15 most hated fees

Stand up to the pesky charges -- from checked-bag costs to retirement plan expenses -- that bug you the most.

7 of 15
7. Forking over for your checking
What it costs: $

What you're mad about: As if it's not bad enough that banks are paying next to nothing to use your savings -- the going yield is 0.2% -- they're charging you more for checking too. The average monthly cost of an interest-bearing checking account was $12.55 in 2009 vs. $11.97 in 2008, reports Bankrate.com. Some banks have minimum balances you can meet to avoid "maintenance" fees, but the balances have gone up -- to $3,400, on average, for interest checking. So it's harder to sidestep the fee. "Does it really cost the bank $15 if my balance goes from $100 to $99.99?!" asks reader Roy Kinoshita.

How to fight back: Free checking will all but disappear at big banks in coming years, predicts Greg McBride of Bankrate.com. "But it will remain the hallmark of community banks, online banks, and credit unions." Consider one of them. If you want to stick with a big bank, ask about deals for employees of your company; sometimes minimum-balance requirements are nixed if you have direct deposit. Finally, get regular checking rather than the interest-bearing kind; fees are much lower ($1.77 a month, on average).

NEXT: Paying to shut a brokerage account or IRA
Last updated June 11 2010: 3:40 PM ET
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