Banks have already figured out that they stand to lose big bucks in interest and fees because of the federal Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act.
Not surprisingly, they're looking for ways to make up that ground even though much of the law doesn't take effect until February. Nonetheless, new fees and charges are on the way. Add that to frequent fee increases, and it reinforces that you need to be a careful consumer.
In June, Bank of America increased its monthly fee on its MyAccess checking to $8.95 from $5.95. Rival banks are bound to follow suit.
Customers who don't maintain significant balances should be on the lookout for additional or higher fees. Banks may start requiring you to keep even more money in your account to avoid charges. This is a fee you can avoid, says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at BankRate.com. "Free checking accounts are still widely available, so you're not held hostage to accounts that have high balance requirements and high monthly service charges."