Here are a couple of fees to avoid:
- ATM Fees. Chase Bank has joined Bank of America by charging $3 for non-member ATM withdrawals. Avoid these fees by using your own banks ATM when possible. If you find yourself frequently incurring ATM fees, consider changing banks. ING Direct offers an online checking account without the checks and a large network of free ATMs. Washington Mutual Bank also offers a free checking and high yield savings account combo.
- Minimum Balance Fees. There are far too many free accounts out there for anyone to have to pay a fee to have an account. If your employer offers direct deposit or you receive government benefits, you can pretty much get a free account anywhere.
- Overdrafts. Most banks now charge anywhere from $25-$35 for a bounced check. Make sure you balance your account regularly to make sure you have enough money in your account to cover the check. That $5 check could end up costing you over $40. Also, consider linking your checking account to a savings account or money market account for an additional protection.
Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to peruse your bank statement. You'd be amazed at what you may find. I opened an account a year ago to get the account opening bonus and sort of forgot about the account. I thought the account was free so I did not think about it too much. I got a statement but did not bother to open it for a couple of months. When I did finally open the statement, I realized I had been charged a $3 fee causing me to have a negative balance. I went to the bank the next morning, deposited $3 to get the account out of the red and closed the account. Had I not checked the statement and realized my mistake, that $3 fee could have cost me big bucks.
Do you check your bank statements?
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