How To Avoid Record-High Bank Fees

Bank fees are increasingly disproportionate to the cost of business they’re supposed to cover, as shown inBankrate’s latest annual survey of consumer banking costs.

  • Average NSF (non sufficient fund) fee: $28.95, a 2.5% increase from last year
  • Average ATM surcharge is $1.97, up 1%
  • The minimum balance required to avoid fees on interest checking accounts at a brick and mortar bank: $3,461.84, up 4%
  • The average minimum required to open an online checking account: $650.81, up $517.48

Fees are designed to take advantage of your inattention. To avoid getting tripped up…

…know the rules on your account regarding fees, like minimum balances and to minimum activity. Know if, without notifying you of the insufficient funds, the bank will let you withdraw or debit more on the card than is in the account, and then charge you a fee. Never try to “game the float” by writing a check or passing a charge you can’t immediately pay for with the money sitting in your account. Make fewer and larger ATM withdrawals to avoid racking up fees.

Banking fees continue to soar [Bankrate]