Consumers are increasingly frustrated with the fees charged by banks and other financial institutions. The most common complaint among consumers is that banks charge too many fees for services that should be free, such as accessing their money. A recent survey found that nearly 45% of respondents said they would switch to a new bank or financial institution if it meant lower fees.
Too Many Fees
For example, many banks charge a monthly fee for having a checking account and then charge additional fees for using an ATM or debit card. In addition, some banks charge fees for things like making a wire transfer or sending a check.
While it is understandable that banks need to make money, their fees can be excessive and make it difficult for consumers to save money. Also, some extra costs are pricing people right out of the banking system altogether.
How You Can Avoid Fees
If you’re fed up with paying too much in fees, you can do a few things to avoid them.
Look for a bank or credit union with no-fee atms. Competition among financial institutions is fierce, so many are fewer fees to attract customers. Also, check for banking choices with no hidden fees and charges.
There are now many financial institutions that offer online-only banking. These banks have fewer fees because they don’t have the overhead costs of traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Another way to avoid fees is to use technology to your advantage. For example, there are now many apps that allow you to transfer money for free.
Go to the Bank
It’s not convenient, but going into the bank to do your banking can save you money. For example, some banks charge a fee for using an out-of-network ATM. But if you go into the bank and do your transactions there, you won’t have to pay that fee.
Beware of These Fees
Some fees are unavoidable, such as foreign transaction fees if you use your debit card while traveling overseas. But there are other fees that you should know to avoid. For example, some banks charge a fee if you close your account within a certain period after opening it.
Also, be careful of bounced check fees and late payment fees. These can be avoidable if you’re careful, but they can also add up quickly.
Banking fees can be frustrating, but there are ways to avoid them. Shop around for a bank with fewer fees, use technology to your advantage, and go into the bank to do your transactions. You should also know the standard fees so you can avoid them.