Consumers aren’t the only ones looking to save money and gain a little extra cash on the side. Banks are people too, you know! In the face of toxic assets and credit card delinquencies, they’ve come up with a plan to increase their revenue: New fees! Higher fees! Higher minimum balance requirements! Trickier overdrafts!
The average fee for a bounced check is now $28.95, the average ATM surcharge is $1.97, and the average overdraft charge is $27.50. Equals $38.5 billion, please!
While the Federal Reserve mulls regulation of these mousetrap fees, it’s good to know most of these charges can be avoided very easily with a little foresight. Read the fine print, learn what charges your bank can levy, and compare accounts and fees on a site like bankrate.com. Then join your bank’s text message alert program and check your balance online every morning. Oh, and walk to your own bank’s ATM instead of using that dodgy one in the deli.