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As news of consumer backlash against Bank of America’s new debit card fees spreads like wildfire, Citibank has announced that it will increase it’s checking fees. It is yet another move in the banking industry to counteract the expected loss in revenues from the new regulations.
Beginning on December 9th, Citibank will increase the monthly fee on their EZ Checking accounts from $7.50 to $15. Also, to avoid this fee, customers will have to have a minimum balance of $6,000 instead of the current $1,500.
For the Citibank Basic Package – their most basic checking account – Citibank will mandate a $1,500 minimum balance instead of no minimum, which is the current situation. Accounts that fall below this minimum at any time during a given month will be charged a $10 fee. However, this fee can be avoided by making at least 1 direct deposit and 1 online payment that month.
The monthly cost for customers who have premium checking accounts will remain at $20. However, the minimum balance to avoid this fee will be raised from $6,000 to $15,000.
How This May Affect You
If you have a Citibank checking account, you’ll probably end up paying a few extra dollars per month. While this won’t send you to the poor house, it may seem like the economic woes of today are piling on. So, if you have a few extra dollars to spare, then this won’t be too big of a deal. However, as more and more fees are added, fee hikes by Citibank and other banks may become a bigger problem for a lot of Americans.
What You Can Do
Customers who wish to avoid the fee increases can switch to another bank. While the trend is moving in the direction of higher fees, there are sure to be better deals out there.
If you’d like to stay with Citibank but are upset with the fees, consider calling them or sending them an email or letter to voice your frustration. Of course, such moves are in response to new banking regulations, so you could contact your Congressional Representative or Senators if you are opposed to such measures.