"Checking Account Fees Are Making a Comeback" writes SmartMoney. They say, "Congress and federal regulators may be clamping down on overdraft fees, but consumers may be seeing what some critics say is an even sneakier type of charge increasingly showing up on bank statements: the monthly maintenance fee. Checking account maintenance fees had been a rarity in the past several years as banks threw offers of free checking at consumers in hopes of attracting deposits. Now, free checking itself may be headed toward extinction as both the size of the monthly fees and the number of banks that charge them are on ths rise. Account maintenance fees increased by 15% between the first and third quarter of 2009, according to Money-Rates.com, a site that compiles data on banking products' interest rates."

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