MoneyRates.com Survey: Free Checking at Banks Hits New Low

Posted by Marissa Anema Tuesday, August 20, 2013 9:41:00 AM

FOSTER CITY, Calif. – The percentage of banks offering free checking dropped again in the first half of the year, according to the latest MoneyRates.com Bank Fees Survey, a semi-annual report that highlights trends in the cost of checking accounts.

Less than 30.31% of banks surveyed had no monthly maintenance fee, the lowest percentage since 2009, when MoneyRates.com first launched its survey. That is a drop from 36.6% recorded at the end of 2012.

Online banks were more likely to have fee-free maintenance of checking accounts (78.95%) than brick and mortar banks (27.70%), findings that were attributed by the report to the lower overhead costs of online banks. The average monthly service fee for a checking account was $12.43.

Not only are fewer banks offering free checking, they have increased their fees; the average monthly service fee is now $12.43, while the average overdraft fee is now $31.60.

The MoneyRates.com Bank Fees Survey is based on the MoneyRates Index, a sampling of 100 banks consisting of the 50 largest U.S. retail banks by deposits, plus 50 smaller banks.

For more information on the survey, click here

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