Banks in Houston
Opening a bank account is an intimidating experience for some. But having a personal account is a convenient way to store your hard-earned money. Banks offer different types of accounts including checking and savings account. For consumers who want to have easy access to their money, the most convenient option for them would be a checking account. With a checking account, consumers would be able to easily withdraw money from ATMs and carry money without actual cash through the use of debit cards. However, owning a bank account also entails several required banking fees. If you are considering opening a new bank account or switching to a new bank, it is important to understand what potential fees you may be required to pay. In this article, we will examine common bank fees in Houston and how they compare to the rest of the nation.
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Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States and the largest city in the state of Texas with over 2.3 million residents within its area of 669 square miles. It is located in the southeastern part of the state near the Gulf of Mexico. The city is a melting pot of cultural diversity because of its multicultural population. The population is divided almost equally between 50.2% male and 49.8% female. The racial composition of the city is 37.3% White, 36.5% Hispanic, 16.9% African-American, 7.5% Asian and the remaining 1.8% is composed of other races.
The city values education greatly, offering high-quality education with its numerous school districts, colleges, and universities with 25% of the students able to finish a four-year course. From March 2017 to March 2018, Houston had a 2.1% employment growth rate. Job opportunities grew approximately 20% in the sectors of trade, transportation, and utilities. Professional and business services came second at 16% while jobs in government and in education and health services rose at 13%. The state of Texas has one of the highest number of professionals in the field of finance. The banking industry, particularly, has the highest number of employees in the whole state with an average salary of $82,576. Houston is one of the cities with a large concentration of these professionals. The city had an annual employment growth rate of 2.35% in the industry. Further, according to Forbes, it is the second best city in the U.S. for an employee paycheck to be stretched the furthest due to the low cost of living.
History of Banking in Houston
The Texas banking industry faced a lot of turmoil until the time of World War II. There was no stable system which resulted in a great number of bank shutdowns. It was only after the war ended that the industry was revived. In the 1950s, financial institutions with connections to large firms outside Texas helped in rebuilding a new system. With that, consumer services increased due to a rise in interest rates. In the 1970s, large organizations came into the picture and aided the state with its economic growth. However, during the 1980s, the state’s banking industry suffered, especially in the savings and loan industry. The number of commercial banks decreased, resulting in some of them merging with stronger banks while others were forced to sell their assets. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) paved the way for the recovery of the industry by modifying policies and management.
The state of Texas is home to 520 different banks, both national and local. There are 6100 branch offices located in at least 860 cities and towns within the state
An Introduction to Common Bank Fees
Banks usually charge their customers with fees for using their checking accounts. Some common fees are opening deposit fees, monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees, card replacement fees, and check writing fees.
The following is a brief list of typical charges you may see at some banking institutions in Houston:
Unique Fees in Houston
In the state of Texas, banks have the right to charge their consumers for their banking services unless the law says otherwise. They also have the right to penalize account holders who violate their bank regulations. These fees include overdraft fees, maintenance fees, and opening deposit fees to name a few. Also, the state prohibits vendors and merchants from imposing surcharges on payments made by consumers using their debit cards. With that law, bank account holders are spared from incurring another additional payment.
Fortunately, Houston bank fees tend to be moderate when compared to the rest of the country. The city does not typically top lists for the two most measured charges – high ATM rates and overdraft fees. Rather, the rates are more in line with the national average. For reference, the approximate average ATM fee is $4.50 and the overdraft fee is $33 in the United States. The highest ATM fees are found in Phoenix, Atlanta, and Cleveland. The highest overdraft fees in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Milwaukee.
Bank of America Houston
Bank of America ranks as the second largest banking institution in the U.S. based on assets. The bank operates over 4300 branch offices throughout the country. In the state of Texas, there are about 360 branch offices located in 100 different cities. There are approximately 56 Bank of America Houston locations. Bank of America fees includes an opening deposit requirement of $25, a monthly maintenance fee of $12, overdraft fee of $35, out of network ATM fee of $3, a foreign transaction fee of 3% of total spend, and a card replacement fee of $5. These numbers reflect the fees associated with the Bank of America Core Checking Account.
BBVA Compass Bank Houston
BBVA Compass Bank is ranked among the top twenty largest banks in the country. It is a subsidiary of the Spanish bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, with headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. BBVA Compass has over 600 branches in 7 different states. In Texas, BBVA Compass operates 330 branch offices located within 140 cities. There are approximately 32 BBVA Compass Bank Houston locations. Fees for BBVA Compass customers include an opening deposit requirement of $25, overdraft fee of $12, out of network ATM fee of $2.50, a foreign transaction fee of 3% of total spend, and a card replacement fee of $7 – $10.50. These numbers reflect the fees associated with the BBVA Compass Easy Checking Account.
Chase Bank Houston
Chase is one of the four largest banks in the United States. It serves as the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chase has over 5100 branches in 23 different states. In Texas, Chase is represented by 570 branch offices located within 120 cities. There are approximately 116 Chase Bank Houston locations. Fees for Chase customers include an opening deposit requirement of $25, a monthly maintenance fee of $17, overdraft fee of $34, out of network ATM fee of $2.50, foreign transaction fee of 3% of total spend, and a card replacement fee of $5. These numbers reflect the fees associated with the Chase Total Checking Account.
Wells Fargo Bank Houston
Founded in 1870, Wells Fargo is currently considered to be the largest bank in the United States. It operates over 5700 branches in 40 states. In the state of Texas, you can find more than 600 offices in 200 different cities. More specifically, there are about 90 Wells Fargo Houston locations. Fees for Wells Fargo account holders include an opening deposit requirement of $25, a monthly maintenance fee of $10, overdraft fee of $35, out of network ATM fee of $2.50, foreign transaction fee of 3% of total spend, and a card replacement fee of $5. These numbers reflect the fees associated with the Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking Account.
Explore your Alternatives
For a fast-growing population and economy like Houston, residents should think about their money and how would they can save for their future needs without hurting their pockets. With the multitude of different fees imposed by banks, it is up to the consumer to decide the best money handling option for them. If you, as a consumer, want to explore other ways to manage your finances without going to a traditional bank, a Chime Account may just be an attractive alternative. Banking has evolved and Chime is a bank account that can help you get ahead in a modern way. It is based entirely online, making it easy to access anytime you want. Account holders simply download and use the award-winning mobile app to manage their account. Better yet, there are no hidden fees for using a Chime Account. Chime believes that a bank account shouldn’t cost money.