Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Record-High Year For Fees On Everything From ATM Use To Bounced Checks is out with its annual checking study. "The 2008 study reports another record-high year for fees on everything from ATM use to bounced checks," says If you bounce a check or have to use an ATM machine that doesn't belong to your bank, you'll spend more money this year for your troubles. But, according to the study, there are also several ways that you can keep bank costs down.

These are the five conclusions from's survey:

1. Bounced check fees hit new high -- again (link here)
2. ATM surcharges and fees continue climbing (link here)
3. Interest accounts require high minimums (link here)
4. Online banking can be pricey (link here)
5. Know your banking habits and save money (link here)

With all of the banking consolidation taking place this year, I don't see the cost of doing business with banks going down anytime soon. Still, the study does offer some tips on what you can do to minimize the damage. If you have the time, the study is a worthwhile read.


Bob Wang said...

I'm going to bed. said...

Night, BW. Have a good one.

Bob Wang said...

Nightmares ;-)

azntg said...

With the competition pool shrinking and anticompetitive behavior being the norm, both with the government's blessings, I ain't a least bit surprised.

Here's to 2009 and beyond!

lupoman said...

USAA reimburses ATM fee's, Cant think of any non-military banks that do it. Anyone?

That's a pretty good selling point for any bank, depending on how much cash you use.

Scott in VA said...

I have yet to take advantage of USAA reimbursement for ATM fee's. The ATM at my gas station of choice Wawa is fee free. But it is nice to know that if I'm in a pinch at a less friendly ATM I will get the fee back from USAA. If I grab cash from NFCU I choose the same fee free ATM as well.

No point in costing my favorite bank and CU's money unless I have no choice. As for the other fee's that is why I left Bank of America to begin with. USAA has no minimums nor fee to use any service I need and free checks! NFCU is similar but no free checks there.

Cosmo's Human said...

I have an acct with NCB who was just bought out by PNC. I wonder how long my free on-line bill pay will last?

TheVibeRAIDER said...

"Wawa is fee free"

Was that part of an ad jingle? said...

Scott, soon we'll all be able to go to BOA. They'll own most of the ATMs in the U.S. Haha. Oh, and JPMorgan Chase. Between those two banks, they should control most of the ATM network in the country.

Anyone see this ending well? said...

Virgil, yeah. I think Chachi (Scott Baio) sang the song. : )

azntg said...

@lupoman: TD Banknorth (a non-military bank based in the Northeastern United States; predominently in the New England area) still offers ATM reimbursements for their Simply Free Checking account for the time being.

@Marcus: They'll likely control a sizeable chunk of the ATM network, but I have hopes that credit unions will will hold out on their own and fight back for a while... I hope. They'd better!


I see fees increasing, minimum balances increasing and special perks decreasing on the horizon as competition decreases and as the economy continuously bouncing on the rocks.

For me, I'm rather nervous about the two banks I do business with. Not nervous about them failing anytime soon, but nervous about WHEN they'll make it uneconomical to bank with them.

Especially for my Washington Mutual account. I strongly doubt that Chase will continue offering the special perks, no minimum balance requirement and the relatively low fees that Washington Mutual offered to its banking customers once integration is complete. If anything, I'd be very surprised if the grandfathered accounts won't have higher fees and higher minimum balances that even native-Chase checking accounts opened today!

To a lesser extent, I'm also concerned about my Commerce Bank account. $100 minimum balance, relatively low fees, open 7 days and through many holidays, open late into the night, relatively low fees, etc. The only consolation is that Toronto Dominion seems to be doing everything it can to assure customers that at the minimum, things won't get worse. Historically, TD is known to keep their word and they are probably among the few businesses that actually adopts some of the more popular/consumer-friendly practices from the banks that they take over. But past performance is no indicator of the future.

TheVibeRAIDER said...

"Virgil, yeah. I think Chachi (Scott Baio) sang the song."

Credit Matters,

Happy Days was great. Wa Wa Wa! said...

Wa wa wa.

Rob in Madrid said...

Service Charges in Canada are just as steep, but rather surprisingly when we moved to Germany and had cash flow problems the fees were minimal, usually a euro or two at both ends. Recently we moved to Spain and my account went about 50€ into overdraft, I saw it but never got around to moving money over to cover it. End of the month I got hit with a 25€ service charge. OUCH no I am very very carefull to avoid that.

On the other hand we have a Visa card with a large (and ending soon) balance which they have never charged us interest on, so obviously I'm in no hurry to pay off.

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