Tips for saving money on bank fees.
Banking is an extremely competitive business and there are many banks (at least where I live) that charge few or no fees. They tend to pay less interest on savings accounts but what bank pays much interest anyway? The fees more than eat that up. For example: my old bank used to pay about $10 quarterly interest on an account of $800. But they charged a fee of $15 a month on balances under $1,000. That's a loss of $50. Do some research and you can save a lot.
By perfumed fan
At my bank, if you sign up for direct deposit of your paychecks, that makes you exempt from lots of fees. I no longer get hit with a minimum balance requirement fee, I can get free cashiers checks, they will count my change for free, etc. Ask at your bank!
By Becki in Indiana
One overdraft fee can add up to more than all the little bank fees combined. It is very easy to overspend on your debit card if you don't keep good track of your finances. Many people have incurred an overdraft on a small purchase, making that overpriced latte even more expensive. Make sure that you have overdraft protection set up so that your bank will transfer the missing funds from a credit card or savings account.
There are lots of ways to avoid bank fees, but the most important thing you can do is to read and understand your paperwork when you open the account in the first place. All banks are required to disclose any fees associated with the account and if you just read the packet they give you, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble later on. Forewarned is forearmed.
Don't use a bank. Go to a credit union. Get direct deposit wherever you decide to bank. This is a hard question for me to understand because I have no bank charges. I get my checks free because of my direct deposit. I do not have to pay for checks or anything.
By Carol in PA
Be sure to avoid out of network ATM's. They can charge you as much as $3.00 for each transaction. Better yet, just get cash back when you purchase something at a store.
Do you have any more ideas to share for saving money on banking fees? Feel free to post them below.
Two great banks are:
ING Direct: Great savings accounts, no fees, and now new checking accounts that pay interest--simple, clear, and a delight to deal with (How many banks can you say that about??)
USAA: Free checking. Free envelopes to mail your deposits. No fees. Check it out.
When I posted the info about my credit union, I forgot to mention that it issues ATM cards. You can use them at any local credit union even if it isn't in the same network as the one you belong to. That's a real convenience. BTW, I use the US Postal Service to deposit any checks other than my direct deposit one. It saves money on gas.
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