I've belonged to quite a few banks and credit unions over the years. And I have to say that I definately prefer Credit Unions to a bank. When I moved away from home I also left behind my military credit unions which I had belonged to for as long as I can recall (Navy Federal and Cherry Point). It was quite a shock for me when I learned that most banks do not give interest on checking accounts...who knew?
Anyway, I am happy to tell you that I have found a local alternative...North Carolina State Employee's Credit Union. There is one in just about every town in NC so it's easy access no matter where my work sends me :0) And no, I do not work and have never worked for the state. But did you know that you can join if you have a FAMILY member who belongs? I didn't know this for a good 10 years probably. Well, live and learn right?
Anyway, NCSECU is great. Some of the most important benifits to having an account here is that I get free checking, no charges from THEM at ATMs, discount tickets to many ammusement parks, and interest on my checking AND savings :0)
The con is that unlike some of the banks I've used, they do not have overdraft protection; instead, they will use your savings if you go over the amount in your checking. This is ok IF you have extra money in your savings...which I do not. So, essentially I've had to do without over-draft protection.