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Bank Fees Increase
Old 07-01-2009, 03:55 PM   #1
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Bank Fees Increase

Interesting story on bank fees got me to thinking that I have never paid a bank fee for any reason. Why are so many folks paying fees to banks? Perhaps they are the same folks that make no effort to pay of their CC balance each month. I bank with USAA and they grant me up to $15 each month for ATM fee reimbursement, but I seldom claim $5 of that in any month.

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So what's the rationale for the fee increase? Think of it like a parking ticket, Hall says. The fees are there to train customers to use their accounts responsibly -- if the fees too low, they provide no deterrent to practices that eat up a bank's resources.
If they get too high, the repercussions for customers can be devastating. The cases cited in Trejos and Starkey's article offer frightening worst-case scenarios, but Hall told me that in a 2008 study by the ABA, 65 percent of customers said that they paid $3 or less in monthly overdraft fees. He also told me that most customers, given the choice, prefer "free checking" with penalties to accounts that come with built-in maintenance fees.
I know that I surely prefer "free checking" because it is indeed "free" for me.

NPR: Fee For All
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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I pay a buck a month for my checking account. But I get a decent interest rate on the account that usually pays the buck from the float balance I keep in there inadvertently.

I think I paid a $0.50 overdraft fee years ago due to carelessness. Otherwise that is it.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:12 PM   #3
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I don't think I've ever paid for a checking account. About the only bank fees I've ever paid was when I went to my CU in California and paid like a buck for a money order.

I don't even have a local bank with any local branch offices. Most of my banking is with USAA and that CU in California. I can deposit checks by mail (with prepaid and pre-addressed envelopes) or via scanner and website. And as mickeyd mentioned, I get up to $15 in ATM fees reimbursed monthly (usually about $6-$8 for us representing 3-4 withdrawals).

The only thing we've used a local bank for was to get a document notarized. We weren't even a customer and she did it for free...
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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I pay no fee. I get no interest on my checking account but my minimum to pay no fees are low. I get free checks too. Mostly do on-line banking so checks last me a very long time.

I don't use an ATM very often, and usually find a BofA ATM. But once every 2 years I get caught needing to withdraw cash with no BofA ATM in my immediate area. And I can tell you it's shocking how high the fees are! The last time I withdrew the max $500 to mitigate the fee.

We use a safety deposit box - that is the major function of the local branch in our "home town". And one of these days I expect to need a signature guarantee so that we can cash out our IBonds, and I expect that branch to perform that function. Although I think Fidelity in Austin (and probably anywhere) would probably provide the same service.

Last time I needed something notarized, the local RV park owner did it and wouldn't charge me for it!

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Old 07-01-2009, 04:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Interesting story on bank fees got me to thinking that I have never paid a bank fee for any reason. Why are so many folks paying fees to banks? Perhaps they are the same folks that make no effort to pay of their CC balance each month. I bank with USAA and they grant me up to $15 each month for ATM fee reimbursement, but I seldom claim $5 of that in any month.



I know that I surely prefer "free checking" because it is indeed "free" for me.

NPR: Fee For All
I think the main problem is that not everyone can be so full of virtue. Perhaps given time and gentle help...

Ha
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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My bank has to pay me money. I am not satisfied with just the measly ol' getting everything for free deals. I want at least $1000 a year in services that I would otherwise have to pay for.

That's why I like USAA. Each year they loan me tens of thousands of dollars at a 0% interest rate. I can invest that money from them in a conservative investment and make thousands.

I also like WellsFargo because they have reduced my brokerage commissions to $0. If I was at Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, TDAmeritrade, Scottrade, et al. I would pay over a $1000 on commissions.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:37 PM   #7
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.

That's why I like USAA. Each year they loan me tens of thousands of dollars at a 0% interest rate. I can invest that money from them in a conservative investment and make thousands.
When I was overseas I got tired of hearing from people whose home and auto insurance was so much cheaper than I could get, because they had USAA. It takes an active duty military or veteran in the family line, and we have neither. Brother having been in the Navy (in Vietnam, yet) doesn't count.

Guess I shouldn't kick. Belonging to credit unions has probably saved me $12,000 in bank charges over the last 30 years. Not as much as I've saved by never eating in the employees' cafeteria, but significant.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
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I just checked my bank statements, and no fees of any kind so far this year. That's gratifying. Usually I use their ATM (and therefore no fees) since there is one inside my grocery store and another around the corner from Frank, and dozens more in my community.

