How to reduce and avoid bank fees

By You and money

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Understanding what your bank charges you for in bank fees is the first step in reducing and avoiding bank fees.

The second step is adapting your banking habits in order to reduce these charges.

Although all banks are different, here some tips that may assist you to pay less in fees:

Use the preferred ATMs of your bank

  • If your bank has its own ATMs or free or reduced cost access to a network of ATMs, then where possible use these ATMs.
  • Withdrawing cash at other ATMs usually results in ATM operator fees of up to $2 per transaction so where possible avoid using them.
  • Even checking your balance at an ATM can incur a cost.  Where possible use internet banking to check your balances which is usually free.

Using EFTPOS? Get cash out

  • As there are often fees associated with ATM withdrawals, getting cash out when making a payment using EFTPOS is often a better option.
  • With EFTPOS your purchase and cash withdrawal will be counted as just one transaction which is ideal if your account offers limited free transactions per month.  If that is the case, make sure you know the number of free transactions you’re entitled to and do your best to stay within that limit.

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Plan your transactions

  • Instead of taking out small amounts of cash frequently, think about your cash needs in advance and make fewer withdrawals through ATMs and branches.  That way if your bank has transaction fees, or the ATMS you use have operator fees, you’ll be charged less frequently.

Pay your credit card off in full and on time

  • One of the easiest ways to avoid unnecessary interest and fees is to pay your credit card bill on time. Try to pay it off in full each month or at least pay the minimum payment amount.
  • Be aware that missing credit card payments might affect your credit rating and ability to borrow in the future.

Review your bank statements

  • Take time to check your bank statement each month as it will clarify how often you’re paying fees, and for what.  It will also show you all of your outgoing payments so you can check them for accuracy.
  • By regularly reviewing your bank statements you will be more likely to discover any errors and unauthorised charges as well as gain a better understanding of your spending habits.

Choose a bank account that suits your needs

  • Your bank should be able to tell you what types of transactions may result in fees and help you to bank fee free by offering a bank account that is best suited to your individual banking needs.

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