Another record-setting year for checking account fees

5 min read

2019 rates update: See Bankrate’s updated list of no/low fee checking accounts. Here are the best checking accounts of 2019.

Using a checking account this year may cost you more than ever, according to the 2015 Bankrate Checking Survey.

Account holders are paying record-high fees for everything from withdrawing money from an ATM outside their bank’s network to overdrawing their account.

Free checking also is getting harder to come by. Not in the 12 years Bankrate has been studying it have so few banks offered real free checking — a checking account with no monthly fee, regardless of your balance or whether you do direct deposit.

Ultimately, a move to monthly fees for checking may not be a bad thing, says Tom Feltner, director of financial services for the Consumer Federation of America.

“Low upfront, transparent monthly fees are much clearer than those accounts that are advertised as free but have highly variable back-end fees like ATM fees and overdrafts,” Feltner says.

Bankrate surveyed 10 banks and thrifts in each of 25 large U.S. markets from July 9 to Aug. 5, 2015.

Read on to find out just how much more Americans are forking over, on average, for key checking fees.