Historians may soon call 2011 the year free checking died.
According to Bankrate’s 2011 Checking Account Survey, the percentage of noninterest checking accounts has dropped from 76%–its peak two years ago–to a measly 45%. Last year, it was 65%. Meanwhile fees for nonsufficient funds (aka overdrafts) hit a 13-year high, while ATM fees reached their highest mark for the seventh year in a row.
There are some bright spots, however. Some banks are willing to waive their fees if the customers “meet certain conditions … For example, if they set up direct deposit or maintain a balance, notes Bloomberg.
So if you’re looking to make the most of your checking account, have your employer set everything up. Your checking account just might thank you for saving its life.
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