10 Ways To Avoid Paying Banking Fees
As retired people, it is necessary to save as much money as possible to ensure that life can
remain relaxed and uncomplicated. Banking fees are an easy way to blow through your savings without realizing it. Therefore, focus on the following ten strategies to reduce the risk of high costs in the future.
1. Keep Money In Your Account
Most banking institutions have expectations for how much money you keep in your savings and checking. If you fail to maintain a specific amount in your accounts, then you are likely to be charged a maintenance fee. Check with your financial institution to find out how much this fee is, and how much is required to avoid it.
2. Embrace Direct Deposit Waivers
Banks want you to use them. However, using the facility in a specific way is often encouraged. For example, many banks offer direct deposit waivers, meaning that particular fees can be avoided if you have your monthly checks, like social security, direct deposited into your account.
3. Use PayPal and ACH Transfers
As with direct deposits, many banks will also waive specific maintenance fees if you use PayPal or ACH transfers. However, you will likely need to ensure that a set amount is deposited every month in a predictable pattern.
4. Avoid Out-of-Network ATMs
When banking with a brick-and-mortar institution, you are likely stuck using the bank's ATMs and other affiliates. If you use an out-of-network ATM, you are probably charged a fee. You can avoid this fee by using an online-only bank with no ATM restrictions.
5. Use Your Debit Card
Banks like it when you use your debit card because they earn a little extra cash from your
purchases. If you use your debit card frequently enough, some banks will waive any maintenance fees associated with your account because they are making more money from your card use.
6. Avoid Overdraft Protection
While overdraft protection sounds nice in theory, if you are a serial user of that protection, you will spend a significant amount of money on overdraft fees, which can be as much as $35 or more. If you can operate within your budget, then forgoing overdraft protection can protect you from unnecessary fees.
7. Link All Accounts
If your bank has a maintenance fee, you may be able to avoid it by linking all of your existing
accounts. Some banks offer a relationship waiver, which absolves you from the monthly
maintenance fee if all of your accounts combined meet a specific threshold.
8. Avoid Paper Statement Fees
Did you know that some banks charge for paper statements? Instead, enroll in free paperless
9. Avoid Excessive Transfers
Were you aware that a bank may penalize you for excessive transfers from savings to checking accounts? It is best to limit these types of transactions from month to month. Talk to a bank representative to find out what the penalty is, if any.
10. Go Back To School
While this sounds out there, have you ever considered going back to school? Many banks will
waive maintenance fees for college students.
Retirement may be difficult enough financially, so why allow your bank to come after your hard-earned money. Follow the above tips and other advice from Wise Ol' Owl to protect your interests.
There are credit unions where membership also offers shares in the annual profits. My father was one of twelve original signatories for what is now DUCA Financial who each contributed $25.00 so that one of them could begin a haberdashery with the $300.00. DUCA began with Dutch Canadian immigrants to Canada who without any collateral could not lend money from the banks. It now has 59,000 members and $2.2 billion in assets. Many services are without financial charges for members. Other credit unions are Alterna and Meridian.