The latest survey of
checking accounts and
ATM fees is complete. And guess what Bankrate.com found? Here’s a hint: Hold on to your wallet!

Bounced-check fees soared, with the average hitting a new high. ATM fees are as high as they’ve ever been. For interest checking accounts, the average monthly service fee hit a record high. Balance requirements on interest accounts — both to open the account and avoid fees — increased since last fall. What’s more, the average yield failed to improve despite repeated Fed interest-rate hikes.

In other words, more of the same.

Of course, we do have some good news to pass along. Noninterest checking accounts remain a bargain in relation to interest checking accounts, with fees and balance requirements that are a fraction of those on interest checking accounts. Online banks continue to offer lower balance requirements. And unlike brick-and-mortar banks,
online banks are offering a higher return as interest rates climb.

Bankrate.com’s semiannual Checking Account Pricing Study looked at a total of 458 checking accounts from the largest banks and thrifts in the 25 largest U.S. markets. Bankrate.com looked at the one interest and one noninterest checking account at each institution that can be opened for the lowest minimum deposit. In addition, Bankrate.com also surveyed 17 online checking accounts at 10 institutions.

Results of the survey:
Checking accounts,
ATM fees,
Online vs. traditional banks