Regions Bank, one of the largest U.S. banks, recently expanded its lineup of checking accounts to accommodate a larger consumer demographic. With two newly-added checking accounts, Regions Bank aims to target consumers who’ve drifted away from cash and checks, and those who have a difficult time overcoming fee-waiver hurdles.
The new LifeGreen eAccess Account is a checking account with an $8 monthly fee ($10 with paper statements), which can be avoided when the customer makes a combination of at least 10 Regions debit or credit card purchases. Additionally, the account has a $0.50 fee per written check after the first three for the month.
“The account is designed for customers who conduct a vast majority of their transactions with debit and credit cards and online bill pay,” said Mel Campbell, a Regions Bank spokesperson.
The eAccess Account has the same monthly fee as Regions’ basic checking account, called LifeGreen Checking. However, the monthly fee for LifeGreen Checking can only be waived if the customer posts a direct deposit of at least $500, posts combined direct deposits totalling $1,000 or maintains a $1,500 average monthly balance.
Current LifeGreen Checking customers who find that they are regularly making purchases with their Regions debit and/or credit cards may consider switching to an eAccess account, if they feel that it’s easier to waive the monthly fee.
Other big banks, including Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank, have introduced similar checking accounts — that emphasize digital banking — to cater to changing consumer financial habits.
Bank of America’s eBanking account doesn’t have a monthly fee if customers enroll for electronic statements and avoid using a bank teller for deposits and withdrawals. Fifth Third’s eAccess Account doesn’t offer check-writing or paper statements.
Regions’ other new checking account is Simple LifeGreen Checking, which has a flat unavoidable $5 monthly fee ($7 with paper statements). This account is a lower-cost option for consumers who are unable to meet fee-waiver requirements on other checking accounts, Campbell said.
Consumers who don’t have direct deposit or do not regularly carry a large balance in their accounts may opt for accounts such as Simple LifeGreen Checking.
TD Bank’s Simple checking account has a similar fee policy. In three states, Bank of America is also piloting a checking account, called Bank of America Essentials, that also has a flat monthly fee.
There are no other changes to Regions’ other checking accounts.