If you can’t quite put your finger on bank charges when checking your statement every month, it is possible that you either don’t have the best banking account that suits your transacting needs or you may have adopted behavior that is costing you a bit more.
In principle, choosing an ideal banking account for your needs, keeping abreast of fees and knowing what value you are getting from your bank should help you avoid unnecessary bank charges.
Here are ten ways on how you can save on banking charges:
1. Choosing The Right Account
Never choose a bank account merely on its monthly administration costs, rather base the decision on your transacting needs to avoid incurring additional charges. For example, on a pay-as-you-use structured account, you may be charged extra every time you make a transaction, while on a bundle offering you are able to perform multiple or unlimited transactions without incurring additional charges.
A pay-as-you-use structure would be best suited for a customer with a low number of monthly transactions, while bundle offerings are best suited for those with a higher number of monthly transactions. Make sure that you chose a bundle with the most appropriate number of transactions included in the bundle, based on your monthly transactional needs.
2. Avoid Using Another Bank’s ATM
Avoid withdrawing money at an ATM belonging to another bank as the costs are higher than using your bank’s one.
3. Bank On Digital Channels
Whenever possible try and use digital and electronic channels for transactions as these are usually free or attract lower costs compared to using a bank branch. In addition, digital channels offer you the convenience of performing your banking anywhere anytime; thereby saving you time and money by avoiding traveling to a branch.
4. Swipe Your Card
Instead of withdrawing cash to purchase necessities rather swipe your card as it is safer than carrying cash. Check whether your bank offers unlimited card swipes at no additional charge regardless of the amount. In addition, most banks’ loyalty programs give customers rewards back for swiping their card.
5. Avoid Penalty Charges
Always make sure there is sufficient money in your account to cover all purchases and transactions you make. This will help you from incurring penalty charges when transactions fail.
6. Overdraft Facility Fees
An overdraft facility helps meet those unexpected cash flow shortfalls and will help you avoid penalty fees due to insufficient funds. Some banks may charge you a monthly fee for merely having the facility, even if you don’t use it, others, only when you use it.
7. Bank Statements
If you have an e-mail address, request your bank to rather e-mail your statement to you instead of posting them. Not only will they arrive much sooner, but you will avoid any charges for postal statements that some banks may levy. If you need to check your transaction history, make use of your bank’s digital channels to view your balance, transaction history or download your recent statements for free.
8. Take Care Of Bank Cards
Be extra cautious with your bank cards as some banks will usually charge you a fee for replacing them.
9. Monthly Caps
Exceeding monthly caps for certain transactions may attract additional fees. For example, on certain account bundles, your bank may offer you a number or value of ATM withdrawals for free, with additional charges as soon as you exceed the limit.
10. Don’t Ignore Communication From Your Bank
Banks often review their account fees annually offering you a breakdown of changes and adjustments. It’s important to thoroughly go through and understand these fee changes and how they impact the way you transact on a monthly basis.