2010 Checking Study
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7 key checking trends for the coming year

Service fees go up
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Those checking account holders unlucky enough to be stuck with monthly service fees have seen those fees rise in the last year. For noninterest checking accounts, the average fee rose from $1.77 in 2009 to $2.49 in this year's study, marking the first time the fee has risen year-over-year since Bankrate's first checking study in 1998.

Interest checking accounts also saw higher service fees in this year's study, with the average fee ticking up to $13.04, a slight increase over the 2009 average of $12.55.

Tip: If you find yourself paying monthly service fees that are too high, consider switching to an account that waives such fees in exchange for requiring you to do most of your banking online. Because online banking doesn't force banks to spend money on overhead-intensive services like sending out paper statements and paying bank tellers, banks often charge less for accounts that require you to bank online, McBride says.




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