5 charges you should be aware of

1There are new regulations now in place that will restrict your overdraft fees and card charges that will have a direct impact on the way you bank because of these limitations. While good for you is not good for your bank. And so like the big bad wolf, they too will come up with new ways to huff and puff and blow your house down. Make sure you aren’t ambushed by a Kung fee warrior (sorry for the poor pun). Generally, new fees are communicated to you only via monthly statements. But you should keep a close eye on your account and analyze 5 common fees to see how you can circumvent them.

Monthly Service Fee

This one’s a classic fee, always charged to your account if your monthly or quarterly balance is too low. The figure of the minimum balance itself is changeable, so be wary of that. In some cases, it has also been seen that minimum balances are added to an account. So even if you didn’t have one make sure that provision still holds good.

Inactivity Fee

Just as you sometimes sit by and watch your computer time out, your bank sometimes waits for your time out before getting all mushy over potential fees. Some banks require you to make monthly transactions, failing which a fee is levied. This happens more at credit unions though, so a simple transfer set up to constantly wire money into the account solves the issue. Just make sure that transaction counts towards activity.

Withdrawal Fee

Savings accounts are sometimes limited to a certain number of withdrawals either in person or electronically or by cheque. So be aware of this before you get all withdrawal happy. Talk to an executive or the manager at the bank and understand what counts towards a withdrawal and what doesn’t.

Online payment fees

An increasing number of banks are making this free of charge. But only if certain conditions are met such as minimum balance conditions. Failing this, you can always use the facility but you might well be charged a monthly fee for it. And some will charge you if you don’t use it. Banks never cease to amaze us with their ingenuity.

ACH Transfers

Most internet banking systems allow you to make a certain number of free ACH inter-bank transfers. Some will charge you if you want to expedite this process, but many brick and mortar banks just don’t have this one facility and those that do offer it ask for a payment for this transfer. The easy way to avoid is to open an internet account with a bank and then initiate the transfer, but this can (possibly) fall under the 6 withdrawals per month charge. The woes, they come thick and fast.

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