03/20/2012 06:10 pm ET

Citizens Bank Doubles Checking Fee

A checking account at Citizens Bank will now cost you double, as the bank joins the ranks of Wells Fargo and a slew of other financial institutions that are increasing the cost of a checking account.

Citizens Bank's Green Checking account will cost customers $9.99 per month, up from $4.99. The fee increase will take affect on April 23 and will be charged to customers who have an average daily account balance of less than $1,500. Customers who make five transactions per month will also be exempt from the fee, according to the Boston Business Journal.

For checking accounts that earn interest, Citizens' is raising the monthly fee to $11.99 from $9.99, though the fee will be waived for customers who either have more than $2,500 in their account or make five transactions per month, the Boston Business Journal reported.

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Free checking accounts are becoming a thing of the past. Over the past six years, the cost of a checking account has increased by 21 percent, according to Bloomberg.

The culprit: new regulations passed in the wake of the financial crisis that limit banks ability to earn fees on overdraft protection and debit-card swipes. Banks are looking to checking accounts to earn back some of the lost income stream.

Wells Fargo recently announced it was getting rid of free checking, charging customers $7 monthly for a checking account. Bank of America is also toying with the idea of higher fees, implementing a monthly charge of $6 to $9 for its "Essentials" account.