COMMENTARY | Recently Money Magazine conducted a study to find the best banks of 2012. The study compared costs and fees, types of accounts, and special features. U.S. Bank was listed first on their top banks list for having low fees and a few perks.
One of the winning factors was the relatively easy requirements for free checking. As a U.S. Bank customer all I need to do to waive the $11 monthly fee is to set one direct deposit of $500 or more each month. When I signed up, I scheduled direct deposit into my U.S. Bank checking account. The set up took less than 10 minutes, and my checking account has been free since without having to do any additional work, like remembering to keep a minimum balance or making so many debit card purchases a month.
Another winning fee was the lower than average out of network ATM fee. Currently, U.S. Bank charges $2.50, which is lower than the national average of $3.00, according to CNNMoney. Personally, I still think this fee is too high. In my area, U.S. Bank does not have as many ATM locations as other banks and I find myself forced to use an out of network ATM at least twice a month. At $5.00 a month on average, that adds up to $60 a year in fees just for using the ATM.
But U.S. Bank has other features that keep me a happy customer, such as remote check deposit. With the U.S. Bank app, I can snap a photo of a check and deposit it directly into my checking account. When I was searching for a new bank, this was one perk I really wanted and a hard one to find. In my area, only two banks offered this feature, but it was worth hunting for. Now, when I get a check, I can deposit it immediately. I'm saving trips to the bank and wait times.
U.S. Bank also rated highest for this year for employee professionalism and competence. Personally, I have had nothing but great experiences doing business with the bank. For example, when I first applied for an account, I tried to apply online but had trouble with the website. Finally, out of frustration, I called their toll free number just a few minutes before closing. The representative I spoke to entered my application manually over the phone, and then followed up a week later to see if I had any problems with my new account or online banking. It is a rare level of professionalism that I really appreciate it.
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