Are you noticing an annoying trend lately? No, we’re not talking about that song they just won’t stop playing on the radio. When you receive your bank statements each month, you might notice that it costs money to have money! A recent survey by WalletHub found that the average bank account can carry 25 different fees, and that consumes pay an average of 470 dollars in bank fees each year.
The most common fees charged by banks include maintenance fees, overdraft fees, online banking fees, and even a fee for accessing your money via automatic teller machines. You probably also pay fees when you visit your local bank for services such as gaining access to old statements, or to purchase money orders.
The average dollar amount of bank fees is rising, but so is the number of overall fees. Some banks will even charge a fee against customers who forget to submit a change of address form! Even if you signed up for a free checking account years ago, your bank has the right to institute maintenance fees at any time.
This trend can prompt many consumers to switch to a new bank. If you’re considering a change of banks, try these five ways to avoid some common fees.
Locate a bank which offers free checking accounts. In order to avoid checking account maintenance fees, you might have to meet certain conditions. Some banks require you to receive direct deposits each month, or you might have to maintain a minimum balance in the account. Get the low-down on the rules before you open a new account, and follow them carefully. Read all notices that your bank sends you in the mail; they often institute fees or new rules later and notify customers by sending a letter.
Don’t go to the ATM. The ATM at your bank might offer free withdrawals, but most others charge fees of 3 dollars or more per transaction. You can also get cash back at most grocery stores when you make a purchase, and this can save you time when your bank isn’t located nearby.
Don’t sign up for overdraft protection. If you accidentally overdraft your account, banks often pay for the charge but then charge you a hefty fee of 30 dollars or more. Opt out of this “protection”, and overdraft charges will be declined instead.
Negotiate. Communicate your concerns to your bank. If you complain about fees, customer service will often waive the fee at least once. Ask how you can avoid fees in the future, or meet with a bank manager to discuss your needs.
Switch to a credit union. You can receive the same financial services that you get from your bank, but most credit unions impose fewer fees upon their customers.
If we can be of assistance, contact Mercedes at (760) 436-1711.