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Gephardt: Study Shows Online Banks Charge Fewer Checking Fees

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – According to a new study, banks are raking in the dough with fees. 

“Most banks aren’t giving customers a break, despite the pandemic,” said Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst for MoneyRates.com, which conducted the research. 

Barrington said Americans are paying an average of $172.68 just for the privilege of having a checking account, and the average overdraft fee is now $32.11. 

“[Small fees] may not sound like that big a deal, but boy, you add them up over the course of a year and it’s like, yeah, that’s significant,” he said. 

Barrington’s advice: Shop around for a better deal and don’t be afraid to break up with your bank. 

“If you take a fresh look at things now you really can stand to save some money,” he said. 

Barrington said less than a third of big banks offer free checking, but 45% of small banks do, and 72% of online banks. 

Barrington believes the COVID-19 pandemic could bring more people to online banks as customers look for ways to avoid in-person transactions. 

“When you do start banking online, it’s like, hey, you know what, this is a lot easier,” he said. “I didn’t really enjoy going to my branch that much. The friendly teller wasn’t that friendly. The lollipops weren’t that good. And I can buy a lot of lollipops for the $170 a year in fees that I’m saving.”

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