WASHINGTON, D.C. (4/30/14)--WalletHub's "Q1 2014 Banking Landscape Report" offers further evidence that credit unions offer a significantly better deal for consumers than banks.
"Credit unions are 72% cheaper than national banks, offer 105% more features and provide 562% higher interest rates," the study said. "When it comes to small (financial institutions), credit unions are still 48% cheaper, offer 46% more features and provide 699% higher interest rates."
Online checking accounts generally offer a more favorable deal for consumers than branch-based checking accounts, the report said. Online-only checking accounts are 19% cheaper than branch accounts, have 20% more features and provide a 122% higher average interest rate. Online savings accounts actually have lower interest rates than checking accounts for this segment, the report said.
Student checking accounts are 66% cheaper than personal accounts and offer 28% more features, according to the study.
Business accounts are 46% more expensive than personal accounts, have 4% fewer features, and offer 57% lower interest rates than consumer accounts. The report advises small-business owners to opt for personal online checking accounts whenever possible.
In the first quarter, average checking account fees were 3% higher and interest rates were 1 basis point lower compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, the report said.