Monthly checking account fees can add up but there’s no obligation to stick with a fee-ridden checking account. Keep your hard-earned money with an online free checking account with no ATM fees at out-of-network banks. Every year bank customers have been paying more in ATM fees. The average total cost for using an out-of-network
ATM fees hit a record $4.69 per transaction, according to a 2017 Bankrate.com survey. Plus, most banks make customers jump through hoops just to get no monthly fee checking. You shouldn’t have to pay high fees just to have a checking account.
Free checking is becoming a thing of the past
Monthly maintenance fees can reach as high as $15 per month at most traditional banks. However, satisfying any number of requirements, such as maintain a minimum daily balance in your checking, signing up for direct deposit or making regular transfers to a savings account, you can avoid the monthly service fee.
Bank of America’s customer’s can avoid the $12 fee for the Core Checking Account by maintaining an average daily balance of $1,500. At Wells Fargo’s customers can waive the monthly service fee of $10 for the Everyday Checking by maintaining a $1,500 minimum daily balance. Chase Total Checking has a $12 monthly fee that can be waived with $500 ore more monthly direct deposits or maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance. Get online free checking with no strings attached at BBVA Compass Bank’s online free checking account with no minimum daily balance requirements.
Out-of-Network ATM Fees are at Record Highs
Out-of-network fees are charged when a customer of one bank performs a transaction at ATMs that are not owned by their own bank or are part of a network to which their bank belongs. Out-of-network ATM fees are often racked up without customers being fully aware of what they can add up to in a 12-month period. The average cost of out-of-network ATM transactions is now over $4.50 according to Bankrate.com.
The report looked at the 10 biggest banks in the top 25 major metro areas to find out where average ATM fee surcharges are the highest and lowest. Pittsburgh came in at $5.19 while Dallas wasn’t too far behind at $4.07. The fees charged included ATM operator fees along with fees from the consumer’s own financial institution.
Here is how the top 5 Out-of-Network ATM fees broke down:
1. Pittsburgh: $5.19
2. New York: $5.14
3. Washington D.C.: $5.11
3. Cleveland: $5.11
5. Atlanta: $5.05
BBVA Compass online free checking account customers enjoy no ATM fees at 55,000 AllPoint® and BBVA Compass ATMs worldwide. Opening a online checking account at BBVA is easy, they even offer a switch your bank kit to automate the process. Here are the benefits of the BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking:
and trying to get around the different fees banks charge these days is like navigating a financial obstacle course. One of the most to contend with is the minimum balance fee.
Also called monthly maintenance fees, these charges are added on when your balance dips below an amount specified by the bank. If you’re tired of getting nickel and dimed just because your checking account runs a little low from time to time, there are a few things you can do to get out of paying the minimum balance fee.
Do you know what bank fees you’re paying? Many banks charge fees for behaviors that customers don’t realize are costing them money. Among them are foreign transaction fees and, perhaps most surprisingly, fees for receiving paper statements.
2. Monthly or annual maintenance fee.
Some 38 percent of banks surveyed offered non-interest-bearing checking accounts without fees or minimum balances. An additional 61 percent waive fees if customers rely on direct deposit.
ATM Fees Are Out of Control
Customers are using machines outside their bank network less often—but paying exorbitant fees when they do. Drawing cash from an ATM is beginning to feel like a ritual from a bygone era. Like buying a record on vinyl, it’s a once-universal experience for which dedicated fans are now paying a premium.
Markets that have a more concentrated market share are more susceptible to higher fees, McBride said.
“ATM fees hit a record high for the 11th year, with record highs in both fees the consumer pays: The fee to their own bank and the fee to the ATM owner,” Greg McBride, Bankrate chief financial analyst, tells CNBC Make It. “Overdraft fees hit a new high after a slight dip last year.”
Paying to access your own money is one of the most frustrating things about using ATMs. And the cost keeps rising.
The average total cost for using an out-of-network ATM hit a record $4.69 per transaction, according to a new Bankrate.com survey.
That’s up 2.6% from a year ago and is 55% higher than 10 years ago.
And the fees are likely to continue to rise, Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride said.
“People are smarter about their money, and they are using less cash and making fewer ATM withdrawals,” McBride said.
As fewer people use them banks are having to charge more. But the fees are avoidable and the cost of ATM networks are being borne by non-customers, he said.
$5 to access your own money? ATM fees jump to record high and these cities are the worst
Meet the minimum balance requirement
Fees and rules vary by institution, but customers at most banks and credit unions can dodge monthly charges by keeping their balance above a certain amount. For basic checking accounts at national banks that don’t earn interest or other perks, that figure tends to be around $1,500. For premier accounts, it may be as much as $10,000.
Personal finance web site Credit.com offers these five tips to avoid ATM fees:
1. Use your phone to find an ATM in your bank’s network
2. Get cash back without paying a fee when using your debit card at stores
3. Prepare ahead and make a habit of carrying some cash
4. Find a bank that doesn’t charge ATM fees
5. Know what’s in your wallet: Use debit or credit cards
Next to venting about bad customer service, American consumers love to complain about bank fees. From ATM fees to monthly maintenance fees to the infamous and expensive overdraft fee, these fees can add up if you’re not careful. Last year, they paid out $32.5 billion in bank charges and penalties.
Check your bank’s policy to see if you’re being charged a maintenance fee and to find out ways to avoid it.
3. Minimum balance fee.
Some banks charge a monthly fee for customers with low account balances. For example, Citibank customers who have the bank’s EZ Checking account are charged $15 a month if they don’t carry a minimum balance of $6,000.
“We’re in an environment of low interest rates, which means that the interest banks earn on their customers’ money—especially the money they get on accounts with low balances—doesn’t cover the costs of providing the account,” Feddis says. She says that it costs banks on average about $300 a year to provide checking account services, so enforcing minimum balance fees is one way for banks to recoup that cost.
To avoid a minimum balance fee, review your bank’s policy to see what amount you have to maintain.
4. Returned deposit fee.
If you deposit a check that bounces, your bank could charge a fee. Customers of Sovereign Bank are charged a $15 fee ($25 for an international check) when a check that’s been deposited is returned unpaid. Similarly, Bank of America charges a $12 fee ($15 for international checks) for a returned deposit item.
A majority of big banks charge a returned deposit fee, but many small banks and credit unions don’t tag on this fee, so it might be worth looking into changing where you bank if you think you’re going to encounter a lot of bounced checks.
5. Foreign transaction fee.
If you buy something from another country with a U.S. credit card, the bank may charge you a conversion fee. For example, Bank of America generally charges a 3 percent fee on foreign purchases used with its credit cards. So for an $80 purchase, the bank charges a $2.40 transaction fee. With Bank of America, it’s also important to note that even if a transaction is in U.S. dollars, the bank still applies a foreign transaction fee if it’s processed outside the U.S.
“There’s a greater potential for fraud with international transactions, so it costs the banks money to protect the consumer,” explains Feddis.