Free Checking Being Eliminated - Page 2
Here are some of the other options if you want to avoid additional fees banks are charging, according to Greg McBride.
- Direct Deposit If you deposit your salary or other check electronically through direct deposit, many banks will waive fees charged for non-interest checking accounts. To encourage customers to use this cost saving feature (for the bank) they've tried to make it attractive for the consumer.
- Minimum Balance If you maintain a minimum balance in your account, you will avoid fees. What is the minimum balance? It is not what it used to be for a free checking account that PAYS INTEREST.The average balance required is $5,587 which is up 44 % from a year ago, noted in the Bankrate survey.
Because the average interest gained for an interest checking account is .08%, most customers are better off with a non-interest checking account if they make sure to avoid fees by keeping a balance of around $585, the average balance for those accounts, Bankrate's senior financial analyst told Block.
The bottom line is that customers will most likely put up with this because they have little choice. Block included an apt quote in her USA Today.com article by Ed Mierzwinski from the U.S. Research Public Interest Group: Large banks "have captive customers that they are confident will not vote with their feet." But "the recent increases may be enough to start people...shopping around."
If after the first monthly electronic statement that these regulations go into effect, customers who were not apprised of the changes experience digital statement shock, most likely, people will be clicking online bank sites to comparison shop. There will be a few hold out banks, that may offer lower fees and perhaps this will be good business for small banks who are looking to gain customers with attractive offers.