A is for Annoying Bank Fees and How to Avoid Them.

Has your banking institution hiked monthly fees, increased the minimum balance requirement and taken away your rewards programs?

Below are some tips to help avoid unnecessary fees when possible:

Monthly maintenance fee – many banks charge monthly fees on checking accounts that are not maintaining a minimum daily balance. This balance varies from bank to bank so shop around for one that meets your needs and provides you with free checking.

Account closure fee – if you open an account and then wish to change banks, check and see what fees may be incurred. To avoid early closure fees, you may simply have to wait 90 to 180 days to avoid this charge completely.

Overdraft fees – this fee can cost you $35 each time you overdraw on your account. You may also have a limited time frame to repay the money before additional penalties are added. Check with your bank for ways to avoid this charge. You may be able to link you checking account to a savings or money market account to transfer funds as needed – the fee charged for this service is usually less than overdraft fees.

ATM Fees – sometimes using an out-of-network ATM is unavoidable, but this can cost you $4 on average. This fee is a strong incentive to avoid using another bank’s ATM. Why not keep the extra cash in your own pocket?

You may also be charged for foreign transaction fees, bank teller fees, paper statement fees, debit card replacement fees, redeeming your reward point’s fees, etc.

If you find yourself taking the leap to another bank, you may want to first consider negotiating with your current bank. They may offer you better terms or waive some fees in order to keep your business.

If you want to reduce your fees, do your homework and shop around for the best banking institution that suits your needs and doesn’t cost you.  After all, you are lending them your money.

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About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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