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  1. #1 Is the era of free checking accounts over? 
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Facing new government regulations and a lackluster economy, the financial industry is forcing customers to pay more just to park their money at the bank
    posted on September 25, 2012, at 5:52 PM
    Only 39 percent of checking accounts in America are truly free, Bankrate reports — down from 76 percent in 2009.

    Only 39 percent of checking accounts in America are truly free, Bankrate reports — down from 76 percent in 2009. Photo: Thinkstock

    "If free checking accounts were animals, they'd be on the World Wildlife Fund's list of endangered species," says Catherine New at The Huffington Post. This week, industry trade group Bankrate reported that only 39 percent of checking accounts in America are free (meaning they require no minimum balance and don't charge a monthly fee). The free checking account used to be nearly ubiquitous — clocking in at a high of 76 percent in 2009 — but banks have been cutting back their largesse in a bid to squeeze more money out of customers. Here, a guide to the trend:

    Why do banks need more revenue?
    New government regulations and a struggling economy have eaten into bank profits. President Obama's 2010 overhaul of the financial system, which is meant to protect consumers from bad banking practices, curbed the ability of banks to charge customers overdraft fees. Major banks have tried to offset the losses in numerous ways, most prominently by trying to charge customers for using their debit cards, which was met with a severe public backlash.

    How much does a checking account cost now?
    Bankrate found that customers on average had to keep a minimum of $723 in their accounts to avoid a fee, which is up 23 percent from the previous year. The average monthly fee for a non-interest checking account is $5.48, up 25 percent from 2011. Bank of America, for example, is planning to charge certain customers between $9 and $25 to keep a checking account. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are considering similar measures.

    How can customers avoid paying a fee?
    Bankrate advises bank customers to set up direct deposit, which banks sometimes accept as a substitute for a fee or a minimum balance. However, that doesn't help people who work part time. In those cases, Bankrate recommends moving to a bank or credit union with free checking. Analysts note that 70 percent of large credit unions still offer free checking accounts.

    Will customers switch banks?
    Probably not. "Changing banks entails the hassle of rerouting direct-deposit payments and uprooting automated bill-paying arrangements," says Robin Sidel at The Wall Street Journal. "Many bankers are pushing ahead with the new, higher fees in a bet that customers won't switch.

    http://theweek.com/article/index/233...-accounts-over
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  2. #2  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    They're right. Most of the sheep will cuss out the bank and keep on truckin'.

    I have ties into 5 institutions and move my money around to give me the best advantage in checking and savings.
    It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member LukeEDay's Avatar
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    I can't remember the last time I wrote a check? It has be years. I use debit cards for everything - I also don't do credit cards. If I can't buy it with cash, then I don't need it (or I will save up for it).

    I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
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  4. #4  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    I have one debit card that one bank forced me to take to do online bqnking. It's in the file drawer cut into slivers. I'll never use one if I can prevent it. I'll move to another financial institution first.
    It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
    It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
    Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.
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  5. #5  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeEDay View Post
    I also don't do credit cards. If I can't buy it with cash, then I don't need it (or I will save up for it).
    Don't ever change this, the less you use credit of any kind the better off you will be.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Zeus's Avatar
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    How can customers avoid paying a fee?
    Bankrate advises bank customers to set up direct deposit, which banks sometimes accept as a substitute for a fee or a minimum balance. However, that doesn't help people who work part time. In those cases, Bankrate recommends moving to a bank or credit union with free checking. Analysts note that 70 percent of large credit unions still offer free checking accounts.

    Will customers switch banks?
    Probably not. "Changing banks entails the hassle of rerouting direct-deposit payments and uprooting automated bill-paying arrangements," says Robin Sidel at The Wall Street Journal. "Many bankers are pushing ahead with the new, higher fees in a bet that customers won't switch.
    The 21st century. The age of Smart phones and Stupid people.

    It is said that branches draw their life from the vine. Each is separate yet all are one as they share one life giving stem . The Bible tells us we are called to a similar union in life, our lives with the life of God. We are incorporated into him; made sharers in his life. Apart from this union we can do nothing.
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  7. #7  
    SEAduced SuperMod Hawkgirl's Avatar
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    With most banks, if you keep a minimum balance, usually 5K, they probably won't charge for one?

    I sometimes think about the old days, after the Great Depression, people kept their money under wood floors, panelling, walls...etc....I have a sinking feeling that we're headed towards those days in the not too distant future. Banks are not as trustworthy as they once were.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Gina's Avatar
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  9. #9 Chase has free checking 
    I am not making a commercial and I don't know what the requirments are, but they must not be too hard to get free checking at Chase.

    The use of a credit card is not entirely bad at unless you want to be "off the grid" which you aren't if you use debit.

    Some revolving credit is good to show that you are a good credit risk, which saves you money when you take a home loan for example.

    Debit cards aren't as good a credit in the case of fraud. If someone scams your cc # you don't come out of pocket at all, just dispute/report and that is it.

    If someone scams your debit you will have checks bouncing and the banks aren't that all helpful in helping combat the fraud.
    ENOUGH!
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkgirl View Post

    I sometimes think about the old days, after the Great Depression, people kept their money under wood floors, panelling, walls...etc....I have a sinking feeling that we're headed towards those days in the not too distant future. Banks are not as trustworthy as they once were.
    A big difference is the federal deposit guarantee.
    ENOUGH!
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