4 Bank Fees Everyone Should Avoid
Everyone needs a bank to help safeguard their money, manage their money, and provide access to their money; without a good bank, you’ll be stuck hoarding cash in your mattress or burying gold bullion in the backyard, neither of which are especially convenient options.
But banking, too, can have its downsides—in particular, the fees. Having to pay a service charge just for accessing your money is frustrating, to say the least. Fortunately, for as ubiquitous as these pesky banking fees can seem, there are steps you can take to avoid them.
1. Overdraft Fees
It’s important to understand that banks levy fees for a variety of reasons. One of the most common fees is the overdraft fee, which you’ll get charged with any time you withdraw more money than is available in your account.
For example, say you try to withdraw $200 from your savings account—but the account only holds $199 bucks. That small oversight can land with you an annoying and potentially expensive banking fee.
Overdraft fees can frustrate, but there are a few ways to avoid them. One option is to see if your bank has an automatic overdraft protection option. If so, enroll in it, and if you accidentally charge too much money to a checking account, your bank will make up the difference from money in your savings account—all without the need for a big fee.
The alternative is to not opt into your bank’s overdraft service, which means that if you try to withdraw more money than you have, the transaction will just be declined. This can be embarrassing and awkward, but at least you’ll avoid the fee.
2. Maintenance Fees
More annoying still are monthly maintenance fees, which many banks will charge you on each billing cycle—just a few dollars in most cases, but still frustrating, especially since you don’t really feel like you’re getting anything out of it. These maintenance fees are charged by banks just to keep your account open; there’s nothing more to it than that.
The good news is that most banks will let you skip these fees just by maintaining a certain balance, and it’s usually a fairly small amount. And, some banks don’t have maintenance fees at all. It definitely pays to shop around while you explore different banking options.
3. Account Closing Fee
Your bank obviously wants you to be loyal—and as such, many banks charge fees when you close out your account.
For most banks, though, these account closing fees are incurred only if you terminate your account right after you open it. There’s a window in which closing fees are levied—sometimes 100 or 180 days—and if you simply stick with the bank until the window closes, you’ll be fine.
4. Inactivity Fees
Banks want you to be loyal, and they also want you to use their services! To that end, if you allow your account to sit dormant for a long period of time, you may run into an inactivity fee.
For most of us, this isn’t a problem. If you’re logging into your account and sometimes paying your bills out of the bank account, you won’t get hit with this fee.
If you’re looking for an account where you can literally just stash money without having to interact with it much—allowing it to accrue some interest, for instance—double and triple check that you pick a bank without inactivity fees.
Bank with Binji
Indeed, the big picture here is that some banks are more inclined than others to charge excessive fees—and if you want to avoid paying those fees, your best bet is just to pick the right bank.
Naturally, we recommend Binji—and here’s why!
- We don’t believe in hidden fees; if we’re going to charge you for anything, we’ll make sure you know about it up front.
- We don’t charge overdraft fees.
- We don’t charge monthly maintenance fees.
- We also don’t charge ATM fees—meaning you can withdraw money from the ATM of your choice without having to worry about any kind of service charge.*
(* Binji uses the MoneyPass surcharge-free ATM network. Refer to the ATM map in Binji's app for surcharge-free ATM locations. Any ATM’s used outside of this network will incur a $3.00 surcharge.)
As you can see, it pays to bank with Binji. If you’re looking for a bank where you won’t have to deal with these annoying charges, make sure you give us a look.