Monday, May 30, 2011

Don't pay fees to banks you can avoid

Recent banking reform law implementation means that banks are scrambling for new sources of revenue--don't let it be yours.  With the enactment of the Credit Card Act banks and credit card companies must limit interest rates that they can charge you (without work arounds) for credit cards.  Moreover, new regulations were placed on overdraft fees, too.  With reductions in revenue sources, as a result, fee-free checking/savings accounts are becoming extinct like T-Rex.

But, they don't have to be.  Especially with old-school banks, such as Bank of America (full disclosure: my bank), there are account options, such as implementing automatic transfer, and maintaining minimum balances, that if followed, will prevent you from being charged regular monthly fees.  If that is too much of a hassle, consider bank shopping at sites like Bank Rate.  Their interactive listing allows you to drill down to the specifications you require, such as high[er] interest rates on savings, ATM fee-free transactions at any bank, check writing ability, and a host of other features.  Look for a bank that has no fees period, even without a minimum balance.

You already pay enough in bills every month, don't let one be to your bank.  They should be paying you.  After all, you are lending them your money.