NEW YORK (10/24/11)--USA TODAY's attempt to compare fees at the 10 largest credit unions and 10 largest banks showed credit unions to the advantage, with most credit unions charging no fees or fees significantly lower than banks, reported the newspaper Friday.
"Credit unions fared better than banks," the nationwide newspaper said, which pointed out that the "hullabaloo about Bank of America's decision to charge customers a monthly debit card fee has prompted many consumers to take a hard look at the cost of their bank accounts." It noted that identifying and comparing fees on banking websites is difficult and often takes a little digging.
The newspaper analyzed the cost of opening a basic checking account at the 10 largest credit unions and 10 largest banks, and featured a large chart outlining each institution's lowest-cost account, minimum amount needed to open an account, the monthly fee, early closure fees, ATM fees outside their network, whether they waived out-of-network ATM fees, and their debit card fee.
Three of the banks charge a debit card fee: BofA charges $5; Wells Fargo charges $3 and SunTrust charges $5. Other banks charged none, and all the credit unions charged no debit card fees. Eight of the banks, compared to four of the credit unions charged a minimum to open an account. All banks charged fees for using an ATM outside the institution's network and fees ranted from $2 to $2.50 per transaction. Several of the large credit unions did not charge that fee, and most of those that did charged $1.
To view the chart, use the link.