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Regions Bank: Powerhouse bank in the South, Midwest

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Regions Bank logo thumbnailRegions Financial Corporation today ranks as one of the country's largest banks, with $126 billion in assets, about 1,500 offices and 1,900 ATMs. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Regions serves customers in the South and Midwest portions of the country.

Regions got its start in 1971 when it was known as First Alabama Bancshares Inc. Back then, the bank had $543 million in assets and 40 locations. In 2006, the bank merged with AmSouth Bancorporation. Today, Regions Bank serves more than 4 million households.

Because of its size and the variety of services it offers -- everything from basic and advanced checking and savings accounts to credit cards, mortgages, auto loans and wealth management services -- the bank is a good fit for customers looking for plenty of locations, a wide network of ATMs and online banking services. The key for these customers? They need to make sure they meet the minimum requirements to avoid paying any fees on the bank's checking accounts.

Checking accounts at Regions Bank

Regions offers several tiers of checking accounts, all under the bank's LifeGreen branding.

Basic checking: LifeGreen Checking Account

The bank's basic checking account is its LifeGreen Checking Account. This account does charge a monthly fee: $8 if you choose online statements and $10 with paper statements. You can avoid the fee, though, by making at least one direct deposit to the checking account of at least $500 or combined direct deposits of at least $1,000 during a cycle. You can avoid the fee, too, by maintaining a $1,500 average monthly balance.

To open this basic account, you'll need a minimum deposit of $50.

Reward checking account options: Regions Relationship Awards

All Regions Bank checking accounts allow you to earn points -- called Regions Relationship Awards -- that you can redeem for merchandise, gift cards, cash, travel and event tickets. You'll earn points for maintaining your account, using online bill pay and using Regions' ATMs.

Regions banking online for checking

Customers who prefer to do most of their banking online can choose the bank's LifeGreen eAccess Account. This account provides online statements, free access to Regions' online banking with bill pay and a Visa CheckCard debit card. Customers can avoid the $8 monthly fee by making any combination of at least 10 Regions CheckCard and credit card purchases. This account also requires a $50 opening deposit.

Earn interest through preferred checking

The bank's LifeGreen Preferred Checking Account is a more advanced product, offering interest on customers' balance. It does come with a higher monthly fee of $18. Customers can avoid this fee by maintaining an average monthly balance of $5,000 in the checking account or a combined minimum balance from all of their checking, savings, money markets, CDs and IRAs of $25,000.

Savings accounts at Regions Bank

Regions offers a variety of ways for customers to save their money, savings accounts, CDs and MoneyMarket accounts.

Basic savings account

The bank's basic savings account requires a $50 deposit to open and comes with a $5 monthly fee. Customers can skip the fee by maintaining a daily balance of at least $300. The account, of course, does earn interest.

The bank's LifeGreen Savings account comes with no monthly fee for customers who also have a checking account with the bank. in addition to interest, this account pays 1 percent annual savings bonus based on customers' balance. The bonus, though, can only reach a maximum of $100. Customers need a checking account with the bank plus a $50 deposit when opening online or a $5 deposit when opening in a branch to start their account.

Money market accounts

Regions offers two levels of money market accounts: a basic account that comes with a $12 fee and requires an initial deposit of $100, and its Platinum Relationship account, which has a monthly fee of $15 and requires an opening deposit of $15,000.

Customers can avoid the monthly fee on the basic account by maintaining an minimum daily balance of $2,500. They can skip the fee on the Platinum account by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $15,000 or by opening and maintaining a LifeGreen Preferred Checking account at the bank.

CD accounts

Customers can choose from two CDs, too, the basic Regions CD and the Promotional CD. The Regions CD requires an opening balance of at least $500 for CDs with terms of 90 days or longer. That required balance rises to $2,500 for terms of seven to 89 days. To open a Promotional CD, which offers high CD rates, customers need an opening balance of at least $10,000.

Honors and charity

Regions has won several honors during its long history. A recent survey by Reputation Institute and American Banker Magazine found that Regions had the strongest reputation among banks in the United States. The bank also runs an associate volunteer program and financial literacy events while providing financial assistance to Americans with disabilities, military veterans and low- to moderate-income individuals and communities.

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