How To Avoid Minimum Balance Fees

You-Cant-Pay-the-Bank-With..Many banks will charge you a fee for the “privilege” of having your money in their bank if you do not maintain a specified minimum balance. The minimum balance required is determined by the individual bank. It may range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the bank. The fee imposed for not maintaining the minimum balance will also vary from bank to bank.

If you have lots of money and can afford to maintain the minimum balance this is fine. If you cannot maintain the minimum balance there are still some ways you can avoid the minimum balance fee.

Talk will your family and friends to see where they bank and if they are satisfied with the service and costs.

Check out credit unions and small banks. You may find these institutions do not impose the minimum balance fees charged by the large banks.

When you are researching financial institutions, before establishing an account, talk with a banker and learn the bank’s fee requirements. Some banks will waive minimum balance fees in exchange for you meeting certain criteria such as those following.

Of course, if you are able to maintain their minimum balance requirement you have no fee.

Paying-with-chip-and-pin--007Some banks will waive monthly fees and minimum balance requirements if you have a monthly direct deposit into your account. There may be a required minimum on the amount of the direct deposit.

Students with proof of enrollment may have fees waived at some banks.

Some banks will use a combined total of your accounts, both checking and savings, when computing minimum balance requirements.

You may want to consider an online bank. These banks typically do not have any minimum requirements for their checking or savings accounts. With the online banks you can deposit checks to your account using either your phone or your tablet.

When you need cash you can withdrawal from any ATM. The only drawback is that most ATMs have a daily withdrawal limit. Some ATMs may also charge a fee for making a withdrawal. However, some online banks will reimburse you for these fees.

Unlike a brick and mortar bank, with an online bank you cannot just walk into a branch and cash a check or get a cashiers check. You can pay your bills online using your online banking account. This service is usually free.

Your brick and mortar bank may have an online only option which can save you money. The branch is still there if you need to use it, but that use will likely cost you a fee.

If you feel you are not ready for a bank account you can have your paycheck deposited into a prepaid debit card and then use the card for purchases or to obtain cash. Be aware the money on the prepaid debit card is not FDIC insured while your money in a bank account is insured. You may to pay a rather expensive fee for the prepaid debit card.

In today’s world you need a bank account. The trick is to find a bank that will meet your needs without costing you a small fortune in fees to use their services.