banking

8 great ways to avoid growing bank fees

Institutions levy new bank fees
Institutions levy new bank fees

New federal banking rules are cracking down on overdraft bank fees and practices that have hit consumers hard in recent years. That's good news for consumers -- unless you consider the resulting raft of new charges that banks have imposed to recoup some of that lost income, says Liz Pulliam Weston, author of "Your Credit Score."

"They're fiddling with maintenance fees, minimum balance fees and excess activity fees," she says. "Those add up, and it can be a very expensive part of your budget."

Maintenance fees can range from about $4 per month to more than $20. Other bank fees, such as overdraft fees, can cost $35 or more.

If you're savvy, though, you can still avoid bank fees and keep the free checking accounts and savings accounts you've always had. Here are eight key strategies to protect your money.

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