Arvest Announces Future of Free Checking, Debit Card

Tuesday, October 04 at 07:47 AM
Category: Personal Finance

As national and regional banks around the country continue to eliminate low-cost banking services such as free checking and free debit cards, many consumers are concerned about the availability of these services.  In light of news stories touting the “death of free checking” we wanted to address this issue clearly for all of our customers and other consumers who are considering Arvest Bank.  We will continue offering a free checking account, a free debit card and will continue to have the lowest overdraft fees in the region.  Below is the official press release confirming this announcement.

Arvest Announces Future of Free Checking, Debit Card

Overdraft/NSF Fee on Free Checking, Already Among Lowest in U.S., To Be Lowered Further

(October 3, 2011)—As free checking, free debit cards and debit card rewards are on the chopping block at banks across the country, Arvest Bank announced today its commitment to providing a feature-rich free checking account with a free debit card, free online and mobile banking, and a debit card rewards program. Additionally, Arvest Bank – known for having some of the lowest overdraft/nsf fees in the nation – is bucking another national trend by actually lowering overdraft/nsf fees for its Free Checking account.

With a national average of $27.00¹ for overdraft/nsf fees, Arvest has one of the lowest in the country at $17.43 for free checking accounts. However, as of Monday, November 7, 2011, the bank is implementing a flat fee of $17 for all accounts. Arvest officials confirmed they will continue to offer a very attractive free checking account and will continue to have the lowest overdraft fees in the region. When you combine the value of our free checking account with our extended hours and extensive branch network, Arvest will offer customers the best overall value of any bank in the nation.

Increasing overdraft fees is only one trend making national banking headlines. New federal price controls impose a cap on debit card swipe fees, also known as the interchange rate, which has many banks eliminating free checking and debit rewards to make up the lost revenue.  According to research firm Moebs Services, nearly two thirds of big banks have eliminated free checking since the end of 2009.²

Arvest is defying the trend by maintaining a free checking account with a free debit card. This type of no minimum balance, no monthly fee account not only serves the interest of current Arvest free checking account holders, but also provides an alternative for consumers whose bank may have recently added fees to basic accounts.  Barring future regulatory changes, Arvest is committed to providing these free services to consumers.

In addition, several national and regional banks are testing monthly fees for the convenience of using debit cards, the most popular form of payment in the US. To that end, many banks have eliminated debit rewards or ended new enrollments in their programs. Arvest is committed to keeping the use of debit cards free and to continuing to provide access to their successful debit rewards program.

1. Source: FDIC
2. Aspan, Maria. "American Banker 29 Aug. 2011. American Banker: The Financial Services Daily. 

Tags: Press Release
Dennis on 10/4/2011 at 9:18 AM

Excellent news.  Thank you so much for keeping it so those of us on SSN can survive better. Bottom line - keeps me as a customer also.

ddys on 10/4/2011 at 11:05 AM

This is what I wanted to hear!  So happy ARVEST is putting the needs of it's customers first!

George on 10/4/2011 at 12:01 PM

Way to go Arvest Bank! Go Arvest!

Trena on 10/4/2011 at 12:13 PM

Arvest is the best banking institution by far when it comes to customer service.  thanks a million

Anita on 10/4/2011 at 3:29 PM

Yah for Arvest!!!   I'm pretty sure my Parents are going to change over to ya'll from Bank of America now!   I love your Elkins Arkansas Branch!  Everyone there is So friendly and helpful!

rocky on 10/4/2011 at 9:08 PM


Thats great news I will be switching over soon from bank of america.

Geri on 10/5/2011 at 7:49 AM

Thanks!!  My husband was concerned about this and was considering going to mostly cash transactions to avoid the debit card charge if necessary.  Thank you for being a customer friendly bank!

Christine on 10/5/2011 at 8:28 AM

Thank you ArVest! Your care for your customers is why I chose to bank with you and why I will continue to. I have been nothing but satisfied with the services you offer and would recommend your bank to anyone!

Charles on 10/5/2011 at 9:58 AM

Outstanding!!  We who are on fixed income can relax now.

Pat on 10/5/2011 at 10:00 AM

So glad to hear this in these troubling times!  I recently moved out of  AR to a state where there is not a nearby Arvest.  Hope you can soon grow to my area!!  By the way, I did not move any  of my  3 accts. with me.  They are all still in my former local bank, and I wouldn't have it any other way!!


