Over the last few years at The College Investor, I’ve talked a lot about what to look for in a bank account. I’ve also recommended a few options to readers about what I think are the best bank account choices for them. The trouble is, my list of recommended banks is about five, since not every bank has the exact features I like in a bank account.
However, that is about to change with Banking By Design by Union Bank.
What is Banking by Design?
Banking by Design is Union Bank’s answer to most customer concerns – having a checking account that fits their needs without having to pay for a bunch of extras that they don’t need. The goal is to “unbundle” the traditional checking account and allow customers to choose the features they want.
The cool thing is that as long as the customer makes one direct deposit of $250 or more each month (or statement period), the account has no cost other than any possible add-ons you want that could cost money. I think most people with a checking account use it for their paychecks, so this shouldn’t really be a problem anyway.
How It Works
When you signup for a Banking By Design account at http://bankingbydesign.com, you are presented with a variety of options to meet your needs. For example, you can get free online banking (that’s a given), free debit card, free online statements, and free mobile banking. You can also get free account alerts (either email or text) with the account as well.
Then, you have a variety of other options that you do have to pay for, which you may or may not use. For example, you can get a safe deposit box for $2 per month, or $24 per year. That is one of the cheapest rates I’ve seen for a safe deposit box.
Here are all the services you can currently get:
Try It Out
If you’ve been thinking about what bank to try, especially due to all the recent banking mergers and changes to accounts, you may want to consider going with Union Bank’s new Banking By Design. Right now Banking by Design is just available in California, but if you’re a resident, there are a lot of solid options available at reasonable prices. It is basically free if you keep it simple in your checking account, which is great!