For some U.S. Bank customers with basic checking accounts, dodging the monthly maintenance fee may be a little more of a hassle as new fee waiver requirements are scheduled to take effect in August. On the other hand, U.S. Bank is making it extremely easy for customers to avoid monthly fees on one of its premium checking accounts. Additionally, the bank plans to change its overdraft fee policy.
Easy Checking and Silver Checking customers who avoid monthly service fees through direct deposits will soon have to post combined monthly direct deposits of $1,000, instead of $500 currently. (The two accounts also have other ways to avoid the monthly fee.)
Gold Checking customers will simply have to maintain a U.S. Bank personal loan, line of credit or credit card to avoid the monthly fee. With the change, many U.S. Bank customers can now get a premium checking account without worrying about the monthly fee. The Gold Checking accounts offers features such as two free non-U.S. Bank ATM withdrawals per month and preferred rates on new U.S. Bank loans.
The changes to checking accounts will take effect on Aug. 12, 2013.
“We review our product offering and pricing on a regular basis and this year decided to implement a few changes to align with the cost of providing these accounts, their features and benefits,” said Teri Charest, a U.S. Bank spokesperson, in an email statement. “We believe we continue to have the most fairly priced, valuable checking account offering of any major bank in the nation.”
U.S. Bank also plans to alter its overdraft fee policy. Starting Aug. 10, customers will not have to pay an overdraft fee if their accounts are overdrawn by $5 or less at the end of the business day. With a negative balance of more than $5, customers will be subject to a $36 per overdraft incident. Currently, U.S. Bank charges $15 per overdraft of $15 or less and $35 per overdraft of more than $15.
“These changes are not unlike what other banks are doing in the marketplace,” said Charest. Chase, Wells Fargo and BB&T are some of the big banks that do not charge overdraft fees when customers do not have negative balances of more than $5 at the end of the day.