Fact Check: Most Americans Still Have Free Checking Accounts
But the majority of Americans still enjoy a free checking account.
According to a survey conducted by the American Bankers Association, 55% of bank customers are not being charged a fee for their checking account.
The figures from the annual survey have hovered around that number for the past few years: 59% had a free checking account in 2011, and 53% in the 2010 survey.
On the flip side, the findings show that almost half of Americans are now paying for a checking account. In fact, 14% pay $10 or more each month.
Here are some tips to possibly avoid a fee on your checking account:
- Shop around for a different bank if your current bank continues to charge you a monthly fee on your account.
- Be aware of your minimum balance. Many banks offer free checking if you keep at least a certain balance in your account. Make sure you are above this threshold.
- Sign up for email and text alerts to update you when your balance dips below a certain level.
- Check into making direct deposits. Some banks offer free checking if your paycheck is deposited automatically.
- Have multiple accounts at your bank. Your bank wants as much of your business as possible and may offer free services for multiple accounts.
- Use your bank's ATMs when making withdrawals.
The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted in July for the ABA by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm.