If you’ve ever really felt like your bank charged you for something and you didn’t see it coming, this list is definitely for you. In fact, the average U.S. household spends $290 on bank fees each year. Fortunately, fees can be avoided. The following lists just a few ways to avoid the fees associated with your checking account.
Do Most of Your Account Services Online
You can simply check your balance or verify your deposit all at the palm of your hands for free with online and mobile banking. If you were to make an inquiry or request over the phone for any of these things, there could be a fee associated.
Get Your Statements for Free!
If you’re receiving paper statements, those could have a cost associated with them. Instead, opt-in for electronic statements. They are free at most financial institutions.
Need an Official Check? There’s a free way to obtain one!
If you are about to make a large-sum payment (like your child’s tuition bill), you may need an official bank check (or a Cashier’s Check) to put the deposit down. To avoid the fee that may be associated, you can send the payment electronically via Online Bill Pay. If the recipient doesn’t take electronic payments, they will then receive an official check.
Use Overdraft Protection or Set Up Low Balance Alerts
Let’s say you fill up your gas tank, only to realize that it takes you to negative $10.00 on your checking account. To counteract this, you can set up Overdraft Protection which can pull the funds you need from another savings account or loan. Better yet, look for overdraft forgiveness that allows you to fix your balance or doesn’t charge you for small overdrafts. You can also set up a low balance alert, helping you to stay on top of your balance before an overdraft should occur. Any of these options significantly reduce or eliminate any fees you may incur.
Keep a Minimum Balance (as required) or Simply Enroll in “Free” Checking
Most checking accounts require a minimum balance. Keep that and there isn’t a fee. However, Coastal’s Go Green Checking account is free. A minimum balance is not required and there are no monthly fees.
While it may not be possible to avoid all fees, it’s worthwhile to have a bank that clearly spells out fees associated with its checking account so there are no surprises.
To learn more about Coastal’s fee structure, visit www.coastal24.com/fees.