How to get more from your banking and pay less.
If you’ve looked at your checking account statement and realized that your banking expenses are higher than you thought, it’s time to give your banking habits a makeover. Here are some ways you may be able to pay less for your banking services.
Get monthly maintenance fees waived.
These are what a bank charges for servicing your checking account and savings account. The Personal Schedule of Fees, available at your bank and its Web site, will tell you how much they are. Find out if your bank offers any programs to waive these fees. Here are some typical ones.
- If you direct deposit your paycheck, your bank may waive checking account maintenance fees.
- If you keep a minimum daily balance in your checking or savings accounts, your bank may waive the monthly maintenance fees.
- Some banks offer ways to waive monthly maintenance fees based on the combined amount of your checking and savings balances.
- After you set up an automatic savings transfer from your checking account to your savings account, your bank may waive monthly savings account maintenance fees.
Money Management Tip #9
Your savings strategy should take into account your financial goals - your tolerance for risk and your stage of life.
Use ATMS wisely.
If you bank at an ATM that’s not part of your bank’s network, you may have to pay fees both to the operator of that ATM and to your own bank. Simple solution: Use your bank’s ATMs whenever possible. And if you are a Bank of America customer, you can find a Bank of America ATM by using the locator. Go to bankofamerica.com/locator.
Help prevent overdraft fees.
These are charges you have to pay your bank if you make a transaction that exceeds the balance in your checking or savings account. Sometimes, your bank may process the transaction but charge you an Overdraft Item Fee. Other times, your bank may not process the transaction and it will charge you an insufficient funds fee, called an NSF: Returned Item Fee.
Putting some safeguards in place will help you prevent these fees.
- Set up direct deposit through your employer. Your paycheck will get to your account quickly and safely.
- Keep a cushion in your checking account. Also keep at least $500 in your savings account that you can transfer into your checking account in case of an unexpected expense.
If you are a Bank of America customer, you can also:
- Use Online Banking and Mobile Banking.1 You can check your balances anytime, anywhere. Reminder: To know your true available balance, remember to subtract recent transactions that haven’t appeared yet.
- Put low-balance Alerts2 in place for your checking account. It’s easy to use online banking to have these Alerts sent to you by e-mail or text message to your cell phone if your balance goes below a threshold you set.
- Set up Overdraft Protection Service.3 This will automatically transfer available funds from your savings or credit card account to your checking account if you are about to overdraft. You may have to pay an Overdraft Transfer Fee, but it is often less than an Overdraft Fee.
Take action now.
- Use online banking to know how much money you have to spend.
- Set up the Alerts to help you manage your account activity.
- Keep a cushion of cash in your checking account.
- Set up Direct Deposit.
- Set up Overdraft Protection Service.
For more information, go to bankofamerica.com/feesataglance.
What's next? Keeping your debt load manageable
1 You must first enroll in Online Banking, and set up Transfers and Bill Pay. Wireless carrier fees may apply.
2 Alerts received as text messages on your mobile access device may incur a charge from your mobile access service provider.
3 For Bank of America customers, Overdraft Protection Transfer fees may apply. Please refer to your Personal Schedule of Fees for details. If you enroll in Overdraft Protection with your credit card, overdraft transfers will be Cash Advances under your Credit Card Agreement and will accrue interest at the APR stated in your Credit Card Agreement. A fee may apply to each transfer. Please refer to your Credit Card Agreement for additional details.