2.2.9 Consumer tips
Here are some easy ways to lower your account fees:
- Watch how many transactions you make: With some accounts, you can do as many transactions as you like for one monthly fee. With other accounts, you can only do a certain number of transactions for the fee you pay—you pay more if you go over the limit.
- Use the cheapest method to do your banking: You may pay less if you use a cash machine or Internet banking instead of going to a bank branch in person. But some accounts charge extra fees if you pay your bills online.
- Get only the records you really need: If you write cheques and you want to get the cheques or scanned images of the cheques back after they have been cashed, you usually pay a fee for this service. You may also pay fees for getting your account balance and for updating your bank book.
- Watch your account balance: Some accounts offer lower fees if you keep a certain amount of money in your account at all times (a minimum balance). If you make a payment from an account and there is not enough money to cover it, your payment may be rejected, and you may have to pay a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee.
Be sure you have enough money in your account to cover payments. To avoid NSF charges for rejected payments, you can consider overdraft protection. You pay a monthly fee in months when you use the overdraft, and your financial institution covers your cheques, even if there is not enough money in your account. However, it will charge interest daily on the amount of the overdraft, so this may be a costly option.
- Ask for special fees based on your age: Some institutions offer special services or rates if you are over a certain age. Some also have special accounts for children and teens who are just starting to save.
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