Saving You Money
Of course, It is your money, but a new survey shows 65% of banks are chipping away at it again with bank fees.
Katherine Pleas isn't buying it, "I feel excellent because I could use those little fees... every penny counts."
That's why this 78 year old retired teacher banks at a credit union---- Think of it as a not for profit bank.
William Frye with Cornerstone Financial Credit Union explains it this way, " We have a board of directors.. but they're all volunteers They do not get paid like shareholders whereas the banks when they make profits at the end of the year, the money is kind of dispersed in terms of profits through the shareholders."
So, profit pressure isn't passed on in the form of fees. Moneyrates.com found bank fees are averaging $12 a month. That's $144 dollars a year. Ouch. Overdraft fees are averaging $30 bucks.... and ATM fees are also on the rise.
Some banks are allowing some customers to avoid those fees if they keep a minimum balance, but that minimum balance is now averaging $4,400 every month.
While the survey found 65 percent of banks charge fees, community banks like Avenue and Pinnacle Bank don't charge for things like writing more than 5 checks a month or transferring money more than three times. Bank fees can be hard to keep track of.
Brad Dunn is the Senior V.P. at Pinnacle and says, " I guess they don't want you to keep up with that in a way.. and it becomes somewhat of a shell game.. and we've made a conscious decision here that we really do want to keep it simple."
Credit Unions & Smaller Community banks are the way to go if you're trying to avoid fees. Then again, being a senior comes with perks too. Just ask Katherine Pleas.
"Just because I'm antique... that's why they don't charge me any fees. laughs."
The extra fees follow the 2010 federal financial overhaul act which caps the swipe fees that large banks collect from merchants. It amounted to about $16 billion dollars a year and larger banks are still looking for ways to make that up.
Now, we've got three easy steps to get you off your banks fee schedule.
First, ask your bank for a fee schedule. They're required by law to divulge all fees.
Second, ask your bank for what's called a "relationship analysis," where they look at all of your accounts and find ways for you to avoid fees like getting E-statements or doing more banking online yourself.
And third, consider a credit union or smaller community bank that's fee free.
Thursday, August 23 2012, 05:22 PM CDT
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