Earning money and saving in our bank account shouldn’t cost us money, but when we look at our statements, we suddenly see less cash due to some hidden fee. It brings on extra anxiety and stress from not knowing why there are additional fees and why the bank charges us to keep our money there.
Here is a list of five hidden fees that banks may be imposing on your bank account and how to avoid them.
1. Monthly Maintenance or Service Fees
Many banks will charge a maintenance or service fee on your account. Many people wonder what this fee goes to, but it is to pay for staff and maintenance of the account.
One way to avoid them is to fulfill some requirements, like having a minimum amount in your account or connecting it to a checking account. Fees do add up.
2. Account Minimum Fee
There are a good many banks around the country that charge a minimum balance fee. They want to make more deposits in your account. They use the money to loan out and make more money. So they will withdraw money from your account once it hits that minimum limit.
One way to avoid this is to look for accounts that do not require a minimum balance. Ally and Capital One 360 offer outstanding accounts without minimum balance requirements.
3. Online Bill Pay Fee
As many banks are going to online bill pay, you would expect it to be free. Banks are pushing for more and more people to use online bill pay, but if you need same-day delivery or by the next day, then the banks will charge you.
Suntrust and Ally bank will charge you a fee for same-day or overnight payment delivery. If you want to avoid this, you could always use your debit card, or a credit card, or pay your bills ahead of time.
4. Savings Withdrawal Fee
Many people have savings accounts these days. It is an excellent way to save money for an emergency fund or a rainy day. With higher interest rates, you can earn a good bit of interest. Banks have a federal limit on withdrawals from savings accounts. The maximum is six per month. If you surpass that, then you will be charged a fee.
To avoid these unnecessary fees, do not use your savings account as a checking account. It is better to use your checking account if you know you will be transferring a lot of money throughout the month.
5. Card Replacement Fee
Back in the day, if you lost your debit card, you could call the bank, and they would send you a new one. Now many banks are putting a fee on card replacements. They need to be able to pay for the card, postage, and labor for it to be sent out.
It is best to look for banks that only charge a fee for a card replacement if you are prone to losing things.
If you want to avoid unnecessary bank account fees, then be mindful of the rules your bank may have. If the rules do not benefit you, look for a bank that can provide better benefits without the fees.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.