You should never pay bank fees if you have good credit. If you belong to a bank that charges a monthly fee just to have a checking account, change banks. The American consumer has been taken advantage of for too long. No one should ever have to pay fees when all they are doing is holding an account. Some bank fees you will encounter are associated with credit cards. The rule with that is if the credit card you are thinking about applying for has a fee, don’t apply for it. There are plenty of credit cards out there that do not charge you fees. The other bank fees can be avoided with a little know-how.
To avoid bank fees, first you must know what your bank is charging. Ever since the Card Act was passed banks have been finding new ways of fleecing the public. You no longer only have the overdraft or late fees. These alone would be easy to avoid if you are conscientious about your money. All you need to do is know what you have in your bank account and pay the bill when you get it. Same with certain credit card fees. If you go over your limit you will have to pay a fee for going over your limit. To avoid this once you reach your limit on a credit card lock it away. These fees make sense. A lot of the other fees do not.
One fee to look out for is adding a new credit card. Another fee is for talking to a teller. These fees are unreasonable. Like the fee just for the privilege of keeping money in the bank, these fees should be deal-breakers and you should start looking into getting a credit card or bank account with a bank that does not charge these weird fees.
Some banks will charge monthly fees on checking accounts based on how many transactions you make in a month or if you don’t have a specified minimum in the account. Be very careful with these. Some can be reasonable, such as you have to make one transaction every six months, or you have to keep at least five dollars in to keep the account from incurring fees, but some can be unreasonable. The more restrictive these rules are, the more you should think about changing banks.
Some credit cards are raising their interest rates without any reason. Most of the time the consumer has been paying their bill on time and didn’t go over the limit. These credit cards should be paid off and canceled.
Another fee you should be aware of is the fee to use ATMs. Most banks will not charge you to use their own ATM, but you should be aware of any fees for using another bank’s ATM. They can be as high as 4$ or more per transaction.
A surprise fee you may find on your monthly statement is a fee for receiving a paper statement. This is an easy fee to avoid. Go to your bank’s website and sign up for e-mail statements. Another fee that will be easy to avoid is the fee to transfer money from one bank to another. If you are already use to doing this is many take some getting used to, but you should find a way around transferring fees from now on.
With all of these fees you may feel overwhelmed. Don’t panic. If you find a fee on your statement you don’t agree with, you can talk with your bank. In this economy they can’t afford to lose what customers they have left. If they don’t seem receptive to your complaint, then tell them you will take you business elsewhere. And then do it. You don’t want to do business with a bank like that. Be careful though. If you have to talk to someone you may just find another ugly fee stuck on your account.