Chase Raising Fees On Some Checking & Savings Accounts In 16 States

Chase customers in more than a dozen states will be seeing a slight change to some of their account statements next month, as the bank announced it would increase service charges for both checking and savings accounts.

The Chicago Tribune reports that in order to provide a consistent service charge across all states serviced by the bank, Chase will implement fee increases ranging from $1 to $2 on certain accounts.

For 16 states, the bank plans to increase the monthly service charge on savings accounts one dollar, from $4 to $5.

States affected by that increase include Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

The company is also poised to hike its checking account fees by $2 in California, Washington and Oregon – bringing the service charge for those accounts to $12.

The fee increases are expected to take effect with statement periods beginning after June 17, the Tribune reports.

Of course, the company will continue to offer customers a few ways to avoid checking and savings account fees altogether.

Chase savings account customers can avoid the fees by keeping a minimum daily balance of $300 or arranging for an automatic transfer of at least $25 a month into the account from a Chase checking account. Account holders under the age of 18 are exempt from the fees.

As for checking accounts, customers can avoid monthly service charges by having direct deposits totaling at least $500 during the statement period or carrying a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500.

The fee increase at Chase comes about seven months after Citibank announced hikes to its checking and savings account products. The company increased fees for the Citi rewards checking account by $5, bringing the monthly cost to $25, while the fees for the company’s basic accounts rose from $10 to $12 per month.

Chase and Citibank’s fee increases lend credence to a recent report that found free checking accounts are going the way of the dodo bird.

A February 2014 survey of 2,980 banks and credit unions found that more than 40% of those institutions don’t offer truly free checking to customers.

Part of the reason there are fewer free account options is that there are simply fewer banks around nowadays.

But as a WalletHub report pointed out late last year, there are a few alternative – and maybe better – options for consumers, especially if you’re willing to bank online

At the time, the study found the average monthly fee for an online checking account was $3.91, more than two dollars below the average of $5.96 for an account through a bank branch. Additionally, the average minimum balance required to waive these fees was lower online, $2,367 compared to $3,855.

When it came to savings accounts, online bank accounts have a higher average interest rate than other type of accounts. According to the report, an online savings account will earn an average of .61% on balances of $1,000. Compare that to the .12% average for branch bank savings accounts.

Chase raises fees on savings accounts in Illinois [The Chicago Tribune]