When you open a bank account, you expect that it's going to be a safe place to keep your money. For the most part that's true but you need to be careful. Banks are starting to charge all kinds of sneaky fees that can eat away at your savings. Here are five of the worst fees that catch people off-guard.
Fees That Waste Your Money:
Out-Of-Network ATM Fees
Using an ATM smartly can save you a lot of money. When you need cash, it's tempting to just go to the closest possible ATM. If this ATM belongs to a financial institution other than your bank, you're going to be paying for this convenience. The other bank will most likely charge you a fee for using their ATM and your bank might add one as well. It's possible to pay $5 or more just on one withdrawal. This is why it's so important to work with a bank that has plenty of ATMs in your area.
If you feel like your checking account balance is getting low, you need to be extremely careful about making future withdrawals and debit purchases. If you overdraft your account, meaning you try to take out more than you have in savings, the bank might let you take out the extra money while charging you an overdraft fee. On average, overdraft fees cost about $27 dollars and that's per transaction. A few accidental overdrafts can put you in a serious financial hole.
Monthly Maintenance Fees
Banks have recently started requiring a minimum monthly account balance for their accounts. For example, your account might require an average monthly account balance of $1,000. If you fail to meet this requirement, the bank will charge you a monthly maintenance fee of about $10 to $30.
Fees For Paper Statements, Debit Cards, And Balance Inquiries
Banks are also starting to charge fees for services that used to be free. If you request paper account statements instead of only using online banking, you could owe a fee. Some banks have also started charging to replace lost debit cards. One other frustrating fee is for balance inquiries. Some banks charge you $2 every time you check your balance, either by asking a teller at the bank or by calling the bank hotline. These fees are especially frustrating because they're automatically deducted so they could be coming out of your savings account without you even knowing.
Account Closure Fees
If you've had enough of your bank's frustrating charges and want to close your account, well there's one more fee to watch out for. Some banks also charge an account closure fee if you close your account too soon after you first open it. You typically need to keep your account open at least 180 days to avoid this fee.
Saving money is already hard enough without that money disappearing to banks fees. Be sure to check with your bank learn what they're charging and see what you can do to avoid these frustrating fees.
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