Banks make changes in their policies and fees every now and then and being aware of these changes is highly important. Early this 2012, changes were reported in debit-reward programs and there was even an attempt to carry out fees for usage of debit cards.
A study by Pew Institute said that a customer with a checking account today can be charged with some 49 different fees. The study looked into the 250 types of checking accounts offered by America's 10 largest banks.
Many of the new and upcoming fees are related to credit card usage including obtaining paper statements. They are aimed at lowering the bank's costs. In fact, you may have received a call or letter encouraging you to use online banking or receive your credit card statement online without the paper.
Experts point out that bank customers need to build a good relationship with their preferred financial institutions and get to know well their policies.
Monthly minimum – Some banks may increase their required minimum monthly balance. This is to avoid the monthly fee. Customers need to maintain the balance every month otherwise, they will be charged with a certain fee.
For those who have multiple accounts in a bank, it may be a good idea to link them so you do not have to pay the fee for each account. Experts also shared an option which is to do a direct deposit of your paycheck to increase your balance.
Money transfers – If you're sending money often, there are new fees as well. You may have been charged with a small amount only in the past but there's a chance that the fee will go up. Even the incoming wire transfers that were free before might already be charged now.
Card replacement – There's a fee normally for replacing a lost credit card. Unfortunately, the amount may also go up today. As an example, Bank of America increased their fee from $ 2 to $ 5. For those who want to have their new card in a rush, the fee is greater at around $ 20.
Overdraft fees – The overdraft fees are the ones that have increased greatly to as high as $ 40 to $ 45. This amount is up from last year's $ 27.50. Again, experts recommend linking your savings and other accounts if you have several in one bank to avoid the fees. Just be sure that they have sufficient funds in there. Otherwise, you will still be charged.
Paper statement fees – If you're still receiving your paper statements, beware because you might already be charged now. This is the reason why many banks now encourage their clients to go online to avoid using more paper and theby save costs. Some also offer incentives to customers for going electronic such as lowering your maintenance fee by a dollar.
A tip that you may want to consider amidst the increase of these bank fees is to stay loyal. Some of you may not be aware but long-time customers are normally given a bit of special treatment with regards to these fees. You can negotiate in case you're charged.