WalletHub released its 2015 Checking Account Cost Comparison and found that checking accounts can cost as much as $800 per year. It also offers advice to people who find themselves facing increasing fees.
People who find themselves repeatedly overdrawing their accounts should consider alternative checking accounts, which either do not allow overdraft fees or charge relatively low overdraft fees. Cash Strapped consumers can save the most: $387 per year on average. The one major tradeoff is that you might have to give up your paper checkbook.
Of course one of the best ways for people to avoid overdrafts is to use a prepaid card, especially those who cannot get bank accounts because of previous trouble with checking accounts. Consumer advocates and regulators like to compare prepaid cards with checking accounts, arguing that free checking is available to everyone while prepaid cards charge too much. However, the WalletHub study shows that checking accounts may be much more costly for people, so one size does not fit all when it comes to financial services.
Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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