You use bank products and services on a regular basis, and usually, these products and services come with a certain fee you don’t want to be charged with. Therefore, can you do something about these service fees? If you can lower or even eliminate these fees, it can result in substantial savings on a yearly level. Some of the fees you may be currently paying are monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, returned check fees, ATM fees, per transaction fees, or online payment fees.
Before you go through some of the tricks to reduce your banking costs, try to identify the actions or transactions for which you pay a fee or any other charge. You can identify these fees and charges by reviewing your monthly statement.
There are a couple of ways to take into account in order to reduce your service fees. These are:
Pay attention to your minimum balance – You should be aware that some banks require a minimum balance on your account in order to waive certain fees. Therefore, try to maintain the minimum balance required.
Senior’s discounts – if you are over a certain age, you could talk with your bank to see if you are eligible for a senior’s discount. Usually, clients over 59 years of age are entitled to this type of discount.
Online vs. brick-and-mortar services – keep in mind that banks are trying to increase their efficiency. In order to stimulate the usage of their online services, they might charge lower fees if you do your transactions online as opposed to going to the bank offices. Not only this saves money for the bank, but when using online services, you are also saving money on transaction fees and other types of fees. Additionally, you save time and money if you use some services from your home.
The number of transactions per month – depending on the bank, you may be entitled to a certain number of transactions or withdrawals per month free of charge. After you exceed the fee-free number of transactions, you may be charged additional fees. So, you should either reduce the number of transactions or withdrawals you are making each month or try to negotiate better terms with your bank.
Use your bank’s ATMs network – when you withdraw money from an ATM that is not part of your bank’s ATM network, you may have extra charges. For this reason, try to use only an ATM that is from your own bank.
Avoid paying an overdraft fee – go through your monthly statement. If you see that you have been charged an overdraft fee, then you should definitely pay attention to your balance. Avoiding paying this fee is rather simple. You should not use your overdraft funds. Use only personal funds you have. If you stop overdrawing your account and/or if you change your bank, you may see potential savings of up to $360. Of course, the exact cost reduction will depend on a couple of different factors. You should know, though, that the overdraft fee can be above $30 each time you use money from your overdraft. Also, you always have the possibility to cancel the overdraft option.
Switch your bank if needed – if you cannot make any acceptable reduction in your banking fees with your current bank, then maybe it is time to consider changing your bank. If you decide to change your banks, then you have the potential to have an even bigger reduction in your banking costs. That is, as long as you make detailed analyses of different banks in order to ensure that you switch to a bank with the lowest fees and charges. In addition, you should consider whether you will bank with a local community bank, big bank, or online bank. Each of the three types of banks has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Neglecting small service charges could mean that we are missing on potential savings. Each of the fees we pay may seem like a small amount of money, but you should keep in mind that multiple fees paid regularly throughout the year could eat enough money for a nice relaxing weekend or a night out.
Therefore, try to be informed about the fees you pay. Create the habit of going through your monthly reports and statements and try to identify the actions for which you are being charged by your bank. See if you can eliminate these fees. Of course, there is always the option to switch to another bank with better terms.