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How much do you pay each year in banking fees?
Old 08-22-2010, 05:54 AM   #1
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How much do you pay each year in banking fees?

I was appalled by this statement by Brett Arends in the WSJ:
Quote:
If you're like most people, you're probably paying hundreds of dollars a year in account service fees, ATM charges for access to your own money and the like.
Ten Money Moves That Will Always Pay Off - WSJ.com

This has got to be totally false. I've always had free banking since 1973 at many different banks over the years. "most people"? "hundreds of dollars a year"?

Maybe he means paying high fees for investing in load mutual funds at the bank? But that still can't be "most people".

Has anyone here every paid hundreds of dollars a year to their bank?

I'm waiting for one of the reader comments to suggest move number 11:
11. Cancel your WSJ subscription.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:41 AM   #2
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I pay "zero" on average each year. If I was the bank, I would fire me. Don't know how they can keep giving me free checking, free online banking, free everything. The fees must come from overdrafts and credit card fees. By the way, my card if free.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:53 AM   #3
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Only in interest for loans.... never for checking or basic services.

I suppose there are fees that could get out of hand if one is not careful. Weekly ATM charges (at other banks) could add up. I avoid the use ATMs that are not on our bank network.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:39 AM   #4
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I don't recall ever paying much at all in the way of banking fees but possibly paid small monthly service fees the first few years I had a bank account. I migrated to credit unions a long time ago.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:42 AM   #5
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I've had free everything except for ATM fees for years and now that's free. I even get reimbursed by my bank for OTHER banks' ATM fees charged to me.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:02 AM   #6
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I pay zero for cash deposits and withdrawls, zero account fees and zero on credit cards.

I do pay for securities buy/sell and corporate action and TT.

The biggest cost is (probably) the giving the bank the ability to use my money while it sits in my accounts earning close to zero interest.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:29 AM   #7
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I don't pay a dime but I think they may pick up a few bucks by paying so little interest on my checking.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:36 AM   #8
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:38 AM   #9
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Another fluff article written for the masses by someone who needs a job ...

I'm talking about the entire article - not just the discussion on bank fees.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:51 AM   #10
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I try to pay zero, but I end up paying about $3 because where I buy groceries doesn't take credit and when I don't pay with cash (sometimes don't carry enough on hand) there's a 30 cent fee for each debit card purchase there.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:54 AM   #11
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I pay nothing. I think the only actual banking fee we pay is $10 a year for DW's business checking.

Having said that, I am sure that Schwab (main checking account) considers me a highly attractive customer. I have had an account with them since 1999 and I have umpteen brokerage accounts (generating commissions, management fees on funds, etc.), a heavily used credit card (source of interchange revenue for them), an occasionally used HELOC, a checking account, and may some day even have a mortgage with them.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:58 AM   #12
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No fees here. The only cost I have is the opportunity cost. I keep the balance at the level to get all account free.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
I don't pay a dime but I think they may pick up a few bucks by paying so little interest on my checking.
Same here. Anywhere I have money deposited that isn't earning much more than 1% is something the bank is probably loaning out at 5%, so that's where they get the cheapskates with reasonably high deposits.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:08 AM   #14
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-20 so far this year. Every month there is a mysterious "Promotion Statement Credit" of about $4 on my credit card bill. Perhaps because I don't get paper statements. So I count that as negative bank fees.

Other than that, $1.50 for an out-of-network ATM withdrawal.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Having said that, I am sure that Schwab (main checking account) considers me a highly attractive customer. I have had an account with them since 1999 and I have umpteen brokerage accounts (generating commissions, management fees on funds, etc.), a heavily used credit card (source of interchange revenue for them), an occasionally used HELOC, a checking account, and may some day even have a mortgage with them.
No HELOC here but +1 on the rest.

I have accounts with both Schwab and USAA and they both pick up (I think) something like $15 a month in ATM fees but I don't think we've ever had more than $8 in one cycle that needed reimbursement. When I remember to do it I usually get cash with my debit card at the grocery store.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:19 AM   #16
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No bank fees paid. I don't even get charged for clearing overseas bankdrafts because Citigold waives such fees.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:24 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
This has got to be totally false. I've always had free banking since 1973 at many different banks over the years. "most people"? "hundreds of dollars a year"?

Maybe he means paying high fees for investing in load mutual funds at the bank? But that still can't be "most people".

Has anyone here every paid hundreds of dollars a year to their bank?
One more thought -- asking this question on this board is probably similar to someone on a MENSA board finding it hard to believe that half the people have an IQ under 100, and then getting a lot of responses from other MENSA members which validate their disbelief because none of them report having an IQ below 100 or even close to it.

The vast majority of people who do this are probably struggling to keep current on minimum monthly payments, not saving money -- let alone enough to consider early retirement. We are obviously far from being a representative sample on a question like this.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 08-22-2010, 09:43 AM   #18
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0 here I love credit unions.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:13 AM   #19
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$0.00, except a couple of years ago when I paid some wire transfer fees.

$0.00 is the interest I have earned on my savings account, too. (just kidding! but close).

By the way, I can't say that the lack of fees at my bank is because of any great wisdom in choosing banks. The bank I selected had fees, but was later taken over by another bank which implemented the zero fees policy.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:30 AM   #20
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No fees here. The only cost I have is the opportunity cost. I keep the balance at the level to get all account free.
Same here. In the early-mid 1990s, I was able to use a MM savings account to meet the pretty small (at the time) minimum balances to get free checking and ATM privileges at both my bank and any other bank. This in effect gave me an interest-bearing checking account, and with some meaningful (unlike today) interest.

But later in the 1990s when the bank merger-mania began around here, the incoming bank got rid of these accounts or raised the minimum MM savings balances to the point at which the opportunity cost (or cost to divert more money into it from elsewhere which was giving me a better rate of return) was too high. So I combined the MM savings into the non-interest-bearing checking account, in effect imposing a "fee" onto me without really calling it one. I also lost the ability to use other bank's ATMs but that was not a big deal because the new bank had many more branches than the old one.

And, ironically, the new bank has actually lowered its minimum balances over the years to avoid fees, if you can believe it! I keep an amount several hundred dollars higher than the minimum to avoid fees to act as a buffer in case I have an unexpected monthly expense.
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