A relentless stream of changes to checking accounts in the past year has raised awareness over the costs of maintaining bank accounts but reality downplays their effects.
From the elimination of free checking accounts to stricter account requirements, consumers have protested these unwelcome changes to their bank accounts.
But, over 70% of bank customers say that they don’t pay a single penny for their banking services, according to the American Bankers Association.
In a survey conducted from August 12 to 14, ABA asked more than two thousand U.S. adults how they spent on bank fees in a month with the following results:
During recent months, major banks have replaced their free checking options with accounts that usually require a monthly direct deposit or minimum account balance in order to waive a monthly account maintenance fee.
Many believe this change to pose a significant inconvenience in their financial and banking habits. But, the ABA study showed otherwise.
In the survey conducted from August 12 to 14, ABA asked more than two thousand U.S. adults how they spent on bank fees in a month with the following results:
|Amount Paid in Bank Fees Per Month||Percent of Respondents|
|$3 or less||11%|
|$4 to $6||6%|
|$7 to $9||4%|
|$10 or more||7%|
“It’s impressive that so many customers avoid paying any bank fees,” said Nessa Feddis, ABA vice president, senior federal counsel and retail banking expert, in a press release. “It shows that consumers are savvy and able to navigate the new banking landscape with skill. Often avoiding bank fees can be as simple as maintaining a minimum balance or accepting a paycheck by direct deposit,” Feddis added.
Bank customers who find that they cannot perform the necessary activities to avoid bank fees have taken the initiative to find more affordable options at community banks, online banks, and credit unions.
“Consumers should know that bank accounts cost little or nothing for most people,” Feddis said.
Online banks such as Ally Bank, USAA, and ING Direct are among the biggest names that tout no monthly fees or minimum required balances on their checking accounts, which also come with convenient ATM access and the ability to earn interest. As a result, they’ve been popular destinations as consumers defect from traditional brick and mortar banks.
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