Free Checking Plummets 40% in 2 Years


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September 26, 2011

Free checking’s disappearing act is becoming widespread, according to Bankrate’s 2011 Checking Account Survey.

Only 45% of noninterest checking accounts remain complimentary, as compared to 76% just two years ago. So free checking has declined by 31 points and is only about 60% (45/76) of what it was 2 years ago—a massive 40% drop.

“Free checking is on the way out in 2011, while the banking industry ushered in increases in checking account fees, ATM charges and penalties for account overdrafts,” states “However, banks still will offer free checking for meeting conditions such as signing up for direct deposit.”

Overdraft charges, meanwhile, reached record levels for a 13th consecutive year. ATM fees also increased for a 7th straight year. 

Click here to read more on the study results.

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