’s annual survey of checking fees, ATM fees and other expenses is out.

And the survey says …..

Costs have skyrocketed. (Of course, something had to be pumping up the banks’ profits.)

ATM surcharges: The average ARM fee is now $1.64, up from $1.60 last spring, and $1.54 last fall. (I just paid a $4 charge on a recent trip to Miami. It couldn’t be helped.)

Checks and checking: Bounced check (or NSF: not sufficient funds) fees increased to a record high of $27.40, up 36 cents since the last survey.

Account minimums: These have gone up too. The average minimum required to open an account shot higher from $429.76 to $615.41, a 43 percent increase.

Read the results of the entire survey at

Nov. 4, 2006.