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 checks.
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 http://www.checks-superstore.