I realize it is common sense for most to know it is best to avoid fees that many banks charge. However, how many people actually take the time to go check and see if their bank is charging them new fees they may not have incurred when originally opening an account? Many of the “big banks” charge checking account, atm, and other fees for various reasons. If you are not utilizing a debit card or a checking account regularly (or keep a low balance), be especially mindful.
Sure, many of the big banks have ways to avoid fees, but you have to keep close tabs and not forget to use the account a minimum number of times or make sure your average daily balance is x amount of dollars. For someone like me, this would be an issue. I have more than one bank account. I have one account I use for weekly spending and therefore the monthly balance is fairly low. I don’t want to pay a fee just because I choose to keep less money in that account.
Personally, I am a big fan of credit unions and community banks. They are less likely to charge fees and to treat their customers like human beings rather than just another way to make money. Regardless, there are small banks and credit unions who may be charging unnecessary fees as well. The best advice I can offer is to check your statements regularly and to see if you are getting the most for your money by comparing other banks (and credit unions) rates at least on a quarterly basis (bankrate.com is a good source for this). This will also help you find banks and credit unions that will not charge you extraneous fees.
We all work hard for our money. Let’s keep all of what we earn in our accounts and avoid fees we don’t want or need to pay!