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6 Hidden Bank Fees

There are ways to bypass those sneaky bank account charges

Hidden Bank fees

Sam Island

Can you find all six hidden fees in this illustration? Just look for the money bags with the '$' sign.

1. Paper-Statement Fee

What it’s for: Yes, some banks now charge you to mail a monthly statement to your home.

Typical charge: $1 to $5

How to avoid: Opt out of getting a mailed version and view statements online for free (if you wish, print them out at home). Or upgrade to an account that waives the fee.

See also: 8 ways to avoid bank fees



2. Overdraft Transfer Fee

What it’s for: To prevent checks from bouncing, you can set up an automatic transfer from another account to your checking account, but there is usually a transfer fee.

Typical charge: $10 to $12.50

How to avoid: Set up low-balance alerts for your checking account and do a free transfer before an overdraft occurs.

3. ATM Non-Network Usage Fee

What it’s for: This pesky fee is charged when you stray outside your bank’s ATM network.

Typical charge: $2 to $3.50 per transaction by your bank, plus up to $10 by the ATM operator

How to avoid: Stay in network, or get cash when you pay with your debit card at the grocery store; often there is no fee.

See also: How to save money on bank fees

4. Early-Closure Fee

What it’s for: Banks charge you for closing an account sooner than they would like.

Typical charge: $25 to $50

How to avoid: When opening an account, ask how long you need to keep it open to avoid a closing fee; typically it’s 180 days. Then make sure you keep a balance for that duration.

5. Excess-Activity Fee

What it’s for: Federal rules limit certain withdrawals and transfers from savings accounts to six per month, and most banks charge a fee if you exceed this.

Typical charge: $5 to $20 per transaction

How to avoid: Make savings account transactions in person at your bank or at an ATM; those aren’t limited by the regulations.

See also: How to easily switch banks

6. Check-Image Service Fee

What it’s for: If you want to get copies of your cashed checks with each month’s statement, it’s going to cost you.

Typical charge: $2 to $3.50 each statement cycle

How to avoid: View checks through online banking for free. You can print them yourself if necessary.

Discover financial freedom with AARP The Magazine’s Special Money & Retirement Issue. Read it online now

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