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3 Free Online Checking Accounts

Updated on December 31, 2009

If you've got a lot of dosh sitting in a bank account you probably have your monthly maintenance fees waived and therefore couldn't care less about such things. But when you've no longer got the prerequisite arm and a leg in the bank, you might care rather much more, as it quickly begins to feel as though the bank is robbing you for no apparent reason -- especially when they tack fees on for their own error-ridden computer system. Let me stop that and get back on point: If you're not a millionaire, nor storing funds for one in your own bank account, you'll want a bank account that doesn't cost you anything to use, doesn't require a minimum balance and doesn't require direct deposit. And there are such accounts if you're interested in operating one online (And why wouldn't you be? I haven't been inside a bank to withdraw cash since ATMs were invented!)

1. ING Orange

I've got one of these accounts and I am absolutely in love with it. You do need to have it connected to another bank account in order to open it online, but it's all very easy to do. You simply transfer a deposit from your other account and then voila, you're good to go. There are NO MONTHLY MAINTENANCE FEES for this account; none whatsoever. Forgive me for shouting, but that's a bit of a rarity. In fact, I had to call them up myself to confirm it in layman's terms, as I felt sure I was missing something in the fine print! This account will not charge you a maintenance fee and the bill pay is free as well -- everything is done electronically unless impossible (such as with the IRS) in which case they will send a paper check for you, which you can verify the status of at any time. Did I mention I love this account? I love them, really I do. If you want a good bank account that won't charge you monthly fees, ING Orange is the way to go.

2. Bank of America MyAccess

If you open this account online there are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance required. To open a Bank of America account online, you fill in the online application and then make your deposit via debit card or bank transfer. I must be honest and say that I am not a big fan of Bank of America checking accounts in general, but to be fair this account wasn't available when I was with them and they were charging me (what I felt to be) exorbitant maintenance fees. Perhaps they've come a long way and if so, this might account might be well worth your time, especially if you have a preference for the company.

3. Wachovia Free Checking (Wells Fargo)

I used to have a Wells Fargo account and I was pretty happy with it; I only closed it because I didn't need several accounts once I moved to Europe. My point being, Wachovia is part of Wells Fargo and I'd feel comfortable using them if they met my banking needs. This account doesn't require a minimum balance or direct deposit and you will get a free check card and free online banking. Free, free, free!

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