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About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Banks Planning New Account Fees


Bank depositors are being hit with a double whammy. First, deposit rates are at record lows, and with the recent mid-2013 pledge by the Fed, rates will likely continue to fall. Second, with weak loan demand and new regulations, banks are looking for new ways to increase revenue. This New York Times article mentioned a new type of fee that we may soon see:

Even as they cut payrolls, banks are exploring ways to generate revenue that could translate to higher costs for consumers. Among the possibilities are new fees for automatic deductions from checking accounts that pay utility and cable bills, according to people involved in the discussions.

The article also mentioned the new monthly fees at some banks when you use your debit card. I reviewed some of these banks in a previous post. SunTrust Bank will add a $5 monthly fee on its Everyday Checking Account when the customer makes a debit card purchase. Regions Bank's LifeGreen Checking has a $4 monthly fee when the customer makes a debit card purchase.

In addition to these new types of fees, banks are making it more difficult to avoid monthly fees. This may hit many savers who opened checking accounts to qualify for special CD rates. The latest example of this is at Regions Bank. The reader cumulus posted in this forum thread about Regions Bank fee changes that are scheduled to take effect on October 1st. Those who have Regions checking accounts should review these changes to make sure they don't get hit with a $18 monthly fee.

It's not just checking accounts that are being hit with new fees. U.S. Bank raised the annual fee on its IRAs from $10 to $30, and the minimum IRA balance to have this fee waived went up from $5,000 to $25,000.

One thing that can help you avoid missing the fee changes is our new bank alerts feature. In addition to notifying you when there's a rate change at your bank, it can also send you an email when there's a new blog post or forum thread about your bank. So if we mention a new fee, you'll be notified.

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I have a Region's Business Checking and have not been charged any fees so far. I wonder if they grandfather older accounts?
RJM   |     |   Comment #2
Really,a lot of people never change banks no matter what.

The bottom line is this country could easily get by with 20-40% fewer banks. All that brick & motor & payroll could be saved.

So many people just dont get it that they dont need a local bank.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
I have to maintain a Regions checking account, which I do not use, it has a small balance, because it was (and is) a requirement when opening a CD.  I don't want to close the CD because the rate is so good.  But I did switch the type of checking account.  It requires a smaller balance to avoid the fee.    
RJM   |     |   Comment #5
Got my wells fargo statement a few days ago. It almost got thrown away unopened. Glad I didnt.


A $7 fee started sept 12.  Which they would waive if I maintained a $1500 minimum balance

Did a direct deposit of $500 per month.


Or they offered to discount the $7 fee by $2 if I agreed to online statements.

Closed the account just now. It was one I opened for a $25-50 bonus a few years ago.


Formerly Southtrust, then wachovia, then wells fargo.
under the matress
under the matress   |     |   Comment #7
close the banks especially bofa aand perk street
t maker
t maker   |     |   Comment #8
i agree with four
t maKER
t maKER   |     |   Comment #11
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
TMaker-thanks! Appreciate that!! Always good to see a like-minded poster!!  Maybe I'm crazy.....but if I see a fee I dont like.....I find another bank. No big deal. Plus most banks have many ways to avoid their fees which Ken fails to mention......Yes....How dare a business make money!!  They should payv their customers to bank with them.....and any/all profits should be given to the "people".......Wecome to 1st State Bank of Karl Marx!!!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
I agree with #9 as well.......NEWSFLASH!!: Banks don't exist just to cater to your every need!! Guess what.....they, like any business,need to make profits so they can pay their employees and they in turn can feed their families.  Just like #9 asked.....Do all of you complainers work for free? Uh don't.
OGRADY   |     |   Comment #16
 i agree with rhett but not shore break  what is the point
I luv fees
I luv fees   |     |   Comment #18
If people want to be fleeced, good for them. Continue going to BofA, Chase, Wells, and the other large banks. It's like those who don't vote -- and then do nothing but complain about their leaders. In a perverse way, maybe these fees will be a good thing, if they're the last straw that finally make people wake up and realize that if they don't want to be fools, there are plenty of other opportunities available from local banks to plenty of open-to-all credit unions if they'll take an hour one time to switch. I left BofA years ago, moved my substantial savings to local banks with good rates, and do all my normal everyday banking at two local credit unions. I'll occasionally cash a BofA check at BofA (for no reason other than I'll get some exercise and it's next to a shop I frequent) and everytime I go in I'm asked why I'm not interested in opening an account there. I realize it's something employees are required to ask so I'm curteous in my reply normally, but last time the teller was persistant, wanting to know where I bank, so I told her: "no offense, because I know you're required to ask, but why would anyone ever want to bank with a bank that can't even go ONE WEEK without a news report of yet more lawsuits filed against it and allegations of fraud across all its divisions?"
lou   |     |   Comment #19
I agree if you dont like a bank, go to another; however, the Dodd Frank regulations pushed by the current Administration are forcing many banks to impose fees because of the restrictions placed on them to charge interbank credit card fees as well as bank overdraft fees. I fully agree with poster # 18: if you bank at Wells, Citi, BoA or Chase you really shouldn't complain, because it would be very easy to take your money elsewhere.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
Nobody is disputing that banks have to make money. But they should mainly be doing so by loaning your money out to others at higher rates than they pay you for deposits. For example, even my credit union, which I love, is currently offering auto loans starting at 3%, mortgages starting at 4%, and credit cards starting at 9%. Meanwhile, their highest rate on a money market account is 0.35%. Do the math!

