FORT MYERS, Fla. - Spending your own money is getting more expensive, as free checking is harder to come by. A new survey from MoneyRates.Com finds banks are hiking monthly costs, ATM charges and overdraft fees.
The bank comparison website found fees increased in every category the survey tracks. Service fees rose by $0.80, averaging more than $12 a month. Average overdraft fees crept up by more than $0.60 to nearly $30.
Only 35% of banks don't charge monthly fees.
Another survey from BankRate.Com found fewer credit unions are offering free checking.
You can avoid these fees if you keep a minimum balance, but even that is rising. The average requirement is now $4,400.
Fees are rising as banks try to make up revenue lost after financial reform took effect. The legislation limited interchange fees, how much banks can charge retailers whenever someone uses a Debit Card for a purchase.
If you're thinking of opening a new account, MoneyRates recommends that you consider online banks or smaller banks. These are more likely to have accounts with no monthly fees.