Keep track of your banking fees

Understandably, many consumers remain concerned they may face additional banking fees depending on their spending habits. Most banks will notify their customers of any upcoming policy changes, so BBB recommends consumers pay attention to any correspondence from their financial institutions.

Here are a few examples of possible banking fees:

Overdraft protection – Consumers who debit more than the balance remaining in their checking account may incur a fee if their bank automatically transfers money to satisfy the charge. The fee could be a flat rate or a percentage of the amount transferred.

Charge per transaction — Banks may charge you a 10 -to 25-cent fee every time you use your debit card. This option still allows cash back from retailers for debit card purchases and is less expensive than withdrawing cash from an out-of-network ATM, where withdrawals often cost $2 or more per transaction.

Rewards programs — Frequent flyer miles, reward points and other perks associated with debit card use cost banks. These programs may incur an annual flat fee, be scaled back or eliminated.

Balance penalties — Some banks waive fees if a minimum amount of money is held in an account, but some institutions could increase that minimum balance. If you think you may fall below the minimum because of a large purchase, ask your bank if a grace period exists before a fee is charged.

BBB reminds consumers they can avoid most fees by simply understanding what actions will result in additional charges. Consult with your financial institution if you have questions regarding any changes to how your account is handled.

~ Erik

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