Cash-Strapped Consumers Incur Average $522 in Checking Account Fees

It pays to shop around for the best deal in checking accounts, especially for some cash-strapped consumers, according to WalletHub’s 2016 Checking Account Cost & Transparency Reports.

Some checking accounts can cost as much as $810 per year from up to 49 different fees, WalletHub says. The average checking account has about 22 total fees, and 60 percent of accounts have 20-40 different fees, the report says.
“The average cash-strapped consumer incurs roughly $522 in fees each year, which illustrates that the less money you have, the more a checking account will cost you,” WalletHub said.
However, all consumers can save on daily banking fees by looking at checking accounts from credit unions and online-only banks. Those same cash-strapped consumers can save the most money on average: up to $423 per year.
Ironically, credit unions rank last when it comes to checking account transparency, WalletHub says.
More WalletHub findings on fees:

  • Consumers looking for the lowest checking-account fees should focus on offers from credit unions, which are 32 percent cheaper than online checking accounts – the next-best option – on average.
  • Free deposit-account features are on the rise, with nearly 24 percent fewer accounts charging out-of-network ATM fees and over 20 percent more accounts reimbursing ATM-owner surcharges, compared to Q2 2015.
  • Online bill pay fees and paper statement fees fell considerably during the second quarter of 2016, with costs dropping by 15.72 percent and 8.46 percent, respectively.

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