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Local Banks Differ in Benefits

By Hyun Soo Kim
Associate News Editor

Choosing a bank is usually one of the first priorities for incoming students. In making this decision, new students should consider the location, interest rates, Automatic Teller Machine accessibility, and any additional benefits a bank offers. The following are seven banks with branches near the MIT campus:

The Bank of Boston's One Fee checking account offers a minimum opening deposit of $10, $8 monthly service charges, and free ATM access on Bank of Boston ATMs, and unlimited checks. For non-bank ATMs, the fee is $1.25 for each transaction. The First Step savings account has an interest rate of 2 percent,$10 minimum opening deposit, and a monthly $1 service charge. (Senior Customer Service Representative Christina Williams)

The BayBank Student Value checking account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service charges for students under 19. If a customer writes more than eight checks per month, each additional check costs 75 cents. The savings account, opened concurrently with the checking account, offers a current 2 percent interest rate and no minimum balance. For students over 19, however, there is a $5 monthly service charge for the combined checking and savings package. ATM transactions are free on the bank's machines.

Cambridge Savings Bank's Personal Checking Account has a minimum opening deposit of $100 and no minimum balance, no check fees or monthly maintenance fees, and free ATM access to the bank's machines. The savings account has a $1 minimum opening deposit requirement and a current 2.85 percent interest rate.

The Cambridge Trust Company's ATM Convenience Account offers no minimum balance, no maintenance fees, and a limit of five check transactions per month, with a $3 charge for additional checks. Cambridge Trust offers free usage of its ATMs, but charges a $1 fee for other ATMs. The savings account offers a 3 percent interest rate, a $200 minimum balance, and no maintenance fees. (Robert C. Gray, customer service representative)

Cambridgeport Bank's Value Checking Account has a $10 opening deposit, no minimum balance, unlimited checking transactions, and free usage of the bank's ATMs. Customers also receive three free transactions per month on other banks' ATMs, and additional transactions cost $1. The savings account offers a 2.85 percent interest, a $100 minimum balance, and a $10 opening deposit. (Aurora Pineta, teller)

Shawmut Bank's Streamline checking account has no minimum balance requirement, a $1 opening deposit, no maintenance fees, and a limit of seven checking transactions a month. Transactions on the bank's ATMs are free. Additional checks processed each month incur a $5.25 transaction fee. The Basic Savings account has an 0.9 interest rate and a $100 minimum balance.

US Trust's Student Checking Account has a $250 minimum balance, no monthly service charges, unlimited checking transactions, and no service charge for any ATMs. The savings account offers a 3 percent interest rate and a $250 minimum balance. (Michael Lafrance, manager of Kendall Square branch)