Under banking laws and regulations, a national bank cannot advertise a free account if you could be charged a maintenance or activity fee. But your bank can offer a free account and still charge for certain services such as check printing, ATM use, or overdrafts. Just because an account is advertised as free or no cost it doesn’t mean you’ll never run up a charge. Federal Reserve Board rules allow an institution to charge a checking account check printing fees, ATM fees or overdraft fees, even if it is advertised as free. The rules bar the bank from charging fees such as maintenance or activity fees.

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