I've figured that the time has come for me to get a checking account, and I'm pretty much lost. I've been using a credit card tied to the parents account all these years, but I'm trying to become more independent and not rely on my parents so much. Bank of America offers a CampusEdge checking account which is free for five years - after that I have to have a MyAccess account which has a monthly fee, but if I have a "qualifying monthly direct deposit" the fee is waived. What exactly is a monthly direct deposit? It also comes with a StuffHappens card, I have no idea what that is? It says, "good for one-time service fee or overdraft fee refund." Eh? Washington Mutual just has two checking options, Free or Platinum. Free checking seems to have more free stuff than what Bank of America's CampusEdge/MyAccess has. The only real difference that I have been able to comprehend is that BoA gives a Visa debit card and WaMu gives a Mastercard debit card. I'm partial to BoA/Visa but I don't think that matters. Do I just go to the bank and say, "I want a checking account!", go through the process, give them the money to put in my account and I'm done? Any help would be appreciated.