The debit card users and checking account holders are likely to pay more fees in 2011. Some of the banks have already introduced or increased some fees in relation to checking accounts while others fees are expected to come into effect from July, 2011. Go through this article to know what costly changes you can expect in relation to your checking accounts and how you can avoid paying extra fees.
- May have to pay monthly maintenance fees - Gone are those days when banks used to offer checking accounts at free of cost. In response to the CARD Act, the banks have introduced monthly maintenance fees of about $5. However, you can avoid paying such monthly fees if you maintain an average daily balance of about $1500 or set up a minimum monthly deposit of $250-500. However, these charges vary from one bank to the other. You may also opt for e-banking and e-statements to get the facilities of a free checking account.
- Debit rewards may be waived off - Another lucrative option for customers is also expected to become extinct in 2011 - the debit rewards programs. Chase, a popular bank in USA, has already informed its customers that they wouldn't be able to earn points on debit card purchases from the month of July, 2011. The bank has also stopped enrolling new customers into debit card rewards programs. However, you may check with your bank whether or not it offers such rewards programs on premium accounts. If it is, they you may have to maintain higher balance to get the facilities of premium checking accounts.
- More fees for out-of-network ATMs - If you were previously reluctant to use another bank's ATM because of the fees, then now you'll avoid doing so, as far as possible. Usually, you need to pay two fees when you withdraw amount from another bank's ATM - fee charged by your own bank and by the ATM operator. Previously, the out-of-network ATM fee was about $4 per year, which is likely to increase in 2011. So, it is advisable that you don't use another bank's ATM, as far as possible, in order to avoid paying such additional fees on ATM transactions.
In addition to above, opting for overdraft protection may make you vulnerable to paying more fees than before. The banks may charge about $39 per violation you make irrespective of how small the amount is. Moreover, you've to pay more if you're ignorant about the fact that you've overdrawn your account. However, you can avoid such a situation by not opting for overdraft protection and if you're enrolled in it, you can write a letter to the bank stating that you want to opt out from it. As per the recent CARD Act, the banks cannot enroll a customer for overdraft protection without his/her consent. So, consider these factors so as to not pay more bank fees in 2011, which in turn, will help you manage your finances better as you can use the amount you've saved for other purposes.