2011 Checking Account Survey
7 ways checking accounts cost you more

Checking Account » 7 Ways Checking Accounts Cost You More

Interest checking even less interesting
Slide 7 of 8
Interest checking even less interesting

With some exceptions, interest checking continues to become less attractive for account holders. Yields were down for the fifth consecutive year, falling 2 basis points to an all-time low of 0.08 percent.

Even as yields fell, fees rose. The average monthly maintenance fee for an interest-bearing checking account jumped 8.5 percent, from $13.05 to $14.05.

Avoiding those fees is mostly about keeping lots of money stored at your bank, earning a miniscule interest rate. While many noninterest checking accounts allow you to avoid monthly maintenance fees by signing up for direct deposit, 81 percent of interest accounts require maintaining a minimum balance to steer clear of monthly fees.

Making matters worse, that minimum balance increased sharply, rising 43 percent from $3,883 to $5,587.

Tip: If you want to earn interest on your checking account balance, and you tend to make a lot of debit card transactions, you might want to look into high-interest checking accounts, McBride says. Mostly offered by small banks, credit unions and online banks, high-interest checking accounts can pay more than 1 percent on deposits.

"For those who can meet the requirements, it's a slam-dunk because the interest earnings trump anything else you're going to find on risk-free investments," McBride says.





Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.



Claes Bell

Are ‘pop-up’ bank branches the future?

Imagine a food truck, but instead of Korean tacos or barbecue sliders, the truck dispenses cash and financial services. Sure, the latter isn't as tasty, but banks seem to be leaning increasingly toward so-called "pop-up branches" as a way to serve customers while still reducing their brick-and-mortar branch footprint -- and costs. Bank of America  ... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us