How to Avoid Money Sucking Bank Fees

How to Avoid Money Sucking Bank Fees
  • Opening Intro -

    If you’re thinking that this article is designed to bash banks, then you’re wrong.

    Any business has a right to make a profit and charge whatever fees are necessary to keep the enterprise afloat.


Still, you don’t have to be the one to prop up said institutions, avoiding paying most, if not all fees if you’re careful and a bit bold.

Bankers set their own policies as to what fees will be charged and under what conditions. Just because you are charged a fee doesn’t mean it has to stick either. You can challenge most any charge, but much of that depends on how you approach the problem and the person you need to talk to.

Let’s take a look at some common fees and how you can afford these:

Credit card annual fees — Paying an annual fee for the privilege of using a credit card seems just wrong, doesn’t it? From the last 1980s to the recent market meltdown, annual fees were routinely waived, but as credit has tightened, these fees have returned. You can usually avoid paying a fee if you have at least one other account at the same bank. Ask your branch manager how to avoid this fee and, if already charged, ask to have it reversed.

Overdraft fees — Good luck with getting overdraft fees reversed! Better to have your checking account linked to your credit card and have a cash advance drawn then to incur $35 fees per each overdraft incidence. Linked accounts do incur a fee, usually $5, but you avoid the money sucking fees.

ATM fees — Use your automatic teller machine card at an ATM that is not part of your network and you could wrack up some fees. Check your card — on the cover or back you’ll notice a network or two or three where your card can be used. Most always, you’ll not be charged a fee even if you’re at another bank’s ATM. However, you could incur two fees, one from the guest bank and one from your bank for using your card elsewhere.

Online access — You should not be charged a fee for online access to your account. Certainly, setting up and maintaining an account online costs your bank money, but using its services online is cheaper for the bank then for you to walk through its doors and do business with a teller. The same goes for online check paying services — this should be free too.

What if you are hit up with a fee, even if it is deserved? The best approach is to make a visit to your local branch, meet with the branch manager or her assistant and politely ask for a one time reversal of the charge. Overdraft fees may be difficult to reverse, but a monthly usage fee can be reversed if you politely ask.

See AlsoSayLending: Smart Money Tips

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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".