What it is The fee for dipping below the minimum on an interest checking account
What's so bad You have to keep more money in an interest checking account to avoid a fee ($2,660 today vs. $2,435 in 2001), while the average rate has dropped (from 0.97% in '01 to a pitiful 0.34%).
Ouch! Washington Mutual typically requires a $10,000 balance to avoid a $13 monthly fee. With the account paying only 0.15% today, you could lose money.
What you can do Don't tie up so much cash for so little. You may qualify for free checking if you sign up for direct deposit or pay bills online. You typically need little more than $200 to get a free non-interest checking account.