Sep. 26, 2011 at 10:42 AM ET
Remember back in the good old days when you could just walk into any old bank and get free checking? The times they are a changin’.
The number of free checking accounts continues to drop, according to our partner, Bankrate. The business website's annual study says that only 45 percent of noninterest checking accounts are free of maintenance charges, down from 65 percent in 2010. That number peaked at 76 percent two years ago.
"(Free checking) became such a commodity in recent years, that there's been this assumption that you can get free checking without even trying," says Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst at Bankrate. "Well, you can still get free checking, only now you have to try a little bit. You have to shop around."
And if that doesn’t get you a little perturbed, our partner Bankrate has even more bad news on how the banks are nickel-and-diming you. It ain’t pretty.