Monday, August 1, 2011

Tips to Avoid Bank Fees

Banks have been given more restrictions on fees and interest rates, as a result the nation's banks are looking for extra pennies anywhere they can get them. Some of the fees you're seeing have been around for a while; you may be surprised where other fees are coming from. For this reason the Better Business Bureau is shedding light on some of these unexpected fees, and offering advice on how you can avoid them.


1.) Update your address. Moving? Don’t forget to update your bank on your new address. You could be hit with fees if your statement is sent to your old address. Some banks charge $5 and up in fees for the second and subsequent months that a statement is undeliverable. Some banks charge even higher rates for returned mail, and handling undeliverable mail.

2.) Talking to a human teller: With online banking, talking to a human teller is becoming a thing of the past. Some banks will charge monthly fees for customers to access branches and talk to tellers. Most banks usually offer an account that gives you free access to tellers. Be sure to check what your account entails before you sign up.

3.) Losing your debit card. When you lose your debit card, not only is your money at risk from thieves, you may also need to pay your bank to replace it. Find out how much it costs to replace a debit card before you sign up.

4.) Paper Statements. Banks have begun charging to send paper statements. By enrolling in online banking, you can avoid these fees. Also, it is more environmentally friendly!

5.) Requesting old statements: If you need to verify a charge, be prepared to pay. Banks may charge $3 to receive copies of checks, statements and deposit slips. Staff have to spend time finding old slips or looking up you account. To avoid this, sign up for online banking, you can look at old transactions on your own.

6.) Receiving money. It often costs money to wire people money, now many banks are charging for you to receive money. This charge can be avoided if you chose the right account. If you frequently wire transfers, be sure to sign up for an account that will not penalize you to do so.

7.) Redeeming reward points. Banks will often charge for you to redeem reward points you’ve earned. The only way to avoid this is to find a bank that does not have redemption fees.

Some final tips to avoid unwanted fees are:

• Always read the fine print when you sign up for checking accounts.

• Avoid the automatic opt-in overdraft protection and do your best to live within your means and not overspend.

• Take note of your balance.

• Locate and use ATMs that won't charge you a fee.

• Automate payments so you'll be able to better monitor your balance.

1 comment:

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