CUs do this, too, and it's pretty reasonable. Having normal deposits with incentives and disincentives are supposed to encourage them to work more like a CD -- they can spend more on services & dividends paid to depositors if they actually keep the money in the bank. Predictable markets tend to function much more efficiently. Not much reason to even bother with deposits unless there's a time-frame long enough for banks to profit off arbitrage. Fees like this encourage people to keep their money in the bank. There are almost always less feature-rich accounts you can have if you aren't willing to keep a large amount in to keep the account.
This 5 dollar fee is the bare minimal, it goes up to 7 with an interest baring account and 10 for the next level (not sure what it is). But something else that gets me is that they still have the "Free Checking" sign out....
It just hurts people like me that can barely make rent at the end of the month and goes without a nice meal every night
Heh, I'll at least agree with you on the dishonest marketing... much like "unlimited bandwidth" ISP-types claim. Might want to check in on other CUs in your area -- many will have a website up with some basic information on fees, minimum balances, etc. Took me a good bit of research to finally settle on where to keep my cash, and any bank/CU which'll treat customers right will post their terms quite clearly. Unsurprisingly, this is quite rare, and I ended up phoning/emailing every bank/CU in the area. There was a lot of garbage out there, and it's unreasonable to expect all consumers to have the patience (and time, determination) to phone up 10+ financial institutions and knowledge to know what to ask their potential financial institutions.... Would be nice to get a consumer watch group (not sure if any legitimate consumer watch groups exist in the US outside of "consumer advocate" jounalists, anymore, after learning what a scam the BBB is) which demands banks/CUs fill out a form clearly outlining their fees/rates/terms. If the bank/CU fails to fill the form out, they simply aren't listed on the site and lose that important advertising opportunity. Site would allow consumers to compare banks against each other using standard information, allow ratings/comments from consumers, and allow consumers to search by radius around their location. Seems like a great time for it given the OWS protests.
There's already a decent service like that for credit cards (great if you have good credit & are looking for cash-back & "free debt" opportunities), but there's much less information necessary.