How to Deal With All of Those Bank Fees

Financial Tips

How to Deal With All of Those Bank Fees

Posted by Steinhandler Wealth Advisors
5 years ago | September 19, 2017

Do you ever look at those bank statements that arrive by email or snail mail? If you’re like a lot of people, your inbox is full or you have a stack of unopened mail on your desk. But if you aren’t scrutinizing your bank statements, you could be one of the consumers who are paying an average of 470 dollars in bank fees each year.

That’s because the average bank account can carry 25 different fees for various services. The most common ones include maintenance fees, overdraft fees, online banking fees, and even fees for accessing your own money via an automatic teller machine. Some banks will even charge you money to change your address!

If you signed up for a “free” checking account years ago, a quick look at your statements might show you that your bank has begun charging a monthly maintenance fee. How sneaky!

One option is to switch to a new bank. If you get hooked by the “free checking account” offer, this time scrutinize the conditions you must meet in order for the account to be truly free. You might be required to receive direct deposits each month, or maintain a minimum balance in the account. Credit unions often offer more reasonable fee structures.

Remember to read all correspondence sent by your bank. They are required to notify you of new fees, but often these notices go unnoticed.

ATMs are a common source of hefty fees. You might be able to withdraw money from your own bank’s ATM without incurring a fee, but most other banks will charge about three dollars for this service. If you need to carry a little cash, get cash back when you make a purchase at the grocery store.

Of course, you can always negotiate with your bank. Sometimes they will waive a seemingly unfair fee just once. Call the bank manager, or go in for a visit, and ask them how you can avoid fees in the future.

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