Average checking account balance
Interest rates for the average checking account have dropped since 2001, according to Yahoo! Finance. More than half of all interest-accruing checking accounts reward consumers with interest rates of less than 1 percent. In 2005, the average interest rate for interest-accruing checking accounts was 0.98 percent.
Monthly service charges are on the rise for average checking accounts. Fees reached a record high in 2009 with an average of $12.55 in monthly service charges, according to Bankrate.com. That figure represented a 5 percent increase from 2008. Free checking accounts not meeting minimum balance requirements were subject to an average $1.77 fee in 2009, according to the same study. Average account maintenance fees for checking accounts increased by 15 percent between the first and second quarter of 2009, according to SmartMoney.com.
Overdraft protection has become a service used by the majority of checking account consumers. Of consumers, 75 percent opted to pay overdraft protection fees in 2010, according to MSN Money.com. Banks collected an estimated $35.4 billion in overdraft fees in 2010, according to the same article. The median bank overdraft fee per check or transaction increased from $26 in 2008 to $28 in 2009. On average, consumer overdrafts were below $100 per each transaction, making fees a hefty part of the overall cost for overdrafting.
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