Bank fees can suck the cash out of your wallet. The benefits of having a bank account, however, are numerous because of the safety, security and convenience. Today more than in any other time in history, banks are charging us more and more for access to our own money. These costs can really add up. Everyone should pay attention to the fees their bank charges.
Here are some of the most common bank transaction fees:
- ATM Fee – Almost every bank charges this fee to access your cash at an ATM machine. Many times you can avoid this fee by using your debit card at a retail location by getting cash back on a purchase.
- Early Withdrawal Penalty Fee – If you take money from a CD (certificate of deposit) before it matures, you may be charged an early withdrawal free. This can be a flat fee or an interest charge. Avoid this by waiting until your CD matures to cash it out.
- Maintenance Fee – This fee is usually charged monthly. To avoid this fee, most banks will waive it if you keep a minimum account balance or have your paycheck directly deposited into your account.
- Minimum Deposit Fee – This fee is charged if you don’t keep the minimum balance in your account. Avoid this fee by keeping the minimum balance in your account.
- NSF Non-Sufficient Funds Fee – If your check doesn’t clear, you will be charged this fee, and this can really add up. Besides not paying the check, the bank may charge you from $29 to $39 for the bounced check. Avoid this by having an overdraft protection account linked to your checking account. If you don’t have enough to cover a check you write, the bank can pull money from your overdraft account to cover the bounced check.
- Overdraft Fee – Paying for an overdraft may cost you money as well. Banks may charge you if they decide to cover your overdraft on Non-Sufficient Funds item. These fees vary so check with your bank to learn more.
Little Known Bank Fees
There are other services that some banks may charge your account for. They include:
- Toll Free Customer Service – Some banks charge a fee to have representatives available for you by phone.
- Online Account Management Fee – Some banks charge a fee for online account access or management
- Itemized Statement Fee – Some banks charge this to mail statements to your home or office
- Photocopy or Transaction Fee – You might be charged this fee if you need a copy of a transaction
When you evaluate a bank, one of the most important factors to consider is the fee structure. You don’t want to get nickeled and dimed every time you may a transaction. Now that you are not blind to their hidden costs, find a bank that saves you money.