Free checking accounts are becoming less common and banking fees continue to grow, according to the 15th annual national checking survey conducted by Bankrate .com.
The survey found that just 39 percent of noninterest checking accounts are available to customers free of charge, down from 45 percent last year and a peak of 76 percent in 2009.
ATM charges rose for the eighth-straight year, this time by 4 percent to a new record of $2.50 per usage at non-network banks, the Bankrate.com survey found. It’s also the first time that 100 percent of banks Bankrate.com surveyed charged noncustomers to use their ATMs.
Many banks also charged their own customers for using another bank’s ATM. This fee jumped 11 percent to a national average of $1.57.
The average monthly service fee on noninterest checking accounts is up 25 percent to $5.48. The average balance requirement to avoid the fee is $723, a rise of 23 percent. The average monthly service fee on interest checking accounts is at $14.75, up 4 percent. Avoiding the fee requires an average balance of $6,117, an increase of 9 percent.