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Is Your Big Bank Charging Excessive Fees for Checking Accounts?

Kyle Campbell - Tuesday, August 07, 2012

You Can Still Enjoy ‘Free Service’ at Your Local Community Bank

It’s hard to believe, but some banks are charging excessive fees for checking accounts. The recent Wells Fargo move to cut free checking for new customers made headlines in the media including CNN Money Magazine and Reuters. Reuters even revealed that Bank of America and many other major banks are considering reinstituting account fees and other service charges. So if your big brand financial institution hasn’t already sent a notification of the change, enjoy the reprieve while you can… it may be round the corner!

Banks do offer options to waive these fees (and downgrading your account), however the change has put pressure on their customers. Wells Fargo, for instance, asks that you maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance or make direct deposits of $500 or more each month. You can also get a $2 discount on the fee by opting to only receive online statements.

While some individuals and families find it difficult to meet the new minimum balance requirement in this struggling economy, others may take a while to adjust to changes and have to pay the monthly penalty. Is it fair to charge fees for checking accounts that were once free? Customers certainly don’t think so and many are shopping around for banks that still offer the ‘free service’.

Switch to a Local Community Bank to Avoid Fees on Checking Accounts

There are still some banks that aren’t charging excessive fees for checking accounts and it might be worth your while to check them out. American Banker has a smart suggestion—talk with your local community bank (like Astra Bank), where you’ll get personal attention, all the online conveniences of the big banks… but avoid many of the high fees you may be fed up with!

Astra Bank is one of the few financial institutions still offering ‘free checking’. While we encourage our customers to switch to green banking practices and online transactions to save time and effort, we don’t charge fees on checking accounts when you come into our bank. Plus, the great part about community banking is we’re here to help in all the other banking needs you may have down the road.

Whether you're looking to open your first checking account, put money aside in an IRA or CD to plan for retirement or want to buy a new home, we can help with creative solutions suited to your needs.

Stop by any of our banking locations in Kansas and Nebraska and speak with a representative about your free checking account and other services we offer. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

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