NEW YORK ( LowCards.com) -- Here is an easy resolution you may have missed making early this month but that may yet save you more than $100 this year: Pay attention to the notices and fine print from your bank. Fees are rising with many major banks, and there may be more you have to do to get or keep a free checking account.When Congress passed regulations on the financial industry, banks warned that the restrictions would lose them revenue, causing them to raise rates and fees to recover it. Banks have proved many times they weren't bluffing. They added a number of fees in the past two years and now are testing fees on checking accounts, something that could affect millions of consumers by the end of 2011.
|Bank of America is testing a checking-fee system charging between $6 and $25 a month unless customers take steps to avoid them.|
Bank of America is testing a fee system that divides customers into four groups and charges monthly fees based on how much money and how many accounts a customer has with the bank. The fees could range from $6 to $25 a month, but customers can avoid the fees if they maintain a certain minimum balance, make a minimum number of deposits (determined by account level), or bank in certain ways, such as linking multiple accounts and credit cards. Chase ( JPM)
Starting Feb. 8, Chase will enroll new customers in its Total Checking program, which bears a $12 monthly fee that can be waived for those who maintain a $1,500 balance, make $500 in monthly direct deposits or keep a $5,000 balance across deposit accounts. Older accounts will get a $6 monthly fee that can be waived with $500 in monthly deposits or five debit card purchases a month. Chase is also increasing fees on some account activities, according to the Chicago Tribune, as well as offering a $1 ATM option for customers to see their five to 10 most recent account transactions -- a service that remains free online. Overdraft protection fees are rising from $10 a day to $12 (waived if the account is overdrawn by $5 or less). The insufficient-funds fee is increasing to $12 from $10. Sending wire transfers will cost $30, an increase from $25. Online transfers jump to $25 from $20. Stopped-payment requests increase to $34 from $32.