Free checking showcases the gap between credit unions and banks.
Credit unions are more than twice as likely as banks to offer new members a free checking account, according to a new Bankrate.com report.
Economist says credit unions are paying for free checking services by raising their overdraft fees.
Credit unions twice as likely as banks to offer consumers a free checking account.
Checking accounts still command loyalty and still have revenue benefits.
Bankrate.com releases survey of bank and credit union checking accounts.
Community banks also offer far more free checking options than big banks. Economist blames interchange cap on large institutions.
In 2012, 33,440 new members joined Bethpage, a 26% increase compared to 2011, the Long Island credit union said.
Since 2010, credit unions offering free checking dropped from 78% to 72%, while it plunged from 65% to 39% at banks.
Survey finds free checking with no minimum balance 72% of largest credit unions compared with 45% of banks.