I used to get frustrated with my bank because they would charge me a monthly fee, and then there would be additional charges for things that I thought should be included.  The costs kept adding up until one month I realized I’d been charged over $25!

When I called the them, they were happy to review my account and suggested that I switch to a package that cost a bit more monthly, but included more transactions, so overall it saved me money.

Tips when looking at banking packages:

Banks have different fees that depend on your needs. Having several different products or cards with the same bank can sometimes be beneficial.balloon-912806_640

Banks usually charge for each transaction, although deposits are usually free.  It can get costly if you use your debit card a lot.  There are packages which give you a set number of debit transactions, or unlimited debits.

If your needs are simple and you don’t have a lot of transactions each month (under 10 or so), you can get the account with the lower fee.

If you are a student, most banks reduce their fees.  You will have to bring a proof of registration to the bank.

If you bounce a check, the penalty charged is quite high, often around $30.  If this is something you might do, ask about the cost of overdraft protection.

You can reduce fees by closing accounts at other banks if you are not using them.

If you have a credit card, it should be with the same bank as your main accounts.  Sometimes there is a reduced annual fee on the card if you are a customer of that bank.

Check your Banking in 6 Easy Steps:

  1. Look at your statement to see what your bank is charging you. See if there is one monthly charge, plus additional fees during the month.
  2. Do a bit of research online to see what might be available. It’s always a good idea to be informed about what is out there.
  3. Contact your bank and make an appointment with a customer service representative, or call their help line. It may be possible to review the account without going to the branch.
  4. Ask them to check and see if you have the right package for your banking needs. Also ask if there is anything that you could do to be eligible for a lower rate.
  5. Based on what you know from your research and what is offered, chose the best package for your situation.
  6. One final step, watch your bank account for a couple of months to be sure that the fees are correct and that the package you chose is a good one for you.

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