How to Avoid the Most Common Bank Account Fees

Every account will not be the same for any bank and the account fees can be quite different as well. It is best to get to know the common types of bank account fees that can come with having a bank account so that you can also know how you can avoid these types of fees.

Maintenance Fees

Many banks no longer offer completely “free” banking accounts. There are maintenance fees that will either be monthly or annually. These can range from $5 to well over $15 a month. Maintenance fees can really add up over the course of 12 months.

There are, however, ways in which you can avoid these fees. Speak with your bank about specific types of accounts that can actually waive these fees if you carry a certain balance in your account. The balances requirement could be around $500 or more and it must be maintained on a daily, weekly, or monthly timeframe.

Keep in mind that there may be more than one type of requirement in order to avoid these common bank account fees. Read over your account policy, but also ask your bank directly about the many options that will allow you to have a fee free bank account.

Foreign Transaction Fees

These are quite common fees that you will find with your bank account if you typically do a lot of overseas transactions. These fees are equally high if you purchase items through foreign websites. The fee that you are charged for these transactions is for currency conversion.

There is really only one way in which you can avoid this fee and that is to choose a card that does not charge for foreign transactions. If you also have a credit card with the same bank that you hold a checking account with, opt for using the credit card because it is more likely to give you a fee-free service when making foreign transactions.

Closing Fees

There are several banks that actually have fees that are specifically charged to your account if you decide to close your account. As part of the banks covering losses from closed accounts, they have added more and more account requirements. Be sure you carefully read any policy that comes with your account because closing fees could be a part of it.

Do You Have a Timeframe to Work With?

If there is a requirement for you to have your account open for a certain number of days before closing it, then you should try to keep it open until a few days past the minimum date. This is a good way to avoid losing a percentage of your balance.

Should You Have More Than One Account at a Time?

Just remember that during this time that you are waiting to close the account, you can go ahead and open up account with another bank and use it as your primary bank account. Depending on the type of account you have, you may have to leave a certain amount in the account you are trying to close, in order to avoid certain bank fees.

Paper Statements

Believe or not, there are actually fees for requesting or being sent paper statements. Not every bank has implemented this type of fee, but the majority of them have. If you have noticed your bank sending you flyers by mail or emails about going paperless, chances are that they are already charging for these fees.

When Should You Go Paperless?

If you do not mind looking at your statements electronically, then going paperless is the best way to avoid this bank fee. There are also benefits to this as well. You can view statements from any date as often as you need and print copies as well.

Customer Service

You might wonder how you could possibly be charged for customer service, but it is possible and it happens more than you think. Many banks, especially banks that hand out #eBanking accounts, will charge their customers who actually go inside a bank and speak with a teller in order to have them handle their transactions.

What "Service Fees" Can a Financial Institution Charge for?

These fees can range from $9.00 or more per month and they often charge them as monthly maintenance fees. This can be for any transactions that are performed inside a bank like deposits, cashing checks, balance inquiries, and certified checks.

How to Avoid Service Fees

The best way to avoid this fee is to avoid the banks that charge them. Those fees will add up over the course of a year, so it is best to choose a bank that allows you to let a teller handle your transactions for free. If you bank primarily online, and never go inside of a bank, then you should have no problem avoiding these fees altogether.

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