It’s nice to feel like your financial institution has your back. After all, you entrust a bank to hold your money and help you manage it. With this in mind, why do so many big banks charge unnecessary fees?
Citibank and Bank of America both charge a $12 monthly maintenance fee if you can’t keep a minimum balance of $1,500 in your account or if you don’t have direct deposit. Wells Fargo has a $10 account maintenance fee if you don’t meet its requirements. On top of these charges, many big banks also charge a $35 overdraft fee. These bank fees take a bite out of your hard-earned money and who benefits from this? The big banks — many of which have not had the best reputation lately or taken consumers’ best interests to heart.
But you don’t have to accept this. You can stop wasting money. Read on to learn more about bank fees and how you can avoid them.
The truth about bank fees
For many traditional banks, bank fees have simply been the status quo. Many consumers may not even realize they’re paying a monthly maintenance fee on their checking account or recognize that they could be charged multiple overdraft fees if they overdraw their account.
In fact, BankFeeFinder.com, powered by Chime, found that the average household is paying $329 in bank fees. That’s a cross-country flight! And as of 2016, overdraft fees from big banks were an astonishing $33 billion. Not million, billion.
Bank fees are unfair to consumers who are getting nickeled and dimed by their own financial institution. It’s especially unfair for young consumers who are just starting their financial lives, many of whom are saddled with debt and dealing with stagnant wages.
Many of these banks have minimum balance requirements in order to avoid the monthly maintenance fee. So, essentially, if you’re broke and don’t have how much money, you end up paying a price. Doesn’t that seem counter-productive? Your bank should be helping you build wealth, not punishing you because you don’t have a certain amount in your account.
As the big banks continue to charge unnecessary bank fees like monthly maintenance fees and overdraft fees, there are new options on the market that allow you to just say “no” to fees.
The rise of no fee bank accounts
In a post-Recession world, I think all of us are a little more mindful of our money. We’ve started questioning many of the structures that were part of the economic downfall — and subsequently bailed out.
While many of the big banks have recovered, American consumers have not, which sets the stage for major change in the banking world.
In the INC article “Why the Banking Industry is Ripe For Disruption,” author James Paine states: “To put it simply, the banking industry is ripe for disruption. The average consumer has little to no trust in their bank, they just use the cheapest option they can find. Combine that with a total lack of competition at the top-level of the industry and what you’re left with is an industry in desperate need of change.”
Because of this, there’s a new wave of startups looking to disrupt the status quo and shake things up in the banking industry. By doing things differently these new financial companies can put the power back in consumers’ hands and put money back in their pockets. These startups and online banking apps are providing a much-needed alternative to the old banking systems that no longer serve us. For example, the last several years have seen a rise in no fee bank accounts like Chime, Capital One 360 and Ally.
At Chime, we’re committed to offering a no monthly fee checking account with the simplicity and accessibility of a mobile app. No fee bank accounts are becoming the new norm and we’re excited to be a part of this trend. Because seriously, fees suck.
Avoiding bank fees with Chime
Chime was created as an alternative to costly banks and fees. Our mission is to help consumers not only keep their money but get ahead with their money. We’re not profiting off you at every corner.
We’ve ditched the unruly bank fees that many traditional banks still charge. Instead, we offer:
- No monthly fee checking accounts
- No overdraft fees
- No minimum balance requirements
- No foreign transaction fees
- No in-network ATM fees
- No ACH bank transfer
- No card replacement fee
In fact, you don’t have to stress about having a certain amount in your account to avoid a monthly maintenance fee. If you lose your card, we’ve got you covered as well and won’t hit you with a fee. We won’t add insult to injury and charge an overdraft fee if you overdraw from your account. Even more, when you’re traveling you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees. We’re committed to being fee free and helping you hold onto your hard-earned dough.
Opening a no fee bank account
Not sure how much you’re losing to fees? Check out BankFeeFinder.com to see how much you may be paying in fees. Those fees can add up fast and it’s time to reclaim your money. It was yours to begin with and you can keep it that way by using online banking apps that don’t charge fees.
Whether you are opening your first bank account or you’re ready to switch from a big bank, it’s easy to join Chime. In fact signing up for Chime will take less than two minutes. It’s totally free and won’t affect your credit score. So, if you’re looking to avoid bank fees, you can open an account with Chime and ditch your old bank for something better (if we do say so ourselves).
In this day and age, there’s absolutely no reason for you to pay bank fees. Why settle? You can opt for something better that won’t hit you up for a fee for every little thing. Using online banks like Chime, you can say goodbye to fees forever. Imagine if you had $329 a year back in your pocket. What would you do with it?