I recently closed a bank account because they started charging monthly fees. The teller said to me very matter of factly, "We've been hit by the regulations and have to make it up in other areas." Like it is out of the realm of possibility that they should scale back instead--perhaps cut their CEOs' outrageous pay for starters?
lou   |     |   Comment #23
#22, trust me, I am not defending banks, but the lion's share of the blame for these meager deposit rates has to be laid at the feet of the Federal Reserve that has kept rates at zero for 3 years and counting.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #24
Hey think you can tell a bank how to do their business?? Who says they should only get profits should come from loans????  Where is that written in stone??? Like any business.....they have to branch out and adapt. Or is that not allowed in your Marxist state?
dbl118   |     |   Comment #27

It is so sweet of you to defend the banks.  They need all the help they can get.

The attitude that one should blame liberals, and banks should get to do what they want is just plain ignorant.  Get some education before ranting.  Banks have received all sorts of benefits from the government mainly because they have enough money to lobby for it, and their large size gives them all sorts of power.  When their executives are making millions, they have other options.  Fees are understandable and necessary...confusing, everchanging, and irrelevant ones are just ways to scam those that have not had the education in life to know how to work the system...generally those already struggling.

Wake up.  Banks have done very evil things knowing that they were wrong... all to make profit.  They (the big ones) have no moral conscience. 

Banks are bullies, and you are a bully worshipper trying to find a scapegoat.

Banks lost the right to do business the way they wanted when they had to come crying to us to bail them out.  You can try and demonize liberals, and call them marxists, but I'm proud that I protect the common people, while you seem to want to protect a big bank that doesn't give a **** about you.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
I agree that banks should make their money by virtue of loans, and not by charging big fees.  They should also cut executive pay before imposing onerous fees on their customers.  The banks who are charging big fees deserve to lose their customers.  It is correct for people to flee toward credit unions, which are much more consumer-friendly. 

For those of you who are defending the banks, and calling critics "liberals" and "Marxists", get a grip!  Leaving these big banks because of their excessive executive pay, excessive fees upon customer, and because they are leeches upon society, now being propped up by Federal Reserve welfare payments is a most capitalistic thing to do.  To hell with the big casino banks, who destroyed the world economy with liar's loans, robot foreclosure signers, and useless derivatives!  That means JPM, GS, MS, BAC, Regions Bank, et. al.  If they want to do bad business, they deserve to lose customers.  Onerous checking account fees are not needed by banks who do not try to be gambling casinos.

The wisest people on this site will abandon all banks, and buy gold and platinum, because the US dollar is doomed, as a result of the placement of incompetents (read "Ben Bernanke and the other members of the FOMC") in the top economic positions in our nation, the tripling of our monetary base, and the unlimited potential for money printing.  As soon as an even tepid recovery begins, for example, we are going to see triple digit inflation rates, and savers will be wiped out. 

So, keep your money in demand deposits (never long-term CDs or bonds!), and be ready to buy precious metals as and when they dip in price.  The US dollar is on the way to becoming worthless in buying power value, even though its comparative value with other equally worthless currencies such as Pound, Euro, yen, etc. will stay very similar to what it currently is.

RJM   |     |   Comment #30
These arguments are just silly. Its like bashing a quick mart because they have high prices.

You dont have to do business with anyone you dont want to.

To me, banks business models need tweaking bigtime.  Many of them were chomping at the bid to lend to any bad risk a few years ago.

My ONLY business with a bank is for a safe deposit box. Wonder if my credit union has them ?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #32
To all of you morons saying that banks are evil......well, you realize that banks are THE most regulated business?? So.....that being the case.....who is actually evil???  The regulators(government) has allowed all that banks have they even forced banks to lend money to bums for mortgages that could never pay it back.  Yes......and banks are evil. The government caused the housing crisis......and now you brilliant liberals want the government to fix it........Idiots.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #41
Adirondack Trust has an HSA @ 3.0%APY that was fee free, and probably the best in the USA -

As of Oct 1, a $4/mo fee is being tacked on regardless of balance.

This reduces effective yield, but still better than most.

However, if the rate dops will have to change custodians ASAP-
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #48
Well, we are moving to a C/U and for what I have heard a lot of people are leaving Banks for C/U. The banks wants to nickle and dime you to death. Not me.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #49
Ok #32, saying that its governments fault for the housing crisis because they are the regulators is like saying the devil made me do it when we were kids. The government is corrupt and extremely ****-poor at managing money or anything else for that matter, but whatever happened to doing whats right cause its right to do ? If everyone only did right when someone was watching what kind world would this be ? People need to take responsibility for their actions and stop passing the buck !
bd2011   |     |   Comment #50

Bank Fees OUT OF CONTROL[/H3]   What the bank and the media fail to tell the consumer, is that the bank is ALREADY COLLECTING A FEE FOR YOU USING YOUR CARD - WHETHER IT IS A CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD!!!! The charge the recipent of the funds a 3 to 5% fee for even accepting electronic card transactions!!!! American Express being the highest! Most consumers don't EVEN REALIZE that as soon as you pay with a card, the company collecting the money (FOR EXAMPLE - CHASE PAYMENTECH, QUICKBOOKS, ETC) for the service provider / retailer charges the retailer for the transaction!



Anonymous   |     |   Comment #51
My Regions business account just got hit with a $15 mo fee as of this morning... so I will be looking for another bank or credit union
in red
in red   |     |   Comment #52
why are 50 and 51
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #55
why are 50 5 1 52  53? in red
w myers
w myers   |     |   Comment #57
Got my statement from Regions. $15 monthly fee for "Free Business Checking" account I have had open for 4 years. Closing today.

I opened a business checking account with my local credit union which is actually free and has no minimum balance requirements.

I miss the days when banks actually had to use your money wisely to make a profit.

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