Higher hurdles to avoid fees
Many checking accounts with built-in monthly fees give account holders the ability to avoid them by clearing specific hurdles, such as holding a minimum average balance in the account or signing up for direct deposit. Even so, these hurdles are rapidly getting higher as banks attempt to increase fee revenue. The average minimum balance required to avoid a monthly fee rose from $249 in 2010 to $585 this year.
Tip: If you think your checking account has become too expensive, shop around for a better deal, McBride said. Competition is still stiff in the banking industry.