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Many banks advertise free savings accounts, but consumers should read the fine print before signing up. Some banks may tack on charges if certain rules and requirements are not met, according to financial website Gobankingrates.com.

Banks may impose a minimum savings amount that must be maintained to avoid a charge. Some may even charge a daily fee until members deposit enough to meet the minimum requirement, the website said. Banks may also limit the number of transactions a member can perform on a monthly basis. This is especially true for high-yield savings accounts. Those who surpass the allotment may receive a penalty charge.

Institutions that offer online banking may be a better option for individuals looking for free savings accounts, the website suggests. Technology is cutting down on a bank's need to charge maintenance and transaction fees, ultimately saving the consumer money.

Consumers should shop around for banks that offer online services to determine if they can save money. Most online banks offer low-cost to free services, bill pay applications and financial updates. Online banks also allow the consumer 24-hour access to their accounts.

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This page was last modified on Mon Apr 21 16:05:42 MDT 2014