Consumers may feel like they’ve been dealt a one-two punch from their banks as they’ve watched interest rates on their savings accounts drop and fees increase. But there are steps you can take combat these fees and keep more money into your account.
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that was signed into law last summer requires banks be more transparent with their fees and changes to accounts and policies. To be aware of fee changes or additions, consumers should read the information that banks send them independently or along with bills. It’s better to find out ahead of time and plan accordingly rather than find out the hard way…when you actually get charged.
When you are hit (or about to be hit) with a new fee, talk to your bank. Banks don’t want to lose customers and will work with you to find a different account or change your transaction habits to potentially avoid the fee.
Many banks have significantly increased their fee for using an out-of-network ATM. Planning ahead for cash withdrawals or taking the time to find a bank’s machine can eliminate these fees.
Monitor your accounts on a very regularly basis to make sure you are maintain required minimum balance to avoid any overdraft or lack-of-fund fees. Being familiar with your account’s statements will also make it easier to spot any fees charged by mistake.
In an attempt to generate more revenue, many banks are adding new fees, which is bad news for already cash-strapped customers. But there are steps you can take to avoid getting pinched.