Out Of Control Bank Fees Signal It Might Be Time To Put Your Money Under A Mattress

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atm-withdrawal-by-betsssssy.jpg While I don’t exactly recommend keeping money under a mattress due to possible theft, fire, or flood, according to Bankrate.com, checking account fees are bleeding us dry

  • Using an ATM costs an average of $1.97 — and that’s when you use your own bank. 

  • The average charge for out-of-network ATM fees is $3.43.

  • In addition, overdraft protection has gone up 2.5% in the last year and currently averages $28.95. 

  • If you want to earn interest on your checking account, you need to pay a yearly fee of $12 and keep a minimum balance of $3,500.  

Why are we dealing with such high bank fees right now?  

The high fees come at a time when banks are struggling to unload bad mortgage loans. Some analysts say that banks are making up for loan losses by charging higher penalties — and doing so more often —  to bank and credit card customers. — ABC News

Some of these bank fees can be avoided. 

Here are some things you can do to keep a handle on bank fees…

Shop around for a bank that fits your financial lifestyle. 

  • If you need a lot of cash, choose a bank with more ATMs.
  • If you do online banking, choose a bank with strong online features. 
  • It is also recommended that you get overdraft protection on your accounts. 

More tips for avoiding bank fees include:

  • Don’t bounce checks (bounced check fees are astronomical)

  • Use your debit card to make purchases.

  • Ask for cash back. 

  • Avoid using a teller — as there are now charges for multiple teller use. 

  • Read your bank statements, because there could very well be errors that you need to get corrected.

This ABC News video gives a tutorial on how to be free of bank fees.  It explains that you need to understand that free checking accounts are not free at all.  Their tips to fight bank fees are to stay within your banking network, and use online banks such as ING Direct and the Schwab bank.  


I Did Not Know That…

Did you know that bigger banks charge more fees than smaller banks

Big banks, in this case, are those with a national presence having branches in many states.  Small banks may only have a few branches in one or two states. 

Did you know that if you try to cash a check written out to you at the bank it is drawn on, you may be charged as much as $5 to $6 for what used to be a free service? 

This happened to me just last week, as I did not want to mix money that was meant for my kid’s class play with my personal money, so I went to the school’s bank to cash the check they gave me.  After trying to convince me to open an account with them and failing, they informed me that I would have to pay a fee to cash the check.  This is apparently routine when the check is drawn on a business account.  Personal accounts are treated differently.  To avoid such fees, you may need to deposit the check at your own bank and wait for it to clear.



Video: How To Find Out What Your Bank Owes You (…and make complaints to have some of those bank fees eliminated, according to the FDIC)

7 Ways To Avoid High Bank Fees (…a slideshow summary)

Consider Using Credit Unions Instead Of Banks (…credit unions work in networks to charge each others’ members less surcharges) 

Banking Fees Continue To Soar (…Bankrate’s 2008 checking study findings)

Video: Managing Your Money In Banks Is Pricey (…banking fees have gone up 10% since 2000, and  income from these fees make up 27% of the banks’ profits)

20 Better Places To Keep Your Money Than A Mattress (…check your bank’s stress test)

Why I Keep Cash Under My Mattress (…or some other secure and hidden place in the house)