Browsing Category: Banking

Five Checking Account Fees You Might Not Be Aware Of

For many people, it can be easy to trust banks and not read the fine print that explains various checking account fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars each year for the customer. By becoming aware of the most common fees from banks, it can be easier to avoid hefty fines and save money in the long run. Fortunately, since 1991, the Truth in Savings Act requires banks to disclose fees to each customer when opening a new account and update them on new fees.

1. Returned Deposit Fees

For customers who try to cash checks that bounce, it can end up costing the customer, even if they weren’t the one to make the mistake. This can mean extra fees for the customer, making it important to opt for taking cash or money orders instead when receiving personal accounts

2. Closing Fees

Although it can be an inconvenience, banks are legally permitted to charge closing fees to cover outstanding transactions in order to keep transaction records for a several years. Whether switching banks or opting for a credit union, it’s important to weigh the costs of ending a relationship with a bank.

3. Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees are most common for checking accounts–covering insufficient funds for many customers–even if extra funds are taken out of the savings account to cover the mistake. It’s recommended to properly calculate a buffer into the budget. The average cost for each overdraft fee transaction is $30 and can cost even more if it’s not the first overdraft to occur in the last 12 months.

4. Check Printing Fees

Although it can be convenient to purchase extra checks from the bank, this fee can be more expensive than ordering personalized checks online. Ask to see what your bank’s fee is for this service. Bank checks also do not offer the option to choose as many styles and designs.

5. Monthly Service Fees

Monthly service fees are an extra way for banks to continue running as a business, usually charging checking accounts at least $10 a month for online statements and $12 for paper statements.
By taking advantage of credit unions that often require a one-time membership fee and limited charges, it can cost less annually. Customers can also save money with banks by only banking online and going paperless, making it easier to manage a customer’s account and saving money on extra resources.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches. For a one-stop shop for personalized checks visit the professional at

Boost Your Stash By Using CIT Bank for Savings

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I know many people are trying to save money money this year than they did last year. However with rates looking pretty anemic at many brick and mortar branches, it seems that stashing your cash is pointless.

When I first started blogging about personal finance years ago, online banking was uncommon for many couples. Keeping your money with bank that had no local branches was considered risky. Now though, online banking has hit the main stream, as more people are weighing different options available. It has become easier to find the banking option that is best for you right from your own home.

For people looking for a place for their short-term savings (3 years or less), one of the better looking choices is CIT Bank with their savings and CD accounts. They not only higher interest rates than their competitors, but they can be an incredible addition to your financial system.

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With many online banks, you can simply set up an automatic transfer from your existing checking account, making saving easy. CIT has no transfer fees. That means you keep your money in the account for savings, not for fees.

Along with the ease of use, many online banks have higher rates than their brick and mortar competition. This is because they have less overhead expenses to take care of like having various branches around the country. As of now, CIT Bank is offering .90% for savings with a minimum deposit of $100 and 1.00% for those who are depositing $25,00 or more.

CIT Savings accounts are fully insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per person just like the big banks.

Open a CIT Savings Account

If you want to go ahead and open a savings account with CIT Bank, click here to start. It takes about 10-15 minutes to set up and all you need is:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver’s license or other valid photo identification
  • A check or bank account number to electronically transfer money into your new CIT Bank account

Interest accrues daily and it deposited into your savings monthly so you’re maximizing your savings without stressing over it day to day.

Thoughts on Using CIT Bank for Savings

How many of you have a high yield online saving account? If you used CIT Bank for your savings, please share your thoughts and input in the comment section below.

Photo Credit:  Gnerk

$125 Bonus with ING Direct

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During Black Friday weekend ING Direct usually has specials on new bank accounts and this year is no different. For 2012, ING Direct is offering a nice sign-up bonus for their online checking account, Electric Orange. We love using ING Direct as we currently use for most of our banking needs.

If you haven’t tried them out and you’re interested in getting a bonus, here are the details of the weekend promotion:

$125 Electric Orange Bonus

Open an Electric Orange account November 23rd – 25th and make a total of 10 purchases (either signature or PIN-based) using your Electric Orange Card or 10 CheckMate deposits (or any combination of the two) within 45 days.

Your $125 bonus will be automatically deposited into your account on day 50. Bonus only available for new Electric Orange checking accounts.

Open a Kids Savings Account and get a $10 bonus.
Open a Kids Savings Account November 23rd – 25th and we’ll put a $10 bonus into your new account. Only available when you open a new account with at least one new Customer (either you or the kiddo must be a new Customer to ING DIRECT).

Your $10 bonus starts earning interest upon account opening, and is available for withdrawal after 30 days. A kid-friendly 0.75% variable APY (effective 11/21/2012)

If you want to open a checking account with ING Direct now is a good time as an extra $125 in your account is a nice buffer. If you want to have a savings account for your little one, they have also have a good interest rate.

Using ING Direct for Our Banking

We recommend ING Direct for several reasons and have been happy customers with them for years. We use online bill pay and setting it up the first time was a breeze.

We only need around 15 minutes a month to take care of everything. It’s extremely easy to maintain and we can quickly see what bills are pending and what our balance is at all times.

One of the advantages of using them is that they are a part of the Allpoint network. They have over 35,000 in their free ATM network which makes it incredibly convenient to access our money.

Thoughts on Banking Bonuses

What do you think of the bank bonus from ING Direct? Do you think more banks should offer deals like this for new customers? When looking for a bank, what are some features that matter the most to you? What are some of your favorite banks?