Bankrate.com's annual checking account survey has some bad news for consumers: Free checking continues to disappear. Three years ago, 76 percent of non-interest checking accounts were free of charge. Now, only 39 percent are free.
It gets worse. Bankrate also found that for the 8th year in a row, ATM fees rose.
For Baltimore residents, there is some good news, though. Banks here charge some of the lowest ATM fees in the country.
Nationwide, the average ATM fee that a bank assesses to a non-customer is $2.50, up 4 percent from a year ago and a new record, according to Bankrate. And all banks in the survey now charge their own customers a fee if they go outside the network. This fee jumped 11 percent to an average of $1.57.
But Baltimore banks charged some of the lowest fees. The city's banks charge an average of $2.38 — sixth-lowest in the country — to a non-customer using their ATMs.
The city came in second, on the heels of Chicago, for the lowest fee charged by banks when their own customers use outside ATMs. That fee averaged $1.12.
Denver had the highest ATM fees for non-customers: $2.80. And Philadelphia banks charged the most - $1.96 - when their customers used another bank's ATM.