NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Free checking at your bank may be a thing of the past soon. If you're tired of changing rules, higher fees and stricter requirements, you don't have to take it anymore.
Find an alternative.
Online banks are a better deal than their brick-and-mortar counterparts by most measures. They generally have lower fees and smaller minimum balance requirements. And interest rates can be a lot higher, especially on Internet-only banks.
Recently, Consumer Reports rated seven of the largest online banks. They include ING Direct, HSBC Direct, Citibank and Capital One. Just make sure that the bank you choose is a member of the FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This way you know your money is insured up to $250,000.
Credit Unions offer another popular alternative to large banks. Credit unions may have marginally better interest rates and rates on CDs, savings accounts and money markets.
Becoming a member of a credit union is usually based on where you live, who you work for, what you do for a living, or what religious community you belong to. Credit unions service those in the military, teachers, firefighters, policeman and people who work for specific companies.
To find out if you're eligible to join a credit union, go to creditunion.coop. And make sure the credit union is insured by the National Credit Union Administration -- that's the credit union's equivalent of the FDIC. Your money is insured up to the same limits as with a traditional bank.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.43%||3.40%|
|15 yr fixed||2.69%||2.66%|
|30 yr refi||3.44%||3.44%|
|15 yr refi||2.73%||2.72%|
Today's featured rates:
HSBC banker arrested at JFK airport as he prepared to leave the country. He and former trader face federal charges they manipulated currency trades. More
Americans are growing more hesitant to eat out. Whether the slowdown is being driven by rising prices, slowing job growth or even terrorism, some believe it could be the start of a painful restaurant recession. More
Drivers can't stand UberPool. But Uber cleverly nudges them to use the service. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
It's about to get harder for some luxury all-cash home buyers to hide their identity from the U.S. government. More