Some might remember the start of “no frills” flying, where in exchange for lower fares, airlines did away with perks like food…we can still smell the bologna sandwiches stuffed into carryon bags. The point is that there was an exchange of value – lower fares, no food. The problem is that this strategy signaled the start of the race to the bottom of no frills, landing in a place where we pay for the privilege of an airline transporting both ourselves and our luggage. The same might be true for checking accounts.
“If you want a no minimum balance, no fee, free checking account with no frills or anything, we’ve still got it for you,” Joseph Guyaux, president of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc., the bank’s parent, said during a recent visit to Lansing.”
Oh yes, there’s still plenty of free checking in the U.S., but what’s most likely to happen is that the race to the bottom has begun. It may take a few years, but “no frills, no food” checking is on its way. Pack light.