“Got checking account fees?” Ask your teens or college kids this question, and they’ll probably say “Who cares” or “Don’t know.” But chances are they are paying checking account maintenance fees. And those fees have been rising steadily, especially in relation to the small amount of money young people tend to have in their checking accounts. A recent report shows just how much fees have increased.
On average, Americans are paying just over $13 a month for checking accounts, according to a recent report from MoneyRates.com. And guess what? The minimum monthly balance required to avoid account maintenance fees has risen 90% since 2012 — to $6,847, on average. Add in ATM withdrawal fees at out-of-network ATMs and overdraft charges, and a checking account can get really pricey.
A Lesson in Fee Control
These days, most banks do not offer free checking. But there’s a silver lining: Kids who shop for a no-fee or low-minimum checking account can learn a valuable, lifelong lesson: Always ask about the fees, be it on a checking account, a mutual fund or a condo.