Wells Fargo to charge $7 fee on more checking accounts

@CNNMoney March 8, 2012: 12:35 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Wells Fargo will start charging $7 a month for checking accounts in six more states, expanding on its efforts to do away with free checking accounts altogether.

While Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) stopped offering free checking accounts to new customers in 2010, existing customers were able to hold onto their free accounts. But then last year, the bank transitioned a group of existing customers -- mainly in Western states -- to the same $7-a-month accounts that it provides new customers. And now existing customers in six more states are about to be hit with the fee.

The states where customers will be affected include Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania, Wells Fargo said Thursday.

The $7 monthly service fee will be assessed on the bank's Essential Checking account. Customers can waive the fee by maintaining a $1,500 minimum daily balance or making direct deposits of $500 or more each month. They can also get a $2 discount on the fee by opting to only receive online statements.

The monthly fee will be effective May 4 in the six states, and will begin showing up on June statements (if the requirements for getting the charge waived aren't met).

The bank, which has branches in 39 states and Washington D.C., declined to comment on whether this will mark the end of its rollout.

"This has been a gradual change -- we've notified many customers that this change would be happening, and this is another extension of that," said a Wells Fargo spokeswoman. "We want our customers to come in and talk to us and make sure they are in the right account and getting the options they need."

Has your bank recently notified you of any new fees? E-mail blake.ellis@turner.com for the chance to be included in an upcoming story. To top of page

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