How To Avoid Getting Bank Fees
You try to be thrifty, saving money and curbing spending wherever possible, yet still get caught out money-wise by bank fees you did not bargain for. It seems there is an additional fee for anything and everything – using your card abroad, going overdrawn, even changing banks. If this sounds familiar, we have compiled some tips and tricks on how to avoid getting bank fees and keep the value inside your front pocket wallet on the up. It is easier than you think!
Close Down Accounts You Don’t Use
There is an inactivity fee some banks can charge you if you do not use your account for a certain amount of time. Essentially, if you did not withdraw or pay in any money for six months (the time period will vary by bank), you might incur a fee and not even notice for months if you are not keeping up to date with that account’s statements.
With this in mind, it might be best to close down any accounts you do not regularly use and cut out this risk altogether. Fewer accounts with fewer banks will reduce your chance of fees overall, too. At the very least, get clued up on potential inactivity fees you might be dealt and ensure you are using accounts enough to avoid these.
Protect Contactless Cards With An RFID Wallet
Contactless card skimming is a 21st-century form of theft. Criminals brush up against victims – often on public transport or other busy spaces – and use special card readers that can charge payments there and then as well as save your data for later spending sprees. If this happens and the victim is not keeping a close eye on their account transactions, the fraudster can easily use their card unnoticed for some time and tip them over into overdrafts and incur fees.
Luckily, there is a simple solution: buy an RFID wallet. These make your card unreadable and hence keep you completely protected from this type of crime, as well as the unexpected bank fees that can come with it.
Switch To Online Banking
If you still receive your statements and correspondence from your bank through the post, a simple way to save on money is to switch to online banking. This means you miss any paper fees that banks charge for the service. While small, these add up month by month and every penny counts after all. Plus, by using less paper, you get the feel-good factor from doing your bit for the environment.
Download A Mobile Banking App
Once you have switched to online banking, you can download your bank’s mobile app, for quick and easy access to your account and latest statements. How does this help you avoid fees? The more regularly you can check your account and keep tabs on exactly what is in there. Keeping on top of your finances means you’re less likely of slipping into your overdraft and racking up charges. That leads us to our next point…
Set Up An Arranged Overdraft
In an ideal world, you would always have enough money in your account to cover your spending. In reality, this is not always the case and that is why setting up an arranged overdraft is a sensible choice. Charges are always a great deal smaller with an arranged overdraft than when you go overdrawn without one, with the latter risking huge daily fees.
Speak to your current bank about their overdraft fees but do not forget to shop around and compare packages before committing – it might be worth the hassle of changing provider. You may even be able to find a fee-free overdraft plan, especially as a new customer. Keep reviewing your plan as time goes on, as what the best setup might change over time.
Check Out The Best Cards For Travel
Holidays abroad are a time when you can easily stack up unwanted bank fees but plan ahead and easily minimise the chances of this problem. All it takes is a bit of research into banks that allow you to process transactions (both paying by card and drawing out cash from ATMs) in foreign countries with minimal fees. Nowadays there are even dedicated travel cards such as Revolut that give you the best exchange rate on the day. Whilst we’re on the topic of travel, you might find that exchanging currency ahead of your trip is the most financially savvy option for you. If this is the case, be sure to invest in a front pocket wallet or money belt so you can keep a close eye on your cash.
Reclaim Bank Charges
If you feel you have been unfairly charged fees by your bank, there is a chance you can apply to reclaim them. This is particularly for those who are in financial hardship, such as if you have had to increase spending due to a disability or your income is completely used up on charges. You will need to carefully consider your eligibility before you present your case, but if you are eligible there is a good chance you will win back your money.
Watch Out For Early Account Closure Fees
Changing to a different bank might be a savvy move; indeed, we have even mentioned it above in this article. But before you pull the plug on your current provider, be sure to check what early account closure fees you might face. Banks have these to discourage you from hopping over to competitors too frequently and the penalties can be nasty, so you should definitely take them into account and weigh up if it is worthwhile before you make the switch.
Adding early account closure fees to your checklist when you are looking into potential new banks is also a must – it could change your opinion on the best option for you.
So, there you have it – give these straightforward solutions a go and avoid getting bank fees from now, improving your overall money situation and reducing your financial worries. The money you save can go towards the front pocket wallet – or even better, the RFID wallet – you have had your eye on.