By  Updated on Mon May 2, 2011

No More Wells Fargo Free Checking

Since federal regulations and financial strain have dented banks’ profits, we have wondered whether banks would put an end to their free checking offers. One big bank answered that question quickly: Wells Fargo will discontinue offering free checking to new customers starting July 1.

Wells Fargo will stop offering their current free checking offers but will continue to honor current customers’ free checking plans, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.

No More Wells Fargo Free CheckingDetails on Wells Fargo Move

Free checking might not be available at Wells Fargo, but customers will be able to waive certain checking fees by performing certain actions and meeting monthly requirements. In the same way that many high-interest checking accounts operate today, Wells Fargo checking will be more appealing for those willing to subscribe to direct deposit service and maintain a minimum account balance.

Wachovia, which is owned by Wells Fargo, will continue to offer free checking until its branches are officially converted to the Wells Fargo brand in 2011.

Banking Industry Reconsidering Strategies

Recently agreed-upon financial reform from the U.S. House and Senate will reduce the amount of money banks can bring in from sources such as debit card interchange fees and overdraft protection fees. In light of those regulations, which also make it tougher for banks to earn money from investment banking and other outside sources, institutions are looking for ways to recoup funds.

In lieu of taking away free checking, Bank of America is instead exploring the idea of making free checking an incentive-based program which customers can earn by using Online banking or regularly shopping with debit or credit cards.

Even if big banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America make it tougher to get free checking, smaller banks with less overhead and user-owned credit unions will probably still offer the accounts.

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    Thanks for sharing such an informative post. keep it up..

  • Bill

    Should base fees (when charged) on average monthly balance, not some minimum level.

  • Joe530

    Charging us for using our money. As if banks don’t already make a profit off our money.

  • Mike

    – My WF Bank sd that in order maintain the free checking that I ORIGINALLY signed up YEARS AGO, sd I must make 10 debit transactions per month or else I GET CHARGED a MONTHLY FEE. Since the economy took a dive in 2008, I’ve pretty much been on a cash basis, so I rarely use my debit card.

    – So I figured it out. Tthe banks will either get their fees from you, the acct holder, or get their fees from merchants thru transaction charges.

    – So what have I done? I now just pay my cell phone bill 10 times a month (in increments) with my debit card. This satisfies my bank’s stupid requirement, makes it FREE for me, but screws the heck out of my cell phone provider. Somebody’s gotta pay & it sure aint’ gonna be me.