How much did you pay the last time you went to an ATM? Banking fees can be a huge source of frustration for many people. However, it’s important to note that not all banks charge the same fees, and some are more likely than others to penalise customers for using their accounts.
That said, there are ways to save money on your banking fees and some common bank fees you can avoid. By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re not wasting money when it comes time to pay your monthly bills.
Let’s dive in.
1. Keep Your Balance High
One of the easiest ways to save money on your banking fees is to make sure you keep your balance high. This can be done by not spending money regularly, or by setting up direct deposits for automatic payments.
It’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking your account balance each month and keeping it as high as possible. This also enables you to keep an eye on bank account fees and dispute them if necessary.
If you have a high enough cash balance, many banks will waive monthly bank account fees or other charges simply because they don’t want to lose out on potential revenue from having their customers pay those fees.
2. Get an Interest-Earning Account
Interest is a reward for lending money. Interest rates have recently risen due to the current inflation crisis. Banks pay interest on savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and some money market accounts.
The amount you earn depends on the type of account and its balance. Generally speaking, the more you have in your account, the higher your rate will be—but that’s not always true!
If a bank offers an “interest checking” account with a low minimum opening balance requirement and no monthly service fee, it can be pretty attractive. It also makes sense to link any high-balance savings or CD to your checking account.
That way, you won’t get hit with unnecessary fees if you move money between these two types of accounts too often. Equally, it won’t affect you if you exceed certain limits while making transfers between them.
3. Set Up Direct Deposits
Setting up a direct deposit option is one of the best ways to save money on banking fees.
When you receive your paycheck, most employers will allow you to have the funds deposited into a separate account. This is called direct deposit and can be set up at any bank or credit union.
When you set up direct deposit, the check must go directly into an account that isn’t attached to your debit card in any way (such as an online checking account).
Direct deposit avoids all types of checks, which means no more trips back-and-forth between work and home or worrying about lost or damaged checks that could cost you even more money in replacement fees.
If you’re a sole trader or run your own business, consider hiring a personal accountant to help you save fees and arrange your finances.
4. Opt for Online Statements
One way to save money is by opting for online statements. Some banks will charge you if you choose paperless statements, but if you do so, they’ll often waive those fees.
Some other benefits of online banking include the fact you can stay up to date on your finances without having to go into the bank or send someone a paper statement every month
If your bank offers it, there are usually tools like bill pay and mobile check deposit available on their website as well
This gives you more opportunities for catching mistakes before they happen—like missing a payment or overdrawing an account after paying some bills—and prevents them from escalating into larger issues that could negatively impact your credit score or even lead to bounced checks and late fees
5. Don’t Use Your Debit Card for Purchases
To save money on your banking fees, you can also opt to use credit cards instead of debit cards. Credit cards have higher interest rates and thus come with more fees.
However, they do not charge debit card transactions or foreign exchange fees (which are levied when using your debit card abroad), so these additional charges can be a good deal depending on how much you use it in the first place.
6. Stay Away From ATMs That Aren’t From Your Bank or Credit Union
If you’re going to be making a lot of transactions with your debit card, it may be worthwhile to consider using an ATM that is owned by your bank. Many banks will waive their own ATM fees for customers who use their ATMs, which can save you money if you have to do a lot of ATM-related transactions.
If this isn’t an option or doesn’t work for whatever reason, credit unions are another good alternative. Credit unions tend not to charge as much in fees as large banks and are often more profitable for consumers as well because they’re smaller institutions focused on helping members rather than maximizing profits. Still, you should avoid bank fees altogether.
If there’s one near where you live that offers lower rates and better services overall (such as low-interest rates and higher savings bonuses), then it might make sense for you to switch over from your current bank account so that you can avoid paying those extra charges every month instead!
Yet another option would be switching over to something like Bitcoin due to its lack of fees (and potential increase over time).
It Doesn’t Take a Lot of Effort to Save Money on Banking Fees
Keep your balance high, get an interest-earning account, and shop around. These are just a few of the ways you can save money on your banking fees.
There are many others, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and do some research when you have some spare time.
For more stories like this, be sure to check out our finance page.