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Bank fees help banks to bring in revenue. However, they can be incredibly inconvenient and expensive for bank customers. Because of this fact, it is wise for bank customers to be aware of some of the main bank fees that they may have to pay. The more that bank customers understand these fees, the less likely they will be to do something accidentally that results in a fee.
Here is a list of some of the top bank fees that you should be aware of.
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These fees are fees that banks charge to use their ATMs. Typically, ATM use has no fee if you use an ATM that is in your bank’s ATM network. But, if you use one that is not, then you will have to pay. Normally, the cost of using an ATM that is outside of your bank’s ATM network is between $2 and $5 per transaction. Over time, this can get expensive, so it is best to try to use ATMs that are in your bank’s ATM network to prevent wasting money on ATM fees.
These are fees that are charged when you write a check for an amount that is greater than what you have in your bank account. For example, if you write a check for $500, when you only have $300 in your account. Typically, banks will reject the transaction in such circumstances, and also force you to pay the non-sufficient funds fees. So, writing checks for amounts greater than you have in your account can be doubly problematic.
A number of banks charge “account maintenance fees” which are basically just fees they want you to pay for having an account at their bank. These fees can be especially irritating to deal with because they are not charged for making obvious mistakes like writing a check for more than is in your account. However, there are often ways to prevent having to pay account maintenance fees. For example, if you keep a certain amount of money in your bank account, then these fees can be cancelled. There are several other ways to get rid of these fees too. Some banks will cancel them if you use online bill pay, or have direct deposits every month of a certain amount.
A debit card replacement fee is a fee that a bank charges to provide you with a new debit card if you lose yours. These fees are typically about $5 – $20. If you want to get your new debit card sent to you as soon as possible, then they often charge a bit more. To avoid having to pay debit card replacement fees, you should always try to keep track of where your debit card is, and be aware of pick pockets on places like crowded subway cars.
A number of banks charge a small fee if you would like to receive paper statements each month. This fee is usually just a couple of dollars. However, because so many banks offer online banking nowadays, there is really no need to get monthly paper statements in many cases. So, you should be able to easily cancel monthly paper statements and avoid having to pay these fees.
These are fees that banks sometimes charge to make transactions in foreign countries. Banks charge these fees because it can be significantly more inconvenient for them to process transactions in foreign countries, versus in their home country. Sometimes these fees can be as high as three percent, per transaction. This can translate to a lot of money. Many credit cards do not charge foreign transaction fees. So, it could be a smart move to use your credit card instead of your debit card when you are travelling abroad and need to make transactions.
These are fees that banks charge if you withdraw more money from an ATM than is currently in your account. These fees can also be charged if you have overdraft protection for checks too, and you write a check that is worth more than the funds in your account. Either way, if you overdraft, you will be charged a fee. This fee is usually around $30-$35. This is one of the most expensive of the common bank fees, and it can add up very quickly if you frequently overdraft.
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