How to Avoid Banking Fees

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
No one likes to pay banking fees, and there are many ways to reduce, and even avoid them, by doing a few simple things.

Use Account Alerts Instead of Overdraft

Sure overdraft protection can save you from embarrassment and inconvenience, like being declined at the store when you don’t have the funds in your account to cover a purchase, but it comes at a price. Instead, set up account alerts at your financial institution to get notified about your account activity and balances. For example, you can set up alerts to notify you if your account drops below a certain amount, so you can quickly transfer money into it. 

Free ATMs

Many people use an out-of-network ATM when they’re traveling in unfamiliar territory, though with average ATM fees of more than $4, the cost can add up fast. What many people don’t know is that there are in-network ATM locators that can quickly help identify free, in-network ATMs that may be close by.

Plus, some accounts come with perks to waive those ATM fees. For instance, with Greater Nevada’s Rock  and Aspire checking, qualifying accounts can get unlimited ATM fee rebates (not to mention other rewards). Check with your bank or credit union to see if they have similar programs to eliminate those fees.

Monthly Service Charges Waived

Many, if not most checking accounts come with ways to avoid the monthly service charge. Make sure you understand what those requirements are and that they fit your lifestyle.  For instance, some fees are waived if you maintain a certain balance, while others require minimum debit card swipes. Pick the account that meets your needs, and don’t be afraid to switch accounts, or even financial institutions, if your needs change.

Get Rid of Paper Statements

Depending on your financial institution, you may be getting charged a fee for receiving your statements via paper through the U.S. mail. Paper statements are costly to send, they aren’t great for the environment, and they can get lost. You’re better off signing up for electronic statements, which are fast, secure, and reduce waste.

No matter where you bank, the best way to avoid fees is by educating yourself and taking the right measures.