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Avoiding Bank Fees

Avoiding bank feesWe all go to a bank, right?  Well if you do, we all know how the banks make a majority of their money and that’s from those pesky bank fees.  Most banks today either try to hide these fees or they just pray that you’ll screw up or use out of network ATMS so that they can charge you a pretty penny.

The question today is "How do I avoid bank fees and what kind of bank fees are out there?".  Let’s take a look at some of the top fees out there that banks charge and how you can avoid them.

ATM Fees: Many banks will charge you a small fee if you use an ATM out of their network.  If you do find yourself using an ATM out of the network, it will notify you.  Some banks will reimburse you at the end of the month for a few of these transactions if they don’t have a selection of ATMs in the area.  This is one reason that I like banking with a bigger bank simply because of the selection of ATMs.

Minimum balance fees:  Ah, the minimum balance fee.  This is a fee that can get everyone.  This is also why I always recommend that you should look into savings accounts that have no minimum balances.  If you don’t know if your checking or savings account has a minimum balance, make sure you check because there’s a great chance it does.  If it does have a fee, see if there’s a no fee option account or change banks if you’re not satisfied.

Overdraft fees:  This is the fee that get many people and this fee can usually range anywhere from $25 and up.  This fee happens when you write a check or make a transaction for more than what you have in your account.  Yes, sometimes this can happen when deposits don’t clear on time.  This is why it’s important to know how much you have in your accounts at all times.

Paper fees:  With the technology where it stands today, many banks are resorting to the e-statement route, a process where you get your statements online rather in your mailbox.  If you’re currently getting your statements in the mail, make sure your bank isn’t charging you for these.

POS fees:  If you use your debit card a lot, some banks will charge you every time you make a transaction using your PIN.  Make sure that you always use your debit card as credit just to avoid this process.  You can pass the fees onto the retailer rather than yourself.

If you find yourself receiving these bank fees on your monthly statements, try and appeal them.  Here are some ways you can do it –

Talk with the bank personally:  The best step to appeal a bank fee is simply by walking into the bank.  Explain your situation and be calm.  As long as you’re calm and cool, they will most likely won’t have a problem waiving the fee.

Is it your first offense?  If this has happened ten times already, you’re going to have a hard time.  This one is on you.  Make sure that you change your habits or learn how the fees work so that they don’t happen in the future.

Look for a new bank:  If your bank just has crazy fees that you don’t like, start looking for a new bank.  Check out local credit unions and other major bank branches.  There is a wide variety out there when it comes to banking.

Negotiate with the bank:  Ask the bank if they can get rid of these fees for you.  Sometimes you may be able to get rid of the "minimum balance" fee or even if you ask.  The bank may be able to direct you to a newer account that can help you out.

100% of the time, the bank fees are listed somewhere where you can see them.  It’s your duty as a banking individual to make sure you know what you’re going to be charged for each transaction you make.  As long as you’re responsible and alert, you shouldn’t have a problem avoiding bank fees.

Disclaimer:This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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