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There are a lot of bank fees that you are stuck paying for because of the services you use, but there are some bank fees that are easy to avoid if you are careful with your money. The key to making sure your bank doesn’t nickel and dime you is doing a bank fee comparison before you commit to an institution and reading the requirements for all of your accounts so you do not accidentally break the rules and get charged a penalty.[Read: 10 Sneaky Banking Fees]
One of the most common bank fees that people get stuck with is a minimum balance fee. If you are not aware of the fact that you must keep a certain amount in your bank account, you can wind up getting charged for going below this level, which will snowball as you get charged more and more for having a low balance. Read these requirements carefully so that you do not break these rules when you manage your account. Similarly, if you have a checking or debit account, you will probably be charged a fee if you do not use the card a certain number of times in a month. Keep an eye out for a bank with free checking accounts and stay on top of any spending requirements so you can avoid these charges.
Many banks charge a fee for closing your account as well. Once again, it is key to read the instructions when you open your account so you are aware of any restrictions on when you can close it. It is not uncommon for banks to require users to keep an account open for at least a year.
Similar bank fees often apply when you open a new card or wish to transfer your money to different accounts. If you will be opening several different debit or credit cards through your bank, it’s important to keep track of them. It is easy to rack up bank fees for cards that are reported lost or stolen frequently. Juggling multiple accounts can also open you up to fees if you are getting multiple statements. Even most free checking accounts now charge customers if they wish to receive a paper statement. You can save a lot of money by opting for online banking and printing out any information you need for your records at home instead.
Investors and people who frequently work in foreign markets should do a serious bank fees comparison before they commit to an institution. Most banks that are not situated in other countries charge hefty bank fees for foreign transactions, which can add up quickly. Those who travel a lot within their own country should also make sure there are a wide variety of ATMs or branches available since you are often charged a fee for using the facilities that belong to another bank, both from the bank that owns the ATM in question and from your bank for using facilities belonging to someone else. Needless to say, all these charges can wind up costing you quite a bit of money if you are not careful.
What money saving tips do you use in your every day life?