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Bank Fees Are On the Rise

Many banks are substantially increasing their checking account fees. Is your bank one of them?

Nearly all banks tracked by Bankrate are increasing their checking account fees, some by as much as 25 percent, according to a 2012 Bankrate survey.

The recent increase in fees is the banking industry's response to recent regulations limiting consumer overdraft fees and to new rules capping the cost of debit card swipe fees for U.S. retailers, says Eben Jose, an industry research analyst with IBIS World, on Bankrate. 

In a recent Bankrate poll, 72 percent of Americans said they would consider switching banks if their financial institution raised its fees on checking accounts.

Only 39 percent of banks offered a checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee, in Bankrate's survey

Patch compared the fees and balance requirements for a basic checking account at several Philadelphia area banks. 

Bank Name Minimum Balance Monthly Fee Fee Per Check Interest Rate Earned Bank of America $1500 $12 N/A N/A TD Bank None $3.99 N/A N/A Wells Fargo $1500 $9 N/A N/A PNC $1500  $10 N/A Yes National Penn Bank $5000 $5.95 N/A N/A Citizens Bank $2500 $11.99 N/A .03%

Sovereign Bank

$500 $5 N/A N/A Bryn Mawr Trust $2000 N/A N/A .05% Franklin Mint $1000 $10 N/A N/A

Comparing Checking Accounts

The information above was compiled from the basic checking accounts offered at each bank. Most banks offer a variety of checking account options. Several of the banks above waive the monthly fee if you maintain the required monthly minimum balance. 

Many banks offer a free online checking account option to customers who do their banking online or with a mobile device and receive electronic statements. 

Has your bank increased its checking account fees? Would you change banks to lower your banking fees? Let Patch know your thoughts in the comments. 

Randy Mintz September 27, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Check out Penn Liberty Bank. Free checking, free ATM's even to non-customers and great rates considering the rate environment. Locally owned and operated. Locations in West Chester, Exton/Downingtown, Chester Springs, Malvern and Paoli. www.pennlibertybank.com
jeannine urban September 27, 2012 at 02:59 PM
You have the Franklin Mint (Federal Credit Union) info completely wrong (sorry to be blunt). They offer a Free Checking No minimum Balance and NO monthly maintenance fees. The info you quoted was their top tier checking with interest and many perks. Franklin Mint is one of the best alternatives to big banks here in Delaware County.
Maryann September 27, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Same here. I have checking and savings account with Wells Fargo, don't always keep the minimum balance, and don't get charged any extra fees - as least yet!
Dave Hoag September 27, 2012 at 03:19 PM
National Bank of Malvern has no monthly fees if you maintain a $100 minimum balance. They also don't put ridiculous holds on checks and you're keeping your banking in the community. Some banks, like TD and Citizens, are foreign owned.
The Swell Guy October 01, 2012 at 05:00 AM
I was confused by this as well. I have what I call a few "emergency pocket money" checking/debit accounts (PNC, Bryn Mawr, Wells), and they are below the minimums, and I have never incurred a fee on any of them, ever, However, this appears to resemble the Business Checking Fee schedule rates and minimums I am familiar with. So, is it new customers only? A NEW rate including ALL customers, or is it simply the wrong rate chart??????

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