by Bo, March 06, 2012
Bank fees are getting pretty crazy. Every time we look at the news it seems like one of the big banks is raising fees to cover their short fall. It is getting very expensive to have your money at a large banking conglomerate. Frank Sorrento wrote an article for Forbes the other day about Banking Fees, Simplified that pretty much laid it on the table. So many people I know are looking for alternatives to the excessive bank fees, so lets take a look at some solutions to help you save money on bank fees.
First of all, check for small local banks that are available to you. As Sorrento said, they lend locally and play locally so why not go for the personal touch and less of a fee hit. Keeping your money local will also mean it will help keep your bank a bit more fluid and your access is greater. Neighborhood banks are great for local support and community.
Credit Unions are another great choice. Many of these style banks may be for exclusive membership, but many of them you will be eligible for. The rates are much lower and you also get more of a personal touch because they are member owned. You are not just a number, you are a part owner. These banks are federally regulated and most, if not all of them have insurance coverage for your money. Your savings on fees and earnings on your money will more than likely be greater than a regular for profit bank.
If you do not want to leave your bank, look at keeping more money in your accounts. You usually get discounts on fees and a higher rate of return by keeping additional money in your account at all times. The issue comes if you have to remove the money for some reason. Your fees will escalate. Plus you have limited access to that money for fear of fees.
I heard that credit card fees at the big banks are crazy right now… up to 30% interest and heaven forbid if you want a cash advance off of a card. Make sure to read the fine print. If you have overdraft protection, look and see where the bank pulls the money from first. Chances are it is the account that will make them the most money… the credit card line. They will charge the cash advance fee on that too.
This probably doesn’t need to be said, but stay away from overdraft fees by keeping extra in your account. Save on ATM fees by checking out what banks will charge you a fee and do not use those. Chances are you are getting hit twice… once for using that out of network bank and then again by your bank for using an out of network bank. ugh! Look at other “normal” fees that they may throw on you and make note to reduce these as much as possible.
Take some time to do the research and you can reduce some of the horrific bank fees. Its in your hands.