A new report from MoneyRates.com finds that free checking accounts are becoming increasingly rare. Consumers are urged to spend time researching banks, their fees and continue to be diligent in managing money.
MoneyRates.com conducted a survey of checking account fees paid that found the average fees grew to new heights across the country in 2014. In its report, it shows that the percentage of accounts that come with no fees has dropped 28 percent. Monthly maintenance fees are higher, overdraft fees have increased and the required average minimum of money necessary to avoid fees has risen to $5,440.
The best way to avoid these fees is to look into smaller banks instead of big banks, as they tend to charge for more services with higher fees. Credit Unions also tend to offer better options.
To get an idea of how and what kind of fees are being increase and implemented, here are some numbers straight from the 2013 end-of-year survey: It now costs about $150 per year to keep a checking account for the average customer. Overdraft fees have increased to an average of $32.48 per transaction.
If you’re worried about fees with your checking account, log on to your online account with your bank, call the customer service number or stop in to your local branch to find out ways in which you can cut unnecessary fees and avoid any increase. Ask a customer service representative how to save money or research how to get help with money management at the lowest possible cost. Be smart, responsible and remember to keep close track of your accounts.
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