Every consumer needs a safe place that he or she can store money for future use. Consumers have several options that include opening bank accounts or credit union accounts. Finding an account that is “easy on the balance” is the best way to get the most out of a banking institution. The following are miscellaneous fees that a person should review and try to avoid when choosing a banking establishment:
Monthly Maintenance Fees
Monthly maintenance fees are random fees that banks charge their customers for the mere “luxury” of having an account. Consumers can avoid these fees by conducting research to find an institution that does not charge them. They are out there, but consumers must conduct research to find them. One example of a bank that has a $0 monthly maintenance fee account is Citizen’s bank. Debtors can avoid the monthly fee by having a paycheck deposited into the account at least once per month.
Banks make a large portion of their proceeds by charging customers for the slightest overdrafts. Some of them have an intricate system by which they slowly process debit card transactions to create overdrafts. A $.05 discrepancy can cause a consumer to lose up to $36. The best way to avoid this from happening is to find a bank that does not have overdraft fees. Alternatively, the consumer can opt for overdraft protection (which has fees) or search for a bank with low overdraft fees. An example of a bank that does not charge overdraft fees is GoBank. GoBank is a subsidiary of Green Dot Bank. The bank is new, and it is still working on its website. Consumers who sign up with this bank will have the opportunity to avoid overdraft fees and nonsufficient funds charges.
ATM Transaction Fees
Consumers who have debit cards associated with their bank accounts are sometimes blindsided by random ATM transaction fees. ATM fees can be as high as $3 to $5 by the time the bank and the ATM owner finishes taking their cuts. The best ways to avoid ATM fees is to read carefully the bank’s terms and agreements. Some consumers can avoid ATM fees by using specific ATM machines for their withdrawals.
The art of choosing the right bank account includes careful research, thorough comparison, and in-depth reading of each bank’s “terms and agreements” section. Credit unions are a healthy alternative because their members own them rather than investors and stockholders.