Who loves finding out they overdrafted their checking account and have a $20 fee for the mishap? What about going to the ATM to take out money for the night and finding out it’s going to cost you a few bucks to withdraw YOUR money? How about finding out you’re getting charged for not having enough money in your account?
Stuff like this occurs to people on a daily basis. While most ATMs that aren’t associated with your bank only cost anywhere from $2-$5, that money adds up when you withdraw from ATMs on a regular basis. I remember the first time I withdrew from an ATM in high school. I thought to myself, “It’s kind of stupid to have to pay to take out my own money, but it’s only a couple bucks.”
Seven years later, I still find myself rationalizing that it’s cheaper for me to withdraw from a foreign ATM (one not associated with my bank) than to drive to my bank. The thought of this gets me absolutely FIRED UP!
If only I would have asked my bank about certain fees before I made the decision to join. To avoid some of the frustrating circumstances I’ve found myself in with my bank, ask your bank about the following fees before deciding which bank to join:
How much does it cost to withdraw from an ATM?
If you couldn’t tell earlier, this is a hot button topic for me. It’ll never make sense to me how you can get charged to take out money that belongs to you. The fee can be especially high in places such as a casino, where having cash is a must. Whether you’re at a restaurant, gas station, or the grocery store, it’s important to know how much it’s going to cost you to withdraw from the ATM. The cheaper the cost, the better off you are in the long run. Going overseas? Ask what the costs are before you travel so you can plan accordingly.
How much is it to replace a lost credit/debit card?
We’ve all been there. You drop your card at the grocery store or forget to take it out of the ATM. Few feelings in the world compare to the horror you experience the second you realize your card is missing. While it’s usually not a big deal (just make sure you call the credit card company or bank to cancel the card), there could be a fee to receive a new card. If you find yourself constantly losing one of your cards, find out how much each of the losses will cost.
What’s the fee if I overdraft my account?
When you write a check or make a withdrawal for an amount that you don’t have in your checking or savings account, you incur an overdraft fee. This fee generally ranges between $20-$35. If you don’t generally keep your checkbook up-to-date, it’s a good idea to find how what the penalty is in case of an overdraft.
Is there a minimum amount of money I have to keep in my account?
Much like the costs for withdrawing from an ATM, this is another fee that I find absolutely ridiculous. In my opinion, if you open an account, it shouldn’t matter how much money you have in your account, as long as it’s at least a penny. However, not all banks agree with me. Some banks charge a service fee if you don’t keep a minimum in your account at all times. If you live pay check to pay check, you’ll want to see how much it’ll cost if you go under the minimum amount required.
Is there a such thing as a bank inactivity fee?
Yes, you read that right. Some banks will charge you if you go a predetermined amount of time without making any transaction. For long-term accounts, such as retirement accounts, it’s important to know what the rules are for having an account that you don’t plan on making many transactions with.
As you can now see, there is a lot more that goes into opening a bank account than you might have originally thought. To make your bank experience as stress-free as possible, be sure to ask your bank about any fees you might incur. In the end, you’ll find that it’ll save you a lot of stress AND a lot of money!
Do you have any stories about a fee that you didn’t find out about until it was too late? Let me know in the comments section!