Checking account fees are going up especially at large banks. Banks are blaming new regulations such as the debit card regulation that takes effect in October. However, when deposit rates are so low while loan rates have remain fairly high, it's hard to feel sorry for the banks.
Two common fees that have been going up are foreign ATM fees and paper statement fees. Foreign ATM fees are the fees that your bank charges when you use other banks' ATMs. This doesn't include the fee charged by the ATM owner. Many banks are pushing customers into online statements. If you prefer paper statements, you'll have to be careful to ensure your bank doesn't start charging you.
Three large banks increasing the above fees include PNC, US Bank and Citizens Bank. Credit for this information goes to Mary Morgan at Financial Shop Solutions.
At PNC Bank, higher fees are taking effect in September. Foreign ATM transaction fees are increasing from $2 to $2.50. The fee for check images with paper statements is going up from $2 to $3.
At US Bank, higher fees took effect in June. Like PNC, ATM foreign transaction fees increased from $2 to $2.50. Paper statement fees went up $2.
Citizens Bank has slowly been increasing fees since 2010. Foreign ATM transaction fees have gone up from $2 to $3, and they are no longer waived with package accounts. Paper statements are no longer free. They now cost at least $2. The fee for check images with paper statement increased from $1 to $3, and the fee for check enclosures with paper statement went up from $2 to $5.
For the serious savers, these fees are probably not worrisome. You can avoid ATM fees by ensuring you only use your bank's ATMs. Enrolling for online statements can eliminate paper statement fees.
If you use ATMs a lot or if you prefer paper statements, you should consider banks or credit unions that are more friendly on these fees. Ally Bank is a good one. It automatically reimburses ATM fees in the U.S. charged by other banks at the end of monthly statement period. Also, Ally Bank still mails paper statements without a fee. You can set the statement option to paper or electronic when you're logged into your account.
How important is free ATMs and paper statements to you?