Last month I reported on Incredible Bank’s new monthly maintenance fee for its checking account. Incredible Bank has emailed its customers regarding a change it has decided to make. The fee will still take effect in June, but they are making it easier to have this fee waived. In addition to maintaining a $300 checking account balance, customers can have this fee waived if they maintain an average collected balance that totals $5,000 for all of their deposit accounts. Below is an excerpt of the email that customers received (thanks to the DA reader who forwarded this to me):
Many of you asked if relationship pricing could be considered when placing fees on your IncredibleBank Checking account, which will now go in effect June 11th 2013 instead of June 1st. We are all about building a relationship with you, therefore we changed the requirements to the following:
* A maintenance fee of $15.00 may be charged if the average collected balance of the account falls below $300.00 during the statement cycle.
* The maintenance fee may be waived if the average collected balance of your total deposit accounts is $5,000 or more during the statement cycle.
What this means for you, is if you carry $5,000 or more throughout all of your IncredibleBank accounts (Money Market, CD, or Checking) the $15.00 fee may be waived.
As I mentioned when this fee was first announced, I was worried that this fee may hit several Incredible Bank customers who had moved their money from the checking account to Incredible Bank’s money market account for the higher rate. This latest fee change should prevent this from happening.
This new fee also highlights the potential problem of leaving old accounts opened. When accounts no longer have the top rates, it’s common for rate chasers to move most of their money to other banks. When accounts have no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, it’s easy to just leave them opened with a small balance. If you don’t keep an eye on the accounts, you could be surprised by fees. Even if the bank doesn’t add a monthly maintenance fee, they may have an inactivity fee. So if you find you’re not paying attention to old accounts, it’s probably best to close them.
Update 5/14/13: Incredible Bank reduced its rates late Monday. The checking account rate fell from 0.81% to 0.71% and the money market rate fell from 0.96% to 0.91%.