Unlike most of the other banks in town, Alternatives has free checking, no matter what your balance. They also offer the full range of financial services one normally expects with banking, including online banking. Their banking fees (e.g. wire transfers, stop deposit requests, etc.) are also reasonable. Since Alternatives is a community development credit union, it is member owned, locally controlled and self supporting, and it’s purpose is to meet the financial needs of the members of this community. Their mission: to contribute to a better society and a healthier community. They also have a Student Credit Union at the high school, offer free income tax preparation, make an extra effort to lend to minority and women owned businesses, offer good mortgages, and have several ATMS around Ithaca (e.g. Cornell campus, Greenstar, etc). As a freebie, their ATM located in Autumn Leaves Used Books (located on The Commons) does not charge, no matter where you bank.