What Do The Fees Look Like? Essay
But the truth is, free checking never really went away: It just got blown to smithereens for many of those who keep their accounts with Citibank, Bank of America, Chase and their ilk. What do the fees look like? Even within one bank, it can differ greatly.
Citibank, for example, charges anywhere from $10 a month for Basic Checking to $30 for its interest-earning Citigold account. But hey: You can get that $30 waived if you keep a combined balance in all your accounts of $50,000. Woo hoo! Then again, Citigold also comes with a “checking plus” credit line that kicks in whenever you’re overdrawn: no bounced checks. (Ah, but that isn’t free either: Once you accumulate a balance, the credit line starts racking up interest.)
With no-frills accounts—even at Big Brother Bank—it’s a bit easier to get your monthly fees waived: You just have to know how to do it. Chase’s Total Checking ($12) and Wells Fargo’s Everyday Checking ($10) will make your accounts free if you keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500, or make $500 or more in direct deposits. Citi’s Basic Checking also requires that $1,500 threshold, or will make the account free if you complete one direct deposit and one online bill payment each month.
All of this raises a no-brainer question: Why should a checking account without fees require so many hoops to…