Senior citizens are used to getting good deals. Tell the truth: if you're aren't of AARP age, there have been times you wish you were -- when buying mass transit tickets, for example, or visiting America's national parks (one $10 fee gets you into any park, all year). Plenty of restaurants and other retailers offer "senior days" and other deals.Read the rest here.
But take checking accounts off the senior discount list. A new report by the Pew Center on the States warns(.pdf) that so-called senior checking accounts may not be a good deal at all. In fact, in some cases, senior accounts cost much more than a basic checking account.
At Bank of America, for instance, a senior account is far more expensive than a basic account. Here are the facts, from Bank of America's website. The bank's “Advantage for Seniors” account costs $25 per month vs. a basic checking account fee of $14 per month. In both cases, consumers can earn a fee waiver, but here again, the senior account comes up short. Direct deposit of paychecks is one way, but that's often not available to seniors, Pew points out in its report. Basic checking users can also avoid fees by maintaining a $1,500 balance in their account; but seniors have to keep at least $5,000 in their account. Fall below $5,000 for even one day, and that's a $25 fee.
Banks are the enemy.