Bank depositors need to watch their bank accounts closely for unnecessary charges. Even a handful of bank charges could push a person deeper into debt, making it difficult to recover financially.
An online report by lifehack.org gives seven tips to avoid bank charges and keep the money that belongs to you.
- Understand what your bank can charge: The government sets regulations that prevent banks from charging outlandish fees. Despite some regulations, banks still get to charge relatively high fees for simple mistakes and services. Always read the fine print before opening an account. If your bank updates its policies, read the new fee structures so you understand exactly what it can charge.
- Search for banks without unnecessary charges: Not all banks try to make money out of every transaction. If you’re tired of paying some unnecessary fees, search for banks that don’t charge for those services.
- Bundle services to avoid bank fees: Banks want you to use as many services as possible, so they eliminate certain fees for customers who use bundled services. Someone with a current account might have to pay a small monthly fee. Adding a savings account could lower or eliminate that fee.
- Use online banking to avoid paper statement fees: Now that most banks offer online services, members may have to pay extra for paper statements. As long as you have a computer and internet connection, you can avoid those paper statement fees.
Most banks will let you choose whether you want paper or electronic statements. Ask if you have to pay for paper statements.
- Choose an account with fewer charges: Even at the same bank, members may pay different amounts for similar services. You can save money by choosing an option that matches the way you prefer using your account. For instance, if you prefer going inside the bank to talk to a teller, you may have to pay a fee unless your account covers the service. Other accounts may charge for using the ATMs.
Find an account that will charge you less for the services you plan to use.
- Ask the bank to waive fees: Banks want to make extra money by charging fees, but they don’t want to lose long-term customers over piddling amounts. If you receive a charge that you think is unfair, contact the bank to ask about waiving the fee. Many banks will remove the charge from your account to keep your business.
Some research shows that 44 per cent of people have convinced their banks to forgive fees. You’re more likely to get a refund by talking to service reps nicely and moving up the chain of command until you find someone authorized to remove the fee.
Since banks want to keep their best customers, long-term members without previous charges may have more success.