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Smart Money Moves: Choosing the Right Free Checking Account for You

Feb 27, 2024

Want to make smart money moves this year? One way to get started is by choosing the right free checking account—a checking account with zero fees. We’ll walk you through what to look for in a free checking account in New York State and how you can go about finding the right one for you.

Become a Member of a Credit Union

Choosing to open your free checking account at a New York credit union is a great option. Since credit unions are not-for-profit and community-based, they tend to be member-focused. That means members receive a number of benefits for simply opening a checking or savings account, such as more competitive interest rates on loans and accounts and fewer fees for services. Since they are more community-focused, you’ll usually need to meet certain requirements in order to join a credit union, such as being associated with a certain geographical region.

For instance, membership at MHV is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or studies in Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, or Sullivan County, New York. Membership is also open to relatives of current members.

Opening Deposit

One of the first things to look for when opening a free checking account is whether the account requires a minimum opening deposit. The required initial deposit will vary from institution to institution. Look for a deposit that works with your specific situation. If you’re a young adult opening a new checking account for the first time, for example, you may only have a limited amount of money to deposit. In that case, you’ll want to open a free checking account with little or no initial deposit. Credit unions are a great option for low opening deposits, often requiring deposits of $5 or less.

Minimum Balance Requirements

The next thing to check is whether the account has any minimum balance requirements. That typically means an average daily or monthly balance that must be maintained.

Some checking accounts don’t have a minimum balance requirement so you don’t have to worry about it. Others do, however, and if you fail to meet that minimum balance requirement, you may be charged a fee—meaning that a free checking account isn’t technically free.

MHV offers free checking accounts for wallets of all sizes. For instance, our Free Checking and Young Adult Checking Accounts have no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service fees. Our Ultra Checking Account, on the other hand, offers a competitive interest rate that allows you to grow your money much more quickly, and the $15 monthly service fee is waived if you maintain an average daily balance of $10,000 or more in that account.

Whether you’re looking for a flexible checking account or one that allows you to accrue interest, we’re confident that we have just the checking account for you.

Account Features

Next, compare account features. The best free checking accounts come with a variety of helpful features and conveniences. These might include debit cards, online and mobile banking options, mobile check deposit capabilities, nationwide ATM networks, ATM fee reimbursements, bill-pay, e-statements, mobile wallet capabilities, and so on.

Take time to consider your banking needs and preferences, and then find a free checking account in New York that will work well for you. For instance, if you travel a lot, you’ll want to be able to access ATMs wherever you go without incurring high fees. MHV’s free checking accounts solve this by participating in a network of more than 118,000 participating ATMs worldwide.

What other features does MHV Free Checking offer? It starts with access to online and mobile banking, including mobile check deposit capabilities. We’ll also help you stay on top of your finances with custom text and email alerts.

Perks and Rewards

Some free checking accounts go above and beyond the typical standard features and offer rewards and bonuses. For example, when you open a free checking account at Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, you can get a 90-day trial of our Perks Package with ID Protection.

With the Perks Package, you get discounted rates on certain gas and gift cards, as well as travel and leisure discounts. The package also includes accidental death and dismemberment insurance and cell phone protection, as long as your cell phone bill is paid through your MHV account.

You’ll also be able to monitor your credit and stay on top of your finances through ID Protection. It includes Total Identity Monitoring as well as access to a 3-in-1 credit report and credit score.

Once you’ve narrowed down your free checking account options, considering the extras can help you make your final decision.

Choose Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union

As a longtime fixture in Mid-Hudson Valley, MHV understands the type of free checking account New York lifestyles require. We get it. You’re busy. That’s why we want to make things simple and easy.

Interested in becoming a member? The MHV Switch Kit will walk you through how to make the switch in six quick and easy steps. And once you’re done, you’ll be ready to join the more than 90,000 member-owners already enjoying the perks and rewards of MHV membership.

If you’re in New York State and looking for financial peace of mind, stop by one of our branch locations today or learn more about MHV online. We’d love to welcome you to our community and show you everything we have to offer. Plus, becoming a member is quite simply a smart money move—a move that could help you save a lot more money.

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