ATM Surcharges and Bank Fees Highest Ever, Survey Finds
NEW YORK -- The most recent survey from Bankrate.com has found that banking fees are at their highest ever and do not seem poised to drop anytime soon.
The survey found that ATM surcharges, on average, have moved to $1.78 up from $1.64, bounced check fees have moved from $28.32 up from $27.40 and monthly service fees on interest checking accounts have moved to $11.72 up from $10.74.
The research is compiled in Bankrate's fall 2007 Checking Study, which surveys recent trends in banking fees, including interest and non-interest bearing checking accounts, ATM fees and bounced check charges, the company said.
Bankrate translated what these changes would mean to average bank customers. For example, if you make one ATM withdrawal per week from another bank's ATM --paying a $2 surcharge and $1.25 fee to your own bank--costs a total of $169 over the course of one year.
Overdrawing a checking account or bouncing a check just 4 times per year is throwing away more than $100 annually--not including any additional fees charged by the merchant.
Interest checking accounts can cost you dearly. Fail to maintain the required balance and you'll be docked an average of $11.72 each month. This adds up to $140 per year, and is completely avoidable by getting a free checking account.