Kiplinger chose the Minneapolis-based financial institution, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the nation with $450 million in assets, out of 12,000 banks that it initially considered, according to Kiplinger contributing editor Lisa Gerstner.
For customers 65 and older, the bank waives the monthly maintenance fee on its interest-paying premium senior checking account, regardless of the balance.
(Younger account holders must maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000 or pay a fee of as much as $12.95 a month.)
Additionally, standard checking, cashier’s checks, money orders, and copies of checks and statements are all provided for free to older customers, and they get a safety deposit box at half price. There’s also no charge for using an ATM outside of U.S. Bank’s network, though the institution owning the machine may impose a fee.
Gerstner said in a phone interview that U.S. Bank’s size and geographical distribution — it has more than 3,000 offices in 25 states — are an advantage to retirees who like to go to a branch to do their banking in person. “It’s a big footprint,” she said.
Kiplinger’s runner-up was the cash management account offered by Fidelity, the Boston-based financial services giant. The institution doesn’t charge a monthly fee for the FDIC–insured account or have any minimum balance requirements. It also provides a debit card, free checks and paper statements, and reimburses customers for ATM fees.