R. Z. on 10/5/2011 at 10:33 AM

 I'm happy to know that Arvest is "defying" the BIG BANK trends.  It's gratifying to know that I've made an excellent choice for my banking needs.  I also would like to give a shout out to the personnel at 31st and Mingo - 1st class, very accommodating, pleasant group - most specially Karen, Yash and Mary. Good folks!


Gleda on 10/5/2011 at 11:59 AM

You mentioned a "FLAT RATE FOR ALL CHECKING ACCOUNTS" does this mean you are in FACT RAISING THE NSF fees by $1.50 on the Fifty Plus Accounts for Seniors?

Greg on 10/5/2011 at 12:35 PM

Once again Arvest continues to show why it is still an excellent banking institution. As an Arvest customer of 14+ years I have always appreciated their service. And I will continue to do business with them for years to come. They have proven that they don't have to follow the trends of the other less personal banking institutions. This is why they continue to have the "small town feel" that customers appreciate. I will recommend your service should any of my friends and co-workers need a new bank to do business with.

ES on 10/5/2011 at 1:21 PM


Thank you, Arvest!  I stopped by the website today just to look for this information about reading about another bank hiking fees today.  We have always been so pleased with the customer service at all branches on our bank accounts and mortgage!

Kevin on 10/5/2011 at 1:34 PM

Thanks Arvest! This is another reason I have been with you for 20 years. Your commitment to your customers in excellent!! 

Arvest Blog Admin on 10/5/2011 at 1:37 PM

Gleda - The current od/nsf fee for Free Checking accounts, the largest portion of customers, is $17.43.  The od/nsf fee for all other accounts is $15.93.

Both od/nsf fees will be changed on November, 7, 2011, to be an even $17.   This will lower the fee for Free Checking accounts and will increase the fee by $1.07 for other accounts. 

The $17 fee will continue to be the lowest available at any bank in the region.  Thank you for your question.


Diana on 10/5/2011 at 6:25 PM

 Thank you Arvest for considering what "we" need from our personal banker.. What a relief to know our financial needs are really at the top of your concerns.

Donbadajoz on 10/6/2011 at 1:55 PM

I just received a letter indicating, ARVEST is raising the monthly service fee up $3.00 from $9.00 it is now... $12.00 to use my own money?! That is a 33% increase! Additionally, Arvest increase the NSF fee to ~$17 from ~$15 ... a 13% increase.


Arvest Blog Admin on 10/6/2011 at 3:33 PM

Donbadajoz - The letter you are referring to is letting Club Checking customers know about the account fee change from $9 to $12 to cover the new account additions of family AD&D insurance and family IDProtect insurance.  If you would prefer to have a Free Checking account, please contact the bank and we'll be happy to change your account to an account with no monthly fee.   Thank you!

David on 10/6/2011 at 3:50 PM

Thanks to all of you there at Arvest!  I had heard rumors of other banks charging for debit usage and was stopping by here to check if Arvest was going with this trend.  I am pleased to find that you are not!  I use my debit card almost exclusively for purchases as well as bill paying....charging for this usage would force me to find another bank to do business with.  Geographic location no longer determines where a customer has an account....with on-line banking and direct deposits I can bank anywhere, so I am very glad your decision has kept me banking with you!

Pat on 10/6/2011 at 4:50 PM

As a senior on a fixed income, I appreciate your letting us use the debit card free.  Have been an Arvest customer for more years than I can counts.  Thanks!

Amanda on 10/8/2011 at 12:02 PM

It is great that you won't be charging a monthly fee to use our debit cards. However, a statement that was made about the NSF fees being the lowest of any bank in the region is untrue. We have a Bank of America account as well (though that is going to go away shortly) and if the NSF is less than $10 they will not charge a fee as long as the money is back in the account within 72 hours of the NSF. It has only happened to me once in 17 years and was a complete mishap but I was relieved to hear that they weren't charging me the fee. If they had it would've been a $35 fee for a $4 NSF - so yes your FEE is lower but maybe you should look at your policy of charging an NSF fee on something under $10 for those who make mistakes every so often and at that only do it for a minimal amount.      

