Survey finds bank fees are on the rise

WASHINGTON – Fees on checking accounts are up to about $5.50 a month according to a Bankrate survey, but there are ways to dodge the hidden fees.

At about half of all banks, keeping an average of $723 in your account will avoid a monthly fee. At some, signing up for direct deposit also helps.

The same survey finds out-of-network ATM fees are rising, now averaging about $4 per use. If you have a smartphone, try looking up network ATMs in the area before you succumb to a fee.

Bankrate also finds 60 percent of banks no longer offer free checking, which means it may be time for a credit union.

The average overdraft fee? Now $31.

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