By  Fri Aug 9, 2013

Elderly People Don’t Necessarily Need ‘Senior’ Checking Accounts

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pedrosimoes7 / Flickr source

Banks offer different checking accounts to the masses, military, wealthy and students. So, it’s no surprise that there are also special checking accounts for senior citizens.

Senior checking accounts tend to have easy-to-waive monthly fees or offer more features that cater to the older generations. Such features include free or discounted checkbooks and safe deposit boxes, since older folks continue to use checks for payment and safe deposit boxes for priceless possessions.

But, despite the perks involved, they’re not necessarily the obvious route just because you’re eligible for one.

For instance, TD Bank offers a senior checking account for customers who are at least 60 years old. The account is similar to the bank’s basic checking account, but the senior checking account earns interest, comes with free standard checks and a safe deposit box.

TD’s basic checking account has a $15 monthly fee that can be waived with a low $100 minimum daily balance. The senior checking account has a $10 monthly fee but requires a minimum daily balance of $250.

Another bank, M&T Bank, has a checking account for those ages 50 and over, which has a $4.95 monthly fee that can be waived with certain activity, including direct deposit, debit card purchases or minimum balances. But, the only difference between this account and the bank’s free basic checking account is the ability to earn interest.

If you’re not going to take advantage of the special features of a senior checking account and find that it’s easier to avoid the monthly fee on another checking account, then it would be wiser to avoid the senior checking account.

On the other hand, there are many senior checking accounts that come with no monthly fees, as long as you meet the age requirement. Since it’s impossible for a senior to incur a monthly fee, you can get a better checking account without worry.

U.S. Bank’s Premium Checking account offers free, unlimited ATM transactions at non-U.S. Bank ATMs, free U.S. Bank checks, discount on safe deposit box rentals and interest. The two ways to avoid the $12.95 monthly fee are to keep an average balance of $5,000 or be age 65 or greater.

Many community banks and credit unions provide senior checking accounts that have no monthly fees. Furthermore, online banks are ideal places to find free checking accounts, but the lack of physical branches should be taken into consideration.

 

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