Tiffany on 10/13/2011 at 1:48 PM

Thank You Arvest Bank! I have been with Avest for many years and plan on being with Arvest for many more years, and the "DEFYING THE NORM" is the reason why. ARvest really cares about their customers and it has been proven over and over again. Thank you again for being a Strong Financial Institution I can trust and trust with my money :):)

Lawrence Matthew on 10/24/2011 at 9:11 AM

I just want to know if i qualify for a free checking account

Arvest Blog Admin on 10/24/2011 at 1:55 PM

Lawrence - To apply for an Arvest Free Checking account, you can visit any branch location or open your account online at 

Thank you


Claudia on 10/28/2011 at 11:06 AM

As with housing bubble bailouts, the captains of finance could learn a thing or too from this hillbilly bank!  I've been with Arvest since my McIlroy account got a new name, and no matter what town I'm in Arvest people treat me like I'm home.   For my needs you consistently offer the best interest rates on loans as well.  Thanks for bucking the trend once again!  Makes me proud to be from Arkansas.

Deb on 10/28/2011 at 2:15 PM

i was told when you have an account with Arvest they give you a free 1000.00 death ins. not sure this is correct if it is,,  if it is only for one person on account or if it covers 2nd name on account also?

Arvest Blog Admin on 10/28/2011 at 3:38 PM

    Deb - Thank you for your question about our Accidental Death & Dismemberment benefit.  This benefit is currently included with Arvest Club Checking. Beginning November 7, this coverage will be added to two additional accounts - myBlue Checking and Preferred Checking.  These are fee-based accounts loaded with many other benefits in addtion to the AD&D insurance.  If you have a question about which account is right for you, or any of the benefits of AD&D insurance, please call (866) 952-9523 for personal assistance.

SUN MOON & STARS on 11/1/2011 at 3:41 PM

 I just heard this on the radio... Free Checking Free online bill payt (Im hoping that is not forcing me to take EStatements) I am switching my accounts.  Some of these banks are being ridiculous. 

Loretta on 1/1/2012 at 10:46 AM

Arvest Bank in Muskogee, Ok. is the best Bank I have ever used and will continue to use and will Highly recommend to others. The Tellers at Walmart are so kind and caring. They always have a smile on their faces and are willing to help you in any way they can. Hey Tellers at the Walmart Bank of Muskogee, Ok.

Charles Hays on 3/5/2012 at 2:17 PM

After two years you clowns started charging me this month a $3.00 service charge with no warning or reason? CANCELING ACCOUNT!


Mike Scoles on 9/13/2012 at 8:10 PM
Thinking of doing the same myself, Charles. They played to the outrage over Bank of America's fiasco last year. Now Arvest is doing the same thing.
Jason Holden on 9/14/2012 at 12:56 AM
Nice...this article was pointed out to me on Facebook. It's always funny to read press releases like this less than a year later. Apparently Arvest is no longer committed to the same ideals. I was a bit mad at first then I remember who I was dealing with...a bank.
Arvest Blog Admin on 9/14/2012 at 1:03 PM
Mike and Jason - Very sorry you feel we have let you down. All of the information about our free checking product listed in the above article from October of 2011 is still accurate. We still offer Free Blue Checking with free debit card, no minimum balance requirement, free mobile, free online banking, free e.Statements and one of the lowest overdraft fees in the nation. Online BillPay pricing is .50 per item unless you are a myBlue, Club or Preferred Club account holder.
Jason Holden on 9/14/2012 at 9:54 PM

Whoa! Found them! (Arvest associate) wasn't lying! So (Arvest associate) at call center explained the whole thing...just a big misunderstanding. Explained that Arvest ran into some hard times that put a little reality check on their grand ideas. So they just fell in line. Go search twitter for Arvest. Started a new has tag for you guys.

*note - Associate name was edited from this comment.

Jason Holden on 9/14/2012 at 11:02 PM

Sensor me will you?

*note - For the security of our blog users, commenters cannot include web links embedded in comments.  This post has been edited.

mike coss on 1/22/2013 at 4:12 PM
Arvest has great services.tried the other people for a while. Glad I never closed my account
Courtney on 11/12/2013 at 6:09 PM
I just created my account at the Arvest in Prairie Grove AR last month and got the extended overdraft protection. But nobody explained to me why it would take 30 days and what they meant by whether I get it or not its subject to approval? What do they mean by that and why does it take 30 days? How do I get approved for it? I tried calling my bank but she didnt give me a straight answer. I need the overdraft protection for emergencys. please help. Thanks.
Arvest Blog Admin on 11/12/2013 at 7:18 PM
Courtney - Thanks for reaching out to us. We'd be happy to get on the phone with you to discuss the ins and outs of extended overdraft protection. Please email your phone number and the best time to call to

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