5 Ways to Avoid Hefty Bank Fees


5 Ways to Avoid Hefty Bank Fees

Posted by Infinite Wealth Advisors, LLC
9 years ago | September 28, 2015

Accounting Series - Senior WomanDoes it seem like having a bank account is costing you more and more money? If so, you’re in good company: According to a survey by WalletHub, the average bank account carries 25 different fees, and the average consumer pays 470 dollars in bank fees each year!

Common fees include maintenance fees on checking accounts, overdraft fees, ATM fees, and online banking fees. You also pay for many services that you utilize at your local bank, such as obtaining cashier’s checks or gaining access to old statements. Some banks even charge you a fee if you forget to notify them of a change in your address!

Not only are amounts of fees rising, but the number of fees is increasing as well. Many banks add or raise fees on existing customers. You might have received a notice in the mail, but because changing banks is so much trouble you didn’t bother to complain.

If you are looking for a new bank, consider the following five ways to avoid excess fees.

Open a no-fee checking or savings account. Many banks still offer free checking accounts, but you might have to agree to certain conditions. Direct deposits might be required, or you might have to maintain a minimum balance. Make sure to ask about the rules and follow them carefully, or fees will automatically be charged to your account.

Avoid ATMs. Many ATMs charge fees of three dollars or more. If you need to get cash, use only the ATM at your local bank, or get cash back when you buy groceries.

Opt out of overdraft protection. Most banks offer overdraft protection as a convenience, but you are allowed to opt out. If you do, any overcharges to your account will be declined, and you won’t be charged the overdraft fee.

Negotiate with your bank. If you notice a fee on your account statement, contact your bank and negotiate with them. Often they will waive the fee one time, and remind you of the guidelines pertaining to your account so that you can avoid the fee in the future. You might also meet with a bank manager to talk about whether they offer another type of account that better suits your needs.

Use a credit union. You can obtain the same types of services at a credit union, but they usually impose fewer fees. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to qualify for a credit union through your work. Many local credit unions will accept new members, regardless of your employer.

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