Free checking on the endangered list
The number of free checking accounts continues to drop, following the sharp decline established in last year's Bankrate Checking Study. Just 45 percent of noninterest checking accounts are free of maintenance charges.
Tip: While free checking is in decline, more accounts have introduced waivers to avoid monthly fees, said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate. Last year, 88 percent of noninterest accounts were either free or could become free if the customer signed up for direct deposit. This year, the number is 92 percent.