In 2013 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found that U.S. commercial banks took in about 32 billion dollars in bank fees. Crazy as it may sound 32 billion is actually significantly less compared to 2009 when banks collected more than 40 billion in bank fees. Don’t let this decrease mislead you because certain checking fees like overdraft and ATM have continued to rise over the last few years.
As banks continue to raise fees finding an affordable checking account has become even more important. The national average interest rates for money market accounts are (.08%) and even lower for savings accounts (.06%). It’s more beneficial for consumers to save money by choosing a bank with lower fees, then it is to make money from current interest rates being as low as they are.
Here are 3 good ways to help you save money on bank fees.
When you need cash instead of getting hit with an out of network or Non-Bank ATM fee just use the cash back feature that some retail stores offer when you make a purchase.
If you are getting hit with monthly fees on your checking account see if your bank offers a basic or non-interest bearing checking account with no minimum balance requirement. If they don’t you will have to either keep a minimum balance, set up a direct deposit, or much sure to use your debit card for a certain number of purchases.
As far as overdraft fees go you can advise your bank that you would like to “opt out” of overdraft protection so instead of getting hit with an overdraft fee from your debit card purchase it would be denied at point of sale.
If you do decide to switch banks always ask your banker for a fee schedule which shows you the fee amounts charged for different bank services.