My statements used to show fees, but my bank was taken over by a Megabank and I guess the terms got more friendly and I had forgotten that. That's a nice surprise.

So far this year, a whole $21 in interest. Guess I could almost buy lunch with that.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:06 PM   #9
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You best believe banks make a fortune from fees. My neighbor is a recently retired banker and he said their all time best money maker was bad check charges. It seems the banks know just the right pressure point to hit the fools that can't control their spending or balance their checkbooks.

There once was a time insufficient funds to cover a check got you into real trouble with a bank. In fact I think it used to be against the law, may still be for all I know. Today for a small fee the banks will cover your little indiscretion and hope you do it again.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:12 PM   #10
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Credit union customer here. The only fees are paying for pre-printed checks, which is a one time cost for my checkwriting volume (2 or 3 per month).
Interest on savings is a joke, checking is zero interest, no monthly fees. But I keep very little in those accounts so it doesn't really matter.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:16 PM   #11
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When I was overseas I got tired of hearing from people whose home and auto insurance was so much cheaper than I could get, because they had USAA. It takes an active duty military or veteran in the family line, and we have neither. Brother having been in the Navy (in Vietnam, yet) doesn't count.
True where property/casualty insurance is concerned. But I believe anyone can do business with the banking arm of USAA and the military connection required for becoming a full member and accessing their insurance products is not a requirement.

I'm there because my dad was a member based on his Air Force service (thanks, Dad).
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:03 PM   #12
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You best believe banks make a fortune from fees. My neighbor is a recently retired banker and he said their all time best money maker was bad check charges. It seems the banks know just the right pressure point to hit the fools that can't control their spending or balance their checkbooks.

There once was a time insufficient funds to cover a check got you into real trouble with a bank. In fact I think it used to be against the law, may still be for all I know. Today for a small fee the banks will cover your little indiscretion and hope you do it again.
Not unlike the Credit Card problems that many of my fellow Americans, but not ERs, seem to always get themselves into.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:55 PM   #13
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Credit union customer here also. No fees, better rates, I am the boss (not the stock holders), friendlier employees who actually care, etc. No reason to use a bank....
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:41 PM   #14
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Gee People.. They need those fee's to Make Loans to the UnderPrivlidged and to pay their salaries and Bonus's..
Heard how one woman was charged a $3 fee for using ATM and Filed a Class Action and got $1,000 out of it..

Me thinks Banks cut their Throats being so gready and Not offering MMkt Rates to small accounts vs having to have a Min. of $5,000 or more and even then and this was Before the last couple of yrs.. Of course, they could have done that to Get rid of small Depoistors too..

And they act like they're doing you a favor to Sell you their CD's with FDIC Ins. So they can use it to go Leverage into something else and stick FDIC and the Taxpayer ..

Have you seen the 60 Min. show on the FIDC taking over a Bank..? I think they should have Came in with the FBI and handcuffed the Executives and led them out the front door into a Paddy wagon..
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:37 PM   #15
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As much advertising as I see from banks for CDs it sure doesn't leave me the impression they're acting like they're doing me a favor.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:37 PM   #16
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I deal with a local credit union. I haven't paid a single fee in the 13 years since I opened the account at age 16. I also get interest(not much) for both checking and savings accounts. Never understood why anyone would pay a monthly fee for banking.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:13 PM   #17
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One bank fee that you may be able to eliminate is the stop payment fee. Check with your bank on what the fee is to stop a series of checks, chances are, they may not charge you one at all. Next time you need to stop payment on a check, tell the bank you need to stop payment on xx checks, whatever they consider a series. At USAA it is two checks. This saved me the fee of just stopping payment on one check.

Jim
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:08 PM   #18
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Credit unions all the way for me.
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Credit Union Fee
Old 07-07-2009, 07:23 AM   #19
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Credit Union Fee

I was outraged yesterday when I opened my credit union statement and found a $32 'inactivity fee' for a home equity load with a zero balance. I drove there immediately and asked them to take the fee off and close the line of credit.

Now even credit unions are doing this nasty stuff.

CT Retiree
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #20
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Maybe I've been lucky. Been with the same credit union (though it has acquired, been acquired, and merged) for 27 years and have never been charged a fee other than a small non-interesting bearing "share" account I am required to maintain to be a member. They did initially have a fee for electronic bill paying but that fee is gone now. Wait . . . haven't opened the June statements yet . . . leme look . . .


Edit to add: Nope, no fees as of June 30, and they do pay a small quarterly dividend on checking.
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