In today’s economy, banks are a necessity. They keep our money safe, allow us to pay bills, and loan us money for homes and cars. However, if we’re not careful, banks can also be responsible for making us lose money through numerous bank fees. Here we will take a look at the common ways bank fees can take money out of your pockets.
Overdraft fees are probably among the most common bank fees. If you write a check and don’t have the funds to cover that check, the bank will charge you an overdraft fee ranging from $20 to $40. To avoid these costly fees, keep an eye on your balance and make sure you have the money available before writing that check.
Returned Deposit Fees
Suppose a friend or family member owes you money and pays you with a check. You deposit that check, but the person who paid you doesn’t have the money in their account to cover it. Not only would their bank charge them an NSF fee, your bank would charge you a returned deposit fee, even though it wasn’t your fault. You can avoid this by cashing the check at the bank where the account is held or simply calling first to make sure the funds are available.
Paper Bank Statement Fees
In our technologically savvy world, most people conduct all their bank business online, including receiving virtual bank statements. Some people still want to have a paper statement mailed to them and banks are now charging $1 or $2 each month for this service. The best way to avoid this fee is simply to go paperless. If you must have a printout, you can always access your statement online and print it out yourself.
ATMs are very convenient, and it’s hard to imagine what we would do without them. However, in addition to giving you money, they can take your money as well…in the form of fees. Sometimes it’s not convenient to use your own bank’s ATM. But if you use the ATM of another bank, you will be charged a fee ranging from $1 to $4. Not only that, but sometimes your own bank also charges you for using another bank’s ATM. You can prevent this by planning ahead for your cash needs so you’re not forced to pay a fee to withdraw your money.
Card Replacement Fees
If you lose your wallet or have your bank card stolen, you’ll need to get a replacement card. Some banks charge for this service, with fees ranging from $5 to $10. Even for banks that don’t ordinarily charge a replacement card fee, if you need rush delivery banks will charge a fee for that service ranging from $5 to $30. You can avoid this fee by choosing a bank that does not have such fees and having enough cash on hand so that you don’t need rush delivery.
Bank accounts are meant to be used, and if you don’t use yours for a long period of time, you could be hit with fees. Bank accounts that sit unused for six months to a year are subject to be charged an inactivity fee ranging from $10 to $20 a month. You can avoid such fees by conducting at least one transaction a month.
Excess Activity Fees
Not only can you be charged for too little bank activity, you can also be charged for too much activity. This fee normally applies to savings accounts and is based on Federal Regulation D, which defines a savings account as one that has no more than six transactions per month or calendar cycle. You can avoid this fee by simply using your checking account for most of your transactions.
It may sound strange, but bank maintenance fees are fees you pay simply for the privilege of keeping your money in the bank. Bankrate states that the average maintenance fee is approximately $15 a month. That’s pretty steep when you consider that’s $180 a year! You can avoid this fee by using direct deposit and maintaining a minimum balance.
If you find that you’re getting hit with unnecessary bank fees, discuss the issue with your bank. Sometimes they will waive the fees, especially if there were extenuating circumstances. But if not, maybe it’s time to find a new bank. Your bank should work for you rather than against you, so make sure you’re not getting hit with unnecessary fees. You have better things to do with your money.