Checking accounts becoming more costly - Bad news for the consumers
Bad news keep pouring in for the citizens of America. Student loans are going to be scarce in the near future. In addition to that, consumers may have to pay more for the checking accounts. If the reports are correct, banks are going to reduce the number of non-interest checking accounts in the country. Most of the banks don't charge fees for these accounts. However, this situation is going to change soon. Most of the reputed banks are planning to cut down the number of these accounts by a considerable percent. Besides, consumers will not be able to take advantage of free checking option as easily as they used to do earlier.
Read on to know how the consumers may have to spend more bucks for the checking account.
Checking accounts becoming more costly
Go through the following lines to know about the various ways in which you may have to pay more for the checking accounts:
1. Maintenance fees are rising: An increasing number of banks have started charging account maintenance fees nowadays. The sad news is that these fees are increasing day by day. The account maintenance fee has increased to around $4.37 in the year 2011. The financial experts believe that the trend is less likely to change in the coming days.
2. Fewer options to avoid fees: Some banks offer several options to the consumers so that they can avoid paying the monthly fees on the checking accounts. However, the banks have started limiting these options for generating more revenue. Earlier, you didn't have to pay any fee by maintaining a minimum balance of $249 in the checking account. Now, the minimum balance criteria have increased to $585 in the year 2011.
3. Free checking accounts declines: According to a recent survey, the number of free checking accounts is fast declining. In 2010, the number of non-interest checking accounts for which the consumers were not required to pay any maintenance fee was around 65%. This figure has dropped to around 45% in the year 2011. The financial experts are blaming the new regulations for the drop in the number of non-interest checking accounts. The correct economic condition has also played a major role in this.
4. Debt card fees will be more prevalent: Most debit card companies don't charge any maintenance fees on the consumers. At present, around 4% of the debit card companies charge sale fee on the consumers. Nearly, 2% of the companies charge a fee for using a debit card. The fact is maximum people are not even aware of these fees. They hardly know how to interpret the account statements.
However, it is expected that the debit card fees will become more prevalent after the Durbin Amendment. So, great ready to pay a fee for carrying the plastic card or transactions.
5. ATM fees are increasing: The ATM fees are increasing for the past 7 years. The fee has increased to $2.40 in the year 2011, an increase of 3% from that of 2010. The ATM fees increases every year, which means consumers have to pay more each year.
3 Tips to avoid paying more for the checking accounts
Here are some tips which you can use to avoid paying more for the checking accounts:
1. Make a direct deposit: One way to avoid paying monthly fees on the checking account is to make a direct deposit. Some banks are not charging any fee on the non-interest accounts when the consumers are making a direct deposit. They are giving this option to the consumers to maintain a healthy relation with them.
2. Check your account statement: Keep an eye on your account statements from time to time. This will help you find out whether or not the bank has started charging any new fees.
3. Switch to credit cards: If the debit card issuer starts charging fees and you don't want to pay it, then you can switch to the credit cards again. Make timely payments on the cards and take advantage of reward programs.
Finally, if you feel that your bank is charging an excessive fee on the checking account, then you can switch over to another bank. There are some banks and financial institutions that are still charging moderate fee on the checking accounts due to intense competition in the industry.