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Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

Watch out for These Seven Sneaky Bank Fees

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If you’ve ever had a bank account, which I’m sure you have, than at one point or another you’ve been forced to pay some type of fee to your bank. What exactly are these fees and why am I paying them? For the bank, it’s revenue. For you, it’s a penalty for handling your money. Here’s a brief list of some of the fees you could be paying and how you can learn to avoid them.

1. Balance Transfer Fees

For consumers who are trapped under an avalanche of debt or have a vast collection of credit cards, consolidating all of that debt into one line of credit may be an extremely viable option. You should always be sure to check the fine print and details as many credit card companies charge a 3% fee for balance-transfers. This can cost you a $150 for every $5,000 transferred.

2. Paper Statement Fees

As we’ve all become more conscientious of the environment, many financial institutions have begun charging customers who still receive printed, paper statements. Sure, $2 or $3 a month won’t make many people blink but continuing to accrue these fees over time will certainly add up. The choice to go strictly e-statement will not only save you money but also excess paperwork around the house.

3. Bank Teller Fees

Since the beginning of times, the bank teller was there to happily assist you with any and all of your banking needs. The bank teller is still employed however getting assistance from them may now cost you in the long run. If you currently have an account that is designed or set up for eBanking only, making a simple deposit or withdrawal could cost you a monthly fee of nearly $10. If you still frequent the bank regularly, be sure to avoid any type of account with teller fees.

4. Account Maintenance Fees

Some banks even charge a monthly or annual fee simply for keeping certain types of accounts open. A couple of ways of avoiding these maintenance fees are signing up for direct deposit or automatic bill pay, but even then, you may be required to make a certain amount of debit card transactions per statement period to have your fee waived.

5. Minimum Balance Requirements

Not only could your bank be charging you a maintenance fee but many banks and accounts carry fees if you don’t keep a certain amount of cash in your account at all times in order to help support other services the bank may be offering. They may charge you depending on your daily balance or your balance at the end of the statement period. Either way, if you tend to move a lot of cash in and out of your account you may want to look into an account without a minimum balance requirement.

6. Inactivity Fees

If you’re the type of person that primarily only uses your bank account for safeguarding your hard earned money and tend to not have much activity, you could be paying a fee. Now normally, an inactivity fee will begin to take effect after a set amount of time (typically 3-6mos) without activity.

7. Account Closing Fees

Are you unhappy with your bank? Maybe you’re just moving away and don’t have any branches nearby. If this is the case and you’re getting ready to close out that account you better check first and make sure you won’t be hit with any fees as many banks will assess a penalty for closing out the account if it hasn’t been actively open for a certain length in time.

Eliminate the Red Tape

We wanted to take the time to warn you about these sneaky ways that banks are charging you fees, and also remind you that if you bank with BankMobile, you won’t have to worry about any of these sneaky bank fees. We’ve eliminated fees and created a revolutionary way to bank from your cell phone in the palm of your hand.

 

 

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

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Doing what you love for free allows you to create freely. You can come up with disruptive, out of this world, never seen before creations that will rock this planet. Take Elon Musk from South Africa, founder of X.com which went on to become PayPal and sold to eBay for 1.5 billion dollars. Musk is also the CEO of SpaceX which designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. You may say, of course, he can do this, he is a billionaire and co-founder of Tesla.

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