Bank fees are an unavoidable part of our banking experience. Does that mean that we should just blindly go into it and accept them as is? Of course not!
Figure out your needs
When it comes to choosing your banking package, there is no one-size fits all. There is a variety of options ranging from just a few bucks to almost 20$ monthly. Each offers its own set of services. Before you even get into the specifics of each bank’s fees, take the time to analyse your own habits.
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Do you use your debit card often?
• How many monthly transactions are you currently making?
• Do you use online banking?
• Do you use the atm often?
• Do you make transfers on a regular basis?
• Do you make interac e-transfers?
Once you establish your own patterns, you’ll be able to make an informed analysis of the best plan for you.
Gathering information is an important first step in understanding bank fees. It is important to keep in mind that the price is not the only factor to consider. Make sure to understand the number and the type of transactions you get for that price. For example, a 4$ monthly bank fee might sound more appealing than a 15$ monthly fee, but if you make 10 transactions a month and your 4$ plan only allows for 3, you might end up paying a total of 18$ per month if your extra transactions cost you 2$ a piece.
Filter the information
Now that you have gathered information, you must filter through it. Using step one, you now know what your banking patterns and needs are. If you have also done step two, you also know the different plans available out there. Before getting into decision- making-mode, start by filtering. Select the plans that fit your situation. Get rates from all across financial institutions to increase your chances of finding the lowest rates for you.
Make your own comparison table. You can get inspired from what you will find on the different bank websites to help you compare: the number and type of transactions with the monthly fees charged. Don’t forget to include overage fees you will be slapped with for going over the allowed transactions in the plan. For example, if one month you make one extra transaction, will you be charged 0,50$ or 3$. This information could have a huge impact!
Once you have established which bank offers you the best option based on your needs and spending patterns, wait before switching banks if you already like your own. Take the time to call them to try and negotiate your current fee to match that of their competitors. This doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a try!
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