Although Bank of America recently caved under the criticisms of its $5 debit card fees, it’s not the end of extra banking charges. You might be surprised when you open your next statement and read about the changes at your bank. Common bank fees include monthly checking fees, overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, and cash wiring fees.
List of New Bank Fees
Bank of America – Debit card replacement – $5 to $20
TD Bank – Wiring cash to an account – $15
Wells Fargo – monthly debit card fee – $3 (only certain states)
Bank of America – Personal checking account maintenance – $12
Citigroup – Personal checking account maintenance – $10
Chase – Personal checking account maintenance – $12
TD Bank – receive paper statement – $1
Bank of America – receive paper statement – $8.95
Chase, U.S. Bank, and PNC – early account closure – $25
As if new bank fees aren’t bad enough, many financial institutions are cutting back on their cash-back programs. JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, and USAA Bank no longer offer debit card rewards.
One way to get around some of the new bank fees is to switch to a credit union or smaller, local bank. If you bundle your accounts at a single bank, you might be able to get around some of the fees. To stay on top of changes, check out your bank’s website and read about the updates.
Banks are required to mail or email customers about any new fees or upcoming changes. Make sure you receive these letters or emails by contacting your bank and updating your email address and/or home address. Don’t throw out the letters without scanning them for impending charges. They’re long and boring, but look for dollar signs throughout the text. Banks seem to make the letters as convoluted as possible so that nobody will read them!
See if you can downgrade your bank account to avoid some maintenance fees. Most banks offer simple checking accounts with no minimum balances or monthly fees. The downside is that you don’t get any perks or rewards with these accounts.
Online banks are another option. You can have your paychecks deposited right into the accounts and have a debit card to withdraw cash.
As a last resort, call up your bank if you notice extra charges on your statement. If you politely ask the customer service rep to remove some of the charges, you just might get lucky. Explain that the bank down the street doesn’t have any fees. This works better if you are a long-time customer of the bank or do a lot of banking there, since they don’t want to lose valuable customers.