If you’ve opened a new checking account recently, chances are fees had an influence in your decision. Billions of dollars are taken from consumers each year in bank fees.
It’s not a big surprise that consumers of all ages are choosing their next bank or credit union based on the level and fairness of fees according to market street research.
Overdraft charges have steadily increased over the last few years, and are now about $33 per occurrence according to Bankrate. These fees cause a major headache for consumers while providing a significant form of income for larger financial institutions.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that for banks with over $1 billion in assets, overdraft fees make up between 7 to 8 percent of their net income.
Depending on where you live you could have a number of different banking options to choose from like a national bank, regional bank, local bank, or credit union. That doesn’t change the fact that fees can be hard to determine at any one of them.
That’s because only after you complete the account opening process is a bank legally required to provide you with their complete list of fees also known as a fee schedule.
Seek out fintech for good
Some banks are choosing to help consumers anticipate low balance issues and avoid fees by upgrading their technology. Both Huntington and Ally already offer digital features with the goal of helping their customers by reducing the number of fees they pay.
There are other services like Trim that proactively monitor your bank account transactions to help you avoid unnecessary spending on bills and fees.
As you can see it’s pointless to stay with the same bank if they are nickel and diming you. Look for a bank that offers low or no fees at all with their checking account.
It also doesn’t hurt to consider multiple banks or credit unions for different benefits. With so many options on the table there is no reason to be monogamous with one bank or credit union.
Make time and take a closer look at your bank’s policies and procedures when it comes to fees. Banks that provide transparent and easy to understand terms should be the first choice for your money.