Free Checking Accounts Survey: Credit Union Customers More Satisfied

Free checking accounts are becoming scarcer at many banks, according to a survey of financial institutions by Bankrate.com. The way that large banks and credit unions handle checking account fees differ though, according to the survey. How many Americans currently use free checking accounts? And how do those accounts vary among bank and credit card customers?

free checking

Free Checking

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 69% of respondents said that they currently use a free checking account. That means there are no fees to sign up and also no strings attached such as minimum account balances. 27% said that their checking account is not free. And just 4% said they do not have a checking account at all.

Credit Unions

In general, 56% of respondents said they mainly use a large bank. 14% use credit unions. 15% use both. And 16% do not use a bank or a credit union. Those who just use a bank were 9% less likely to have a free checking account than those who just use a credit union.

Bank Satisfaction

55% of bank customers said they consider their bank’s fees, including ATM and overdraft fees, to be fairly reasonable, and 39% consider their bank’s fees to be unreasonable. On the other hand, 69% of credit union customers said they consider the fees associated with their accounts to be reasonable, and just 18% consider them to be unreasonable.

And generally, 89% of bank customers said they are satisfied with their overall banking experience. And just 11% said they are unsatisfied with their current banking experience. 94% of credit union customers said they are satisfied with their overall banking experience. And just 6% said they are unsatisfied with their credit union.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: UW Credit Union from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on March 4 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.