Once upon a time people put money in the bank to watch it grow through interest. These days putting money in the bank can mean watching it disappear through bank fees. Instead of rewarding you for using the bank, banks charge for everything possible. Avoiding bank fees can be tricky and takes dedication to knowing all the rules and regulations of your bank but it can be done.
Skip the ATM.
ATM fees can range from $1 to $5 depending on which one you use. What’s worse, even after ATM charges you, you can get slammed with another fee from your bank for using another bank’s machine. Skip the hassle and get cash back when you check out at the grocery store. Don’t need anything? Buy a bottled water for $1.49 and then get cash back. It’s cheaper than the ATM fees and you’ll at least get something in exchange for your hard earned money.
Pay attention to minimum balance requirements.
Some banks charge you for dipping below a minimum required balance. To avoid this fee, forget that you even have that money. For example, if your minimum balance is $100, mentally deduct one hundred from whatever your balance is. Once you get in this habit, you will always have your minimum balance and will not get charged the fee.
Don’t overdraw your account.
It sounds like common sense but banks make billions of dollars each year on overdraft fees. That’s billions. Never, under any circumstance, spend more money than you have. With smart phones today that allow you to access your bank website, there is no excuse for not knowing your bank balance at all times. Bank fees can be $30 or more and repeat offenders can really get slammed.
Talk to customer service.
Ask questions and demand answers. Make sure you know all of the possible fees associated with your account. Some banks charge money to go inside and speak to a teller. Some only allow you to write a certain number of checks per month. Some charge a fee for online bill pay. You have a right to know every fee you could be charged. Voice your concerns.
If your bank is over-charging you, don’t be afraid to make a move. Check out other banks and credit unions in your area to find one that suits your needs and doesn’t over charge for services you really need.