First Northern Bank, founded in 1910 in Dixon, California, continues offering Totally Free Checking to its customers in the surrounding counties which includes Sacramento. In addition to Totally Free Checking, the bank also offers 50+ Free Interest Checking (for customers age 50 and older) and Direct Deposit Free Interest Checking. These three checking accounts were originally part of the seven unique checking accounts comprising the “High Performance Checking Account Marketing Program” introduced in 1982 by a direct mail marketing agency in Lincoln, Nebraska. At the time, the direct deposit based account was introduced as VIP Interest Checking. Over the past three decades, most community banks and credit unions participating in the High Performance Checking Account Marketing Program have shortened the Totally Free Checking name to Free Checking. It’s always exciting to encounter a local community bank that continues offering Totally Free Checking, not to mention two additional accounts from the original list of seven. The ad shown below appeared in the April/May 2012 issue of the glossy Sactown magazine.