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California Doesn't Hold a Candle to Arkansas Financial Institutions When it Comes to Banking Affordability
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 6:50 AM

California doesn’t hold a candle to Arkansas financial institutions when it comes to banking affordability. According to GoBanking Rates, Arkansas sets the gold standard for affordable banking across the U.S., ranking number one, while California ranked the sixth worst in banking affordability. Oklahoma ranks third best, and Texas falls in the average category, at 17.

Here’s what consumers in Arkansas can expect, according to GoBanking Rates:

  • Average Checking Account Rate (APY): 0.302 percent
  • Average Savings Account Rate (APY): 0.137 percent
  • Average Minimum Checking Account Balance Requirement: $2,366
  • Average Minimum Savings Account Balance Requirement: $395
  • Number of Financial Institutions: 52
  • Average “Non-Sufficient Funds” Returned Check Fee: $29
  • Average ATM/Debit Fee: $2
  • Average Monthly Savings Account Maintenance Fee: $4
  • Average Monthly Checking Account Maintenance Fee: $8

Windy Campbell, CEO of Electric Cooperatives FCU in Little Rock, Ark., shares with Leaguer readers why she thinks her state ranked number one for affordability.

“Arkansas credit unions work hard to focus on the needs of their members.  It is the goal of our credit union to provide sound competitive financial services to our members while maintaining financial stability,” Campbell tells the Leaguer.  “When we set our rates and/or fees we look at many factors, but we always remember we are here to help people.  Setting rates and fees according to the bottom line is easy, factoring in people is harder. We want our fees to make sense, we don’t charge a fee just because someone else is charging one, and we don’t increase a fee just because everyone else has.  By keeping our members needs in mind as well as our credit unions needs we remain affordable and even profitable to our members.”

Stephen Brown, CEO of Alcoa Community FCU in Benton, Ark., adds, ”Our members are our first priority, and with that in mind, we continually strive to deliver competitively priced products and services that serve the needs and financial goals of our members.  We believe in creating a partnership with our members and feel that our approach to pricing and packaging services does just that.”

At Alcoa Community FCU, Brown says members can expect to find the following rates and fees:

  • Average Checking Account Rate (APY) is 0.15 percent
  • Average Savings Account Rate (APY) is 0.15 percent for .01-9,999.99
  • Average Savings Account Rate (APY) is 0.25 percent for 10,000.00 and over
  • Number of Financial Institutions:1
  • Average “Non-Sufficient Funds” Returned Check Fee: $25
  • Average ATM/Debit Fee: $2
  • Average Monthly Savings Account Maintenance Fee: $0
  • Average Monthly Checking Account Maintenance Fee: $0

Oklahoma is not far behind Arkansas in banking affordability, and here’s what consumers in Oklahoma can expect, according to GoBanking Rates:

Average Checking Account Rate (APY): 0.380 percent
Average Savings Account Rate (APY): 0.149 percent
Average Minimum Checking Account Balance Requirement: $2,275
Average Minimum Savings Account Balance Requirement: $884
Number of Financial Institutions: 33
Average “Non-Sufficient Funds” Returned Check Fee: $27
Average ATM/Debit Fee: $2
Average Monthly Savings Account Maintenance Fee: $4
Average Monthly Checking Account Maintenance Fee: $9

Nate Webb, president of the Oklahoma Credit Union Association – a subsidiary of the Cornerstone Credit Union League, believes credit unions contribute greatly to driving costs down for consumers.

“As financial cooperatives, credit unions put focus on people and not profit. This business model means members can trust they are receiving fair and competitively priced products and services,” says Webb.

According to RateWatch, the average credit union fees in Oklahoma are as follows:

Service

Ave CU Fee

   

Pre-Paid Service Charges

 

Cashier's Check

$1.00

Travel Card

$4.00

Gift Card

$2.67

Money Orders

$1.50

Service Charges

 

Counter Check

$3.00

Stop Payment

$13.33

Statement Copy

$1.00

Dormant Account

$5.00

Bill Pay Monthly

$5.95

Tax Levy

$16.67

Garnishment

$16.67

Image Copy

$1.00

Photocopy Fee

$1.00

Fax Service Fee

$1.00

Overdraft Protection-Linked Acct

 

Auto Transfer-Overdraft Protection

$2.00

NSF Returned Check

 

Per Item

$27.00

Max Daily NSF Charge

$135.00

NSF Paid Check

 

Courtesy Overdraft Limit

$614.29

Wire Transfers-Domestic

 

Incoming Non-Repetitive

$10.00

Outgoing Non-Repetitive

$13.33

Safe Deposit Boxes

 

3 X 10 Box

$15.00

5 X 10 Box

$25.00

10 X 10 Box

$45.00

Drilling

$160.00

Key Replacement

$60.00

Miscellaneous

 

Replacement ATM Card

$5.83

PIN Change

$2.00

Transaction at Foreign Terminal

$0.75

Non-Customer Transaction

$2.00

ATM Withdrawal Daily Limit

$500.00

POS Credit Limit

$833.33

Regular Savings

 

Monthly Charge

$2.00

How Much on Deposit to Avoid Fee

$50.00