will have is depositing cash, but checks and direct deposits will have no issues as they are done electronically.
I am sure you can find a small savings bank that will open a free checking or savings for you, just for you to keep for cash deposits and you can electronically sweep them to your online account.
Hope that helped.