Goodbye, Free Checking
Just as things started looking up for bank customers thanks to a new ban on some overdraft fees, the big banks had to go and spoil it with plans to take away free checking.
That's right -- you might have to start paying a monthly maintenance fee if you don't maintain a certain balance or use multiple products and services, according to Bankrate.com (Have Banks Killed Free Checking?). The elimination of free checking will occur mainly at large banks, such as Bank of America, which are having to find new sources of revenue to compensate for the loss of overdraft-fee income.
Don't want to be stuck with new fees? Consider switching to a small bank or credit union, which have lower fees, lower rates on loans and higher yields on savings accounts. Plus, you'll get more personalized service. For more information about small banks and credit unions, see Banks That Put You First.
If you decide to make the switch, see How to Find a Local Bank. In this Kip Tip, Kiplinger.com managing editor Robert Long describes the steps he recently took to find the best bank for his needs.