7 On Your Side

'Free' checking is getting expensive

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Free" checking accounts are not necessarily free anymore. In fact, it is getting pretty expensive.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that so-called "free" checking accounts are more expensive than ever.

To avoid a monthly fee, customers must keep an average balance of $723 in their checking account. That's 23 percent more than last year.

Those paying for accounts are paying more too: the average monthly fee for non-interest checking accounts rose 25 percent to about $5.48. And that is not the only place where bank customers are paying more.

Financial website, http://www.bankrate.com/, says ATM surcharges rose 4 percent, hitting a record high of $2.50 charged, on average, for using another bank's money machine.

Here are the cities where it cost most to use an out of network ATM Denver is the most expensive with a charge of $2.80, followed by a tie between New York and Seattle at $2.70 then San Francisco and Houston are tied at $2.69.

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