Bank fees can be like a leaky faucet. Over time, drip by drip, the money in your account is going down the drain. Lately, banks are instituting new, creative fees which speed up the drip.
"They're raising fees in sort-of under-the-radar places on consumers. And also because of direct deposit and because of automatic bill pay and all these services that people use, that they sort of set and forget, it's a little bit more difficult to change bank accounts now than it used to be. So banks are sort of testing the waters to see how far they can push fees before people will leave."
Here are some to look out for and how to avoid them.
We've all heard of ATM fees, but on the flip side, some banks are charging a Human Teller Fee. Many online accounts offer free ATM use and online transactions but if you prefer to interact with a human for withdrawals and deposits, you could be dinged for anywhere from 8 dollars a month to 10 dollars per transaction. This one is easy to avoid. Pick an account that suits your banking style and stick to those types of transaction. If you like the personal service of a teller, shop around for a free checking account at community banks and local credit unions.
Next, early account closure fees: Banks don't like to lose business, so to ease the pain of a break-up, they'll hit you with a fee on your way out the door. If you close your account within 90 to 180 days after opening, you might be about twenty five dollars lighter. To avoid this one, don't open an account unless you intend to keep it or if you're set on closing the account try to hold out until the early closure window has closed.
You could even get slapped with a fee for moving and not telling your bank. If an account notice or statement gets returned to the bank through the mail, the bank has to do some fraud protection research. You might find yourself funding that research in the form of a 5 to 6 dollar fee. Just keep your account information up to date and make sure you're checking the mail to keep the fee at bay.
The thing about bank fees is that they are taken out directly from your account. So it's not like you're going to get sent a receipt or anything like that. So it's really key every month to check your bank balance and check for all those little fees because you might be being charged for something you didn't even know there was a fee for. Or maybe there's a new fee that you didn't notice because you didn't open your statement and now it's racking up charges every month.
To see more off the wall fees and see how your bank stacks up against the competition, just visit Bankrate.com. I'm Lucas Wysocki.