As free checking, free debit cards and debit card rewards are on the chopping block at banks across the country, Arvest Bank announced its commitment to providing a feature-rich free checking account with a free debit card, free online and mobile banking, and a debit card rewards program. Additionally, Arvest Bank – known for having some of the lowest overdraft/nsf fees in the nation – is bucking another national trend by actually lowering overdraft/nsf fees for its Free Checking account.
With a national average of $27.00(1) for overdraft/nsf fees, Arvest has one of the lowest in the country at $17.43 for free checking accounts. However, as of Monday, November 7, 2011, the bank is implementing a flat fee of $17 for all accounts. Arvest officials confirmed they will continue to offer a very attractive free checking account and will continue to have the lowest overdraft fees in the region. When you combine the value of the Arvest free checking account with the bank’s extended hours and extensive branch network, Arvest offers customers one of the best overall values of any bank in the nation.
Increasing overdraft fees is only one trend making national banking headlines. New federal price controls impose a cap on debit card swipe fees, also known as the interchange rate, which has many banks eliminating free checking and debit rewards to make up the lost revenue. According to research firm Moebs Services, nearly two thirds of big banks have eliminated free checking since the end of 2009.(2)
Arvest is defying the trend by maintaining a free checking account with a free debit card. This type of no minimum balance, no monthly fee account not only serves the interest of current Arvest free checking account holders, but also provides an alternative for consumers whose bank may have recently added fees to basic accounts. Barring future regulatory changes, Arvest is committed to providing these free services to consumers.
In addition, several national and regional banks are testing monthly fees for the convenience of using debit cards, the most popular form of payment in the US. To that end, many banks have eliminated debit rewards or ended new enrollments in their programs. Arvest is committed to keeping the use of debit cards free and to continuing to provide access to their successful debit rewards program.
About Arvest Bank
In 2011, Arvest celebrates its 50th year of providing financial solutions to its customers. Arvest Bank operates more than 230 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a network of 16 locally managed banks, each with its own advisory board of directors and management team. These locations service customers in 90 communities with 12-hour weekday banking at most locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, asset and wealth management, life insurance, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an equal housing lender and member FDIC.